Radio Victory: we still mourn the loss of Portsmouth’s own station – Rick Jackson

Radio presenter Bill Padley whose career was launched on Radio Victory
Radio presenter Bill Padley whose career was launched on Radio Victory
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A friend of mine posted an old video on Facebook last week that some of you would love towatch as I bet it would bring back some wonderful, fond memories.

My friend’s name is Bill Padley and in March 1982 he rented some cutting edge technology, a video camera.

In March 1982 Bill was Radio Victory’s breakfast show host, the station which served the city between 1975 and 1986, losing its licence that year in favour of Ocean Sound.

Bill filmed not only himself hosting the breakfast show, but scenes around the station including the newsroom and the commercial production area.

I was fascinated to see the old studios on Fratton Road. I vaguely remember Radio Victory and the familiar Pompey Chimes jingles.

Radio was very different back then, as Bill mentioned harbour shipping movements, chemists’ opening times and Morning Thought with a local vicar.

All these things would make listeners switch off in their droves today, but in the days before social media and the internet, local newspapers and radio were the only places to get that information.

Bill was joined in the studio by Ted Trafficator who updated the travel news and then Andy Ferris, who hosted the following show. Matt Hopper also featured hosting his afternoon show called Company.

I remember how the people of Portsmouth felt a sense of loss when Radio Victory eventually closed. But why did the city lose its very popular station?

Back in the 1980s, the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA), now Ofcom, didn’t advertise a broadcast licence for just Portsmouth. The new one would also include Southampton, Winchester and the Isle of Wight over five transmitters instead of two.

It was deemed Radio Victory’s bid, with separate studios in Southampton and extra staff, was far too adventurous and unsustainable. Ocean Sound promised one studio complex at Fareham with programmes for the cities split on their frequencies. It won the day.

Although popular, Ocean Sound never really had the warmth of community feeling Victory had. You got a sense of that on Bill’s wonderful video.

And you thought filling up your car was expensive…

Owning your own bus is a rather expensive hobby as I found out last weekend when I took my double decker over to the Isle of Wight to take part in the Beer & Buses event.

I thought I’d share with you the cost of the weekend, where mine and more than 100 other vintage buses took people around the island to various pubs on free trips.

To start, the ferry crossing was £150. Before I left the mainland I filled up the tank. There was already some in there but I’d rather be certain. £140 went in. After eight hours of driving I topped her up again, £90. After Sunday’s trips, another £60 refilled the tank.

That was from just one weekend’s activity. Maybe I should take up tiddlywinks?

What was the point in abusing staff during IoW ferry chaos?

What a great job the staff at Wightlink’s Gunwharf car ferry terminal did on Friday night, as I and many others were delayed after the withdrawal of the St Clare.

Some people waited five hours to get on a ferry. One chap booked on the 6pm sailing with his bus, eventually travelled at 3am.

If you bellow at a member of staff, will that help the situation? Will that get you on a ferry any earlier?

One poor woman took the brunt of much abuse on the reception desk as some demanded their money back and to be put on the next ferry. That behaviour achieves nothing.

Meanwhile, the person who forgot to renew St Clare’s certificate, which is why she was withdrawn from service, owes them all a meal at the nearby Abarbistro.