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Radio radio

A couple of years ago a few worthy volunteers within East Lothian founded a community radio station. They called it East Coast FM, and started broadcasting on the internet with a view to proving themselves worthy of a community radio licence, issued by Ofcom, the UK broadcasting regulator. A few days ago, a pal of mine told me that he was doing a two-hour show there. When I went on line to find him, I clicked too quickly and found that I was listening to something called East Lothian FM, an entirely different set-up operating from the same street in Haddington. After considering this for a while, I used the ELFM contact facility to ask what was behind it and what their motivation was. Next day I had a response from the chairman, saying in summary that there had been a fall-out within ECFM and that the new station was a consequence of that. I replied, pointing out  the potential for confusion, and hoping that nothing would get in the way of a grant of a community licence for the county.

This exchange was copied to others. When I opened my emails yesterday morning, I found that my first of 2012 was from a character  calling himself  ‘The Duke’. It was abusive and I found it offensive. My reply was robust; there is no compound for prisoners in my garden. This provoked further abuse and a series of accusations and innuendos against ECFM. At Mr Duke’s urging I have passed these on, and have been assured since that every one can be countered. At this moment, Ofcom is inviting applications for community FM licences in Scotland, and I expect that there will be two from East Lothian. I know which I will be supporting, and why.

This is a very local matter, but I am posting on the assumption that it will become public. I’m not sure whether The Duke, who says he’s a nice guy and a very good judge of character, styles himself after  Edward Kennedy Ellington, Arthur Wellesley, or some other specific ducal grandee. If I had to guess, I’d go for Marion Morrison.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Marion Bowes
    January 7, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    Dear Quintin,
    I too was looking for an East Lothian radio station (although I am from West Lothian) as I was exploring community information for a visit through to the area. I found East Coast FM and was disappointed, not only, in the style of delivery, e.g. very dry and monotonous but the distinct lack of East Lothian information, as it was more Edinburgh traffic etc I was hearing. I switched to East Lothian FM (does what it says on the tin) and was most impressed to find out all about the Haddington skating event, local school fayres and businesses as well as the choice of music played.
    Whilst, as you say, it is a local matter the nature of your blog suggests you have a vested interest in East Coast FM, perhaps a financial one??
    I have been a great fan of your books but do not necessarily believe it is a good thing to be throwing one’s weight behind things in such a disparaging manner.

    • January 8, 2012 at 3:55 am

      Dear Marion
      I’m going to ignore all the rest of your nonsense, because I don’t believe a f****** word of it, and focus on your suggestion that I have a financial interest in East Coast FM. I do not, and if you had the faintest understanding of the way these things work you would know how moronic your assertion is. It’s probably defamatory as well, but I’m not going to go there, not yet. I stand where I do because I have been led to that position by the aggression and abuse of one specific individual associated with the outfit whose flag you fly, and because of my personal knowledge of the other team. I could have spammed your message, but I didn’t because I felt it important that I nailed you to the wall, publicly. Now that I’ve done that, be assured, this correspondence is closed. Please don’t buy or borrow any more of my books; I’d rather not have you as a reader.

  2. gordon mcintosh
    January 10, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    My daughter went to ecfm just for a look and ask about volunteering (she’s only 12) and they let her appear on 1 of their shows. Thoroughly enjoyed herself! They’re a great bunch, always go down well at any outdoor events. I happen to know a couple of the guys behind it, and always found them very approachable, especially the high heid yin, Iain. More power to their elbow!

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