Hans Knot's International Radio Report - February 2008
It took some time to
edit this edition of the Hans Knot International Radio Report as I was
to busy with writing a long article ‘they were young and ready to fight
on’ which – for those who haven’t read it – can be found on
As a result this edition of the report will be the longest since the first one appeared way back in the year 2000. Thank you all for your mails and memories and let’s start with Edward: ‘Hans, I have a box full of what probably amount to hundreds of press cuttings on pirate radio, mainly 1967-71. There's quite a lot on Radio 270 from earlier and plenty on RNI. I've just moved house and would rather give them to one of your readers than throw them out. Any takers? Happy to give my email address. This newsletter must be your life - but well done. Regards Edwards Waterson.’ firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks Edward, the ‘270 cuts’ seems most interesting to me so if you could send them, my postal address is PO Box 102 Groningen 9700 AC Netherlands. Thanks in advance. Then a reader who found a mistake in last issue: ‘Hi Hans, Just a small correction to your information about Tony O'Reilly. He worked on the VOP before coming to Beacon where he worked on WABC, the stations AM service. I was Programme Manager at the time and remember him well, in fact he lent me some VOP airchecks, which I dubbed. Regards, Bob’. www.boblawrence.co.uk
Thanks a lot Bob and I hope you’re doing well!
Another plug for an internet site is the next one from Mike Hayes, former Radio 270 deejay but also a writer of interesting books. On both subjects and more you can find out on: www.mike-hayes.nl
From a computer some 500 metres away from my home I got an email from Jan Fré Vos who listened to some old recordings from 1974 and heard a nickname which was not listed yet on the long list on www.hansknot.com On Caroline, in the seventies, Peter van Dijken got the nickname Petula van Dijken.
When researching the above mentioned article I found a lot of news cuts which will be appearing in the months to come. The first one I sent out to one of the Caroline people from the sixties. Hans Knot wrote: ‘Well Tom I found this in my archive. Must be a fun loving memory to see this after all those years. greetings Hans’
Tom came back with: ‘Hello Hans. Thank you for the cutting. Yes, that was 1966. It was a time when Radio London was using the "Drake Format", a format that had proven most successful in the US. The sound was new to the British ears, because Radio Caroline South had a more conservative "Middle-of-the-Road" type of programming. But then Ronan O'Rahilly took over Radio Caroline South from Allan Crawford and asked if I would come down from Radio Caroline North and revamp the programming and get the audience back from Radio Caroline. I was delighted. And with a whole new team of deejays: Mike Ahern, Dave Lee Travis, Robbie Dale, Keith Hampshire and Emperor Rosko, and a new more personal and fun format, and a spirit that was stimulating and not mechanical like the "Drake Format", we then surged back and became the number one pirate radio station. That was a special and rewarding time.
Thanks again for the cutting, Yours, Tom Lodge.’
Peter Murpha, aka Peter Chicago was next with sad news: ‘I am sure you will be saddened to hear that Chris Cary, also known as Spangles Muldoon on Caroline, has had another serious stroke whilst working in Tenerife. He already had a stroke which affected one side of his body. This latest stroke affects the other side, and his condition at the moment is very poor. His partner Sybil has gone out to be with him. The stroke took place a couple of days ago, and he remains in hospital on the Island. Let's hope he's the strength to fight this second battle again. For those of you who are unaware of what has happened. Chris suffered a second stroke a couple of weeks ago and is likely to remain in hospital for a considerable time. He is in Room H603B at the Hospital Universitario Neustra Senora de Candelaria, Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
His partner Sybil has a special message board where also wishes can be placed
Mike Brand from Israel has also an interesting site to mention http://tinyurl.com/2poyup
Le’t go back to 1964
and Big L. ‘Hi Hans, here
more about Big L, after reading the report and Stephen Raindle his
message, It was just before Christmas Big L started and I followed the
station from the very first day. For me it became very clear that the
signal from the station was far much better than the Caroline one. And
above that it was on 266 that I recognised my favourite deejay from
those days again, Tony Withers, who we heard earlier on Radio Atlanta
and who I heard for the last time on Radio Caroline South in July 1964,
just before Tony Blackburn took his place. The record collection on Big
L during the first weeks was not too big and so many records returned
over and over again in the programs. I do remember songs like ‘The jerk’
from The Larks and ‘It sounds good to me’ Adam Faith, which was
originally the backside of ‘Take a message to Martha’. Another few
special songs were ‘Suzie Q’ from Frankie Vaughan of course ‘Paper
tiger’ with Sue Thompson, which was played over and over again and only
made the Fab 40 in February 1965. There must have been ‘Fab 40’ in the
early days but I can’t remember if they were ever transmitted. When
playing songs deejays mentioned sometimes songs were in the Fab 40 but
not on which place. I fear the results of the first weeks relating to
the Fab 40 will never show up. Greetings, Frank van der Heerde.
Mary Payne also has something about those days : ‘Hi Hans, in the latest newsletter you wrote: Looking in my bible on the British Music Industry I can’t find any listening of a chart success for ‘Amen’ by the Impressions. In fact the Impressions' single 'Amen' was a US Top Ten hit towards the end on 1964, so if your reader Stephen heard it played on Radio London, it must have been on one of the tapes that were brought over from Texas. The song apparently came from a film called 'Lillies of the Field'. PS I like ‘Do the 81’ too. A big Northern Soul hit I believe.’
And the third one to reflect is Paul Rusling who wrote: ‘Maybe this will be of interest to Stephen Raindle, who asked you about Amen by the Impressions and Big Lil playing it. This track was in a Sidney Pottier film in 1964 called Lillies of the Field, and the track was a big hit in the States. It was released in the UK at the time - I have a much treasured (but also much battered) copy on the HMV label. I purloined that disc from the Hull Locarno ballroom when I worked there a few years later. Amen was a big dance floor favourite and very popular with the Mod girls who would stand around dancing in formation to it. The Impressions had loads of hits in the States, came from Chicago bands and included a great soul singer Jerry Butler, and that well-known soul star Curtis Mayfield, who did a better remembered movie soundtrack in the 1970s Super fly. Paul Rusling.’
Again sad news as one of the nowadays Caroline deejays has passed away. Peter Moore wrote the next on Caroline internet site: ‘It is with shock and deep sadness that I announce the death in the early minutes of January 17th of my good friend and Caroline broadcaster Rob Leighton. Aside from the fact that he was from time to time absent from his weekly programmes, his audience will not have known that Rob was continually suffering from and battling with a wretched illness called Crohn’s disease, a chronic and progressive condition that caused him much suffering, The nature of the illness meant, among other things, that his diet had to be precisely controlled. Any deviation caused severe reactions. Returning from one of his many and ever more frequent spells in hospital, I asked him what had gone wrong this time and he replied, with just the slightest tinge of annoyance ‘ you know, I just really wanted to eat an orange ‘.The archetypal stoic Englishman, if he ever discussed his health, he just stated that it was ‘ a bit of a nuisance ‘ although I knew that he structured the recording of his programmes within a window of time when he was not either in too much pain to make the programme or so sedated by pain killing medication that he could not do a proper job. He did not want his audience to think that he might be drunk. Typically, he worried more about my dubious health than his own. When he detected that I was under excessive stress he would warn, using the precise pronunciation that was his on air trademark ‘ Be careful, you are a thoroughly good chap you know and we don’t want to lose you ‘. Again it will not have been known that Rob was a brilliant technician. Some broadcast equipment is at his home, while he waited for his health to rally sufficiently to take it and install it overseas as a Caroline relay. He was also hoping that in the spring he might be able to go to Ireland top recover more equipment that he had built, which was then destined for Italy to set up a relay there. I know that he was frustrated in having to hand in for a time his driving licence, but that he was waiting for the moment when he could again drive his much loved vintage Wolseley car. Musically, he embraced the genre of progressive folk and rock, within which areas he was highly regarded. Rob’s wife Sharon who called me with the sad news, mentioned that an album by the band Blue Horses had just arrived at their home in Staffordshire and that the band had thanked Rob and Radio Caroline personally for helping their career.
The gentlest of men, Rob never abandoned his ideals of tolerance, freedom, love and liberty. He was genuinely perplexed when some were unpleasant, cruel and even offensive in their criticisms of Radio Caroline. Certainly this news makes me understand that the petty squabbles I am presently involved in are supremely irrelevant. Peter Moore.
6.30am Jan 17th 2008.
this sad news Ian is next with: ‘Hi Hans, ‘Just in reference to the
question on the Irish station.
Telstar Radio was located in Blackrock, County Louth indeed just
outside Dundalk. It broadcast on 1197 kHz AM and 88.5 FM. The
transmitter was indeed a professional Marconi job, I think capable of 1
It was on the air from 1980 until all the stations closed on December 31st 1988. During that time the station had several owners. I was at the station a few times in 1981/82 when I worked at Boyneside Radio as a good friend of mine Owen Larkin was a jock on Telstar. If I remember right, Telstar replaced North East Radio for which Howard Rose worked for a time. I was at the station a few times in 1981/82 when I worked at Boyneside Radio as a good friend of mine Owen Larkin was a jock on Telstar. I also worked for the man that Robbie mentioned one Hugh Hardy of Radio Carousel. He was very passionate about radio and his beloved country music. It was at this station I had the pleasure of working with one of my all time heroes, the late Daffy Don Allen. Ah happy days.
Thanks for the report, Ian Biggar.’
You all can see the world is small if we talk about radio. Les Woollam is next:
‘Dear Hans, many thanks for your recent International Report - as always, very informative. I grew-up listening to Caroline North and characters like Don Allen and Jerry Leighton certainly shaped my future career! I currently have a large collection of Caroline North recordings and photographs, but have very little detail of her time after she was sold in 1972 - do you have any pictures of her being scrapped? Also, a good friend of mine, I look forward to hearing from you, and thanks once again for a truly excellent publication.’ Les Woollam.
Well Les what happened to the MV Fredericia you can read in the article I mentioned on page one of this Hans Knot International Report. Next a photograph taken in the late seventies in Ouwerkerk aan de IJssel (Karel Gerbers).
Les Woollam has more interest and business which is to be found at http://www.take2studios.co.uk
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has several new managers in important roles.
John Catlett was named COO; he’s a former manager of FM stations for CBS in New York and Chicago, but since 1984 he’s developed stations abroad. He was the last manager of Radio Luxembourg and introduced the first private radio stations to India in 2001 for News Corp.; he’s been working as an international broadcast consultant more recently. Catlett is taking on a new position that incorporates the duties of former Director of Administration Margaret Rauch. Ragona and O’Sullivan will carry out the duties of former Director of Broadcasting Michele DuBach.
John Catlett in 1987 (Archive OEM)
RFE/RL President Jeffrey Gedmin made the announcements. RFE/RL, based in Prague in the Czech Republic, programs to Eastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus and Central and South-western Asia; it is funded by Congress through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. John Catlett was in the eighties of last century one of the more important people behind Laser 558, which came from international waters from the MV Communicator.
Now we are talking about Laser 558, just a few weeks they programmed a syndicate show from Dr. Demento, a guy who is still active in radio: http://dmdb.org/playlists/zip_pl.html
Now some time to go back to the sixties with a memory I wrote just before Christmas about José Feliciano's live concert on the Laissez Faire.
And talking about the radioship from Radio 355 and Radio 227, which was also used by Swinging Radio England and Britain Radio, Svenn Martinsen from Norway was interested in the history of the ship for many years and has great news:
‘Dear all contacts in the radio history work "The Radio Rose of Texas"! At last we seem to have come nearer the solution around the many questions surrounding the ‘The Radio Rose of Texas’, the ‘Olga Patricia’, as my research in this matter has had significant progress. The ships name in Lloyd's Directory descending from what was earlier the ‘Laissez Faire’ has been found in Reedville, VA, USA where it is the name of one of a fleet of 10-11 menhaden fishing ships owned by Omega Protein Inc., mostly sister ships of the radio ship, but they all are much, much converted! It is the ‘Earl J Conrad jr.’, call letters WYZ9562. I am pleased that one of my many correspondents, Ben Miller of www.bayweekly.com, found the story so far to be so interesting he wrote a magazine article about it. Still Serving after All These Years How World War II ships came to catch Chesapeake menhaden a Bay Weekly exclusive. It was published February 14th, and I hope it will bring forward even more information.
Thanks a lot Svenn and about Svenn his research more is to be found at:
I hope you take a lot of time to read this interesting research from Svenn in Norway. Jack Curtiss, also working for the Swinging Radio England and Britain Radio organisation added another question to the research by writing: ‘Really enjoyed this. A great bit of sleuthing and detective work. One riddle we may never solve after all these years. Who the devil was ‘Olga Patricia’? The ship was called "Don Carlos" a bit earlier in the Caribbean suggesting Hispanic ownership. Olga is a common name in Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Was she somebody's daughter. girlfriend, mother? There are thousands of Olgas all over the region but far fewer Olga Patricias. Patricia most certainly would not be a surname. Is she still alive or are there any surviving photos of her, since her name -beyond all others the ship once carried-stands out in posterity. It would be fascinating to know something of the person behind the appellation. I'd like to think not far from the Miami docks, in a Little Havana nursing home sits a white-haired widow watching Spanish soap operas, whose dark-eyed beauty once inspired someone to name a ship after her. There she passes each day blissfully unaware how her own name became inextricably linked with the history of international broadcasting.’
We go to Washington with the next e mail: ‘Best wishes for the New Year to you and your wife. Thanks for all the radio reports you've sent me in 2007. I always enjoy reading them. Recently, I was listening to channel 6 (the 60's) channel on XM here in the US. They broadcast a British invasion type program laced with jingle from all the big offshore station around the UK. It's quite a treat!
Check them out on the Internet (www.xmradio.com) or through the AOL web site which features XM on their radio play-list. Best Regards, Rene Burcksen.’
Thanks Rene, hope you still enjoy your long stay there. Rene is originally a guy from behind the Dutch dykes and has his tulip business there for many years.
From the USA to Ireland is a big step but Kenny Tosh is there and mailed the next to me: ‘Hello Hans. Just a few lines to let you know my new e mail address
email@example.com Also to say that I'll be in Amsterdam on 11th - 15th March, maybe meet up for a beer if your free! My Revival show is now on radio Six www.radiosix.com and can be heard 0.00 GMT Sunday and 0.6.00 GMT Wednesdays, (for the early bird) Hope to see you in March. Regards Kenny Tosh.’
Thanks Kenny and hope my readers will tune in into your program soon. A pity we won’t meet in Amsterdam as during the week of March 10th I’m in England for a week for my work.’
Next plug is for the new internetsite from the ultimate fifties and sixties specialist as far as it is related to the music industry. Almost every artist from those days knows his name as well as been photographed with him. When you do meet the guy it’s like a waterfall. Bert Bossink is his name: www.bertbossink.nl
I think more than 10 years a weekly update was made by Dr. Martin van der Ven on his internet pages related to sites publishing about offshore radio. At one stage his counted more than 1500 several sites. Of course there is a lot of interesting things to tell. But there were also sites with repeats of other sites and sites with too less info to mention. At regular rotation all those sites had to be visited to see if there was an update or even if the site still consists. As Martin had a busy life and also does a lot bringing our hobby at a higher stage he decided to change the index and make a Top 50 of the Offshore Sites which can be found on www.offshore-radio.de/links
It seems every month there must be bad news, one or two times. Of course we all get older and this happens of course. ‘Hello Hans. Had the sad news this morning of the death of Colin Clark. Colin had operated Laser Hot Hits on SW from Ireland for some years, and broadcast under the name of Colin Dixon. He'd also operated Radio Gemini in the 70's and was well known and respected around the landbased and to some extent offshore radio scene. I don't have a lot of detail at present, his close friend Doreen phoned me this morning, before going to visit Colin's mother. Will probably know more later this weekend. Believe that Colin was just a little older than me, think he was 57 or 58. Colin was one of the stalwarts of free radio.’
Later on I got more news: ‘It is with great sadness that we have to announce that Colin Dixon passed away early yesterday morning. Colin was a major part of Laser Hot Hits and kept the station going through thick and thin. He was always a friendly and helpful person who was greatly respected by all those involved with Laser. We all admired his ‘can do’ attitude, never letting any excuse get in the way from carrying out the more difficult or unpleasant jobs to keep the station on the air. He also had an impressive engineering knowledge that he put to good use building high power valve transmitters for Laser. Many listeners probably know that Colin had a long history in free radio, being involved from the start with the long running SW station Radio Gemini which began back in 1972. Laser Hot Hits then evolved from the last broadcasts of Radio Gemini in the early 1990’s. Colin’s sudden death has come as a big shock to all of us and he will be irreplaceable. However we shall try to continue for the time being as a tribute to the memory of a great man. Saturday we will remember him all day next weeks, 6275 kHz in Europe , on Laser hot hits, Europe's ongoing free radio history. On the Sounds page we have added the last show recorded by Colin less than a week ago. This includes an introduction by Martin Scott. RIP Colin. Info via Laser Hot Hits
Another subject brings us to the female deejays: Well here we have one which was not listed before by myself in the female deejays list. Also I didn't find her in your 60's listing. All I can tell is her name Linda Bass as well as that she was a former Romford Carnival Queen. Also I don't know when she was on the station. It could be that a photo has been taken in the on land studio in Whitstable. I found this today in my archive in an info sheet from Free Radio News in summer of 1968.
I already sent a copy to Jon from the Pirate Hall of Fame and he responded with: ‘She is listed (accompanied by another photo, probably taken at that same time as yours) on the site 'help wanted' page www.offshoreradio.co.uk/help.htm under the name of Peggy Knight - which is the name I believe she used on air. I don't remember ever hearing her. Bob Le Roi mentions her on his site (http://www.bobleroi.co.uk/ScrapBook/SutchCityPics6/SutchCityPics6.html) as being a "publicity stunt... a DJ for about 2 minutes". She is listed as providing 'taped shows' in the first edition of 'Monitor' (www.monitormag.org.uk/guernseybranch/html/monitor1.htm), a Radio City souvenir issue. It would be great if we could find out more about her - or even find her. All the best, Jon.’ For all those who know more on this or any other subject please write to Hknot@home.nl
Once again a hi and big thank you to winner Paul de Haan he always succeeds in digging and digging and finding exclusive photographs. This time he brings a very old photograph, probably around 1936 from the MV Tiny in a Dutch harbour. It was later renamed in MV Zeevaart and again in King David. Capitol Radio made use of it.
Next Henk van Hanegem who wrote last time questions about Radio Antwerp and he comes back with: ‘Thanks a lot Hans for publishing the info about Radio Antwerp. I’ve never known there was so much material left on the project. Here some coordinates of the mentioned archive in Bordeaux where maybe more can be found on the ship, MV Crocodile, they used for the station.
"Les archives départementales sont disponibles ici :
Archives départementales de la Gironde
13-25, rue d'Aviau 3081 Bordeaux Cedex téléphone: 05 56 52 14 66
(impasse Poyenne) téléphone : 05 56 29 18 16
(4, rue d'Aviau) téléphone : 05 56 79 06 69
télécopie : 05 56 79 19 93
Deux adresses pour le site Internet :
http//archives.cg33.fr or http://archives.gironde.fr
e mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Due to the problems they had with a sistership when launching the ship, most of the photos shown will be of a ship launched a week earlier than the Crocodile. Ik think the sister ships were almost identical to each other. Also remarkable is that the first built sister ship came into problems the same way the MV Crocodile or MV Uilenspiegel came to an end. Maybe must have something to do with the material, concrete, they used!
Nickname time again. First Charlie Wolfe on Laser 558. He had quite a few and now we add Charlie ‘your costy Prince’ to the list. Also we mention Tony ‘tea cosy’ Blackburn.
Next mail comes from Scotland: ‘Hi Hans, John Macdonald here. As you perhaps know Radius 100FM in Israel has a daily Voice of Peace programme. Well, they have invited me to present the Wednesday edition. The show begins on 6th February and can be heard at www.100fm.co.il between 4.00pm and 5.00pm UK time. I have not, of course moved back to Israel. This runs in tandem with my daily programme on Sunny Govan radio which you so kindly took part in last year. I have recorded a big 'bank' of programmes for them and so it looks like it will run for a while. Since I have five years worth of hits and memories to share I hope they do not get bored with me. My best wishes to you as always and I hope you are well. John Macdonald
A recent visit brought Stella and Robbie Dale finaly to the place which he used to mention in his programs a lot, that is ‘The Admiral’. Very proud he was and the next photograph was taken.
Photo Stella Robinson
Someone has done a terrific job by putting all songs, which have been in the all time Top 2000 in December on Dutch Radio 2 on a list. No, not only the titles but also the internet addresses were the videos with the songs can be found on Youtube.
Another internet site to visit is the ‘Unofficial Independent Local Radio Site’
Visit to Antwerp and a small report came in from England: ‘Hi Hans! We successfully found the Norderney on Tuesday 22 January, though my Google Maps directions let me down in the centre of Antwerp. Google Maps couldn't cope with the intricacies of Antwerp's one way streets in the vicinity of the Kempisch Dok! However, we found it in the end, and were not unduly delayed for our onward journey to Monschau in Germany. We had a nice sunny day for our picture taking, and the attached files are a choice selection - all except 100_0177 were taken by Patrick who's got a very good camera and is a much better picture taker than Rod is. We don't know who the white-haired bearded gentleman you can see Rod talking to was, but he clearly knew about the history of the ship. In Rod's picture you can see our car complete with Radio Caroline stickers! Feel free to include any of our pictures in your excellent International Radio Report; if you do, please ensure that Patrick Hannan gets due credit for them. regards, Rod Davis & Patrick Hannan Faringdon, Oxfordshire
Photo: Patrick Hannan
Well guys thanks a lot for sending and good to know you enjoyed your stay in Antwerp as well as beautiful Monschau. Both a good choice.
Due to overwhelming listener demand, the Big L Fab Forties returned to Oldies Project on Sunday January 27th, starting all over again from the beginning in January 1965. In conjunction with Radio London, every Sunday from 1100 to 1300 UK time, Oldies Project will broadcast a Fab 40 from the same week 43 years ago. From 1300, you can hear Kees Brinkerink's feature 'Forty Years Ago' – two hours of new UK releases and hits from exactly that week, in 1968. We expect the Oldies Project back-up server to be fully utilised! The chart and 'Forty Years Ago 'are both repeated weekly, he following Wednesday from 1800 UK time. www.oldiesproject.com We hope you enjoy listening - while looking at the chart on the Radio London website! Mary Payne. Director RADIO LONDON Ltd Exclusive Radio London Merchandise. http://www.radiolondon.co.uk
An email from Holland and Thijs Wassens: ‘Dear Hans, Thanks for yet another fine report on the radio memories we share. There is one thing I miss. In my youth (the 70s) I wasn't very picky: I listened to everything, even to the official public radio stations, like Hilversum 3! I have very few recordings of these stations, e.g., a recording from 1 September 1977 of NOS-maal with Frits Spits. One of the main reasons for commercial offshore radio was the bad quality of public pop radio, if there was any at all. What I would like to know: how bad was it really? Is there somebody out there that can show me links to recordings from (Dutch) public pop radio programs from the 60s/70s/early 80s? What about VARA's Zoekplaatje? Or the family Kachel (I believe from the KRO)? Or even Arbeidsvitaminen from AVRO and Welkom bij Barend from the NCRV? Only thing I have is the banter of Dik Voormekaar. I remember that each major public broadcasting company had a special day on Hilversum 3. Monday AVRO, Tuesday VARA, Wednesday NCRV, Thursday TROS and Friday Veronica (and some others). Any audio material would be highly appreciated. Best regards, Thijs Wassens, OTR collector. Thijs.Wassens@getronics.com
Well in the meantime I’ve sent my list to Thijs and even exchanged some recordings. Never forget Thijs that Hilversum 3 was put on the air to be a competitor for Veronica in 1965. Due to the fact all public organisation had to share the airtime (in those days the station left the air at 18 hrs) they never came to an idea of horizontal scheduled programs. Also they didn’t knew what the word pop station mend. It took up till mid 1970 that programs with light classical music disappeared as well as other non related pop music. Everyone who wants to exchange memories, ideas and recordings can write to Thijs at his above e mail address. I never heard before of this Thijs Wassens but the world is very small. I worked in Hospital Radio in Groningen between 1969 and 1978. Since in contact with Thijs I learned that in the year I left the station he came in to stay another 10 years there!
Time for an e mail from Australia: ‘Another afterthought from again reading (re-reading) earlier issues of your newsletter - John Junkin, the late actor and comedian, was an early voice for Caroline. I'm not sure he was broadcast, as he recorded at the Dean Street studios of Radio Atlanta for the early Caroline programmes but then opted out of the project - he was concerned about he legality and any effect of that on his career. He recorded under the supervision and tuition of people like myself, Bryan Vaughan, Tony Windsor and so on and the programmes were complied by Ken Evans. In other words, the early Caroline people were trained and recorded in our Atlanta studios at 47 Dean Street Soho W1 and we taught them. Simon Dee was another who came. These were said to be audition tapes but they may have been intended for broadcast as at that time, Allan Crawford was intending to tape all programmes in London and perhaps Ronan was thinking of doing the same. I'm not sure on that. I do know we all wondered what was going on and why Allan was allowing this to happen, but at that stage, he was caught up in his confusion about what was going on and still thought Caroline was going to let Atlanta go on the air first, since it had been the first to set up, as had been discussed between Allan and Ronan. Colin Nichol’
Well John Junkin made it to the air and Colin has already the recording which you can find at: http://www.offshoreradio.co.uk/djsj2k.htm#junkin
But Colin had another remark: ‘I'm confused about the question from someone in one of your reports about the height of the Galaxy's mast - the answer is in one of your publications in Soundscapes: ‘Galaxy leaving Miami with its towering 212 feet (64,5 meters) tall aerial mast’ Thanks Colin. Indeed if you go to www.soundscapes.info and write in the search modem ‘Galaxy’ a lot of articles and photographs about Radio London will appear.
Colin has sent a lot of photos which will be soon in his gallery on www.offshore-radio.de
Photo from the Colin Nichol files. Crew on the MV Mi Amigo, Maureen Blackburn in the middle.
My webmaster Martin van der Ven has put on line a wonderful story in Dutch written by Walter Galle about his experiences with Radio Waddenzee. Next to that 56 exclusive photographs of the rebuilding of the radioship are on the same site. Either on here or on www.offshore-radio.de
Of course we won’t
forget the updates of our friends in radio and so we start off with
Bob LeRoi this time: ‘Sad
to hear the news of Rod Allen’s death on 11th January particularly as
we’re compiling a new series on the groups of Reg Calvert: The Fortunes
were managed by Kings Agency so the group were naturally heavily
promoted on Radio Sutch & City. Rod was principle & front man of the
Fortunes one of the original best acts of the 1960‘s. Over the years
I’ve interviewed the group a number of times & found Rod a lovely chap.
In Scrapbook: We take to the high seas again with the next instalment of
the Laser Story it’s Hot Hits 576. The MV Fredericia & Medway FM Pages
have been updated & in addition there are pictures from the TLR (Thanet
Local Radio) Re-Union. The Pirates come ashore with a new book on Radio
Jackie 'A very English struggle’ available from the Offshore Shop. ”One
Subject One Link” reflects on the on-air discussion in 1966 on the
future of British Radio & asks ‘What went wrong’
Second one is Jon at the Pirate Hall of Fame: ‘What's new this month?
• Correspondent Brian Cullen has provided some great Caroline North memorabilia and photos from a 1967 day-trip he took out to the Fredericia;
• following last month's addition of the Caroline North ship's plans, we are now delighted to add the plans of the southern ship, the MV Mi Amigo, courtesy of John S. Platt;
• we hear from former Radios Scotland & 270 DJ Peter Bowman;
• we add photos of Caroline South newsman Bob Larkins and seventies Caroline engineer Jeremy Chartham - and discover how he got given his DJ name!;
• and the gradually growing 'Seventies Supplement' reaches the offshore disc-jockeys of that decade whose names begin with E or F. There are a few we haven't been able to track down so any extra information anyone can provide would be most welcome.
• Since the last full update I have also added a tribute to Radio London's Dave Dennis (Neil Spence on Atlanta and Invicta) who sadly died at the end of December. www.offshoreradio.co.uk
David Leadbeater sent us the next news: ‘Tony Blackburn is to continue more than four decades in radio with a weekend breakfast show on 102.2 Smooth Radio in London. He was the first DJ on BBC Radio 1 in 1967 and has since worked across the BBC and commercial broadcasters on radio and television. In 2002 he won ‘I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here’. He started at Guardian Media Group-owned Smooth on February 16. Programme controller Gavin McCoy said: "Tony is a consummate professional and an entertainer through and through. We are over the moon he’ll be leading the charge on the weekends."
Blackburn commented: "Smooth Radio is a wonderful station with a growing audience and a music format I love. Doing the weekend breakfast show gives me the opportunity to really enjoy what I’ll be doing and with the team, deliver a great show."
The next internet page I’ve mentioned some years ago but feel free to revisit it as there is a lot of new audio material from Radio Nord days to listen too.
Another internet plug: ITV News report on Radio Northsea International 1970, Andy Archer and Roger Day interviewed on the MEBO 2:
Question time now: ‘Hi Hans, Does Tiggy Walker now ‘qualify’ to be on the list of female Pirate DJ's? This as she took part in Johnny’s program on Pirate Radio Essex? I think she would love to be on it ! Best regards Stuart’.
It's a nice gesture Stuart but the qualification is not correct. She was not on international waters and the station also had a licence. With all the other people listed on the female list as well as the nicknames we have always followed this two rules. But nice thinking to add her.’
I sent the answer in an e mail to Stuart who reflected with: ‘I agree. I will tell her that she ‘failed’ the test :-))’
Bob Le Roi wrote : ‘I don't know if you were ever told but I've had several nick-names over the years some not so nice Archer has a lot to answer to! But the one that's stuck is 'Salty' since I'm often sailing and out on the seas.’
Nico Steenbergen has
stopped presenting a program on this television business program from
RTL. He’s going to retard. But behind the scenes of the program Nico
will be doing some work as final editor. Therefore he raised his own
company and will be hired by RTL. Nico started his media career in the
sixties with the Hospital Radio Station from Lucas Hospital in
Amsterdam. From there he went in 1971 to Radio Northsea International.
He was one of the original Driemaster live team as well as newsreader on
220. He also worked for AVRO Radio and TROS Actua. In 1992 he joined the
news team at RTL News.
Mike Terry as well as Robbie Dale mentioned that the Sun brought a special on February 8th concerning a possible forthcoming movie: ‘Love Actually’ director Richard Curtis is planning to make a film about a pirate radio station, a report claims. According to The Sun, the filmmaker is bringing the story of Radio Caroline to the big screen. The station started life on a boat off the coast of Felixstowe, Suffolk in 1964 and is believed by many to have been the precursor of BBC Radio 1. It transmitted on-and-off until 1991, but a legal, onshore version remains in operation. Welsh actor Rhys Ifans is in line to take the lead role after starring in Curtis' 1999 movie Notting Hill. A source said: "Richard and Rhys loved working together and have remained friends ever since. Rhys is the perfect man for the job and he will be hilarious." The movie - entitled "The Boat That Rocked" - will be a change of direction for Curtis, who is known for romantic comedies such as ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’. The insider added: "Hugh Grant isn't in it and there will be no cheesy soundtrack. It's rock 'n' roll all the way. The film is set during an exciting time for music and showbiz. DJs became friends of the stars and the story will be brilliant on the big screen."
Offshore 98 was a funny project only on air with Eastern 1999. A short movie on the project, where I also presented two programs, is on internet. And no, you won’t see me on the movie: http://youtube.com/profile_videos?user=rAdioLEX
During the last two issues the subject ‘Peace’ from Peter was in the report with contributions from several persons. Peter Timmerman has another fact he want to add: Peter Gosling also took part in the collective Chorale who had a minor hit in the Netherlands with ‘Riu riu’. They reached number 28 and were for 4 weeks in the chart in 1978. Gosling played Keyboards and could also be heard in vocals.
Graham Gill phoned me one evening in January and told me he went to England to visit the funeral of a very good friend from Caroline days. Bob (Robert) Ginger died late December as a result of long cancer. Bob was 55 years of age and one of the then young guards annex technicians on board the MV Mi Amigo and MV Fredericia when the ships were in the harbour of Zaandam early seventies.
Plug time again for a newsreport on RNI I don't remember seeing at the time:
ITN News reports on the aftermath of the bombing of Radio Nordsee International (RNI) off the Dutch coast in 1971. This was an attempt by rival offshore station Radio Veronica to put RNI off the air.
Desmond Hammill interviews deejay Crispian St. John (aka Jay Jackson/Howard Rose)
Let’s go back to the article I published and some of the response I already got on: www.offshore-radio.de/HansKnot/march1968.htm
‘Thanks for your extra special 40 years later article. It’s totally fascinating.
Every good wish, John Allen, Beckenham, Kent....aka an anorak!’
‘Hi Hans, Just to let you know how much I enjoy every news letter, but especially your “Extra Special Report 40 years later” article. As you know I was on the MV Mi Amigo as a radio engineer for a short time, just before the marine act enforcement come into effect. It was not until recently that I started to hear of the vessels history before and after my time aboard. Reading your article was very special to me, and relived those moments in time paragraph by paragraph, as they unfolded. In 1975 I was posted to Bahrain for an international company whose main business was marine services of all kinds. In which we carried out marine survey’s on behalf of Lloyds and BV insurance companies, for repair to ships inflatable life rafts, ships radio room equipments, emergency transmitters etc. Without which no marine insurance certificate could be given to any ship, once the current certificate expired. It was this aspect mentioned in your article, that must have played an important part in the Dutch company’s decision to return the ships to Holland. Unpaid tender fees etc on their own seem insufficient reason for this action alone, and were unlikely to have provoked payment. Interestingly, I meet many marine hull safety inspectors whilst in Bahrain; none I think would have taken kindly to putting their name to the marine safety certificate with a hundred foot mast hanging on the bow or aft part of the ships superstructure. This raises the question who or how the ships obtained the marine safety certification in the first place? Perhaps they never had one, or perhaps it was unnecessary due to the low tonnage of the ships, perhaps one of your reader will know marine law and able to answer this. Best regards, Sheridon Street, Chiang Mai, Thailand.’
Well Sheridon thanks for the long e mail. Surely I’ve somewhere in my archive documents that are certificates for the anchor supplied to the Mi Amigo as a radio ship. I don’t think they can leave a legal wharf without a certificate. But maybe one of the readers can tell more and tell it to Hknot@home.nl
Next response from England from one of the key role players in August 1967: ‘Dear Hans. Thank you for passing on this wonderful piece of writing. It was good to se that photo of Robbie and Stella. Tiggy and I took a photo outside Singel 160 when we were over for the Radio Day but unfortunately they got erased by mistake. All the very best to you. Johnnie Walker.’
Next to Johnnie also Robbie Dale responded with: ‘Thank you for the special article, I glanced over the special; you should send a copy to the film makers. A lot of good back ground information and research. Greetings Robbie
In the article I mentioned the fact that Ronan O’Rahilly warned that he had a tape in which the secret life of Prime Minister Howard Wilson was told. He even warned that he could transmit it on Caroline at a certain stage.’ Well in the seventies something happened again with a tape. It’s Clive Warner who was on the MV Mi Amigo and tells for the first time this story to a wide public.
‘It was not the only Wilson tape. A couple of days before the general election - this would be, what, 1974? I believe so. Anyway, a small boat came out from one of the BBC local radio stations. One of the BBC presenters was on it, and he came on board and handed me a reel-to-reel tape of an interview done by one of the Dimblebys. This was the audio sound track taken off a VTR I believe. The tape, which was never broadcast, was eye-opening stuff. The mild-voiced Dimbleby soon got around to asking Wilson how much he was being paid for his memoirs.
At this point Wilson completely ‘lost it’ and started raving away at the top of his voice. As I recall it went like this: "You never asked *him* how much he paid for his bloody yacht, did you? Eh? How much?" (Referring to Ted Heath and the Morning Cloud). Dimbleby tried to calm him down but by now Wilson really started to rave. “I would love to see the video”, he started shouting, "Is this being recorded?" Dimbleby: "Well yes Prime Minister, we are doing a programme after all." Wilson: "Turn the cameras off now! Turn them off!" (Dimbleby agrees to stop recording but of course the reels kept turning). Wilson:"This had better not leak! Or you'll all be in serious trouble!" Dimbleby tried to reassure him: “it won't leak.” Wilson: "I've never been to Broadcasting House yet without leaks all over the bloody place!" and goes on to make various threats involving the security services.
It was evident to those of us who heard the tape that Wilson was completely off his rocker. Raving mad. And this was our leader, for heaven's sake. I was already very anti Wilson and thought (still do) that he was little better than a crook. So there I was with the election coming up and a half decent chance of scuppering the Labour government and I had this tape in my hands. What would you have done? I was in an agony of indecision. On the one hand I desperately wanted to put this tape on the air and was in fact on the point of doing so. On the other hand I had very real fears that if I did, the SBS would shortly be out to scupper *us*.
I can't recall discussing it with Tony Allen or Andy Archer, and I certainly dared not mention it to Ronan over the ship to shore, because (a) I was certain that Ronan would tell me to throw it into the sea (maybe I was wrong about that) and (b) obviously I was aware that our communications were constantly monitored by the Blue Meanies. In the end I decided not to air the tape, basically because of the above mentioned fear of the consequences vis-à-vis being sunk, secondly because I felt I had no right to do that without Ronan's knowledge, and third, because I felt it would have been unprofessional. So if anyone has a video of that and wouldn't mind letting me know of a location where I can download it. I sometimes think I should have put it on air every hour. I wonder how things would have turned out. Well, one thing for sure, if the population had turned against Wilson and thrown the government out, the incoming one would have taken direct action to eliminate the ships. All governments are paranoid about who can put material on air... and if Wilson had stayed in, he would have had us torpedoed. So I suppose I did the right thing. Best wishes and thanks again for another great Knot Report! Clive Warner / Corell.’
One question which came in my mind is what happened to the tape you’ve got onboard. A interesting story to read by the way. Clive Corell has a new Science Fiction novel out called ‘Appointment in Samara’, from which the first chapter is now on internet.
Another response on the article came from the USA: ‘Dear Hans, Thank you very much for the article, explaining the MOA and the demise of Caroline. I am an American and have always taken free radio for granted. I remember seeing a program on American television in 1966 about Radio London. I was just a young teenager then, but I thought, “How odd to broadcast from a ship!” The program went on to explain the BBC’s monopoly on broadcasting, its ban on rock n’ roll, and how it was financed by tax payments. I served in the military in the early 70’s and enjoyed the broadcasts from Radio Northsea International, which came in well at my duty station in Germany. Over the years I have researched the history of off-shore broadcasting in England and other European countries. What a rich history! What a sad ending. Still, I consider myself fortunate to have been able to experience RNI and (on occasion) Veronica. I have worked in broadcasting in the USA all of my adult life. On days I am not too busy, I enjoy visiting the web sites dedicated to the offshore stations from the 60’s and 70’s, and remembering those late nights in Germany listening to RNI. Thanks again!’ Larry Selzle
KUNC Chief Engineer
Community Radio for Northern Colorado
It’s so interesting to see from where the response comes. Offshore Radio has made a lot of friends through the decades and as we saw from the above e mail from Larry and all the other ones coming in, it was not only in Western Europe but all over the world. It took a lot of time to do the research but seeing the response it was not for nothing.
Here’s another response: ‘Dear Hans, Thanks for sending me the article, very interesting. I'm not so sure about the Wijsmullers pulling out over insurance problems. I did not know the actual fate of the 'Fredericia' it was sad to see the picture of her aground and partially dismantled, I would of hoped that she had a quicker dismissal. You are always welcome to contact me if you feel that I can give you any information. Best Regards Hans and thanks again, George Hare’.
Thanks a lot George. On the withdrawn of the certificate and the insurance problems one of the Wijsmuller Brothers affirmed the facts in the Dutch newspaper ‘Telegraaf’ in early summer 1968. George Hare worked as Caroline North's on-shore agent. Perhaps as far as the DJs were concerned, his most important function was to make sure that they got paid, but the payroll was just a small part of his job and he often arranged functions and promotions for the station. More about that on:
‘Hans, Just a quick note to thank you for the fascinating special article. Well done on a rally excellent piece of work. I hope that you can do some more of these 'specials' in the future. One good subject to cover would be Caroline from when the Mi Amigo sank until when the Ross Revenge arrived in the North Sea. I am sure there is an interesting tale to tell! Kind Regards Robert.’
Maybe, when time permits, I will dive into my archive to try this subject. But I know this will not in 2008 or 2009 as I’m far too busy with several other projects. In the meantime take a regular visit to the on line journal for media and music culture at www.soundscapes.info
You can find a lot of articles written by several persons, including me, in English, German and Dutch.
Well that’s all for this months edition of the Hans Knot Report, back in late March! Hope you enjoyed it with greetings
Offshore Deejays' Nicknames
Female Offshore Radio Deejays
Radio London Commercials
Offshore Radio Programme Names - Programmanamen Zeezenders 1958-1990
Read Hans Knot's former report