Radio Tweed

Launched on 11th April 1983, BBC Radio Tweed was an opt-out service from Radio Scotland, covering the Scottish Borders. It usually broadcast for just 1 hour a day (Monday to Friday) 07:30-08:30 and 17:30-18:00. The morning programme consisted of a magazine type show and featured local news, interviews, what’s on info and more, with the evening programmes carrying more of a theme (eg Friday Sport). The stations could also extend their broadcast hours to cover special occasions like Children In Need or produce special programmes at Christmas.

During the 1990s a cost-conscious BBC cut back the opt outs and scrapped the local programming in favour of local news bulletins which still exist in that format today. Local bulletins can be heard at 06:30 // 07:30 // 08:30 // 12:30 // 16:30 // 17:30. The only stations to survive the cost cutting exercise were Radio Shetland and Radio Orkney due to the locals creating such a fuss that the BBC had no choice but to retain the 2 x 30 minute weekday opt outs. Although the programming can be heard on the relevant FM frequencies the local opt outs are not available online through BBC iPlayer – the website only carries the main FM output from Glasgow.

Some of the Radio Tweed team (L to R: Richard Gordon, Walter Elliott, Bob Burgess, Rory MacLeod, Colin Wight and Jayne Ainsley pictured in 1988. Picture: BBC.


Radio Tweed – Station Ident
This was broadcast at the start of each programme

Full Theme
This piece of music was usually used to take the programme “up to the pips” should the presenter have some time left over. It was used most often during the Morning Magazine programme ahead of the news at 8am. It is based on two local pieces of music Blue Bonnets O’er The Border and the haunting Flo’ers O’ The Forest. This arrangement was by Archie Fisher, best known for his Travelling Folk programme on Radio Scotland.

Local musician Jesse Rae – best known for his album The Thistle and the single Over The Sea, produced this jingle for Radio Tweed. It was most often used during the weekly music show Airwaves.


Airwaves – 09/01/1986
The weekly Thursday night music programme was called Airwaves and was usually presented by Andrew Jones. On this occasion, it was his very last programme before moving to pastures new.


Let’s Hear It 09/02/1988
Jayne Ainsley hosts a special “Shrove Tuesday” edition of Let’s Hear It broadcast on 09/02/1988. This programme includes a trip to the Radio Tweed kitchen where the staff were treated to pancakes being made live on air!

For the 1988 Children In Need Appeal, Radio Tweed, along with most of the other Scottish opt-out services, was granted extra air time to produce local programming covering what was happening in the area to raise funds.

The main highlights from this year included a live outside broadcast from the Marina Entertainment Centre in Hawick brought to you my Mark White and Peter Martin.
Children In Need Excerpts 18/11/1988

Border Weekend 18/11/1988
The usual Friday night sports show also had a Children In Need Theme…


Morning Magazine 10/07/1989
This was Radio Tweed’s weekday programme full of local news and interviews. It was broadcast between 07:30 and 08:00 Monday to Friday. In this edition we travel back to July 1989 to hear about Golfing legends Nick Faldo and Tony Jacklin who played a round or two on Hawick Golf Club. This edition of the programme was presented by Colin Wight.

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