Monday, August 4, 2014

Throwback Tuesday. Windward Islands Broadcasting Service (WIBS)


Windward Islands Broadcasting Service (WIBS) was established in the mid-1950s in a joint arrangement with Grenada, Dominica, St. Lucia and St. Vincent. WIBS was a regular on 5.010 kHz, 11.970 kHz and several 15 MHz channels from the 50s. The headquarters of this non-commercial network, the Windward Islands Broadcasting Service (WIBS), was located at Morne Rouge, St. George, Grenada. WIBS in Grenada operated two 5-KW short-wave transmitter stations and a 550-watt MW transmitter.

WIBS radio broadcasters had a decidedly British cast on tone and vocabulary. Many were BBC-trained. And many spoke slowly and emphatically with pointed clarity, realising the variable reception available to listeners.

I distinctly recall logging WIBS, not once but twice, on a winter's day in 1970, using a Zenith Trans-Oceanic H-500. I was tuned to their 5-kW transmitter operating on 11.970 kHz. I remember to this day two announcements: the first being, an announcer informing workers to report to a banana estate; and secondly, weather conditions reported for the Windward and Leeward islands. It all seemed otherworldly, considering I lived in the snowy cold western United States. For this reception report I received their QSL card, one I am especially proud to own!

HERE is a 1971 recording of their interval signal, courtesy of Ed Shaw.

Great memories!!!

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