Hans Knot's International Radio Report - October 2007 (1)
A good day to you all
out there in radio world. Just a little more than a month before a lot
of my readership is coming together at the annual
Radio Day in Amsterdam.
Almost time for a celebration as next year is not only the 30th year in
a row that the Radio Day will be organised by us, but also the year the
Freewave Media Magazine, which I’m the Editor in charge since 1978, is
30 years old. Another celebration next year is the fact that The
Foundation for Media Communication in Amsterdam will be 30 years young.
Main man there is Rob Olthof and FMC is the financial backer for the
Radio Days and many productions in books, audio and video through the
years. But of course next month we have to celebrate another ‘first’ as
in Amsterdam we have the Radio Day with for the first time the
presentation of the bi-annual Radio Awards. Sponsored by an anonymous
person, the Radio Awards will be awarded in a few categories and later
on in the report I come back to this subject. Also thanks for the
enormous amounts of e mails coming in with interesting material. Some of
them are in the report, others have to wait till the next issue or got a
more personal response.
First one this time is from the south of Holland and Michel van Hooff, who found a wonderful memory to the Communicator, written by Peter Moore from the Caroline organisation: www.radiocaroline.co.uk/communicator.asp
Autumn has come in the Netherlands and so it’s nice to get an email from a warmer place. Here’s Richard Jackson: ‘Hello Hans, greetings from sunny Bangkok, A few weeks ago I recorded a few hours for the SWE Swinging Radio England internet stream which ran for the week during August 14th. It was great fun. Now the stream has finished your readers may be interested to find many programmes are available for download. You will find an excellent production called 'Offshore Radio Remembered' presented by Noel Edmunds plus many rare recordings of SRE, Radio London, Radio Scotland and others including my favorite: A very good quality recording of the Johnnie Walker show on Caroline. http://www.nowthatsradio.com
Peter Moore from the Caroline organisation is here again after a long break with news about the station, the Ross Revenge and some other nice and interesting things: ‘Hi, Hans. It will have been noticed that aside from some special programming, Radio Caroline did not do so much to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Marine Offences Act in August. There are various reasons for this and the first as ever is money. We did have a very bold plan to move Ross Revenge to a public place and then to hire some very high power AM and cover the UK with some ‘pirate‘ broadcasts. For several months now, Cliff Osbourne and I have been getting very involved with the ship, working on her and seeking a public location where she can be used to advantage. The crew of the ship have been brilliant, recently there were eleven people working on her and parts of the boat are starting to look brand new. However, with both the ship and the negotiations, everything takes longer than you hope and it started to be clear that no way would we have her out of Tilbury by Aug 14th.
In the same way, the person who was retained to raise sponsorship for the above activities promised hundreds of thousands of pounds as being easy to obtain, but in the end raised nothing at all. So, we took the view that Caroline was hardly ever going to run out of anniversaries to commemorate and that we may as well look to 2008. Consider, we can always celebrate Easter and perhaps June, when Ronan fought an election campaign in June 1970 or Aug 14th next year or the 19th. We have two possible locations for the ship and perhaps we will go to one and then the other, but of course we also need to know that we can go back in to Tilbury sometimes for the heavy and noisy work that would not be tolerated at a public location. All the same, the other activities surrounding Aug 14th did help us in terms of extra awareness, which translates in to more listeners, more sales and more support.
I went to the Radio Academy event in London with Saskia Vischer, the film producer who has a wish to make a feature film about Radio Caroline. I had promised to take her there for her research and indeed had it not been for this promise I doubt I would have attended, since pirate reunions hold little fascination for me after so many years. Saskia spent the whole afternoon furiously writing notes and said later that she had learned a lot of useful information.
Peter Moore, Saskia Vischer and Bob LeRoi (Photo Peter Moore collection)
I have said elsewhere that I was disappointed that none of the speakers during the whole afternoon could bring themselves to make the simple comment that Radio Caroline continued after August 14th and to the present day. Some have told me that this was outside of what the event was about and that in effect I should ‘get over it‘ which I guess I have, but conversely since the things that were done in the seventies and eighties etc. to keep the station on air were far more remarkable than anything that happened during the period 1964-1967 it would have done no harm to simply acknowledge this.
In the same way, the various TV coverage, played down our continued existence, but I was able to get a few useful comments on air via Regional BBC and Radio 4 and I must thank Johnnie Walker for cleverly plugging us on Pirate BBC Essex. So, now that all the fuss is over we are back to the usual slog. John Brocks, a pirate from way back, will have rejoined us by the time you see this. Further, from some discussions that started when Bob Lawrence organised a reunion of Mi Amigo staff, some of our old Dutch colleagues are returning to present programmes each Saturday afternoon.
Soon, after an absence of 27 years, we will be announcing ‘News From The Radio Caroline Roadshow’. We have arranged to restart these events around Norfolk, Suffolk and Lincolnshire and perhaps Essex. These areas were Caroline ‘heartlands ‘ many years ago, but they are also the heartland for Big L so perhaps we can snap a their heels a bit. I met Ray Anderson at the Radio Academy day and he was charming as ever. He said that Big L was losing money (but not as much as before) but that everyone was in too deep to stop. I think I know how he feels. We are making our own economies by finding a new way of getting our signal from Kent to London. Ideally we should move our studio closer to London, perhaps on or close to the ship, in the lucky event that we get her out of prison at Tilbury. Good wishes to all, Peter Moore.’
Thanks a lot Peter for the informative e mail with news and keep them coming. See you in Highgate later this year or in January with some glasses to drink!
In the last issue I mentioned the tragic murder of one of the former tender captains, Caroline had in the seventies. Clive Warner e mailed the next: ‘I'm very sad to hear of the death of Kees Toetje. My last memory of him is a happy one, he was handing me a large bundle of Dutch Guilders as I left on the well-known fast British launch that got intercepted near the UK coast. I remember him as a very no-nonsense guy, I felt he was a person you could trust. Teun wrote: "At the funeral many people appeared including former Mi Amigo crewmembers Jaap de Haan, Hans Roos and myself’ (Class of 74) . Teun Visser. "
- I can't recall Teun but I do remember working with Jaap, I believe. There was a big chef called Jos, I can't recall the name of the first chef. The image of the tender coming alongside, getting the hoses across, the transfer of stores, people, water, diesel, albums, tapes, mail, and so forth, it might as well be yesterday. Clive (‘Corell’) Warner.
Another sad news which came to me versus a couple of persons is the death of one of my readers who did post regularly in the Hans Knot International Report. On September 22nd Keith Warren aka Jan Van Jaeger died. Harry was one of the readers who brought the sad news: ‘Dear Hans, I am Harry Boothroyd aka Doctor Boogie and I read your report. It is with great sadness that I have to report that my good friend Keith Warren aka Jan van Jeager passed away on Saturday 22nd September at Arrowe Park Hospital after a short illness. He was the man who was running Imagine 963 and wanted to do the Voice of Peace on internet. I will miss his chats on the mobile and the CB. So sorry to be the bearer of such bad news.’
Then there was time to get the dust from my DVD player to watch a brand new DVD produced by ‘High Seas Media’ The Offshore Radio Years Volume 13 brings the story from Radio Caroline from the time of the Mi Amigo sinking in March 1980 up till the hectic period the British authorities thought there had to be made an end to the transmissions of Caroline’s competitor Laser 558, way back in 1985. In audio, video and photographs, many very rare and never seen before, the editor has made a wonderful 85 minutes long documentary in which also Peter Chicago tells his memories to the time the Ross Revenge was in Spain for rebuilding. This documentary is a must for those who are still in love with the Lady Caroline. For more information and how to get your own copy go to www.offshoreechos.com
August 4th 2007 is for many ‘the day of the year’ as it brought back so many memories. Well for me it is to, so far in 2007. See what the other three months can bring. On that day one of the many people I spoke to was Carl Thomson, former engineer on board the radio vessels Mi Amigo and Fredericia. Carl showed me on that day some unique photo’s from his personal collection, from which maybe 15 were published before. His daughter worked several hours on scanning the photos for us and my webmaster Martin has put them now online. So a big thank you Carl, also to your daughter, for sharing this with us. http://www.hansknot.com/carlthompson
Before we go to a longer e mail I would like to bring back some memories to earlier Radio Days. Soon it will be the 29th year in a row and this year probably bigger than ever before. But who remembers we started very small with venues in Scheveningen and at the Amsterdam Speerstreet?
Here a photograph from the archives which shows the late Hans Verbaan, chairman of the Free Radio Campaign Holland talking to some visitors. I think the photo has been taken 22 years ago.
Two nicknames to add to the long list of nicknames, which can be found on www.hansknot.com On the Reunion in London’s Sugar Reef, early August, it was Tony Blackburn who mentioned a lot. The next two were not on my list yet: Tony 'Bessie' Blackburn and Kenny Everett 'Idy Feverett'
The lessons of pirate BBC Essex 2004 that still haven’t been learned was the title of a long article written by Geoff Baldwin and was published in the Hans Knot Radio Report in early August. In last issue we had already published some of the response and all the others have been sent directly to Geoff. He will come back to it, either in an answering session or in a new article at the end of the year. Eric Wiltsher wrote a long response from which I want to take a few items for this issue:
To Geoff’s A) If you want a proper offshore radio station on the air again and so on…
That may be an anorak view. It were in a position to ask non-radio people a question I suspect the answer would be very different. The question I would ask is, "Was there any difference between Radio Caroline, Radio London and Radio Luxembourg?". I am very sure the answer would be no - the general public viewed all three as being pirates and many thought 208 was a ship. So with that in mind the public didn't see any difference between those broadcasting from a ship and a station on land.
On Geoff’s B) New computer/internet/satellite technology can't replace old technology as far as offshore radio is concerned.
AM isn't going out of fashion it's gone out of fashion. Offshore radio was not only pioneering in terms of broadcasting, it was pioneering the adoption of the portable radio - yes it did. So pioneering in both broadcast and platform is exactly what so many stations do today. I agree that some don't do that for us oldies, and oh yes I am one of them being 53 years old, but we are no longer the rebels we were - well a few of us are. The new youngsters want something they can tune into on a global basis. That to me suggests the new offshore is still that - it is offshore from the country you live in (well in my case being land-locked now over the border).
On Geoff’s C) If you are running an organisation called the BBC with something like £3 billion of public money to spend (from licence fee charges) and you have access to a huge record archive, numerous am frequencies and you have the captive audience (like BBC Essex have), not only can you make a great success of putting on an offshore radio station in the modern day, you can, arguably, even make improvements on the original "pirate" stations that operated.
To start with the BBC can't just swap frequencies around how they did.Ofcom are involved just as they are with commercial radio. The level of income the BBC has also needs to be balanced - we all love the offshore days but ask yourself how many member of the public (you'll need hundreds of thousands) actually care that much about offshore in the way we do. There are more followers, I suspect, of various other things that they are probably sitting in pubs somewhere asking 'why do those radio anoraks get all our license fee money - the BBC should be doing this..........' But why would they want to? As it goes the only two most people remember, I mean the license fee payers, will be Caroline or London.
On Geoff’s E) Offshore "pirate" radio isn't a broadcast phenomenon of any BBC Radio Monopoly (and the fact that it wasn't meeting the music tastes of young people) the pop music explosion, the arrival of the Beatles on the pop scene and, of course, the loop-hole in the law (as it was at that time) that allowed new radio stations to spring up just off our coastline, seemingly, overnight from almost nowhere!
You are so right in the decades you mentioned - today it's different. I recall the argument when MNO started broadcasting from HF transmitters in the UK - there were screams of foul from a few. The fact is we found a
way to solve a problem and it worked. The same applied when I did a show under a callsign CMR which some anoraks thought was Caroline Music Radio - Wrong! So yes the offshore guys go around problems - others have done so since. You are so right that ‘meeting the music tastes of young people’ is still so very important, equally meeting the music tastes of young at heart people. Now stations can spring up for a fraction on the cost of offshore - it's now up to those station to collectively push receivers like the wireless sets now available. And before you screen again - I tried a wi-fi radio under some power lines, it worked. Couldn't get any reasonable AM there.
On Geoff’s G) PBBCE was the most lively radio station heard on the UK airwaves, certainly for 20 years and, possibly for 40 years and the most important lesson of all, therefore, from the 2004 broadcast seems to be that there is a whole audience out there in radio listening land (they may be young or they may be old) that just isn't being catered for by the existing BBC and ILR radio stations, people who just don't listen to the radio much anymore. People, perhaps, like me!
Huge respect for your final comment ‘like me’. That I do respect. However, lively radio means exactly what? People that do show prep, don't have liner cards, can have fun with the audience? All of these are being done now. Lively radio also needs to include the music - I love hearing "Strange Crew", "Days of Pearly Spencer", "Teenage Opera" every now and again. I can even manage of odd Queen or Elvis track, but there is so much more out there now - young people working there socks off to get airplay,making recording in a garage etc etc. So in that way, sure nothing has changed. However, I do wonder if the rebels of the sixties have become so establishment that they don't want new things anymore - my late father was often to say "If I ever get old.....". He was so right. Please remember and enjoy the past - Offshore, the first heart transplant, the Moon Landing, England Winning The World Cup, but can we at least give the youth of today everything we were fighting for 40 years ago – the choice we craved.
And to Geoff’s ending of the article: ‘Going back, however, to the PBBCE broadcast, the point I'm really trying to make is that, if the people in their ivory tower at the BEEB were really in touch with their listeners, they'd have picked up instantly on the success of this broadcast
Oh they did - they saw a great opportunity to build up to the 2007 anniversary and offer something excellent for the listeners and the Corporation - again I say it was fantastic. Best Regards to all of Hans' Readers, Eric the Shark in sunny Slovakia.’
Thanks Eric for your long response and Geoff has the complete version already received.
The Radio Day Awards 2007
The Radio Day 2007 will be held on November 10th in Amsterdam
Information about the Program of this years Radio Day, which is the
29th in a row, can be found at:
Time for another memory and photograph: ‘Hello Hans, I enjoy reading your Reports and it's a pleasure to contribute this time! I attach a photograph showing a number of us from Radio Hertford (Hospital Radio) whilst on a trip in 1977 to visit Caroline. We set sail early one Sunday morning from Brightlingsea, Essex and spent about 12 hours at sea, visiting Caroline, talking to the crew who greeted us as well as throwing the latest newspapers on board together with a few jingles we had made for them. Later we visited some of the North Sea forts on our way back and revisited the area again the year after. We were all free radio fanatics at Radio Hertford and some of those on board were myself (in glasses and white shirt at the stern), Chris Pike, Andrew Davies, Steve Dean, Bill Issitt and Robbie Owen (veteran of Voice of Peace and Heartbeat FM) along with John Quine and Jane Brockbank. Our skipper for the day Mr Ord was a veteran of dozens of such trips. Regards to all. Graham Jones (founder and former Stn Mgr Radio Hertford).
On a question by a reader what "Grease the diesel" meant in the special Veronica program on Arrow, August 31st, also Robbie Dale can’t give the answer, so who from the Veronica team in the readership can tell more on this subject? All answers to Hknot@home.nl
Oeds Jan Koster wrote: You had a link in your report about the history of Radio Jackie. I wonder if you know this one too. It’s a site made by former Radio Jackie presenter Jimi King: http://jkwebdesign.net/radiojackie/
A very special music site is recommended by Bert Alting. Give some time for this site: http://docent.multiply.com/music/?&=&page_start=0
Going back to Robbie Dale he wrote: ‘Hans, These are some pictures taken by Stella on 31 August 2007 at the Radio Veronica Commemoration on Arrow. You will need no introductions to the others in the frames. We received a lot of emails on the day; I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of audience reaction and the distance of listener to what was after all a fun thing. Ad Bouman had told me he would set up a self operate desk for me. On the day in question it turned out to be the some original technician operated desk gear with the inevitable crashes. I enjoyed seeing them all again. Juul has changed very little over the year. Yes they all looked so well. Greetings. Robbie
Juul Geleick, Ad Bouman and Robbie Dale Photo Stella Robinson
Here’s one interesting thing I never heard of before sent to me by Martin van der Ven: ‘During the 7th Erkrath Radioday on 8th September I chatted with a friendly German guy called Klaus Barker, who told me quite a surprising but reliably sounding story. Klaus who had worked for German BFBS in the years gone by, had a stepfather from Britain working for the Rhine Army in Germany. Klaus grew up bilingually and was interested in anything that had to do with radio. During the sixties, his stepfather had close connections to the Radio London organisation. As a sixteen year old boy Klaus recorded three shows for Radio London to be broadcast from the MV Galaxy. He used several London jingles and some from his own collection. And some weeks later, he couldn't trust his ears: These three programmes were indeed broadcast from the ship in the evenings at about 10 p.m. Klaus who had a bit of a Cockney accent in the mid sixties used the name ‘Nick Barker’ for his Radio London shows. "And my voice was sounding a bit older than I actually was at particular time..." So there we are: A Big L deejay whom nobody knew until 2007. I wonder if anyone reading Hans Knot's International Report remembers to have listened to the ‘Nick Barker Show’ on Big L in the 1960s? By the way Klaus would of course be more than happy if anyone might even have a recording of one of his shows (which he unfortunately doesn't have after all these years). He has also a website: http://freemusic4all.weltensegler.net
Nick Barker 2007 Photo: Martin van der Ven
More photos taken at the Erkrath Radio Day in Germany are on www.offshore-radio.de
Svenn Martinsen likes to have another plug for his ‘Radio Rose of Texas’ Wonderful site which tells you the most interesting story about the stations on the MV Olga Patricia aka Laissez Faire. The new reference is www.northernstar.no/olgapatricia1322845.html
A big thanks to Graham
Brown from Ealing in London who sent me a copy of the in house
publication from the BBC called ‘Ariel’. In the week 32 edition of Ariel
there was a front page article called ‘Pirates
of the Caroline’. Wonderful to see those pirates as first article
in a BBC publication. So thank Graham and maybe you could send your
correct e mail address to me as the one on the letter was incomplete:
Next an email from a reader about Rusty Allen and more: ‘Dear Hans, Thanks for a great web site. I edit a trade newspaper, ‘Railstaff’, which goes to people working in the rail industry - drivers, guards, signallers. I published the article below in our August edition. I was a fan of Radio 270, and of course Caroline and London. Do you know what happened to Rusty Allen? Thanks again and best wishes, Andy.
Rusty Rides Again
Disappointed by the White Paper Andy Milne takes heart from an unlikely chapter in the history of rock and roll 14th August 1967 was a bad day for railway historian, Vincent Allen. Tired out after nearly a month at sea and battered by a force eight gale, he lost his job at midnight. Amidst heavy seas he came ashore at Scarborough harbour early the following morning. Vince had seen Beeching’s axe peak the year before – closing 750 miles of railway. Now out of a job Vince Allen, 29, slipped down to Scarborough station. The line from Whitby closed two years before. At this rate, he pondered, there wouldn’t be much left for him to photograph. Vince was no ordinary rail enthusiast. From a Dutch lugger, Oceaan 7, anchored three miles off shore ex-US serviceman, Vince ‘Rusty’ Allen, broadcast rock and roll on Radio 270. The ship was much smaller than its sister pirates but local people loved it. The swingin’ sixties started on the rolling deeps of the north sea. Stations like Radio 270 rolled up audiences numbering millions, broaching a whole new market. The government failed to understand the excitement of the pirates and closed them down on 14th August 1967. It couldn’t stop rock and roll. Teenagers rioted in London, schoolboys rigged up illegal transmitters on rooftops and rock stars like Lulu recorded tearful goodbyes broadcast on the ships.
Radio 270 Oceaan 7 Photo Freewave Archive
The establishment, rather rattled by all this, leaned on the BBC to start up Radio One and local radio among the first - Radio Leicester. Eventually a Conservative government legislated for independent radio. Capital Radio started in 1973 with the wonderfully appropriate, ‘Bridge Over Troubled Waters.’ Commercial radio is now a multi-million pound industry. Every town sports radio stations. Hundreds eventually took to the air where before the pirates there were three, that’s right three. Vince Allen went on to work as a professional photographer deep in the heart of Wessex, having helped create a whole new industry. Modern radio may lack the magic of the pirates, in the same way modern rail has little of the charisma of steam. The lesson is the pirates won in the end. Rock and roll beat its capacity restraints. The new rail industry – also attracting millions to its market - is equally misunderstood by an establishment similarly unnerved by our success. Detractors argue that rail arithmetic can never stack up the way commercial radio does. Think carbon trading, green imperatives and gridlock - our maths make more sense than ever. High time they too were given a stable future on dry land.
Vince Allen (Photo Mike Hayes collection)
Rusty Allen may never have returned to the airwaves but the justice of his cause prevailed. Rail staff who believe that right triumphs over expediency should take heart. The establishment has yet to grasp the excitement and energy of new railways. Britain needs Crossrail, High Speed Two and Three, electrification, light rail and new freight lines. Lets ride out the force eight White Paper as we did Beeching. The rail industry will win whether under this government or the next. Misleading headline? Just another example of RailStaff’s eternal optimism first heard articulated on the ‘Rusty Allen Radio Programme’ forty years ago on Radio 270. Where ever you are out there in the wide and wonderful, this August, Vince, many thanks and best wishes. Andy’.
Once again another John Peel site to mention in the Hans Knot Radio Report
One of our readers with the name ‘Paul’ wrote: ‘lots of old Radio London recordings under mixed format Wonderful Radio London http://pirateradionetwork.com/
Gary Lee is next: ‘Hi Hans. Whilst I am writing, I must thank you for being a constant source of valuable information. I first got interested in free radio back in 1970 as a child, (as my mother listened to RNI), so missed out on much of the early stuff. The first big station for me, was Radio Atlantis. I was absolutely gutted on the day they closed down in 1974, I remember it vividly. I have been involved with free radio (many landbased), since 1982. Since which, I threw the towel in 2001 and decided to go legal. I currently programme for Radio Seagull 1602khz in Holland and also River Gibbs FM, (an internet station). Between the two, I feel very lucky to be on air 6 days out of 7 each week and try to provide some alternative, or more interesting music, that I hope will appeal to the slightly more challenged listener! Let's hope that's the case anyway.
Peace & Best wishes to you and yours, Garry Lee.
From Gary over to PJ from Dorset: ‘Here is a picture of my great friend Neon Nancy on board Weymouth Diving/Angling charter boat Als Spirit, I hired the boat to produce some programmes for a new Internet radio station I am involved with, Nancy - who was a presenter on the 2002 Radio Mi Amigo rsl from LV18 at Harwich Harbour kindly agreed to travel from the Essex area to Weymouth in Dorset to help record four programmes for the project, a great day we had by all floating on the harbour, the skipper later gave us a tour around Weymouth Bay, it was quite amusing as the boat made her way out Weymouth and towards the sea with my studio on board.....pity I never had a transmitter!
Very Best wishes Hans, keep up the great work.
Best wishes to all your readers out there.
Special Music Radio.
And this came in to late for me, as I read it late in the evening: Hi Hans, today Sunday September 16th at 2 till 4 in the afternoon UGLI RAY TERET (Radio Caroline North 1965) will be doing his first radio show from Manchester Uk: www.manchesterradioonline.com see also the blog http://ugliray.blogspot.com/
which was sent in by Ray. Did you record it Ray and if so could you upload it somewhere for the archive? Thanks in advance.
Next a former Mi Amigo deejay from Radio Mi Amigo deejay who’s still a big star in Flandria: Ton Schipper. He recently updated his internetsite, which you can find at: http://www.schipper.be
Fons living in Limburg Holland wrote to me: Since the day the MV Mi Amigo sunk 26 years ago I started with writing down a complete report with facts of everything which has been told, interesting and also all nonsense, by the deejays in their programs. You’ll get a good idea what happened on the Mi Amigo between April 15th 1979 and March 290 1980. Go and have a look, Alfons’. http://radiocaroline79.punt.nl/
Another plug goes to Sweden: The Radio Nord-forum I started in early January has been a success. Have a look at : http://groups.yahoo.com/group/radionord/
I don´t want to come empty-handed so I enclose two letters I bet you have not seen before. Best Wishes, Göran Lindemark, Stockholm
Thanks a lot Göran and one of the letters I enclose in this report gave me directly the thought ‘were was the time deejays personally answered letters from listeners?’ Samantha on Radio Caroline did, as you can see in the letter.
I recently changed some e mails with Guy Hamilton, former Radio Essex deejay and one of the subjects he mentioned, without going into detail, were ghosts, so I wrote him to tell me more about it: ‘Hi Hans - The only ghost story I can personally vouch for is this one: I was new on Radio Essex, so was doing the newcomer's overnight show on Knock John Fort from about 3 till 6 a.m. I was in the on-air studio about 3.30 when engineer Mike Brereton - still a close friend - rushed into my studio without caution, looking very shaken, and asked me, "Have you been out of here? When I told him no, he slammed the door and went away. Afterwards I learnt what had happened. The other engineer, who also tended to stay up all night, was Dick Dixon. Working with Mike in the transmitter room, he'd suggested a cup of tea, so Mike had gone to the mess, carried the electric kettle to the fresh water tank room, filled the kettle and returned to the mess to plug it in - the only place on the fort you could do this. He'd then returned to the tx room. Later, Dick had suggested to Mike the kettle must have boiled by now (a very slow process in those days) and so Mike had passed the studio once more, gone to the mess to get the kettle and found it - gone! Looking in the tank room, where there was no electric power provision, he found the kettle - boiling hot. It was not possible for anyone else to have come up the iron staircase without hearing them, and pretty unlikely that any of the DJs would have wanted to get up at 3 a.m. anyway! They would not of course have known that the kettle was boiling in any case, so the movement of the hot kettle remains a mystery. Unless you believe in ghosts, of course...
Radio Essex QSL Card
Knock John Fort was a spooky place in the dead of night, and Dick Palmer also told tales of spanners which moved by themselves in the generator leg...
Of course, with Dick, one is never quite sure if he's kidding or not! Regards, Guy Hamilton.’
Thanks Guy indeed a nice memory and some will shake reading it others will have a big smile on!
Radio Caroline has been given a free plug in a 120-page paperback appealing to cat-lovers everywhere. And, with copies of the book advertised on more than a dozen internet sites in English, Japanese and other languages, The Lady could be picking up thousands of new listeners at home and abroad. Former Daily Newspaper journalist Steve Anderson, who lives near York, wrote “Growing up with Ginger: The Cat-lover’s Book for Cat-haters”, after retiring through ill health. His fully-illustrated, laugh-a-minute work, which has been praised by a number of critics, is aimed at all age groups. Its 10 individual stories describe how one feisty feline saved the spectacular 2005 “Live 8” concert in London just as members of Pink Floyd were staging their famous reunion. Other tales tell of the same cat’s mishaps on a North Sea Ferry, his fears of the vet, his encounter with aliens and other adventures that claimed several of his nine lives.
Ginger’s creator has also devoted a whole 15 pages to the role that his cat played in demolishing a 90ft communications tower. Much of the story involves amateur radio – Steve (callsign G0EAT; ex-G6VBU) has been licensed for 25 years – although there is a special mention of Radio Caroline and several other former offshore broadcasters.
“I couldn’t publish a book without referring to The Lady,” Steve told the Hans Knot International Radio Report. “This station in particular has played such an important part in my life since the 1960s and, indeed, continues to do so. My wife, Helen, and I even named our daughter after Caroline and, not surprisingly, our bungalow is called Mi Amigo. “I tell readers of the book how Radio Caroline always bounced back after suffering disaster after disaster at sea and how its ‘home’, the former Grimsby trawler Ross Revenge, is now being preserved as a floating museum dedicated to the history of offshore radio. And, of course, I just had to mention that the station is still alive and well thanks to its satellite and internet transmissions.” ‘Growing up with Ginger’, which is being printed simultaneously in Britain and the United States of America, has the ISBN 1846854180. It is priced at £6.00 GBP and $12.00 US and can be ordered from bookstores worldwide or from Amazon, Waterstones and a multitude of other online retailers.
Nobert Dengler is keeping an eye on what’s happening in Wikepedia Encyclopedia on Internet and updates regularly when a new item on our favourite subject Offshore Radio is published. The list you can find on: http://www.offshore-radio.de/wikipedia.htm
Mike Terry wrote me on Saturday September 22nd: ‘Radio London was mentioned on Sounds of the Sixties on BBC Radio 2 this morning at about 8:25 BST - there was a request for a record called Portobello Road as played on offshore Radio London. I can't recall the station ever being mentioned before. Better still send in your requests of favourite Radio London plugged hits (or good misses) and get Radio London mentioned again.’
Hmmmm another cartoon sent in, this time by Marc Walker from Ipswich. He wrote me he doesn’t recall from which newspaper and when it was published. So to see it must have been from RNI days way back in 1970.
Anyone else who has a cartoon in his collection please don’t hesitate to send a scan to me for further publications: Hknot@home.nl
Well that´s all for now and keep your memories coming. Till next time, all the best. Hans Knot.
Offshore Deejays' Nicknames
Female Offshore Radio Deejays
Radio London Commercials
Offshore Radio Programme Names - Programmanamen Zeezenders 1958-1990
Read Hans Knot's former report