Lennarts passion for shortwave listening in Sweden

I was born in 1959 in a little village outside the town of Umeå in Northern Sweden. My mother and I lived on a small widow’s pension. We didn’t have a car, so I was at home when not in school. Around 1970 I began to listen to foreign radio stations; Radio Luxembourg was a favorite. Little did I know then that this was the beginning of a lifelong journey on the radio waves. Little did I know that about thirty-five years later I would be live on the Voice of America or that Radio Taiwan would broadcast a ten-minute-long interview with me.

My sister gave me a book that would teach me a lot about listening to foreign radio stations as a hobby it was Arne Skoog “Kortvågslyssning som hobby”. (Shortwave listening as a hobby.) This book teached me all about reception reports, QSL-cards etc).

In the 70s there was a lot of radio stations to listen to, many of them had even transmissions in Swedish like: HCJB in Ecuador, Deutschland funk in Cologne, Western Germany, the Vatican Radio, Radio Moscow etc. But of course, the English language was the real key to the world. Without hesitation I would say that BBC World Service was my first university. (And I would add: the way BBC World Service was then, not the diluted politically correct stuff that they have today).

Pop music stations were favorites like: Radio Veronica, Radio Northsea International, Radio Luxembourg, Radio Caroline, but I made a mistake. I thought that they were going to last forever. Of the mentioned stations only Radio Caroline is left, of the mentioned above. More about that later. 

A full-time job, wife, and five children took a big toll. For a couple of decades, I didn’t listen much. Another blow was when a whole lot of shortwave stations did close down for good, like Radio Australia. 

But the children are big now, and one of them is cooking dinner at home, so my available listening time has increased. Although my wife hates hearing my radios sounding. And there is now a difference. In the beginning I could listen to just any radio station and sending reports. Now I would never suffer listening to radio stations from the “axis of evil”, as President George W Bush put it. Instead, I prefer radio stations with which I can have a personal relationship. Radio Caroline is one of the few. But since I first discovered Radio Delta in the summer of 2022, Radio Delta International is my absolute favorite radio station. A station that plays good music, has a very friendly owner and DJ, with whom I can interact with in real time, during transmissions. What can possibly beat that!?  

2 thoughts on “Lennarts passion for shortwave listening in Sweden”

  1. Thank you for this impressive story from Lennart’s life.
    I also come from a humble background, but I always got what was possible as a child.
    Yes, many large and also smaller but well-known radio stations no longer broadcast foreign programs. I would be very happy if a meeting with Lennart took place in 2024. There is certainly a lot to tell. It’s nice that Radio Delta has created this section with radio listener stories. All the best and goodDX.

    1. Lennart Wennberg

      Thank you Dieter!
      Why not a meal and a beer at Daniel Wischer am Rathaus when I come to Hamburg!?

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