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Category: United Kingdom

QSL Woofferton Transmitting Station 17785 kHz

QSL Encompass Woofferton United Kingdom
e QSL for the reception of the Encompass program celebrating the 80th Anniversary of the Woofferton Transmitting Station

A special e- QSL for Woofferton Transmitting Station on 17785 kHz. Encompass Digital Media is the owner of this transmitting station at Woofferton, United Kingdom. Formerly owned by the BBC it was handed over to Encompass in 1997 as a part of the privatization of the World Service distribution and transmission.

On October 17th, Encompass brought a special program celebrating the 80th Anniversary of the Woofferton Station. The program featured various personal stories of people that are working or had worked on the station. I thoroughly enjoyed it, as having been an operational manager myself (albeit in a different line of business) I can really appreciate how a team can be proud of running a complex technical facility together.

(Thanks to Franz Bleeker for bringing this broadcast to my attention!)

Woofferton Anniversay broadcast

October 17, 2023: Anniversary broadcast 80 years of Woofferton
(via Biener’s DX Digest, thanks to a tip from Franz Bleeker)

The Woofferton shortwave station will celebrate its 80th birthday on October 17, 2023. The Mayor of Leominster and the Deputy Mayor of Ludlow will join other dignitaries at a special event in Woofferton to mark the occasion. The transmitter facility was built by the BBC during the Second World War to accommodate additional shortwave transmitters. When the station officially began broadcasting on October 17, 1943, it had six 50 kW RCA transmitters, acquired through a loan-lease agreement. The station has been modernized several times over the years and is now DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale) capable and offers daily digital radio programs.
There will be a special program on shortwave (and other platforms) for the birthday on October 17, 2023: 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. UTC:

  • Transmitter 95 Marconi BD272 from 1963: 15245 kHz (250 kW, 294°) towards North America
  • Transmitter 96 RIZ: 17785 kHz (250 kW kW, 114°) towards Europe
  • Transmitter 92 RIZ: 11725 kHz-DRM (110 kW DRM, 114°) towards Europe

The program details the history of the broadcasting facility, which was used not only for the BBC and then the Voice of America, but for numerous other foreign services. Station employees will have their say about the history and present of the broadcasting system. QSL hunters can apply for an E-QSL by submitting meaningful reception reports to radio @ There is even a raffle. (Dave Porter via Alan Pennington/Wolfgang Büschel)

QSL NDB BBA-401 Benbecula Airport

There is always something special about receiving a station from an island. I was a huge fan of Dutch writer Boudewijn Buch who had a TV program in which he visited islands, met the people living there, and told stories about these islands. You might compare him with the likes of Paul Theroux. Unfortunately Boudewijn died much too young.

As posted earlier I received a QSL for the Kirkwall NDB on the Orkney Islands. I learned that Kirkwall is one of 11 airports operated by HIAL, Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd. So I asked the kind lady at if she would also consider forwarding my reception report of BBA (Benbecula) and SBH (Sumburgh) to the responsible operators.

David from Benbecula Airport was the first to reply. Thank you David! Another island I can add to my list… but also an island that I want to visit now I have reached the happy age of retirement. It’s high on my bucket list. David also added an overview of the radio navigation aids at Benbecula Airport (see below). Benbecula Airport started in 1936. It was a Royal Airforce Airport during WWII. From here it was home to aircraft carrying out patrols to protect shipping convoys on the Atlantic from German U-boats. After the war it became a civilian airport again, and today their are scheduled flights to Inverness, Glasgow and Stornoway.

QSL NDB KW-395 Kirkwall, Orkney Islands

Last weekend I participated in another Coordinated Listening Event organized by the NDB list community. I will report more about this in a future post. But the first QSL is already in: Mikko Kinnunen from the Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd. (HIAL) was so kind to send an email to QSL NDB KW-395 Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, Scotland (United Kingdom). I sent my report to .

Mikko was quite surprised by the distance covered (906 km). But as you can read in the email they have their own DX as well! On their VHF frequency they regularly receive Birmingham and Dusseldorf control tower. I guess this occurs during favourable tropospheric conditions.

Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) is responsible for the management and operation of 11 regional airports serving some of the nation’s remotest communities: at Barra, Benbecula, Campbeltown, Dundee, Inverness, Islay, Kirkwall, Stornoway, Sumburgh, Tiree and Wick John O’Groats

QSL NDB KW-395 Kirkwall Airport, Orkney Islands, Scotland
email to QSL NDB KW-395 Kirkwall Airport, Orkney Islands, Scotland

Gold 1548 kHz off air end-September

Other Gold mediumwave stations closed already in June this year. Gold 1548, servicing London from the Saffon Green transmitter, will follow end-September (source: Ydun’s Medium Wave Info).

Before the merger of many independent local radio stations in the United Kingdom this was the transmitter of Capital Radio. With 97.5 kW this station was significantly more powerful than other ILR stations and easy to receive here in The Netherlands. The higher power probably has to do with the size of the London area and the urban environment.

In the 1980s I had a lot of fun chasing the different ILR (and BBC) local radio stations. The stations all had their own local identity and studios and hadn’t merged into larger conglomerates yet. Below you can see the Capital QSL I received in 1980. Had it been a post stamp it would have been a collector’s item given the apparent misprint of the frequency. Truth be told, I regularly get confused with the 1458, 1485, 1548 and 1584 frequencies myself.

My QSL from Capital Radio 1548 in 1980

QSL Radio Seagull 1476 kHz

Radio Seagull can be heard on 747 kHz AM in the Netherlands. But in Woerden this frequency is dominated by nearby MCB Radio from Alphen aan de Rijn. A good alternative is to listen after 8 pm UK local time to the relay via Carillon Wellbeing Radio from Leicestershire on 1476. This is also a low power AM broadcaster, but despite their 250 Watts “only” this station is received very well here in Woerden.
I received a nice email as QSL Radio Seagull 1476 kHz via

QSL Radio Seagull via CWR UK
QSL Radio Seagull via CWR 1476 kHz UK

QSL Smooth Radio 1359 kHz

I got a kind email reply from Kelsey at “Global” via confirming today’s reception of Smooth Radio 1359 kHz from Baker’s Wood, United Kingdom. I’m really grateful for the reply, many of todays modern network stations don’t seem to bother.
Older radio enthusiasts know that this station started back in 1981 as Essex Radio when Independent Local Radio was introduced. I have a 1983 QSL from them. In 1989 they were forced to split AM and FM operation and they continued as Breeze AM and Essex FM (later Heart). In 1996 I received the Breeze QSL.
Fast forward 30 years and now it is called “Smooth Radio” which is part of “Global”. “Global” is also operating iconic stations like Capital Radio and LBC…

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