The Beginning (part 1)
The FRS Holland story is like an exciting boys' book starting in the second half of the 1970s. Peter Verbruggen was getting more and more interested in radio, mainly offshore & land based pirate radio. In 1976 Peter subscribed to the famous Dutch Belgian Baffle magazine. Until that moment he wasn't aware of the existence of the Sunday SW free radio stations! Thanks to RadioVisie, the magazine which replaced Baffle, Peter got to know about the magic world of SW.
In August 78 Peter bought his first SW receiver and a new world opened up listening to stations such as Radio Viking, Radio Corsair, EMR, ABC Europe, ABC England, Radio Mercury, Atlanta Radio, FRBC, Radio Sunshine & Skyport Radio. Peter's interest increased and in August 1979 he started presenting the Dutch service on EMR, Europe's most popular Sunday morning pirate on SW. During that period Peter developed the idea to start his very own SW adventure, inspired by the knowledge that large areas could be reached with only a small 10W transmitter.
Choosing a name was no problem and the Free Radio Service Holland was born. Work on the very first transmitter started in Sept. 1979 when Barry Stephens visited Peter in Holland. Bobby Speed completed the little 10W rig and February 24th 1980 a first test took place on 6265. All went wrong and it took another 4 months until FRSH really came on the air. On June 22nd 1980 a 2 hour test was aired but only two reports were received, primarily because of a mismatch between the aerial & the transmitter. Things were different a month later. On July 27th a 90 minute test produced 23 letters from 5 countries. The success of this test stimulated the FRS team and Peter started to look for presenters. Via a local FM pirate and a local pub, the first FRS presenting team was recruited. Presenters for the first hour were: Chris, Bobby Speed, Fred van Es, Frankie Fanatic, Barry Stephens, Joop ter Zee & Peter Verbruggen. A complete set of jingles were produced, a sticker and the very first QSL card were designed. An information booklet was printed to tell the listeners about the new born station. And most importantly: a broadcast schedule was put together. Music only was, in the opinion of the FRS people, not enough to satisfy the SW audience, for that reason a DX show & a mailbag show were included in the programmes. On Sun August 17th 1980 it was Barry Stephens who announced FRS Holland's official start some two weeks later, Sunday August 31st.