Hans Knot's International Radio Report - Christmas 2007


Welcome to the Christmas edition of the Radio Report and also the last one for this amazing radio year filled with a lot of special broadcasts as well as reunions as well as the Radio Day in Amsterdam, where so many people shared together. It was very nice to see that many came there for the very first time and were, afterwards, sure to come back the next time. May I thank you all for your support during the past year and first of all wish you all a Happy Christmas!

In last issue I brought back the story about the 17 years young Erik Beekman, who was saved from the MV Mi Amigo in 1977. He was too ill to stay on the ship and brought to England, where his mother arrived not much later to take him home. The captain of the lifeboat refused to get two young ladies from England from the ship. After I mentioned the story two questions came in. First one from England, here’s Ted Finch: I read the story about the young fellow taken off the Mi Amigo a by lifeboat. Do you have any idea who the two young British women reported to be on board were?’

Well Ted, to be honest, I can’t tell as they were either mentioned in the newspaper nor in the Monitor Magazine, which paid attention to the rescue. So if anyone knows please sent it to Hknot@home.nl and for the second question, which came from Fred Boon, I do have an answer. Fred wrote that he always thought Erik Beekman his real name was Marcel Out. I have to tell that in the seventies (1977) on Mi Amigo there was Erik Beekman (Bart van Gogh) on Radio Mi Amigo, another using the name Erik Beekman was indeed Marcel Out but this was about ten years later and the latter one worked for Radio Monique on the MV Ross Revenge.

I must admit that in the reports, sent away by e mail during the last day of November, there was a mistake made by me. The photo featuring Ron O’Quinn, Roger Day and myself in the restaurant after the Radio Day, had Johnnie Walker’s name instead of Roger’s one. The internet versions had the right names!

Time for Big L as Brian Keith wrote to me: ‘Hello Hans, yesterday (November 29th) evening, as usual, I listened to Randall Lee Rose on Big L. Around 18.15 he told the listeners that he worked 20 years ago on the Ross Revenge. Then came: “ We didn't get much money but it was a lot of fun". I always thought while listening to him on Big L remembering his voice but didn’t know from where. Was he Blake Williams, Steve Masters, Chuck Reynolds? I know you must know the answer. Brian Keith.’

Well the third name was the correct one, indeed he used the name Chuck Reynolds on Radio Caroline. Later on he went to Capital Radio in London and from there on he used the name Randell Lee Rose.

Like in the last two issues here’s another cartoon sent in by the Admiral Robbie Dale. It’s from 1967. By the way the collection photographs and other material from Robbie’s Archive is growing and growing and are on www.hansknot.com

It was silent a few issues of the report regarding the main man in California but Cherry, the charming manager from Rosko, sent us the next: ‘Hans, some Rosko news. He is currently doing a two hour show for Big L on Saturdays between 5 and 7pm UK time.

Also a two hour show will be heard on BBC Radio Essex on Christmas Day between 12 noon and 2pm. He can also be heard on Sunday on Aston FM and on REM.FM in Spain on Saturdays 12 noon till 1pm. Attached a photo to say Merry Christmas,


Elsewhere in this bumper issue you’ll find non offshore memories to Christmas from the Emperor!

I mentioned it already that befriended site were updated around the day I published last report and late the same evening saw the e mail from the Pirate Hall of Fame:

I have just updated the (award-winning) Pirate Radio Hall of Fame. New this month: We have two pages of fantastic photos taken on board the original Radio Caroline ship, provided by Alan Turner (and there is more to come from him next month); we have a report from the recent Dutch Radio Day - where the PRHoF was honoured with one of the first Radi Awards; a Pirate Radio Hall of Fame correspondent hears his Radio Atlanta request on this site - 43 years after its original transmission; we have the sad news of the death of a Radio City DJ; and our traditional "Christmas in international waters" page has been updated. My grateful thanks, as ever, to everyone who has contributed to the site - and to Steve Silby for this photo, taken just after I had collected my Radi Award (and a Beat Fleet badge) from the Admiral Robbie Dale. www.offshoreradio.co.uk

In last issue I mentioned remembering Andrew Emmerson writing an article about the pirates in 1967. It must been some 30 years ago I came in contact with Andrew, now living in Northampton, for the first time. We became close friends and see each other at least once a year. Sharing our love for radio, trains and a good beer. Way back on the last day of February 1967 an article of his hands was published in Incant. Let’s follow Andrew’s article, which got the header: ‘Pirates Sinking’.

Despite the proliferation of offshore radio stations during the last thee years, the choice of independent programs, which can be easily received at Canterbury is now limited. On the one hand there are the extremely commercialised and Americanised Radio London and Caroline – and on the other, the homely but almost too smooth Radio 390, with only the Americanised Britain Radio pointed uncertainly between the two. The two Dutch language stations Dolfijn and pioneer Veronica, are not to be forgotten, even if they do not command large audiences here. Since the early days of Caroline and Atlanta in the spring of 1964, the standard of presentation and transmissions of programs has improved enormously. Probably few people realised in those days that offshore radios would still be broadcasting today or that the market could support as many stations as it has done. But it is my view that commercial radio in Britain is now on the decline. This is obvious to everyone now that the Government is achieving more success in silencing the so-called illegal transmitters and as people like Ted Allbeury are pulling out of the forth-based stations. Yes, this is only the half of the story. Six month ago, one could have said the stations had some character, even the more sensational Caroline and London. This is no longer the case. Possibly epitomised in the ‘ pirating’ of taped jingles from one station by another the stations have lost nearly all of their individuality in trying to capture their rivals’ audience. Indeed over the past six months minority interests have been well nigh entirely sacrificed. Radio Essex alias BBMS, considered by many as the ideal local radio, has been silenced by the court and the same fate has now befallen one of the Whitstable radios, City, which was the only popular radio station to put out original non-recorded material. Radio Invicta and his successor 390 both showed great promise of providing acceptable adult programme service. Yet even here a new ‘family listening’ policy has been implemented, with the result that authoritative quality programmes like ‘The Voice of Business’ and the Mike Raven Show are no longer broadcast. And now Ted Allbeury is changing sides to make Britain Radio another 390 and this capture 390’s audience. What does all this mean? It means that commercial radio in Britain no longer offers a variety of programmes for all listeners, but a choice between two extremes. On the pop radio side it means that new singers have little change of success for in contrast to stations like Radio City, the big two play little material either British or American, which is not by the big names and thus not sure of entering the top forties. Record tastes are thus largely dictated by this monopolists. On the ‘sweet music’ side competition will soon be of non existent, offering the more sophisticated listener a choice between Britain Radio and ‘legal’ radio. Whatever, the case was a year ago, commercial radio now exists primarily for the benefit of the advertisers and not for the listeners. While I should be the last to favour the extinction of pop radio or its nationalisation by the BBC, I feel that listeners have suffered a great loss in recent months and the great potential of offshore radio broadcasting has been abandoned in favour of odious and unnecessary standardisation.’

With thanks to Andrew Emmerson sending this to me decades ago. A well written article from the days before the MOA. Yes, 40 years ago. However one conclusion is in my opinion not right. On Radio London it were not only the big names who got the airplay. Numerous unknown or little known artists got airplay and really in this way became known in the radio as well as record industry. What about Procul Harum as just one big sample Andrew!

Then an e mail came in from former Caroline North deejay ‘Ugly’ Ray Terret who reflected on the story I had last time about Peter Jay. Peter was shown in one of the three booklets which were published by the Caroline organisation being one of the deejays for the station. I asked if anyone ever heard him on the station or heard of him. Well Ray seems: ‘Hi Regarding Tony Jay, I met him in the early 60s along with Jimmy Savile, a gentle friendly very well spoken young man always in collar and tie and who carried a brief case everywhere. I never realised he went on to join the pirates.’ Ugli Ray Teret

So the question still stays who knows more about Tony Jay. Anyway Ray, a big thank you.

The question is if they were all ‘the ugly one’ (Photo archive Ray Terret)

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Update time for Bob Le-Roi has he wrote to us: ‘Welcome to the December Update. Like Santa’s Sleigh a bit of high flying in Scrapbook with never before published aerial photographs of the Ross, Communicator & Thames Towers . ”One Subject One Link” goes blue with the F-Word. Well won Simon Marks who nabbed the Laser 558 transmitter crystal, but surprise the “Half Mast” original 1985 signed & framed photo by Erin Kelly has yet to reach reserve. In Sales book titles have been slashed and we have the Radio Essex double CD & book Gift Set a snip for Christmas. Our tribute to Dave the Fish has been added to with excellent photographs of Dave in his younger days. Thank you for your interest, support and valued contribution over the last 12 months. Visit numbers continue to grow and astound us we couldn’t do it without you. Have a very Happy Christmas & New Year. www.bobleroi.co.uk

Next e mail brings us back to the first days in British Offshore Radio: ‘Hi Hans this is the first time I have written but, I have enjoyed reading your International Radio Report over the years, I have just been watching part one of the World In Action programme about the start of Offshore Radio in the UK on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0ql0i2HPK8

And I have a question about the merger of Radio Caroline and Radio Atlanta, which I hope you can answer for me, I seem to remember just after the merger and before the Fredericia sailed to the Island of Man some Caroline programmes were simulcasted from both ships, Most people I have spoken to said this didn’t happen but I still think it did, What are your memories on this and if the simulcast did happen how did they link the two ships together? I would like to wish you and your family a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Very best regards, Richard Sharpe.’

Well thanks for your e mail Richard. I can’t remember if there were any simulcasted programs when the stations merged. I only remember the long trip to the Isle of Man when the listeners were regularly informed about the progress of the tour. I do remember, on the other hand that when the Mi Amigo went back to sea in 1966, after repairs took place in the harbour of Zaandam, some programs were transmitted by Caroline, which came partly from the Mi Amigo (then for the first time on 50 kW) and partly from the MV Cheetah, which was lend from Mrs Britt Wadner, the late former owner of Swedish Radio Syd. But maybe Tom Lodge, who is reader of the report, knows more. In the meantime a memory to Radio Atlanta from the newspapers in June 1964.

Than I can reveal that Chris and Mary Payne had some nice updates on their site recently. The have news on the latest surgery taken place with former Caroline deejay Mick Luvzit in Canada. Also they show us to an Australian Radio station which can also be found by internet and where we can listen several times pro week to a program from former Caroline man Graham Webb. Also his former ship mate Mike Ahern has one program pro week. It was also nice to see that a singer, heard a lot on Radio London in 1966 and 1967, Nita Rossi, wrote to the Payne’s. You want to know more? www.radiolondon.co.uk

And another update has been made by Jon at the Pirate Hall of Fame who wrote to us: ‘Welcome to the AWARD-WINNING Pirate Radio Hall of Fame. What's new on the site this month? We have two pages of fantastic photos taken on board the original Radio Caroline ship, provided by Alan Turner; we have a report from the recent Dutch Radio Day; a Pirate Radio Hall of Fame correspondent hears his Radio Atlanta request on this web site - 43 years after its original transmission; and in keeping with the festive season, our traditional Christmas in international waters page has been updated. We also have the sad news of the death of a Radio City DJ With Christmas in mind, don't forget to check out the Anorak Gift Guide for present suggestions. See the contents page and DJ Directories of the sixties and seventies for a full index of the site.

From England, of course with a lot of thanks, an e mail from Alan Bailey who wants to share with us: ‘Hi Hans, going through my massive collection of memorabilia I thought your readers may be interested in these pictures of the ‘Radio England / Britain Radio’ Rate card. It dates to 1966. Alan Bailey.’

When receiving these documents we shared it with some of the guys who where part of our Swinging Radio England party at the Radio Day and after receiving it Ron O’Quinn came back to us with: ‘Hello Martin and Hans. Thanks for sharing this with me. As I said at Radio Day either the programming was so bad that "free" ads would have been too expensive OR Pearle Dean were such poor sales reps that the stations were not being offered to potential advertisers. If the programming on Radio England was too fast and frantic why was Britain Radio unsuccessful? These are questions that will never be answered and after all.....it was just a job. Best regards to all, Ron.‘
Thanks for responding Ron. Possibly Pearle and Dean was de main factor for not succeeding. I always compare the failure with the one CNBC occurred in 1961. Veronica directors Verwey, who's idea it was that CNBC should be successful on the British market, got a represantive on the other site of the British Channel to do the work for the station. Hendrik Bull Verwey concluded years ago that the station purely wasn't successful due to the fact the represantive was a) too far away from the Hilversum headquarters so they couldn't see what he was doing and b) the guy found it more interesting to visit theaters and cinemas instead of getting the advertising world interested in CNBC. And in the meantime he earned the money for his non working.

Money time. What did you earn as a deejay on an offshore station on weekly basis in the sixties. No we’re not talking about the enormous amounts guys like Howard Stern are earning. Probably it wasn’t bad when working for stations like Caroline and London, but for the others I can’t see good salary in those days. And the crew members? Well I don’t think they must have been happy. I got recently a contract from Frank van Heerde from Holland in which is shown that salary was not big at all for crew members. The guy involved worked for one stint on the Galaxy (in the contract mentioned as Galaxie) and earned in February 1965 just 14 guilders a day. I think the family of this cook got very hungry of such a low salary!

Christmas Memories on air and on the road, a few thoughts from the Emperor:

‘Well Hans, I must say I have spent very few Christmas’s in front of a fire. I am a work junkie and always volunteered to work the holidays. Most jocks were happy to split and be traditional, not me. I could write a lot more about New Years Eve but you asked about Christmas. My Xmas thoughts go way back to the sixties when I was on duty for Uncle Sam on CVA 43 playing music for the military, This means you scan all types of music Country, Soul, Classic, etc it was the beginning of my programming school! The military is made up of so many different types it is a chore to keep them all happy at one time. I graduated 15 years later to Radio Syndication with what is now known as “the Jack Format", but it was started way back when I was off Vietnam in 1962!

Using Xmas as the first roadmap, Trying to mix cohesively with an all ready fragmented mix of Xmas music into a format that would please listeners from the four corners of the USA took some doing, always trying to blend and mix sound with sentiment and rhythm, balancing black and white and then putting the package together with country/soul/pop/rock, etc, Once that was mastered all the rest was easy!! So early Xmas was passed as a Military Xmas jock learning to program.

Then on to Europe in the mid 60’s, and my love of radio kept me always subbing for the chaps that wanted to go home and be with their families, I was solo and a bachelor and on my own so I did not mind. I would admit, if a paying gig came in I would take it (rare on Christmas) however here are a few memories about live gigs and live radio on Christmas. The recollections are slow to come, but a few surfaced.

Young Rosko in his early radio days (OEM Archive)

A nightclub in Hollywood. An Office party of the hoi polloi, it was kind of hard watching tons of tons of presents being opened by others for others, watching strangers go all-sentimental. It tended to make one feel extra alone! However, the parties gave me ideas for what to do on air when I was not gigging, so one helped the other. I remember one night at this Xmas office party they got so drunk they left all their gifts behind. We dropped them off at the Salvation Army for the poor live with a radio van, what promotion, I almost felt guilty! To this day they may be still looking for those gifts! On the hard side, it was a cold bitter cold night in Europe circa 68. I was gigging outside of Brussels, a live radio gig, an O.B. For RTL. It was an ice covered club and prone to power cuts but we got through it. We finished at 2 a.m. I was driving my 55 T bird on black ice; to me it was a real eye opener into Euro hazardous driving and took me an hour to go 2 miles to my hotel at 3 a.m. I must have bumped in to every stump and snow bank in the area (zero traction.)The good side was my speed limit was 3 mph so no big damage, just an awareness of how hard it is to drive on unsalted black ice, all this for good Christmas cheer.

There was an Xmas night in Southern California, Tarzana I think, I did a major Hotel party. Many hours later when n I got back to my Van there was a 300-pound bloke on acid sitting in the passenger seat! He was well stoned on LSD and refused to leave. We loaded all the gear for about an hour whilst he just stared off in to space, we could not move him. It was quite a problem as he was strong as an ox and gone on acid. This was one very dangerous chap. (Imagine a 300 pound Jack Nickelson from the loony bin, drooling, grinning, and snarling quietly). What to do? What to do? We were three but no match for these behemoths, I had this one thin roadie, fast a greased lighting, and I told him to get the guy to chase him. He was not keen but like us tired and wanted to go home, so, plan was activated. What a sight I told him to keep ahead and jump in the van as I drove by. (Working for the Emperor has never been dull) we finally conned him out, I don’t know how, I think we questioned his manhood. The plan worked and we moved on down the road with him hanging on the back door, you guys get the drift. I was not going to stop! Red light, stop signs, he was bellowing about our future demise in a brutal manner etc, whatever, he finally dropped off the back and we went home, amen. Err and Merry y Christmas.

I was on the radio one Christmas when a lost child was reported and it was important to get the word out, I offered 100 records to anyone who saw the kid and got her returned. We got the good news 2 hours later. A wonderful night!

If you are on air or gigging it is a different type of night anyway. To this day I tell my agent go for the holidays I will happily work! To this day I offer my services. I scored a show on the BBC this year and will look after BBC Essex 12 till2, Christmas day!! And that is better than Boxing Day…………My birthday!! Even I don’t want to work on my birthday!

75 % of the times you will find the Emperor on a station near you on and through the holidays!! Drop in for some egg nag or nog depending on your mood!! And, Merry Xmas! Emperor R.'

A very big thank you to Rosko for these memories with Christmas, seen from different angles. Above that memories this time not from Offshore Radio but other radio days.

Earlier in the report I mentioned the e mail from Richard Sharpe, in which he asked questions about the merger between Caroline and Atlanta in 1964. Well I promised that maybe and answer could be expected from Tom Lodge and so here we go: ‘Dear Hans. Thank you for your question from Richard Sharpe. Yes, I remember that time very well. Before Allan Crawford of Radio Atlanta and Ronan O'Rahilly of Radio Caroline joined together as a co-advertising co-operation, and Radio Atlanta became Radio Caroline South, our programming on Radio Caroline was quite different from Radio Atlanta and then Radio Caroline South. The fact that Allan Crawford was a music publisher, his music business interests had an influence on their programming. But we on the original Radio Caroline and then on Radio Caroline North, were free from any business interests, or dictates. It was our love of the current music scene that influenced what we played. We played the music we loved, spontaneously, and with a freedom that also inspired and stimulated our audience. Not only was there never any simulcasting of the two radio stations, but we on Radio Caroline, felt our programming was far more fun and in tune with the current British rebellious music scene. We were ‘far out' and they were ‘square'. In fact it was the ‘square' programming of Radio Caroline South, prior to 1965, in comparison to Radio London, from Texas, that was the cause of Allan Crawford going broke and selling the radio station to Ronan in 1965. And then in 1965 we came down from Radio Caroline North and gave Radio Caroline the ‘far out' sound of fun that we had on Radio Caroline North, and by August of 1966, we on Radio Caroline South, had recaptured the audience back from Radio London. Thanks and best wishes, Tom Lodge.
P.S. I have also attached a couple of photos from those days. This one is: The deejay crew that brought Radio Caroline South back to being the number one radio station in 1966: Mike Ahern, Dave Lee Travis, Tom Lodge, Robbie Dale and Keith Hampshire. 2) Tom Lodge in 1966.’

Well Tom thank you for taking your time to write this answer with a lot of info and I think Richard will now be happy that finally the question he had is honestly answered.

Roland Beany sent us the internet address where many photo’s sorted by months can be found regarding the work many voluntary people are doing during the weekend on the MV Ross Revenge in Tillbury. Well done lads and ladies! http://www.geocities.com/woodleyuk/index3.htm

From Caroline to Veronica and RNI in the seventies and an email from Hans Hogendoorn, in those days Hans ten Hooge newsreader and deejay on RNI. He did sent me a photograph with the question if I knew the photograph. I must confess that I hadn’t seen it as a day earlier on the update of the Norderney site. It shows a delegation from RNI (MEBO II) visiting their neighbours on the Norderney in international waters in Scheveningen. For more on the history in 1971 written by Juul Geleick go to http://www.norderney.nl/historie_1971_1.html

Photo: Ruud Doets / Foundation Norderney

News from the Pirate Hall of Fame: On Monday 3rd December The Radio Academy unveiled the latest inductees to its Hall Of Fame. This year they included the former Radio City DJ Adrian Love who posthumously joined such legends of watery wireless as Tony Blackburn, Kenny Everett, Stuart Henry, John Peel, Tommy Vance, Johnnie Walker and Tony Windsor on the roll of honour. At the same event Radio Caroline's founder Ronan O'Rahilly was made a fellow of the Radio Academy. Tribute was paid to the part he played in revolutionising UK radio.’ So congratulation to Ronan!

Another e mail, this time from Australia: Hans: ‘I finally got around to skimming through this. Thanks for the nostalgia and photos. Anybody doing anything personally (like a DJ answering a fan letter) seems a thing of the past! :-( I was at grammar school in Manchester, UK from 1966 to 1973. And I hated every second of it! RNI was my relief at home on an old Grundig valve radio.
Bryan in Canberra, Australia.’

Well thank you and for all other readers let your memories come too at Hknot@home.nl

Dear Radio Heritage friends and supporters: The holiday season is fast approaching and it’s time to say 'thanks' for your support during 2007, whether you used one of our online radio guides, visited an online Art of Radio exhibition, read an article about a radio station or person of interest, sent us questions, gave us answers...we're glad we could be of service.... If you're looking for your favorite radio books and more......our Christmas 2007 Gift
Catalog is now online at www.radioheritage.net.
Unique specials this year include Radio Hauraki 40th Birthday Party Souvenir Tickets and Art of Radio Japan postcard packs. World Radio TV Handbook 2008, Passport to WorldBand Radio, Don't Touch That Dial and other great gifts in the new easy to use catalogs....choose from the USA & Rest of World, UK, European,
Australian and New Zealand versions. The entire catalog is a fund raiser towards our operational costs, as protecting and promoting radio heritage takes time, materials and money, and there's so much more we will achieve with your help. If you buy through Amazon, use our online bookshop to buy your Amazon gifts this year and every purchase contributes a few pennies towards our work as well!

Our resources are increasingly used for educational and genealogy research, for social history projects, for people wanting to know about radio events from their lives, those looking for old recordings, and by up to 1000 people daily searching for some information about radio in the Pacific region. In the meantime, more old recordings are lost, radio heritage documents destroyed, memories forgotten and connections gone......but your donations and your support of the Christmas 2007 Gift Catalog will help us continue to rescue and conserve what we can. Thanks for your interest and support during 2007, and we hope you'll
enjoy our continued preservation efforts at www.radioheritage.net in
2008. With your help, there'll be much more to enjoy.

Ingemar Lindqvist has a beautiful site filled with memories to his radio hobby including KLIF Dallas, Zeezenders 20 Radiodays in 1978, Radio Nord and a lot of other memories: http://radiohistoria.jvnf.org/eng.htm

Almost forgot to mention that the first Christmas card came in on November 29th and the first spoken one from California on December 3rd. The walls in our living room are covered with many cards from all over the world wishing us a Happy Xmas and a Happy 2008! Thanks for all the cards and best wishes from me and Jana too.

O yes, when you’re not on the radio with Christmas and you would like to make a private station at home show this could be of help for some traditional jingles and more at Canadian Christmas traditions: http://www.canadianxmas.com/christmas.traditions.php

And for those who are in for really vintage radio related to Christmas I suppose some fine things can be found here: http://www.otrstreet.com/christmas_radio_show/xmas0188.html

And if you have not enough you can always download the favorite Christmas Radio Stories at: http://www.christmasradionetwork.com/downloads.htm

Hmm look who we have here on the photo taken 27 years ago. Do you have such a photo of a new years party on your (former) station please share it with us

Ingo Paternoster sent me an e mail with news about forthcoming Christmas programming on AFN, which he got from a AFN Newsgroup: ‘Gary Bautell, Director, AFN-Europe, has sent me exciting news that he has completed the editing and voicing of "The Soldier's Christmas Song," a Holiday Special he wrote about "Christmas Eve In My Home Town," first recorded for AFN during the Korean War by (then) Pfc Eddie Fisher. It appears now that AFN Europe's ace TV reporter, Michelle Michael, is interested in doing a TV story from the material as well. These Radio and TV Christmas Specials will be sent to the Broadcast Center at Riverside for worldwide AFN distribution to some 58 countries, and include recordings by Eddie Fisher, Kate Smith, Jim Nabors, The Living Strings, Bobby Vinton. I hope you get a chance to hear or view Gary or Michelle's broadcasts. As co-writer of the song, I can hardly wait!
Happy Holidays one and all, Stan Zabka,’

And what about the possibility to listen too Christmas Radio for at least 365 days a year, any moment you like? It’s possible so if you ever in the mood for Christmas in July then you have a listen at: http://www.merrychristmasradio.com

But there are many more stations on the air or on internet this months to have a listen too. Like for instant the Sky Radio Christmas station in Holland or Radio Rudolph or, well have a look in a long list now: http://www.mikesradioworld.com/xmas.html

Ian Purshey from Canterbury Kent in England was an avid listener to Radio Mi Amigo and Caroline in the seventies and has sent me some details he remembered from 30 years ago regarding Christmas. ‘At first I hadn’t planned to listen to the radio at all as in the family we would have family visitors and it was not done at all to go to your own room to relax and enjoy on yourself. But the recorder was there and so later in the evening I could rewind the things which were recorded on my AKAI tape machine. One of the things I liked were the two specials the late Haike Dubois presented on Radio Mi Amigo. First there was a children special and secondly the program ‘Kerstfeest’ (Christmas Fest) , which was on in the mid afternoon. Christmas Day was on a Sunday that year and normal programs like the ‘Top 40’, ‘Belgian Top 15’, ‘Muziek Museum’ as well as ‘Disco Show’ were dropped from the programming. I do recall also a special ‘Baken 16’ live from the Mi Amigo, a program which was normally not on at ‘212’ on Sundays. It was the late Herman de Graaf who presented the show live from the messroom, in which he was assisted by colleague Ferry Eden and some of the Caroline deejays from those days.’

When receiving memories like the one sent in by Ian from Kent I always try to have a dive into my archive to relive my own memories in sound as well as the news from the magazines from those days. Radio Mi Amigo had several drive in shows during the weekend in Belgium as well as in the Netherlands. But also the Caroline drive in shows went on with Robb Eden, Robbie Day and others. 30 Years ago there were several Caroline show and let’s mention two venues: one in the Grashopper in Westerham and in the second one in the Tudor in Maidstone – also in Kent. The last one featured both Robb and Robbie. The first one was on December 1st and had also a quest deejay in the person of Simon Dee, one of the first deejays ever on Caroline in March 1964. After this gig the management from the Grashopper got an official letter from the authorities in which was mentioned that it could break the law as a pirate radio station (Caroline) was mentioning that a party in the Grashopper was held. Taking this letter seriously the manager decided to cancel all the contract they had for further Caroline Road Shows.

From Canada Ben Healy round the corner with a nice wish too, headed with ‘242 Christmas’: Hans, you outdid yourself this past year. You have remained loyal to the offshore cause for so many years. I for one appreciate al the work and effort that goes into your report. Thank you for everything. All the best for Christmas, Ben. ‘

Well Ben, like all those other Christmas wishes coming in, most appreciated to get such nice wishes by e mail as well by snail mail. Bob Le-Roi, radiofriend for decades, even included Offshore Radio into his Christmas Card. Thanks Bob and also a beautiful Christmas to you and Sandra.

Update time and we announce that three beautiful new series of photos can be found on Martin’s site www.offshore-radio.de

First of all Robbie Dale’s Scrapbook has been updated with a nice serie of photographs, newspaper cuts and other memories from the Dale’s Archive. New is a serie of very beautiful photographs taken by Marcel Poelman and Paul Krooshof, both with the same subject: Radio Waddenzee and their lightship which lies in the harbour of Harlingen. Earlier on in another issue I showed already a photo which was found back on the loft of Wouter Verbaan. All the other ones which he sent me are to be found back on Martin’s or on my site: www.hansknot.com

On www.mediapages.nl also during the last weeks several updates with the nicest one photographs taken 28 years ago. It was July 1st 1979 that, after a series of testprogrammes, the official start of Radio Mi Amigo 272 was celebrated. A new radio ship which only lasted on international waters for some months. September the 18th the ship came in trouble in a heavy storm and three days later it was confisticated in national waters off the Dutch coast. Dutch ‘Rijkspolitie ter Water’ (Water Police) was there. Elly Slager, daughter of one of the policemen, found an envelope filled with photos in her fathers inheritance. They now can be found back on Mediapages.

An e mail from Ian Smith about one of the re-published cartoons: ‘Hans, In the Cartoon in December 2007 Radio Report, the picture depicts the Caroline ship (in the style of MV Fredericia) as having an anchor at the Stern and another at the Bow. Remembering how many times radio ships dragged or lost anchors, was it ever the case that any radio ship was sited with two anchors? Was it feasible? Love, Light and Peace, Ian.’

Well thanks Ian, I must honestly say that I’ve never seen a radioship using two anchor chains at the same time. But of course I also don’t know everything. So anyone who has a answer on this question please don’t hesitate to send it in to me at hknot@home.nl

Formerly living in the USA and now in Belgium one of the world’s greatest radio recordings collector writes is: ‘Hi Hans, Just a note, I really wanted to make it to Radio Day, as it would have been able to be my first one since arriving in Europe in December, 2006. However, with house hunting, I did not make it to Amsterdam. So I was glad to read that you plan one next year too. For some reason I thought they were every two years. The Emperor Rosko is one of my favorite talents. That he learned French, as well, sort of makes him someone to look up to! I was glad to see that photo in your last radio report. Well, excuses. I think I saw Tony Jay on a Guiness tour in Dublin. You have a good one, and may I say thank you for all the wonderful reports you send. This obviously is a labour of love for you. Tom Konard.’

Thanks Tom, well the Radio Day is every year since 1978 and so this coming November 8th 2008 it will be 30 years on. I think you was misled a bit by the mentioning that the Radio Day Awards is a biannual event. Good to hear Rosko is one of your favourites. As you’ve seen he was twice in the report this time and who knows he will be at the Radio Day in November too. So Rosko you’ve another fan again, take your agenda and make it to Amsterdam too! Maybe your manager can organise some gigs in Europe to make the circle round.

In last issue I mentioned the plans with the Norderney, former radioship for Veronica. One idea was to bring the ship back to Holland, after it is in Antwerp harbour for many years. It was planned to get the ship to the harbour of Zwolle. However, RTV Oost, a regional television station, mentioned on December 12th that people in the neighborhood of the quaysides, as well as skippers for the inland navigation have protested to the city government that they don’t want the ship. Through the years since the early nineties of last century the Veronicavessel, which has been rebuilt into a partyship, has been in several harbours and always – in one way or another – problems with the youth occurred. A pity as many of the former Veronica fans would love to see the ship back where it belongs: in the Netherlands.

Well, this is all for this issue, the last one for 2007. Have all a Happy Christmas and a very good 2008. Next report in January and as usual you can send your memories, photographs and other funnies to Hknot@home.nl and if the files are bigger than 100kB please send them to hans.knot@gmail.com

More from me next year with greetings from Groningen,

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