Today marks the 21st anniversary of 102.4 Wish FM, the local radio station serving the WIgan and Saint Helens area (ged-it ‘WISH‘?)

So what better excuse that to resurrect my ‘Sound Archive’ series of posts by looking back to 1st April 1997.

Wish FM was one of the first of a series of smaller stations to launch around the surrounding areas of the Manchester and Merseyside conurbations in the late 90’s and by many counts was a quite low key launch at 6am. No grandiose big production launch sequence here, it seems someone thought “we’ve spent a fortune on loads of JAM jingles, let just play them back to back for five minutes” or perhaps it was a bit of a nod to the 80’s Radio One start up sequence… If you are of the right age you can play along playing spot all the cuts familiar to listeners of heritage local stations such as Key 103, City and Rock FM.

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The breakfast show was presented by Mark Keen, Simon Parry in a Leicester Sound tribute web page provides some info:

102.4 Wish FM, which was a new station for Wigan and St Helens in the North West. Mark had the honour of being the first voice on the station, as he was breakfast show presenter. The first record he played was REM – Losing My Religion, one of his all time favourite records.

Here’s a scooped version the rest of the first hour and half of the broadcast (of course as was always the case the cassette needed flipping over mid-link):

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A little later in the day around midday here’s the top of the hour, of note the resings of cuts used only a couple of years earlier as the News In and weather jingles on City FM and Key103 respectively.

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Photo Credits: “102.4 Wish FM mug (2006)” by Radio Things