Hans Knot's International Radio Report - April 2007
Welcome to another
edition of the Hans Knot International Radio Report sharing memories,
photos and above all remembering the radio, as it used to be. Well a
little name change as I’ve added Hans to it. A lot of e mails, from
which a nice selection will be published, came in. Also in this issue
another long story, this time from Colin Nichol in Australia. We have
also an open letter from Caroline’s front man Peter Moore and tell you a
bit sensational news about the forthcoming Radio Day in Amsterdam as the
first guest is known to us!
Let’s start with some e mails from all around the world starting with Clive Warner who reflects on the questions from Phil Crosby from Australia. ‘Hi Hans. Great report you sent us, fascinating story about the grounding of the MV Mi Amigo, way back in 1976. Many thanks! Here some comments on the question from Phil in Australia: ‘It would have been good to hear more about his technical challenges with managing high power transmitters in the difficult environment of a ship on the ocean.’
Well it's pretty difficult. The constant movement of the ship makes it dangerous to work on the transmitter when it's actually on power. Engineers often need to be in close proximity to high voltage when diagnosing some problem, and on dry land you simply act in a a professional way and you're safe, but on the ship there is always the chance of a sudden wave that makes you lose your balance. Secondly there is the problem of all that brine. Salt is a pretty good conductor and causes arc-overs on the antenna insulators. So you have a lot of maintenance replacing ceramic insulators, I had to do that and it was an unpleasant job.
Another point that I sometimes think about is the choice of frequency for the offshore stations. I wonder what factors the station took into account? In the early days (pre 9KHz spacing) I guess it was simply a matter of tuning around to find a clear spot day and night, then locking the transmitter on that frequency (or getting a crystal manufactured). But generally, there was a trend towards the pop music formats being above 1000Khz (or below 300 metres), and the easy listening stations above 300 metres. Maybe the location of the BBC light program (247m) and Radio Luxemburg (208) originally encouraged this?
‘Factors? Don't think so! I remember that when the DTI began jamming us, I went to look for the crystals to see what I had to choose from. Yeah I was pretty radical in those days, I had a tendency to take unilateral action! I found a box that had three crystals in it. The one we were actually using, someone had engraved a heart shape on it as it was the 'heart' of the transmitter! But it was not as if we had a lot of choice. Re-tuning a Doherty type of transmitter such as the 50KW Continental would have taken quite a while, possibly a day or two, especially with the extremely limited equipment. I had brought a RF bridge with me from the UK but that was about it. Basically, on medium wave you want the lowest possible frequency because it goes a lot further. Long wave is known for its great range, for instance. But low frequencies mean high antennas and there are limits as to what you can put on the ship. So it's a big compromise, basically you find whatever spot you can, then check at night to see if there are any distant high-powers on that frequency, all the time thinking about antenna size, retuning components, stuff like that.’
Thanks a lot Clive, most appreciated and hopefully Phil down yonder is also happy with this answers. Next e mail comes from Frank van Heerde in Holland who wrote: ‘Hello Hans, thanks again for your report. Always nice read. You mentioned a program on Radio 390 which was not ‘Music from the Organ’ but named ‘Masters of the Organ’. During the period September/Oktober 1965 I’ve listened to this program which had an opening tune called ‘Now is the hour’. I’m looking for this number already for years so maybe someone in your readership can help me. Before this program came on the air Radio 390 had ‘Country style’. Who knows the title of their tune and who performed it? ‘
Well Frank hopefully someone can be of help and will send an answer to Hknot@home.nl
Next an e mail from Henk in Friesland: ‘Nice stories again in the Knot Report, especially the one about Laser and Radio Mi Amigo written by Peter Tankard from Sheffield. I never knew Laser had such a good reception in that part of England. Here in the province of Friesland reception was no problem during daytime and only during evenings it became worse. Listening to Radio London 1395 this afternoon on my old tube radio receiver I learnt that news was programmed directly after the news and the team was giving away travel goodies. I feel good with this station being on the air now.‘
Next from Germany an answer on another question: ‘Hi Hans, thanks for your second March report, interesting as ever. There was a question from Ad Tervoort where Tom Lodge made the interview with the Beatles in 1966. In his book "The ship that rocks the world-The Radio Caroline story", Tom included a chapter to this. There he wrote, that the interview happened in Chelsea, London in a mews called "The Vale" near Kings Road. Hope I could help. Best wishes and Happy Easter Harald.’
Thanks Harald and I’ve forwarded the answer to Ad who wrote me back he’s very happy with the solving of the question.
And again also an e mail from my big friend over in California: ‘Hi Buddy, another great report on the past and present scene of British radio. I have to first and for mostly congratulate you on what I think was you longest report ! I have to agree with Peter Tankard in Sheffield. I totally agree with your letter about the state of radio in the UK The thoughts on the current scene echo mine. I was hoping IOM radio, which was to bring back the feel of free format radio, was going to be the answer, alas as you know it crashed again! I hear the rebuilding process (sans departed Paul Rusling) is once again in route. We will keep hoping. If nothing else seeing a lot of my old pals mentioned monthly is comforting ! roskoradio.net has had to offer pod casting now as we maxed out the server within 3 weeks. Happy to say were the fasted rising Internet station last month! If I might plug us for old mates and young mates of the future, we play soul, old new and rare! Thanks again for the best report around ! Emperor Rosko.’
Offshore Echo's & France Radio Club's annual event Euroradio, takes place in Calais France on Saturday 8 September at the Georges V hotel. Our special guests include the man who officially opened Radio Caroline on Easter Saturday March 28 1964; one of Caroline's early engineers; a man of many names and radio stations; plus a man who didn't play pop music. Find out more at:
Like in the last issue of the report we have a special. This time Colin Nichol friom Australia takes us back to the sixties with an interview he had with Paul Hollingdale
Read the interview
Thanks a lot Colin, a wonderful interview! Most appreciated to share it with us.
what we have here to the right! An original coffee dish stand featuring
Radio Caroline. It’s from the eighties and I don’t remember how I got it
during that time. So who knows who produced these dish stand and also if
there are any other available featuring other stations. Answers as
normal to Hknot@home.nl
The next small text comes from the last report. It can from a reader Phil in Australia and will be answered by another reader: ‘Another point that I sometimes think about is the choice of frequency for the offshore stations. I wonder what factors the station took into account? In the early days (pre 9KHz spacing) I guess it was simply a matter of tuning around to find a clear spot day and night, then locking the transmitter on that frequency (or getting a crystal manufactured). But generally, there was a trend towards the pop music formats being above 1000Khz (or below 300 metres), and the easy listening stations above 300 metres. Maybe the location of the BBC light program (247m) and Radio Luxemburg (208) originally encouraged this? Of course later on the shift to 558KHz for Laser/Caroline broke this tradition. Or was there a deeper technical reason (later overcome) for choosing higher frequencies, perhaps more range with less power, or maybe the antennas could be shorter. Has anyone done any work on the logic of frequency selection? Phil’.
Hi Hans, I have cut and pasted the above from your excellent monthly digest. I was a listener to the offshore stations in the 60's during my early and mid-teens. I was always wondering how they broadcast from offshore and it was finding out that got me a job with the BBC Transmitter Department in 1970. I'm still employed in transmission in one of the three privatised companies that came form the Government inspired sales of the IBA and BBC transmitter departments in the 1990's. So to answer the question...
It's really quite simple... how high can you reasonably [and safely] rig a mast on a boat? Until the 300' Ross Revenge mast of 1984 the highest was probably Radio London's 212' design. They chose the 1133kHz, 266m spot on the dial and the antenna height was equal to about a quarter of the wavelength. The formula is 234/freq in MHz, 234/1.133 = 206 feet. Similarly for Radio Caroline '199' in the early days the mast height was about 160-170 feet. 234/1.520=153 feet. so they had a bit to spare. it helps the efficiency. A quarter wavelength antenna gives an efficiency approaching 90% especially with a sea-water ''earth'', and so as you would expect good coverage was predicted and indeed found with this sort of system.
As the frequency is decreased, say to 773 kHz, the Radio 390 channel, a quarter wave antenna needs to be 234/0.773 = 300' and I am given to understand they used a 250' mast on their Red Sands fort. A ground-based structure like a fort allows you to be more adventurous with a vertical antenna and even a 50' reduction in mast height from the quarter-wave optimum still affords good efficiency. This, coupled with the fact that the lower MF channels propagate better [provided you can get the rf the leave the antenna in the first place] shows why Radio 390 had such a large coverage area, in spite of sharing the frequency with Sweden.
Radio City on 1034 kHz used a 200' mast, again from their Shivering Sands fort, 234/1.034 = 226' and enjoyed good coverage on what was a relatively clear channel. When it came to the transfer from 192m / 1562 kHz of Radio Veronica to 539m / 557kHz then the antenna on the Norderney would have been a more tricky problem and in effect an awful lot of it would have been coiled up at the base within an Antenna Tuning Unit. Most likely it would have been in a large loading coil, whilst it's possible to make the transmitter work into a small antenna the efficiency of the antenna system falls and the advantage of the better propagation of the lower frequencies is lost. Laser 558 suffered the same fate as did the 576 kHz and later 558 kHz service from Caroline, even into the 300' mast on the Ross Revenge.
With regard to frequency selection the common-sense method would indeed be to monitor the frequencies in which you are interested and then pick the best, it's important to remember that in the 1960's the use of the MF band was more important to countries than it appears to be today. Indeed a lot of European countries all had services on MF whereas today some countries have no presence at all eg) Sweden, Finland with others only using one of possibly three or four channels allocated to them. I'd like clarification on the next point but I'm given to understand that Swinging Radio England and Britain Radio were planning to use 640kHz for one of their services, obviously they had not done their research as the BBC from 1950 to 1978 used 647kHz for the high power Third Programme Classical music / Culture service and no doubt the BBC would not have been pleased to have a station on 640kHz.
Even Radio London were not thinking when one night they tried tests on an announced 277m which one would guess as 1079kHz, not a good choice of channel as the BBC Home Service was using 1088kHz at 150kW from Droitwich, central England and more of concern at 10kW from Postwick near Norwich, in the east of England. Again a high-powered pop-music station literally next-door would have caused all sorts of technical and political problems.
So as you can see it's important to consider many aspects when designing and specifying antenna systems and frequency selection. Dave Porter, ex BBC Transmitter Engineer, G4OYX. Hope that's ok for you Hans. Regards, David Porter.’
Well David thanks a lot and I think not only Phil in Australia and me but a lot of other readers of the Knot International Radio Report have read with most interest this very interesting answer to the questions. Keep enjoying the report!’
We stay in the UK and go to Johnny Stevens: ‘Hello Hans, Still receiving your report which is still interesting and full of info. I have been listening to the internet service of Mi Amigo 192. I contacted Ferry Eden thinking he was on the station but I now know he is writing books on transport. He said the station was not pulling in enough listeners, so maybe you could plug Mi Amigo 192 in your report as thousands of us in the UK loved Mi Amigo as much as Caroline. No offshore fan can ignore our Dutch brothers who contributed so much to offshore radio, in fact without them we would not have had Caroline. Veronica was also there years before Caroline, and some of the best music comes from our Dutch brothers who have a knack of putting good oldies shows together, like Ferry’s old Mi Amigo shows back in 1977/78. Some of us were as sad to lose Mi Amigo in 1978/79 as we were of Caroline in 1980. So to all our ex Dutch offshore deejays let me say we still miss you. Johnny Stevens, Norfolk UK
Thanks Johnny, and indeed if you go back onto older reports (find them at www.hansknot.com ) you will see we haven’t forgotten the Mi Amigo boys. If you go to www.offshore-radio.de you’ll find a lot of photographs taken during the Mi Amigo 192 days with Easter on the Norderney in Antwerp. So will find some familiar Mi Amigo and Caroline Dutch faces too.
Talking about Radio Mi Amigo in the early days there was a deejay called Mike Moorkens who also was heard on Radio Caroline and Radio Atlantis in 1973. I have to come with the sad announcement that Chrétien Dewaele – which was his original name – died after having a heart attack on March 14th.
Next it’s Kenny Tosh: ‘Hello Hans Just a quick few lines to let everyone know about a great 60's show featuring the offshore sounds and memories. C.J. Munroe every Sunday afternoon from 4 PM on Palm FM 105.5 FM for Torquay and www.palm.fm Wonder where the jingles came from??????? Regards, Kenny Tosh’.
Well knowing a certain guy with the name Tosh I could win a fortune guessing it was him providing the jingles! I stay in Ireland and go to the next e mail:
‘Hans. Many thanks again for the reports. Always a good read and always something new and interesting in it! I enjoyed reading about Caroline’s return in September 1976 after drifting. It mentioned one of my favourite deejays from that era Ed Foster. Anyone know where he is today and what is he doing? I noticed that Steve Szmidt in his recent report on www.offshore-radio.de said that Ed Foster had dropped out of the circle of ex Caroline deejays and no one knows of his whereabouts. Going back to the drifting in Sept 76 there’s a good recording of Ed Fosters first show after the drifting along with 1000s of other great recordings on http://azanorak.com.
Reading of our piece about Communicator Club reminded me that I was also was a winner of 3 albums in 1985. Living here in Cork, Ireland I could only receive Laser 558 during the hours of darkness so I decided to join the Communicator Club and send my membership number to a lot of people in England and ask them to keep an ear out in case my number was called out! One day I got a letter from England telling me that my number had been called out and I immediately wrote to Laser in US and a few weeks later my 3 albums arrived. Can only remember that one of them was a Prince album! Finally Nick Richards is still on the breakfast show here in Cork on 96fm. On air from 6 to 9 Monday to Friday you cam listen live on www.96fm.ie Keep up the good work. Patrick (Healy from Cork Ireland) http://www.rfsoc.org.uk
Thanks Patrick. There was a reunion in London lately with some of the Mi Amigo and Caroline people from 1975/1980 but also there no Ed Foster, which is really a pity. So someone knowing where to find him please let us know.
Good news next from Mary and Chris Payne from England: ‘On March 29th, the Radio London website celebrated its eighth birthday. We've marked the occasion with a big site update, including a feature about Kenny and Cash's single 'Knees' from the song's co-writer David Cummings. Jempi Laevaert has put a huge amount of time and effort into creating a unique collection of Caroline charts, but has now found he can no longer continue to host and update his website, The Stonewashed Collection. As we already have a Caroline section on our website, he asked us if Radio London would be prepared to take over the collection. In honour of our eight birthday and Caroline's 43rd, we are proud to announce that Jempi's Stonewashed Collection www.radiolondon.co.uk/caroline/stonewashed/index.html
is now part of the Radio London website. The charts collection will continue to be completed from existing information and will be updated as other data becomes available. Mary Payne, Director RADIO LONDON Ltd Exclusive Radio London Merchandise
And from Chris and Mary to Jon at the Pirate Hall of Fame is just a small step: ‘Hi, I have just updated The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame. What's new this month? We have a Radio Atlanta special with a fascinating in-depth interview with station founder Allan Crawford, courtesy of Colin Nicol. If you thought you knew how Radio Caroline got its name, you may have to think again. Allan has a different story! Colin has also provided an original Radio Atlanta advertising rate card. Another former Atlanta DJ Johnny Jackson has sent some great memorabilia from the very earliest days of this short-lived station. We hear from an even shorter-lived station - Radio East Anglia. It mysteriously appeared - and disappeared - on April Fools Day forty years ago. We are sad to report that Alan Black, of Radio Scotland, Britain Radio and Radio 355, died a couple of weeks ago. We pay tribute to this fine broadcaster. Pinky Siedenburg, who ran Radio Caroline's Amsterdam office after the Marine Offences Act, has provided a couple of photos of DJs from that era. And we have added some more information and audio to the Seventies Supplement. All in all - a bit of a bumper update! The Pirate Radio Hall Of Fame was launched in March 2000 which means it is now seven years old. Thank you to everybody who has contributed photos, tapes, cuttings, memorabilia or information since then. We couldn't have done it without you. All the best, Jon www.offshoreradio.co.uk
And next not forgetting to plug Bob Le-Roi: Welcome to the very full April Website Update. ’In this this months Scrapbook a new feature begins with the real story of Radio Lazer which of course became the highly popular to Laser 558 From the initial idea to it's opening as told by Lazer's brainchild John Kenning The story is linked to Radio Sovereign and we've now added a "Where Are They Now" to the Radio Sovereign Story - Part 4, if you've any more detail let us have it? Coincidentally whilst spotlighting Laser we also announce a brand new Power Amplifier produced by Stuart Vincent once radio Engineer on Laser 558, the amp's a real quality piece of kit & available to order now, see Equipment Sales Also in Equipment Sales prices have been reduced and so there are bargains to be had. And a plea from Musician Paul Trip for help in finding a AKG D19 microphone connector. "One Subject One Link" a view on being on air everyday is good for the listener let alone presenter? Shift Change takes an alternative view. In the A-Z of Pop & Rock it's the letter (N) with a highly collectable Bob Newhart 7" EP record & the Best of The Newbeats on CD. Enjoy your visits www.bobleroi.co.uk
A question next from Oscar de Pater. Not long ago I heard a story of problems with inhabitants living in IJsselstein very near to the transmitter mast from the AM 675. Illnesses like brain damage, leukaemia would occur more than in other places in Holland. I wonder if former deejays and technicians on radio ships, who have worked and lived in the short distance of a electromagnetic field can get health problems like those are mentioned?
Difficult question Oscar and probably one of the deejays or technicians can answer the question at Hknot@home.nl
A Message from Peter Moore: ‘Many years ago, a party of Caroline enthusiasts travelled from Britain to Holland to sail past our ship Ross Revenge and so to celebrate Caroline's 25th anniversary. Ronan O'Rahilly spoke to the crowd and wondered if we might meet up again on the fiftieth anniversary. It seemed like a foolish comment, but come this Easter that milestone date will only be seven years away. How quickly time and life passes by.There have been Caroline anniversaries that came around without much to celebrate at all, such as when our ship was impounded and when we were either not on air, or were broadcasting in some insignificant, or obscure, or demeaning way.
Our 43rd anniversary is better than that. The ship is in fair order and we are broadcasting reliably and nationally with the potential of a large audience, if we can only persuade them to tune in and to impress them with what they hear. Conversely, technology is racing ahead and we can scarcely keep up with it. Also, Caroline is sometimes offered broadcast opportunities that we simply cannot afford to take advantage of. Determination is admirable, but at the end of the day, money talks. To keep the interest of both the Caroline staff and the supporters and listeners, we need to be seen to be moving forward. Each advance is welcomed, but soon becomes commonplace. Our last expansion, in June 2006, was to take Sky audio channel 0199 but the cost of this has prevented us from looking at any fresh broadcast opportunities.
In hard terms, our situation is simple enough. By being frugal, we can probably continue as we are. Our supporters are astonishingly loyal, but if they drift away, we may have to contract our activities, which would be very sad. We cannot rattle the begging bowl too loudly, since generosity can turn to resentment. But, the truth is, we need more money to stabilise what we do, to expand with either new or old technology, to cover more territory. The opportunities are all out there. Concerning the Caroline staff, since we all work for nothing, whether on air or behind the scenes, we are obviously not looking to line our own pockets. We have no shareholders, no finance house, no merchant bank wanting to see a return on their money.
In pure terms, we exist in order to broadcast, to any place and by any means we can achieve At Easter 2007 I can only hope that you will all be ambassadors for Caroline and that you will stay with us and help us as much as you can. Happy Easter, Caroline continues.’
Thanks Peter and sorry we couldn’t sent the report out before Eastern as we were committed to other work.
Peter Moore, April 2007.
Talking about Eastern Caroline brought us Tom Anderson with memories to Caroline’s Overdrive. A pity all the internet connections were completely used and brought problems in listening. Is there anyone who recorded without problems the show. If so let us know as Maria Depuydt in Belgium also tried to record the show, a pity without success.
Also Tom Lodge could be heard, sadly for the last time. He wrote to me: ´Hi Hans, I thought you might like to know, that my last show on Radio Caroline will be this Sunday April 8th at 9.00 pm English time. This is a special show that I am doing. It is my reading from parts of my book, "The Ship That Rocked The World", along with music that we were playing at that time. It tells the whole story, at that time, from my perspective, creating a feeling of those early years. I hope you get a chance to listen. It is the 43rd anniversary of the Easter Sunday. You are welcome to record it.
Tom Lodge Caroline 1995 (Photo Hans Knot)
Thanks Tom sorry I couldn’t make it to listen to the program but surely it will come to me by an upload from one of the other Caroline addicted listeners. A pity you have stopped making programs for our lady. Above a photo as a memory to the day we met each other for the last time, way back in 1995.
In Germany there is quite a large group of Offshore Radio followers and one of them is Jan Sundermann who wrote: ‘Hallo Hans , according to some literature, Johnnie Walker's name might not be a pseudonym, but is his real name? So the old joke, who was taking the name at first, the whiskey or the dj, is clearly decided. But, this name has some maritime background by itself. This I found reading a book out of my fathers in the very large maritime library, I have here. The title is "Sailing around the world", Boston 1899, by Joshua Slocum. Boston based captain Slocum was the first man sailing single-handed (alone) around the world in 1895 to 1898. On his return course thru the Atlantic from South Africa back to Boston he had a hard storm and a stay of the sailing boat masts broke. His comment in the book: " if the mast would have not had a so very good fixture (at the inside of hull bottom), he would have made the John Walker, when breaking one of the stays". So, a breaking mast on a sailing ship must have been named like that in seamen’s daily language. Best regards to you and Jana, Jan Sundermann’.
Thanks a lot for this wonderful historic explanation and maybe sir Johnny could comment himself on this as he’s a reader of the Knot International Radio Report himself!
Message from Israel: Hi Hans and Martin. It’s only days till Abie's 80 Birthday and I want to tell you what we are planning to do. On the 20th of April there is going to be the opening of special exhibition dedicated to Abie's 80 Birthday with paintings of 30 of the most leading painters in Israel. It is going to be in a art gallery in Yavne (20 km south to Tel-Aviv) and it’ s open to the public for a month. On Abie's birthday on April 29th there is going to be a special broadcast on Radius 100 FM from the morning till evening with the voice of peace jingles, former DJ's and recordings of Abie from the VOP. In the evening we are going to have a small - "family type" celebration with only 100 guests. Among them are going to be Abie's daughter Sharona and his grand son Daniel, Shimon Peres, Yuli Tamir - Israel minister of Education, the Mayor of Tel-Aviv, chief Rabbi of Tel-Aviv and others. A group of 17 years old boys and girls from the Naval school Me'vout Yam had organized 3 weeks ago a special sailing as a salute to Abie. They visited him and made him very happy. The writing on the ship mean: Mevoot Yam(the name of the school) salute Abie Nathan.
The Tel-Aviv municipality is going to dedicate on a sign-board to Abie and the Voice of Peace on the beach promenade were the Peace Ship had anchored outside for nearly 20 years. It's going to be inaugurated by the Mayor of Tel-Aviv on the 18th of May. Today I visited Abie with a journalist from the most leading newspaper in Israel. He was tired but I think he was happy to see us. So that is all for the time and I'll give you more news when I know more. Best regards, Noam Tal, photos from Noam are on Martin’s site: www.offshore-radio.de (go to "News").
Talking about Martin I have the following text from him about the forthcoming Radio Day in Amsterdam: For nearly 30 years, the annual Dutch "Radio Day" has been a "must" for all (offshore) radio experts and enthusiasts. About 300 people are normally attending the event each year. The 2004 Radio Day saw the Radio Caroline 1973/74 reunion with many former deejays, technicians and crew members, and in 2005, "RNI in 1970" attracted several former Radio NorthSea employees who had a magnificent discussion on the podium. In November 2006, the Voice of Peace reunion formed a major highlight, as 20 former VoP jocks and technicians got together from all over the world.More details plus countless pictures from former Radio Days can be found at: http://www.offshore-radio.de/radioday/
Hans Knot, Rob Olthof and me are now busily planning this year's event which will be held on Saturday 10th November 2007 in Amsterdam's Hotel Casa 400 near the Amstel railway station (James Wattstraat 75). This coming August, it will be 40 years ago that the Marine Offences Bill came into force. Both Radio Caroline North and South ignored the new law and kept on broadcasting until the fateful 3rd March 1968. That's why this year's Radio Day will commemorate "Radio Caroline resisting the MOA". There will be a round table discussion focussing on the topic "Caroline and the MOA" and we're definitely hoping to have many well-known guests taking part.
This year's Radio Day will also emphasize the Swinging Radio England broadcasts from the Laissez Faire. We are preparing a "mini-reunion" with several guests from all parts of the world. So that's another reason to join the crew in November. In the meantime, Roger Day, Roger Scott (Arnold Layne), Graham Gill and Ron O'Quinn have been assuring us that they will take part. But you may look forward to many more guests who will attend this year's Radio Day! Just watch this place - we will constantly keep you updated.
Of course we want to share as much as possible with you the reader of the positive response after our mailing went out inviting people to take part in the Swinging Radio England Reunion as well as the 40 Years after the MOB event which will both take place on the Radio Day (with some other guests too to attend). A very nice mail came from Roger Scott, who we all know also as Arnold Layne: ‘Sounds like fun and I hope to be there. Since it is so far off, I had better say God willing. It might also be wise to also say Lorraine willing! The reason that I have not got my own email address is fairly shameful: it is simply that I can barely get my head round computers at all and would have no idea of how to set up an address. It is just very fortunate that my radio days were spent in studios run on steam power and bits of string, rather than on digital technology. I still have a deep, deep interest in radio but since 1990, I have not been able to avoid noticing that my age (only 58, mind) and style are not compatible with modern commercial thinking on how to do radio: i.e. treat the listener as a complete and utter moron. I'm sure I never did that. Certainly not. I invested my listener with so much intelligence that most of the audience went away scratching their heads in bewilderment. Existential esoteric surrealism ahoy! Anyway, I look forward to memories of early 1968 when I worked with Don Allen, Martin Kayne, Freddie Bear and others on Caroline North. I spent only a very short time there but that was because we got towed away and at least I was aboard at the end of a legend. Best wishes, Greg Bance / the original Roger Scott etc.’
Ron O’Quinn (Archive Ron O’Quinn)
And what about a part of the email coming in from Ron O’Quinn: ‘Hi Hans, I am very pleased that I will finally get a chance to meet you. I think that the "pirates" get a lot of credit that actually belongs to you, Martin van der Ven, Svenn Martinssen, Steve England, and many others who have kept the memories alive all these years. We that were there simply started the fire but you guys kept the fire burning long after we would have been forgotten. I think Pirate Radio and Dutch Radio instilled a desire in the UK and Europe for "free radio". People finally realized that radio could be so much more. I want to shake your hand and thank you for your contributions. See you in November. Best regards, Ron O’Quinn.’
It was very silent during the last 6 months when I mention the name ‘Mike Brand’. Mike is an Englishman who lives already for decades in Israel and was reporting about the radio scene in the Middle East for several magazines and internet sites. Suddenly he’s back and told me that he finally made it what he always wanted to do: working in radio. He has the weekdays breakfast show now on 93.6 RAM FM in Jerusalem. We wish him all the luck in the world.
Mike Brand on air at 93,6 RAM FM
Mike ends this edition of the Hans Knot International Radio Report. I will be back next month with a lot more memories from the past and some news from now. If you want to share your memories or photos and so on, well you know the address to sent it to: Hknot@home.nl
Till next month with best wishes
Offshore Deejays' Nicknames
Female Offshore Radio Deejays
Radio London Commercials
Offshore Radio Programme Names - Programmanamen Zeezenders 1958-1990
Read Hans Knot's former report