Radio Rag


Owens Park Tower


Owens Park

Owens Park is a student accommodation village in South Manchester.

About 1000 university students live there.

The tower block is one of the tallest buildings in the area and this was the location most often used by Radio Rag.

In the early 1980s the studio, medium wave transmitter and VHF transmitter were hidden in student bedrooms at the top of the main tower block.

Erecting the medium wave antenna was always a hazard. Pete Mann remembers this from 1979:

"The antenna was a long wire strung between the top floor and the middle of the adjacent sports field. Erecting the antenna was potentially dangerous as it involved hurling a large lump hammer with the antenna wire attached out of an upper floor window."

"The trajectory had to be judged correctly to clear the trees at the base of the tower block and avoid the hammer swinging back and smashing some unsuspecting student's window further down the tower."

I also remember the same exercise in the 1980s using fishing line and an orange. It wasn't much success, the orange just disentegrated on impact and the fishing line blew away into the trees.

By 1985 Radio Rag had outgrown the available space. The studio moved to a flat in Moss Side but the transmitters remained at Owens Park, connected by a secret chain of microwave links and VHF receivers.


1985 Medium Wave