A LEGENDARY former pirate radio station has bucked the trend in radio listening with a significant increase in power.

Radio Caroline, which also operates online, has now established a high-power service on 648AM just as it did when first going on air as an offshore radio station 57 years ago.

Previously the transmitter provided 1kw of power and this has now been increased to 4kw.

The stronger signal covers East Anglia, East Midlands, Kent, Sussex and beyond, as well as once again covering The Netherlands and Belgium, and into France and Germany.

Read more: Community DJs host weekend shows on Radio Caroline ship

Radio station manager Peter Moore said: "It may seem crazy to turn the clock back when other radio stations and the BBC are winding down AM - and only Radio Caroline would do this - but there is method in our madness, in that AM radio works as well as it ever did with durability and long range."

"Most cars have an AM radio and for sure every home has one that just needs to be taken down off the shelf.

"For years the industry and government have been persuading listeners to put perfectly good radios to one side and buy a new set that works in a different way - but maybe not as well.

"If your usual station has deserted you, listeners can return to Caroline."

Ofcom agreed to the increase earlier this year.

A powerful transmitter was imported from Holland and installed at the site in Suffolk where Radio Caroline sends its signal from a redundant but complete BBC World Service facility.

Its former pirate radio ship, Ross Revenge, is moored on the River Blackwater in Bradwell-on-Sea.