Hans Knot's International Radio Report - June 2007
To say it with the Four
Tops or Jonathan King, ‘It’s the same old song’ as I say a wonderful
thanks for all your e mails. It’s always nice to get every day again so
many response. I really can feel what those favourite jocks in the
sixties and seventies of last century thrilled when another bunch of
letters came in. Also a very strange feeling that I wrote to them as a
listener, and they write now to me as caretaker of the history. Anyway
let’s go on with keeping the dream alive. Here is first one from our
southern neighbour Philip:
‘I write to you asking a favour. I know you reach with your newsletter a lot of people. Would it be possible to mention our website in your next issue. We refreshed our Radio Mi Amigo 319 website recently and at the moment the site is in Dutch as well as in English. I decided to add the English language as the statistics showed that there were a lot of English internet visitors too. I thank you on forehand with greetings from Philip Vioen’. Well there you go and here is the internet address:
I did enjoy but maybe
Philip you can get another person to have a look on your page too. Too
many mistakes and it would be more pleasant to read if they were not
there. Also I see, when entering the Stan Haag page, a photograph which
is very familiar to me where no ‘copyright’ is used at all. I always try
to find out who made the picture. If not I mention the archive source!
In last issue, after getting a press report from Eric Wiltsher, I wrote in the report: Thanks Eric and good luck. Maybe we should meet up again whenever back in England or you are in Holland to share some memories again. Eric and I did some interesting radio shows together about the history of offshore radio including on some Satellite Radio stations in the early nineties.
I think Eric enjoyed it as he came back to me with: ‘Dear Hans, That might be fun, actually I'm off to meet your Queen soon on her state visit to Slovakia. Shall I put in a good word for you? And thank you for sharing the RTI Shop with your readers. Talking of old shows, remember a video was made on the Ross Revenge for the satellite service from Rens Satellite Shop? A listener sent me a copy he recorded from satellite. It can now be found on Youtube, was I really that big :-) Part one of the video, which is in three parts, can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAEMwal6Vss
Another connection with you included recently. A film crew from a well known international news organisation came to Slovakia. Within moments I asked him if he was from The Netherlands and yes he was. He remembers much of the earlier broadcasting days and had certainly heard of you. I confess we then went into anorak mode every evening after shooting the TV documentary.’
Well memories are there everywhere Eric. Good to know they know the name ‘Hans Knot’. Could it be it was a Dutch guy with very blond hair, who formerly worked for NOS in the USA and now has the base in Holland again?
Eric had more: ‘This is a short story that may interest your readers. Sub headline, what have I done? Some very stupid people questioned why last year we did something on 14 August - the stupid people were actually in England. We again told the story of how as teenagers we had new stations almost every day of the week and then in came the authorities and closed it all down. The audience in central Europe were horrified and intrigued. They were of the opinion that radio/media was free since time began. Some listeners became angered by the story and one said, "So we were the same as teenagers" - I had to say yes. Here comes my sub-headline; the end result was people asking more and more about offshore days and wanting to know the entire history. And don't forget you have an open invite to come and see a station that doesn't have liner cards for DJs, doesn't run a playlist so small you could fit it on a budget priced MP3 player, and does encourage the DJs to communicate with, not talk at, the audience. Best Regards, Eric.’
Hans Knot and Eric Wiltshire (Photo Rob Olthof)
Almost unbelievable to hear the words of today’s teenagers in connection with the offshore days 40 years back. On the other hand my lady Jana generates from former Eastern Germany and knowing all the stories how they lived and partly loved their lives way back then it’s perfectly understandable. Hope to meet up some day Eric. We’ll be in touch.’
In last issue I had a link to a longer story written about three persons with the name ‘Herrmann’, who worked in the early days of Radio Veronica on board their first radioship Borkum Riff. We can add another, fourth Herrmann, to the guys:
‘Hallo Hans, I have just read the story on the early beginnings of Radio Veronica. This is just wonderful that the Herrmanns are being recognized! I am married to another one of Gunther Herrmann sons named Ludwig. I have heard so many stories about it that it is great to read about it. In the summer of 1960 Ludwig has helped out as a very young teenager as deckhand. Gunther sr. has loved Radio Veronica from its inception. His second wife years ago painted a picture for Gunther sr. the ship from a photograph he had. Radio Veronica has always been a part of the Herrmann family heritage. Yours respectfully, Ciska van Ommeren-Herrmann.’
Very good for the family, who’s members have spread all over the world, they have now the opportunity to read about the early adventures of Offshore Radio in the Netherlands.
Time for another nickname, which I heard while listening to an old Radio 270 recording. For Vince Allan we knew already the nickname ‘Rusty’ but in the program he was named: Vince ‘Uncle’ ‘Rusty’ Allan. Let’s go to another e mail from England this time:
‘Hi Hans, Through the link on your latest report it was great to hear again Bob Walton. While I was an engineer and producer at Radio Luxembourg in London I recorded him as pianist and arranger on countless Redifussion albums and I still have a CD of one of those sessions although he used the name Robert Walton. He was kind enough to sign it for me - A true gentleman. Cheers, Alan Bailey.
Thanks Alan and that due to the fact that we share as much as possible for the reader here is the e mail address everyone can send their memories, photos and news: Hknot@home.nl
Attention to all lovers of the Radio 390 programs as Erick from Hamburg has something to tell you: ‘Hello Hans, l hope you like our interactive player with over 41 Radio 390 programmes from 1965 to 1967 and l will be adding more programmes soon! Erick Färber, Radio 390 Hamburg
Strasse Hamburg, 20354, Deutschland
Look, He never forgets to get attention in the report: ‘Hi Hans, another good report, it must be so boring with everyone saying that! Guess you are doing it right. Well you somehow knew my secret before I confirmed it! Hope I will see you in August in London, or France or Spain or Swiss or Belgium. I will help with the Caroline celebrations and look forward to seeing all my buddies. Well one has to start somewhere and we continue to grow at www.roskoradio.net so the natural extension is to speak to the press. It is my intention to assist Radio Caroline to become known world wide through outlets over here and to support their drive to up their radar profile. I hope to be over in August to finish our planning and see all the lads. More than that I can not say at this time. Rosko’
I got another e mail from Frank van Heerde, who asked if I could give a mention of a special program which is transmitted every Saturday between 17 and 19 hrs CET on Radio Enschede. Every week the presenters are going back in time exactly 40 years. They follow the music from those days in the USA, England and Holland. Now and then Frank tells some stories about offshore radio too. You can tune in at www.enschedefm.nl
I repeat this message while a mistake was made in the internet address.
Another interesting site to visit is:
My oldest son Jeroen, he became 32 years late May, sent me several photos he found on ship spotting site, which photo is related to the Caroline ship Ross Revenge.
Hi Hans, here's some news to publish in your newsletter, because your readers can now actually hear on air where your newsletter is. Original and recorded offshore radio tapes of Swinging Radio England, Radio Mi Amigo, Caroline, and many other offshore radiostations, can be heard in the 'Jolly Roger Show' on Laserhothits .This station is still on air thanks to the help of offshore radio fans. Every Saturday this free radiostation can be heard on 6275 kHz from 9-15 hours UTC, all over Europe. Site: www.laserhothits.co.uk
Next Henk from Holland who wants to plug one of the Big L deejays: ‘Steve Garlick presents the Breakfast Show, Sundays from 0600-1000. I think this deejay is absolute great Hans. What a program, he never makes any mistake, really a radioman. I almost never miss his program on Sunday. Really a must for every reader of your report. ‘
Henk also sent in a internet address reflecting the short existence of the MV Magdalena. He asked himself if anyone has ever taken a photograph of the transmitter on board the Magdalena from Radio Mi Amigo in 1979. If so be so kind to sent a jpg to us for publication. In the past Henk obtained such a transmitter himself which he lent to the people of the War Museum in Groesbeek. And the condition of the transmitter is very good. He would love to see a photo of such a BC 10 H or BC 610 transmitter on a radio ship. As always you can send it to Hknot@home.nl
By the way I’ve now 18 photos from the MV Magdalena put on internet. They were never published before.
Which flag was used on the MV Magdalena?
The photos are partly made by Tom de Bree a deejay who was for one day on the ship in 1979. He was so shocked from the conditions on the MV Magdalena that he jumped back on the next tender. I asked him if he had made a photo of the transmitter room on the ship and he came back with: ‘No, I didn’t take any photo in the transmitter room. Also not from the empty freezers. Also no photo was taken from the wire rope which functioned as an anchor chain.’ With these simple words he just hit the button telling us how terrible the conditions were. Anyway whenever one of the former deejays from Mi Amigo 272 are reading the report and have taken a photo of the transmitter (please before it was smashed) feel free to send it to me.
François Lhote from French sent me two photographs from the sixties. One is really a nice one with on the right The Admiral Robbie Dale from Caroline South and the other guy is the German Singer Gus Backus. Gus became known with his hit ‘Er hat Bohnen in de Oren’ (He has beans in his ears!).
Gus Backus and Robbie Dale (Photo Archive François Lhote)
In the last issue of the Hans Knot International Report we had Brian Keith writing about Magic 999 in Preston on AM. We have Chris Dannatt responding on the subject: ‘Hi Hans - Just a quick message about Robin Ross. My wife and I went To Blackpool in Lancashire about a year ago, and visited the well known ‘Pleasure Beach’ amusement park. This complex is a huge fairground, and has it's own radio station ‘broadcasting’ via speakers located all around the park. We took a rest break, and sat close to one of the speakers (which play music and dedications to thousands of visitors every day in the park) I was sure that I knew the voice on the radio, and decided to go to the studio to see if I knew the voice concerned. I was correct - It was Robin Ross. We went into his studio and he told us that he runs the station in conjunction with 'Rock FM' - a local radio station which covers Blackpool and Preston. He runs the station during the summer months, and has other Radio business interests throughtout the rest of the year. Regards, Chris Dannatt.
Radio Veronica used during their years on the high seas between 1960 and 1974 two ships, the MV Norderney and the MV Borkum Riff. It was Jelle Boonstra who recently visited the isle of Borkum and wrote an article with many pictures from both ships: http://www.offshore-radio.de/images4/borkumriff/
From Belgium: ‘Hans this lady runs an internet radio station. Could you give her a plug? Of course I will: http://188.8.131.52:17910
In last issue one of the topics was the Caroline House at Singel in Amsterdam. There was also a mention of an office which would be opened at Koninginneweg in Amsterdam. This never happened in 1967 but was mentioned in a newspaper article. It was Rob Olthof from Amsterdam who reflected with: ‘The planned office was mentioned in those days by famous organ musician Piet van Egmond to my father. He was neighbour of Rosalie Siedenburg at the Koninginneweg and here place would be at first the office. But later the Singel building was chosen. By the way Rosalie was named ‘Pinky’ by the Caroline boys. Anyone of you, Andy Archer, Roger Day, Johnny Walker or Robbie Dale know why she got that name?
Another link to internet brings us to several photos taken during 1979 and 1980 by Thomas Schulin from Sweden http://radiohistoria.jvnf.org/carolineimages.htm
After sending out the extra Hans Knot Radio Report, which told you all about Johnnie Walker’s new book, I got a lot of response, for instant from Colin Nichol: ‘What a lot I didn't know about my old shipmate Johnnie Walker. But then those were the early days and I've been a long way away. Eggy Ley was a fine jazz musician as well as Radio Luxembourg producer. His real first name, which was Derek. I found the following on line, with more information. By the way, there's another nickname for you, if you don't already have it - ‘Derek William ‘Eggy’ Ley. Passed away in December 1995 in Tsawwassen, B.C. Canada following a stroke earlier in the year. Eggy was one heck of a guy. At a private party with several of the then Phoenix Jazzers in attendance he actually encouraged me to blow, as opposed to play, my trombone for a couple of choruses whilst he had the impossible task of accompanying me whilst the rest of my ‘friends’ derided my efforts. In ‘Jazz, The Essential Companion’ the following is said about him. Ley, Eggy (Derek, soprano and alto sax, vocals, bandleader. Born London 4th of November 1928. He took up soprano sax in 1949,and led a top rated Dixieland band in Germany in 1955-1961. After returning to London he joined Radio Luxembourg and played resident at the Tatty Bogle Club 1961-69 before producing for BFBS (1969-83),freelancing and co-leading Jazz Legend(with Hugh Rainey)1973. From 1983 leading his own Hot Shots, Ley turned professional again, ran a small jazz magazine ‘Jazzin' Around’ and successfully recorded and toured abroad. He is one of the pioneers of classic soprano sax. in England.’ I cannot remember when he moved to the Vancouver area, he had played at the Hot Jazz Club several times before this. He played with his group at the Vancouver World Fair and was a hit with the local jazz men. His widow, Karel, still lives near to me and is very active in the Stroke Club which she founded following Eggy's death. Eggy was very highly regarded in these parts and a large number of friends and musicians braved a horrendous snowstorm on Jan.20th 1996 to honour his life. Two sons came from England, one a nice trombone player, the other a drummer. There was a great musical evening at the local Legion, not too many dry eyes. Cheers, Glen, still not able to play my 'bone in public.
With thanks to Glenn as well as Colin. Another one from Australia: ‘Hi Hans, Thank you so much for your extra report. I often wonder if Johnny Walker (and Robbie Dale) ever quite understand the change they brought to our lives in 1967. Unfortunately, as time passes, the importance of what took place in the North Sea on 14th August '67 seems to fade as other world events happen. But those of us who lived through that time won't forget. I hope these two heroes do realise this! Of course I'll get the book. Yours in radio, Phil Crosby, Sydney Australia.’
Well Phil I know it’s on the other side of the world but both Johnnie Walker and Robbie Dale are heading for the annual Radio Day in Amsterdam on November 10th and we do have a special about 40 years MOA, so I think they should tell the answer on your questions. By the way all information on the annual Radio Day can be find here, including how to book a hotel.
Our regular readers know that the former Veronica vessel Norderney is still in the harbour of Antwerp. Our reader Pierre Claessens was so kind to sent me 8 different photos he took early June from the MV Norderney. We’ve put the complete serie on www.mediapages.nl where you can find them, thanks to the web coordinator Wim van de Water at
VERONICA’S NORDERNEY HARBOUR ANTWERP 2007 PHOTO: PIERRE CLAESSENS
Robbie Duke once was a singer in the Jo Meek period and he had recorded songs. However Joe died and so his songs were never official released. But this same Robbie Duke became later for a short spell a Caroline deejay. Just visit his site: http://myspace.com/robbieladuke2
Time for Mike, Simon and Gary: ‘Hello Hans, we would like to pass on a little bit of radio news from the UK and would like to tell everyone about it. About a year ago across the www was an internet radio station that used to work on medium wave on 1350khz 222metres. The name of the radio station was Radio 222. I suppose that would be obvious? It ran for quite some time. Well Hans the station has returned it can be found at http://radio.222.tripod.com with improved website and using tripod as a base for now, until the group can get there own domain name. They are temporary usage of www.imagine963.org and the music content is anything goes dating from the 50s to 2000. At present the station is under test and would like to hear from anyone who listens from around the UK would be nice!, But we also appreciate some exotic reports, as we know that people read your site from around the world. The website has two more pages to complete. There is also a forum to join and discuss various subjects radio related of course. The ‘about us’ page will be something a little different. Instead of normal text only we'll be adding voice track of the history of the station. This basically for those with poor eye sight. To contact us there is an email address which will be updated soon, when visiting please sign our guest book as we would do on your website!, And we can’t forget to mention the download page under construction, where there'll be plenty of audio clips ranging from offshore to former landbased pirate stations. Any way Hans I will send you a copy of the history of radio and big thanks to you Hans. Best 73’s, Mark Peters, Simon James & Gary Drew.
Well the three of you thanks in advance for the ‘History of radio’ and I do hope a lot of people have a tune in to your station.
Gerard Smit, one time newsreader and presenter on RNI Dutch Service in the seventies, became later a journalist. Years and years ago he informed us leaving Holland as he was heading to Surinam. He runs his own news agency there and now tells us he married the love of his live. Congratulations Gerard to the both of you and that you may enjoy each other as much as possible.
Radio Noord, part of RTV Noord, recently transmitted a most beautiful documentary about the Nederbeat group The Rody-s which originated from Eastern Groningen. A documentary partly spoken in Groningen dialect. I listened to it twice, so beautifully produced. I then decided to write to three of the people involved: Wiebe Klijnstra, Rob Bakker and Rob van Dam (Marc Jacobs). I wrote them that if they lived in Great Britain I’d sent in a request for nomination for a Sony Award for the best produced music documentary of the year. A pity they live in Holland isn’t?
Wiebe came back with: ‘Although we are nominated nowhere, the fact that the Rody’s story has gripped you as pure radioman tells me all!’ And Marc Jacobs wrote : ‘ thanks for this marvelous compliment!’ The Rody-s were played a lot on Radio Veronica and had a special introduction too on the very first hour of Radio 227.
Herman from Belgium is another regular with sending me each time more interesting sites. Although this time I’m not too happy. Yes Herman is Oké, but the guy who made the next site never heard of copyrights and so went to other internetsites to provide himself anonymously of wonderful pictures.
And what did we also get from Canada? An e mail from Keith Hamsphire. Of course we know him from Radio Caroline but millions of people, especially in Canada known him from singing many wonderful songs. One can be heard on youtube. www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nOeklSkVMY
Next we go to the USA and Ron O‘Quinn: ‘’Thanks for including the photo of Johnnie Walker and me in your recent report, however I don't want Roger Day and Steve England left out. When I was in England last month I had a great reunion with Johnnie and Roger. I have included a couple of photos of our dinner in London, which was attended by Steve England and Stuart Aiken as well as all of our wives and my daughter, Shannon. Also a photo when visiting Steve England. It really doesn't look like Europe, does it? The photo was taken at Biddulph Gardens near Steve's home. (close to Manchester, England) Steve and I were doing our ‘husband’ duties and sightseeing with our wives. ha ha. I am looking forward to finally meeting you at the Radio Day in Amsterdam this November. Best regards, Ron.’
As you see I’ve chosen for the nice exotic photo taken near Manchester. And indeed it will be fun meeting you for the very first time next November.
Steve England and Ron O’Quinn 2007
It's Dick Vreeswijk next from Drachten in the Netherlands. He was looking on www.mediapages This is another site where I put small stories in Dutch as well as part of my photo archive. So recently I sent the webmaster, who does a lot of good work, some Caroline photos which I hadn’t published before. They were taken during a Radio Caroline RSL in London Dockyards harbour. Next to meeting Tom Lodge there I also had a meeting with Dick (Richard) Palmer. It was Dick Vreeswijk who wrote: ‘Just saw the photo with Dick Palmer on the Ross Revenge. I remember that in the sixties, when I was living in Amsterdam, Dick Palmer stayed at my place for a while, together with Ken Veal. The later one exchanged letters with me for years. The three of us did visit the two Caroline ships, which both were towed to the Amsterdam Houthaven (Woodharbour). Also we did visit the Veronica studio’s in Hilversum and the famous red light district in Amsterdam. I lost contact with both persons during the years and would love to get in contact again. In the meantime Dick has already Richard Palmers address but the question is who knows where Ken Veal is living nowadays. If so, please let us know: Hknot@home.nl
Dick Palmer and Hans Knot on the Ross Revenge Photo Rob Olthof
Once home of the quaintly named “Eve the Woman’s Magazine of the Air” the Red Sands Fort was hardly the idyllic place housewives pictured in their minds eye. A broken down rusty old & abandoned WWII Army Fort, manned by a crew that stripped down to wash & bathe in seawater. Meals were the most basic of culinary delights cooked up on the old wartime ranges Radio 390 a Sweet Music Easy Listening Station began its turbulent short history in June 1964 and had by the summer of 1967 closed down.
Now once again music and entertainment come again from the same Fort used by Radio Pirates 7 nautical miles off Whitstable in Kent. Red Sands Radio will pay tribute to the Pirate Radio Stations of the 1960’s that so much influenced how Commercial Radio developed in Britain. There’ll be some of the original programmes and radio documentaries with a mix of “The Best of Yesterday and Today” Radio Red Sands launches on 14th July 2007 comes to air.’ For more information telephone 07961 601 893 Bob Le-Roi - Programme Director’
But we’re not ready with Bob as his personal internetsite has an update:
‘Welcome to the June Update. In this months Scrapbook a long awaited return to the Sunk Head for the Part 4 of Series on the Tower-Radio-Tower escapade. The end's in sight and the Forts abandoned to be destroyed explosion
Plus the arrival of Red Sands Radio as we look towards making the first Offshore broadcasts from the Fort since 1967. In "One Subject One Link" the BBC back in the spotlight again as a contribution condemns the Local Breakfast
Announcements has details of this years Whitstable Harbour Day, come to the seaside and join the DFL's (Down from London's) for a fun day at in town.
More Equipment/Accessories, Records and CD's up for grabs at great prices
Enjoy your visits: www.bobleroi.co.uk
Talking about Red Sands and one of the old Radio 390 deejays Graham Gill had an accident some weeks ago. While being on a short trip to Portugal he slipped in the bathroom. Hope the bruises will go away quickly Graham!
It's just a month and few weeks to go that we can say it's 40 years to go that Radio 390 went off the air as the first of many Offshore Radio stations off the British coast. It was a sudden closedown as from 4.30 in the afternoon it was Graham Gill normally doing his program. ‘Tea Time Tunes’ was ended with the regular 'gong' and Graham saying: ‘You're in tune with Radio 390, Britain's family station. The time now is 5 o'clock and this is a Radio 390 newscast. Here are the news headlines read by Graham Gill.' After the news he told the listeners that the next news would be at 9 o'clock in the evening. Next after news and weather he told the listeners: 'Radio 390 invites you On The Scene' and started the tape with Christopher Clark playing Alan Price Set with ‘The house that Jack built’. It would be the very last regular song played on the station. Graham didn't know that never again the news would be read on the station. A tender came alongside with the order from the owners to stop the station at once.
Some 5 minutes after five that very afternoon, July 28th 1967, Radio 390 went of the air with an official statement read by Edward Cole and the national anthem. It was in `1995 I met Edward Cole to have a long talk with him about his radio career. He took with him several documents including a copy of the official statement, which he kept all this years at home. In honour of the late Edward Cole we will publish this official document.
Talking about Graham’s last show on the station, very soon he will tell with his own words what he does remember of his last Radio 390 appearance. This will be published on The Pirate Hall of Fame. Next year August it’s 25 years ago that Tom Anderson, in a very dry presentation, reopened the new Radio Caroline, that transmitted for the first time from the MV Ross Revenge. It took a long time before the radio ship, which was refitted from an Iceland trawler into a radioship, went to international waters. It was refitted in a harbour near Santander in Spain. In 1982, now 25 years ago, the enormous transmitting mast, about 90 metres, was put on the ship. Till now proximally 10 photographs, most in black and white, were published in several magazines and on internet. This year it’s not only 40 years ago that the Marine Offences Act became law but also 25 years ago guys like Koos en Leunis and Peter Chicago worked long hours to get the thing together. As a tribute to their work on www.hansknot.com unique photographs which were partly earlier published but most of set never were seen before in printed magazines or on internet. We thank Rob Olthof for diving them out of his cellar.
Rigging the mast on the MV Ross Revenge
I was listening to an old program transmitted on RNI on December 22nd 1973. In this Graham Gill was talking on RNI with AJ Beirens about their time on land. Also Graham told that the friends from Caroline had come alongside the ship and brought some presents, including tulips from Andy Archer. Now here’s the question to AJ and Graham: A mentioning was given of ‘The Baroness’. Could either one of you tell me for whom this nickname was used. I know Johnny Jason was called the baron, but who’s the other? It must have done Graham pretty good seeing his name mentioned so many times in this report.
Another nickname which wasn’t in the list yet was given by Duncan Johnson to Peter Chicago. Duncan used to name him ‘Chicago Pete’.
Also a new update on the Pirate Hall of Fame this month, which you can find at: www.offshoreradio.co.uk
‘What's new this month? David Allan has kindly donated a couple of photos, dating from his time with Radio 390; Colin Nicol has provided some great pictures showing the chaos that ensued on the day in 1965 when the Caroline ‘Good Guys’ went to Battersea Fun Fair; the third page of the ‘Seventies Supplement’ has been added, listing broadcasters of that era whose names begin with C and one of them has generously supplied a Radio Northsea International contract of employment, complete with a set of the ship's rules. Also the Anorak Gift Guide has had a make-over. See the contents page and DJ Directories of the sixties and seventies for news of all the latest updates.’
And while your have screened the update at The Pirate Hall of Fame, don’t forget to do it also with Mary and Chris Payne’s site at www.radiolondon.co.uk
In a recent report there was a photo sent by Stuart Aiken in which Ron O ‘Quinn and Johnny Walker were shown during a reunion earlier this year. Stuart has sent me the original complete one taken at the Langans Restaurant in London. An this time you see that Roger Day was also in the company there. Sorry Roger that you dropped out the last time:
Johnny Walker, Ron O’Quinn and Roger Day - Photo: Stuart Aiken
By the way, congratulations to Ron as he was nominated just weeks ago for a place in the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame.
Mike Brand from Israel advises us to visit next internet site http://www.radiologoland.com/worldstations.html
Interesting, pass your mouse over the stations on the left, and you will see the image on the woman’s t-shirt. Then press on the link itself to see more.
June 3rd brought an excellent interview in Desert Island Discs on BBC Radio Four, featuring Paul McKenna. He’s very well known in Great Britain as a hypnotist, author and television personality. His major activities include self-improvement television shows, giving seminars through his company Paul McKenna Training, producing books and multimedia products and performing hypnosis, neuro-linguistic programming and other personal development techniques. But many of the Anoraks who listened to Radio Caroline in the eighties know he was a deejay on the station too. In the program he told the listeners that he was 20 years of age when he went out to the MV Ross Revenge and that he had an amazing time there. It was such a romance to do programs from a ship. And also he had good words for director O’Rahilly who had encouraged him to speak about Loving Awareness and other peacefull messages. Above that Paul McKenna loved it that the deejays could play whatever they wanted.
In an extra issue from
the Hans Knot International Report there was info about Johnny Walker’s
Autobiography, which can internationally be ordered at: The Foundation
for Media Communication in Amsterdam. The price for people in the
Netherlands will be € 29,—, including postage and packing. For people
outside the Netherlands the price will be €34—. You can sent your money
in an envelope to SMC, PO Box 53121 1007 RC Amsterdam. You can also male
your payment to Giro account 4065700 on the name of Media Communication
Amsterdam. To avoid extra costs, don't forget to mention IBAN number: NL
37 PSTB 0004 0657 00 BIC: PSTBNL21.
A CELEBRATION OF OFFSHORE RADIO
On the 40th anniversary of the Marine Offences Act, the Radio Academy pays tribute to the pioneers of UK music radio who ruled the medium wave.
4th August 2007 from 12 noon (press)/ 1pm (public)
Tiger Tiger, 29 The Haymarket, London SW1Y 4SP
The Radio Academy presents an afternoon of audio, movies and memories from the swinging sixties with Johnnie Walker, Tony Blackburn, Paul Burnett, Roger Day, Keith Skues, Ed Stewart and many more DJs from the heyday of Radio Caroline, Radio London and the other ‘pirate’ stations. Alongside the household names there’ll be others who now work in different fields altogether. But all of them have fond memories of those pioneering days and will be sharing their stories with fans, listeners and the current generation of broadcasting professionals. A number are flying in especially from Australia and Canada to attend. Sessions at the event will be chaired by Ralph Bernard (Chief Executive, GCap), Mark Story (Head of Radio, Emap) and Trevor Dann (Director, Radio Academy) Radio listeners of the early sixties did not have the same choices that we enjoy today. Back then there were only the BBC’s Home Service, Light Programme and Third Programme. There was no local radio and no commercial radio, apart from the distant nocturnal Radio Luxembourg. Then, at Easter 1964, everything changed. Radio Caroline began broadcasting from a ship anchored just outside the country’s territorial limit. Within three weeks a survey showed that Caroline had seven million listeners. All day music radio had arrived. Although Radio Caroline was the first, it was not alone for long. A number of other stations followed – some lasting only a few months, some considerably longer – but, between them, these so-called “pirate” radio stations changed the country’s listening habits forever. At the height of the pirate boom there were ten stations operating around the UK coast providing a hugely popular service for millions of listeners - but the government felt obliged to act against them.
In August 1967, forty years ago, it introduced the Marine Offences Act which made it an offence for a British subject to work for, supply or advertise on an offshore station. Most of the stations chose to close down rather than risk prosecution. Radio Caroline continued but it was the end of an era. Within weeks, BBC Radios One and Two had been launched in an effort to replace the now-silent pirates and the first local stations went on air soon afterwards.
Tickets for this event are available now from The Radio Academy:
Non-members of the Radio Academy: £35 (£30 if booked by 22nd June)
Members of the Radio Academy:£30 (£25 if booked by 22nd June)
For more information, click here.
Time for another story of the stars, who stayed on the MV Mi Amigo in August 1967. The Admiral Robbie Dale. Let’s see what we know about him and/or what you can learn from the next, with thanks to Robbie:
Dale was born on the 21st April 1940 in Lancashire as "Robbie" John
Robinson. Breta Riley, a primary school teacher at St Josephs School
Heywood wrote of the 11 year old, "John is a talented boy who likes to
talk a lot. His reading and writing remain poor, getting words mixed up.
Despite not being able to correctly spell English, he writes sensitive
poetry". The same teacher wrote, "I predict that John Rabinson will be a
success in later life, one day maybe a wealthy businessman" and to John
in 1954 she wrote "if one day you may famous be then think of me who
encouraged thee". After a number of jobs and a 5 year spell in the army
serving in some interesting places including South East Asia within
SEATO member counties, he discovered a natural talent for picking up
languages, soon speaking Malay and a mixture of Chinese dialects.
Returning to London in 1963 to find 'The swinging sixties'. He Became a
DJ known as Robbie Dale later to work with Radio Caroline, Radio
Veronica, TROS Television, Hilversum 3 and Hilversum 2 in the
Netherlands, getting to grips with 'double Dutch' which became a
trademark. In 1980 co-founded Sunshine Radio Dublin Ireland. As a former
senior deejay in charge aboard Radio Caroline South the tide "Admiral"
was bestowed by fellow deejay Dave Lee Travis. This because Robbie
insisted that everything be ship shape aboard the MV Mi Amigo, a former
Scandinavian coaster, home to Radio Caroline South. Robbie Dale's
broadcasting career began in early 1965. Working in London's Portobella
Road with extraordinary antique dealer John Dale. Specializing in late
Georgian, Regency and Victorian furniture. Spending evenings as a disc
jockey at the fashionable De Vere Club in South Kensington. Calling at
the Radio Caroline's head office he met radio producer Garry Duncan and
Public Relations officer Frances van Staden, who arranged an
introduction to Radio Caroline's founder Ronan O’Rahilly. Robbie recalls
meeting the Caroline bass in his 1st floor office at Caroline House,
Chesterfield Gardens in London's Mayfair. "The job interview lasted a
couple of hours, I sat on one of the two large black leather couches.
The phones on Ronan desk, which also sported a bronz bust of John F
Kennedy, rang constantly. I sat and listened to him dealing with one
thing after another, in between the calls we had a Q & A session.
Finally Ronan asked if I could start the following week, "get the train
at Liverpool Street rail station on Monday, I like your voice. Get the
rest of the details from Gerry Duncan". Robbie joined Radio Caroline
South, taking over the nightly Caroline Club Requests Show, later to be
renamed "Robbie Dale's Dairy". In January 1967 senior deejay Tom Lodge
moved from Caroline South and Robbie was asked to take on the job. As "The
Admiral" Robbie founded The Beat Fleet, a Free Radio Supporters
Association with the purpose of drumming up support for the fight ahead.
Along side the thousands of listeners who became members, many top pop
stars of the day where enlisted and awarded Honorary Commissions in The
Beat Fleet. Edward Short, then Postmaster General in the Harold Wilson
Labour Government, published the 1965 Marine Broadcasting Offences etc
Act. It went through Parliament and too effect at midnight on August
15th 1967. Minister Short was under constant pressure from the BBC and
determined to put an end to the so called offshore pirate radio stations.
By the 15th of August most of the stations around the coast of Britain
had complied and closed down broadcasting operations. Ronan O’Rahilly
had promised the listening public that the Labour Government would not
succeed with its draconian killjoy policy and that Radio Caroline would
Aboard the morning supply tender "Offshore Two" returning to the Radio Caroline ship on August 14th. were Robbie Dale, friends and colleagues Johnnie Walker and newsman Ross Brown, from a 7 day break in London. Finding all the other radio staff packed and ready to leave on the Offshore tender now returning to shore. Leaving behind Johnnie, Ross, Robbie and one other English speaking person hired the previous day, Chris Carey aka Spangles Maldoon. Later that day Robbie Dale confirmed on air at 3pm that Caroline's biggest competitor the popular Radio London Big L had closed down with great style, and in a blaze of glory. Radio Caroline continued to broadcast. At midnight Johnnie Walker played "We shall overcome" and announced to listeners that Caroline had entered a new era as Radio Caroline International. In preparation Ronan O'Rahilly and Sales Director/Consultant Terry Bate had arranged to move Caroline's head office from Chesterfield Gardens in London's West End to Amsterdam Holland. Terry had rented part of a big canal house at Singel 160 in the heart of the city and employed English speaking Dutch secretary Pinky Siedenburg to run the office. Weeks passed by before any of the ships crew or radio personnel made official trips back to shore. Robbie recalls a very welcome visitor from that period. Jimmy Houlahan, a Ronan sidekick, came out to the ship in a motor boat one cool and misty September night. He brought news and good tidings from the boss, new records and £ 100 pounds each as a bonus gift from Phil Solomon and thanks to "those who had stuck it out". Despite every effort things did not get any better and paid for plays grew week by week making it impossible to put a good show together. The 10 to 16 hours boat journey across the North Sea far shore leave often through gale force winds and high seas, made life tough but did not stop the return of Roger Day. Things generally appeared to be looking up. Listenership figure had rocketed by many millions across the United Kingdom, Ireland and Europe. Regular supplies of fresh food, water and bags filled with listeners mail arrived regularly to both North and South ships. But because of unpaid bills for marine crew, fuel and supplies the Wijsmuller tugs arrived alongside the ships at the crack of dawn on the 3rd of March 1968. Both ships were boarded by the Wijsmuller tug crew members. The anchor chains cut and dropped over the side. MV Mi Amigo and the MV Fredericia were towed to Holland. At the time of the tow away Robbie Dale was on a holiday on the Costa del Sol. Johnnie Walker telegrammed "Caroline has gone". JW.
Robbie Dale 2007 (Collection R. Robertson)
The previous September Robbie had met his future bride in Amsterdam Stella Regina, celebrated fashion boutique owner in the city. Having decided to stay in Holland as the only remaining employee on the Caroline payroll, Robbie helped to clear out and close the office at Singel 160. In June 1968 Robbie joined the famous Dutch "pirate" Radio Veronica resulting from a chance meeting in the city centre Hotel American with programme manager and popular DJ Jan van Veen. Jan invited Robbie to the Veronica studios in Hilversum to meet the station owners the brothers Verwey Dirk, Joop and Hendrik aka Bull the brother responsible for day to day running. Robbie's self operate style and zany double Dutch presentation proved not only popular with station presenters and co-workers but also a smash with listeners both in Holland and the South of England, a region which become a strong part of Radio Veronica's wide ranging listenership. 1969 Robbie joined the rapidly developing Dutch national television network TROS. His first job in television, presenting the teenage music magazine "JAM", becoming the top music show of its kind in the country. The station management wanted Robbie on radio so with a sad heart he moved from Radio Veronica to Hilversum 3 to make programmes exclusively for the TROS network. By 1970 "Jam on Radio" proved to be another success. Robbie was invited to take part in a light entertainment programme on Hilversum 2 working alongside top entertainer Jos Brink. TROS ratings continued rapidly up and new membership subscriptions to the stations voting shares took TROS to the (status A} highest status in the democratic Dutch broadcasting system thus greater participation on the two television channels and across all the three radio networks.
Robbie and Stella at Singel 160
Amsterdam (Collection R. Robertson)
In 1972 Robbie with Stella and family returned to London. His long absence had left him out in the cold. BBC Radio One was up and running and the first of the IBA local radio franchises had been appointed Leaving the radio business and joining a commercial cleaning company as managing director Robbie was responsible for developing sustained growth at Executive Cleaning Services. Ironically the company contracted to clean the Capitol Radio studios and offices at Euston Tower. Robbie was involved in the unsuccessful Ulster Television/Belfast Telegraph IBA local radio application. Then in early 1980 a proposed radio ship project in Germany would re-unite Robbie with Chris Cary and Philip Solomon. This led to Sunshine Radio but the three later parted company. Robbie stayed and developed Sunshine Radio on 539 AM and 101FM in Dublin Ireland. This was the most challenging and rewarding project Robbie had attempted. He involved his wife Stella and family participating with determination, putting everything on the line. After surviving and overcoming the mountainous and creative competition from Radio Nova during 1981-1984 Sunshine Radio eventually took over as the undisputable top rated position in Dublin. Robbie Dale’s distinctive voice became internationally known on ‘Radio and TV’. One of the more famous on Irish radio on his daily morning programme on Sunshine 101, 1980 to 1985 and the hundreds of commercial voice overs he made whilst in radio business. Not an easy task for a dyslectic child from St. Josephs School in Heywood. For more go to Google and find ‘Irish Radio the super pirates’. Robbie and Stella continue to enjoy life together and are in the holiday hotel business in the Canary Islands.‘
June the 7th brought the press report about the Pirate BBC Essex Days:
‘The radio event of 2004 is back to become the radio event of 2007!
Award-winning Pirate BBC Essex became one of the world's favourite radio stations in April three years ago when it marked the 40th anniversary of the start of offshore radio in Britain. This August, Pirate BBC Essex returns to mark the 40th anniversary of the Marine Offences Act which set out to outlaw the offshore stations. Already the legends of the Sixties pioneers of offshore radio have signed up to be part of the twenty-first century team of presenters to broadcast from the North Sea. They include Johnnie Walker, Emperor Rosko, Dave Cash and Keith Skues. Some presenters, such as Norman St John, John Kerr and newsreader Gordon Cruse are flying in from around the world to be part of Pirate BBC Essex. Listeners will also hear Tom Edwards, Mike Ahern, Roger Day and Pete Brady, many of them working together for the first time in decades. They will be joining Ray Clark, Steve Scruton, Ian Wyatt and Tim Gillett from the 2004 Pirate BBC Essex line up. Pirate BBC Essex will be based aboard the classic light vessel LV18, owned by the Pharos Trust and moored off Harwich. It was the last manned Trinity House light vessel. "This is an ideal opportunity to raise the profile of our worthwhile local project to save the vessel for its home port of Harwich," said Tony O'Neil, Project Director and Trustee. He added, "Since Pirate BBC Essex 2004, volunteers have been busy restoring the exterior of the vessel as part of the final phase of restoration."
Pirate BBC Essex goes on air at 6am on Thursday 9 August, and in a parallel with what happened in 1967, is scheduled to go off air at 3pm on Tuesday 14 August. A tender vessel will ferry the team and crew out to the LV18 together with supplies. "Ever since the last time in 2004, the requests from listeners to do it again have been non-stop," said Pirate BBC Essex Programmes Editor Tim Gillett. "We realise what we did then struck a chord with listeners and we're glad to be coming back, but this could be the last time."
Pirate BBC Essex was the idea of BBC Essex presenter Steve Scruton, who as a boy tuned in to Radio Caroline and Radio London. "It was my dream come true to see it happen in 2004," said Steve. "The early signs are this time it's likely to be even bigger." Listeners are reported to have organised holidays from work to coincide with Pirate BBC Essex and many are preparing to drive up to Harwich to spot the LV18 from the shore. "One of the memorable moments from 2004 was the flashing," said pirate legend Dave Cash. "It was great to see a row of cars parked up at Shotley opposite the boat and there we were chatting to them via flashing."
In 2004 Johnnie Walker recorded a message of support for Pirate BBC Essex which was broadcast twice. This time, he's part of the project and his presence is likely to lead to queues of people wanting to catch a glimpse of him. A Pirate BBC Essex exhibition charting the history of British offshore radio will be mounted in the Harwich Ha'penny Pier office and will include rare artifacts. "We're also planning a little piece of Pirate BBC Essex memorabilia," said Pirate BBC Essex Technical Director and presenter Ian Wyatt. Listeners will be able to tune in to Pirate BBC Essex across the world via computer at bbc.co.uk/essex as well as via the more traditional medium wave at 729, 765 and 1530. Listeners will also be able to email and text the station.’
Finishing this issue of the Hans Knot International Radio Report telling you that I got a small parcel from Ben Vreeburg. Together with Tony Berk and John de Mol sr. he was responsible for the daily running of the Dutch service of RNI in the seventies. After close down he stayed at the Oude Boerenhofstede at Naarden, working for the Strengholt Company. In the parcel was a new release in the DVD serie ‘Doculine’. It’s called ‘Zeezenders in woelig water’. So now on DVD with a bit different title as the ‘Zenders in woelig water’ was ever transmitted on Dutch Television in August 1974. In 53 minutes the DVD tells the story of the offshore radio stations of the Dutch coast, including Caroline, RNI and Veronica. Some unique interviews and also footage from English TV in the sixties. The Foundation for Media Communication has decided to sell the DVD especially for the readers of the Hans Knot International Radio Report.
Zeezenders in Woelig Water can now be ordered by paying 10 Pounds or 14,50 Euro. You can either sent it by normal mail or on Giro account number 4065700 Stichting Media Communicatie PO Box 53121 1007 RC Amsterdam. Don’t forget to mention the next information when you order: IBAN: NL37 PSTB 0004 0657 00 BIC: PSTBNL21
Well that’s all for this time. Take care and don’t forget to sent your memories, photos and questions to Hknot@home.nl and for the photos firstname.lastname@example.org
Offshore Deejays' Nicknames
Female Offshore Radio Deejays
Radio London Commercials
Offshore Radio Programme Names - Programmanamen Zeezenders 1958-1990
Read Hans Knot's former report