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Photos by Mark Carver and Peter Bigwood Page last updated: 2016-08-05

Earlier photos

Fort Widley entered service for broadcast use in October 1975 to provide the VHF/FM radio site for Portsmouth ILR station, Radio Victory. Transmissions were on 95.0 MHz, at 200W ERP, using a pair of loop and dipole radiators (typical of many 1970s ILR Tx sites)

In 1985 the IBA re-advertised the Portsmouth ILR franchise, as a larger area encompassing Southampton, Winchester, and the Isle Of Wight. Victory failed to win the franchise, and as a result closed down in June 1986.

1986 saw the reorganisation of the BBC LR and ILR sub-bands, and the Portsmouth allocation was changed to 97.5, with an increased ERP of 850W.

So in October 1986 Ocean Sound took to air from Fort Widley on 97.5 (with Chillerton Down providing coverage to Southampton and the IOW, and a year later Crabwood Farm to serve Winchester).

The Tx antennas are the crossed dipoles right at the top.

In 1997, an additional ILR service took to the air in Portsmouth. This station called itself Radio Victory, in attempt to recreate the 'glory days' of the original ILR station. This also transmitted from Fort Widley on 107.4. However it re-launched in 2001 as "The Quay", and transmissions have transferred to a site 2 miles to the west to Fort Southwick.

Fort Widley is at a commanding position, overlooking Portsmouth, the Isle of Wight, and the Solent, on a long chalk ridge called Portsdown Hill.

Fort Widley index

Chillerton Down | Crabwood Farm | Fort Southwick

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