Hans Knot's International Radio Report - September 2008


Hi and welcome to another edition of the report and thanks for all sending in emails, memories and material. I start with the same issue as last month. There was an answer on the words from Emperor Rosko regarding printing problems with his book. A Clive answered that he has the possibility to print books in smaller volumes. And so another person asked me in an email if I could bring him in contact with Clive as he wanted information on prices. But I had forgotten to put the e mail address from Clive on my computer, so please contact me again, so I can send you the info.

Then the first e mail came in after the report was published from Tom Wislocki in Scunthorpe in England. He read in last issue that there was a question from someone who wanted to know the present whereabouts from Jerry Super Leighton. Tom send in some info he found on the internet: Hans, from the Radio London site. 'Soopa!' – Jerry Leighton found after 35 years! As I was completing the site update, I received a knee-mail headed 'I've "found" Jerry Leighton'! It read: ‘While browsing through your website I saw that you were searching for Jerry Leighton from Radio Caroline. Jerry (or "Dad" as I call him) is my father. So it didn't take me long to find him for you. He is still married to Brenda and they have two daughters, Susannah (myself) I'm 27, and Louisa is 25. If you'd like to contact Jerry I know he'll be really happy to hear from you! I hope this is good news for you and I'd also like to hear from you. Su West (nee Leighton)’.

It was very nice of Su to get in touch and everyone in the Big L family will be delighted to hear that Jerry has been discovered, as nobody had been able to find him since 1967! I shall, of course, be contacting Jerry and will report back as soon as I have more news.’ Of course it was very nice from Tom to send this info. But, it was from 2002 that this was published the same year Jerry Leighton also took contact himself with Mary and Chris Payne from the Radio London website.

‘Please forgive me for having taken so long in replying to your email to my daughter Su, which she forwarded to me in March. I've been having a bit of software trouble and was only able to download it recently. I don't really talk about my time on Caroline North, never having been one for looking back. I can only say that they were wonderful times – probably the happiest in my life.’

So this was all in 2002. Afterwards several times people asked about the whereabouts and Jerry Leighton was also invited for the reunions but never showed up again. That’s all we can mention at the time about the present whereabouts from Jerry Super Leighton.

Jerry Soopa Leighton T shirt (Photo Mary Payne)

Talking about Mary and Chris it was Mary who sent me the next e mail: ‘Our seven-page photo report of the Manx exhibition 'Pirates of the Irish Sea' featuring Caroline North and the Fredericia is now on the Radio London site. If you are planning on going and don't want to spoil the surprise, don't look! I hope those of you who would like a sneak preview, (or who are unable to visit the exhibition in person) will enjoy our 'photo-tour'. Best wishes, Mary.’

Thanks Mary and I couldn’t wait to see the pages which are filled with wonderful memories. Well done to Andy Wint and his team and of course also thanks to you for the pictures. www.radiolondon.co.uk

And it was Andy Wint himself who sent mea short e email: ‘Check out the Border TV report on Caroline North below’

It is many years ago that I go a long and enthusiastic letter from England. It was far before the time e mails were exchanged and it was all about Models and Radio Ships. The sender, John Platt, asked me if I could provide him the address of the person connected to the building of the Mast of the Mi Amigo which would only go down after the ship sank in 1980. So I gave John the address from Will van der Steen, who worked for Caroline under the name Bill Stones and was also deejay on Radio Mi Amigo as Will van der Steen. John and I kept in contact on irregular base and now after many years John, who also is deejay on nowadays Radio Caroline as John Patrick, will reveal his story about ‘Models and Radio Ships’.

We, deejays on Radio Caroline do have lifes outside the station and I have a consuming passion for making radio controlled model ships. I have had this since I started building model aircraft. I would spend a year constructing a model, take it down to the flying field and put the remains of my crashed model into a carrier bag to take it home. I did have a private pilot license but it did not help me in flying the models. After several carrier bags of bits, I decided that ships would be a more satisfying option. I then made the first radio controlled submarine in the world that was able to dive and fire torpedoes and I won several international prizes with it. I was even given free holidays to demonstrate it. As a small aside I went to Brean Sands to demonstrate the model at the model week and another guy turned up with a model of the US Navy nuclear class submarine. We discussed the venting of the hydrogen gas, given off by lead-acid batteries when they discharge. I had a venting system and he had none. He put his model in the water and ran around for about 20 minutes before it exploded. The gas had been ignited by the spark motor he was using and it was so realistic. We had an oil slick on the surface and loads of small bits that simulated a real underwater explosion, brilliant! He then donned swimming trunks to retrieve the remains of the radio gear. In the maneuvering competition I was disqualified as I did the course under water and they could decide whether or not I had passed though the various gates. As I entered more competitions the ability to produce something different was a paramount concern. Looking for a new model I researched the field and realized that no model of an offshore era UK radio station had ever been entered into any competition. So, research followed and I managed to obtain plans for the Galaxy, Comet, Fredericia and the Oceaan 7.

However, I felt that the ship that really epitomised the whole era was the Mi Amigo and that was the model I wanted to build. I wrote to the Norder Werft who converted the ‘Olga’ into the radio ship used by Radio Nord but they never replied. Being a belligerent sod, I wrote to them twice a week for nine months and eventually a package dropped through my letterbox containing several very tattered plans. I suspect they sent them to me just to shut me up. They contained most of the details of the conversation and I asked Chris Edwards of Offshore Echoes to see what they could do with the plans. He produced a remarkable drawing of the complete ship. As the time passed and the competitions became harder, if you put a model you could not just produce the model. You now had to submit a complete history of the ship, a dossier on the research you did on it and how you built the model. So in order to produce the goods I had to do even more research. I interviewed anyone who had been on the ship, or was involved in the operation of the radio station together with all the photographs I had taken when delivering supplies to the old girl. I contacted Gerard van Dam who was most helpful as he was the last legal owner of the ship, and even offered to sell me the wreck for 1 Pound. I declined. I then had to enquire about what was required by the various authorities regarding the wreck. The Port of London Authority (PLA), the receiver of the wrecks and all the others were most helpful.

Sonar Picture Mi Amigo

At this stage a Swedish TV company got in touch with me as they were also researching the wreck. Whenever they searched the internet, my name kept cropping up. I was not aware that Radio Nord had played such a large part in Swedish radio history and that she had been a major force in changing a generation’s outlook towards what could or could not be achieved. I suspect that I may have been bigger than what Radio Caroline did for us. I was asked by them would I be able to carry out a survey of the wreck and they were willing to pay me for my efforts. I said yes. The PLA then got in touch with me about the project they had been experimenting with regarding some sonar equipment they where using and would I help them. I said yes and even asked them for more details. They said they were using new side scanning three dimensional sonar which just needed two passes over the wreck which then used software to view the results from my angle. They had completed their scans with it and needed me to confirm what they had obtained was correct. To accommodate both the PLA and the Swedish TV company we dived on the wreck twice and gathered an enormous amount of information. The ship is sitting on her bottom with the bow raised 15 feet above the sand due to the effect of the scour currents in that position. The remainder of the wreck has sunk into the sand and the later part of the main cabin being very low. There is a break of about 15 feet between the main structure of the ship and the bridge. The next dive is to establish if that break is complete and if the wreck is in to separate parts.

Much of the ship remains intact in the forward section and the two lower sections of the mast are resting on the main cabin roof. It is a dangerous dive and the total amount of time that can be spent on the wreck as the weakest tides is just 20 minutes. The ventilators and all the equipment on the upper side of the main cabin are still intact with those on the bow. The next dive will hopefully take place in the summer of this year when I hope when we can complete the survey using underwater cameras and the finding from a set of professional wreck survey divers. I am not in a position to reveal the intentions of the TV firm but will add that you will never believe what they want to do. It is strange; once you became involved with the Mi Amigo she never leaves your thoughts. I suppose she has got into mu blood and I am not complaining about that. I hope that gives you an insight about the wreck of the old girl and keep looking to find out what may happen.

Thanks a lot John for this remarkable story on your hobby with took an even more remarkable turn by diving to the Ladies wreck. I know for sure that many of the former people working on the Mi Amigo have the ship returning into their dreams on a regular base.

Some months ago Martin van der Ven alerted me on a story on the blog pages from Steve Conway, former Caroline deejay from the eighties. I asked Steve for a reprint as I had a surprise in mind for him. Here is the special memory from Steve Conway: ‘
With a career spanning three of the greatest 80s pirate radio stations - Radio Jackie (London), Radio Nova (Dublin) and Radio Caroline (International Waters) before moving on to high profile jobs in the far-east, Richard Jackson is not only a talented and entertaining broadcaster, but thanks to his thoughtful and kindly acts at the beginning of my career, someone I will always be indebted to. ‘IN PRAISE OF’ is an occasional series of writings in this blog where I share my admiration and delight of the people, places and things which have helped and influenced my career or life. I haven’t been in touch with Richard for a number of years, as I have lost track of his progress through the radio industry in Thailand. I last I heard, he was PD of a very successful station there. I haven’t actually seen him since the night in 1987 that he sailed off over the horizon, departing from Radio Caroline on a French supply boat, while I stayed on board, still a fairly nervous newbie. And I owed my position on board Radio Caroline, and by default my years of enjoyment with Caroline and my current career with Phantom 105.2, entirely to Richard, and his patience and kindness. I had heard Richard long before I met him. He was a weekend presenter on the then pirate station Radio Jackie in southwest London, at the peak of its success, shortly before a series of raids by the authorities brought it to an extended halt. I remember hearing Richard several times on Saturday evenings, and enjoying his lyric quizzes on the station. This was at the end of 1984, and the start of 1985. Radio Jackie was closed in February 1985, and by that summer, I had taken my first tentative steps into radio, having joined the backup crew, and eventually becoming an occasional DJ for a much smaller, but very colourful pirate station, South East Sound. Richard Jackson had moved over to my native Dublin where he was working on the legendary Radio Nova. But when he visited the UK he would hook up with his old Jackie colleagues, who included Jeff Rogers, who now worked with me on SES, and I met and socialised with Richard on a few occasions. In 1986 he went out to Radio Caroline, for the first of several stints there. I had been harbouring ambitions to develop my interest in journalism, and combine it with my radio dabblings, and had set my sights of somehow getting out to Caroline as a newsreader. When I told Richard this, rather than just giving words of encouragement and promising to pass on a demo-tape as others might have done, he took me under his wing and embarked on a crash-course of training for me, designed to ensure that when I did submit a demo, it would be the best sounding, most professional one possible.

Over a period of a couple of weeks, he had me out in his house in Ashstead, Surrey, for 4 or 5 evenings, guiding me as I worked on compiling and reading news bulletins for a potential demo tape, giving me lots of tips on style and presentation, and refusing to commit me to tape until he was absolutely sure it was as good as it was going to get. He gave me a BBC book on the techniques of radio production, and instructed me to read and reread it. Eventually, we were ready, the tape was made, and Richard went off out to sea for his latest stint, during which time he would give the demo to Caroline’s programme controller, Peter Philips. As the weeks went by with no word, I lost hope - staff members were always needed on Caroline, particularly in midwinter, so it seemed obvious to me that the tape had not been good enough. In fact, as it transpired when Richard eventually reappeared on land in January 1987, my tape had never even reached the ship. When arriving on board Caroline back in November, there had been an accident while transferring supplies from the tender and all of Richard’s belongings had fallen overboard, leaving him with nothing but the clothes he stood up in. Yet despite this, his first thought on arriving back on land was not to go out and buy himself more clothes, but to ask me to come over to his house so that we could record a replacement demo tape!

This time the tape reached the programme controller, was accepted, and I was mightily pleased to find that the first time I went out to Caroline in February 1987; Richard was travelling out with me on the same supply boat.
Having him there helped me fit in to my new surroundings, and he continued to put in effort to help and tutor me as my newscasting in the first few days was more than a little shaky. I went on to stay with Radio Caroline for many years, becoming Head of News and eventually Programme Controller after the departure of Peter Philips. I would return to Caroline again in the satellite era at the end of the 1990s, and since 2000 have broadcast with Phantom, Dublin’s alternative rock station, as a presenter (and during the 2003/4 special licenses, a newsreader once more).

I’ve worked with so many people and had so much fun during the past 21 years, and though I’ve always tried to give help to those joining my various employers as newcomers to radio, I don’t think I’ve ever been able to give even half as much time, attention, patience and kindness to them as Richard gave to me. A true gentleman, hopefully we can meet again one day and I will tell him this to his face. The BBC book on radio production techniques that he gave me so many years ago has stayed with me as a valued possession, not only a source of knowledge but also a reminder of a wonderful and exciting chapter of my life, and the man, Richard Jackson, who helped make it possible. Steve Conway.

Tendering the Ross Revenge. Left once is Steve Conway. Photo: Leen Vingerling

Indeed a most interesting story from Steve how he did get into the radio industry including his well mend adoration for Richard Jackson, who he lost touch with during many, many years. The Hans Knot International Radio Report is going out allover the globe and has also some readers who are living in Thailand, including…… Richard Jackson and so I forwarded the story to Richard who came back with: ‘Hi Hans wow what a surprise.... thank you so much for this ... totally amazing... Yes, it's ages since working with Steve, have wondered what he's up to and very pleased to see he is still on the air. I will contact him at the email address in your mail. Perhaps it will be a good excuse to be travelling to Dublin next time. It's almost anorak season again, this year will be the second for Swinging Radio England online which will be available for one week from August 10th to 17th, I will record 5 x 2 hr shows playing all those great 60's hits complete with SRE Jingles.. should be fun. more info at www.nowthatsradio.com

Finally, during my trip to the UK last month caught up with Gavin McCoy who I hadn't seen since about 1985, We worked together during my first offshore radio adventure on the VOP in 1976! Gavin has done extremely well and is currently with Smooth Radio in London. It was really good to see him and his wife Ingrid again after so long, also good to re call the old days and some familiar names, Stevie Gordon, Norman Lloyd, Tom Hardy, Mark Hurrell, Don Stevens, Howard Rose and several other colourful characters.
All the best from Bangkok, Richard Jackson.’

I can reveal that both are in contact again as I got a big thank you e mail from Steve Conway too!

Richard Jackson with on the background the MV Communicator (Private collection Richard Jackson)


This year's Radio Day in Amsterdam is only two months away. Hans Knot, Rob Olthof and Martin van der Ven have been busily planning this year's event which will be held on Saturday 8th November 2008 again in Amsterdam's Hotel Casa 400 near the Amstel railway station (James Wattstraat 75) from 11:00 till 17:00 CET (which is Dutch local time).
Doors will be open from 10:30. Admission is 12,50 €.

This year's event will have "Radio Caroline in the late seventies (1977-80)" as a main topic. We are planning three panels to discuss that exciting era just before the MV Mi Amigo sank in March 1980. This will include all English and Dutch colleagues who worked for the legendary offshore radio station around thirty years ago. You see that this will again become a big class reunion...

At the moment, we are still exchanging e-mails but have been getting positive response from the following people to told us they will be take part: Paul de Wit, Marc Jacobs, Peter de Vries, Wim Robijn, Wilfried de Jong, Kees Borrell, Carl de Jong (Peter Teekamp) (still uncertain), Stephen Bishop (Johnny Lewis), Robb Eden, Stuart Russel (Nigel Harris), Cliff Osbourne, Martin Fisher (still uncertain), Richard Thompson, Peter Chicago, Dickie Allen, Jeremy Chartham and Nick Richards (still uncertain). And we are definitely hoping that several other Caroline people will join the crew, amongst them Brian Martin and Roger Matthews.

And there is excellent news from Belgium: We are proud to announce that
Adriaan van Landschoot will tell us his memories of his fascinating station Radio Atlantis in 1973 and 1974.

Last but not least Sietse Brouwer will present an update on his station Radio Waddenzee which is broadcasting from the radioship Jenni Baynton.

More details on this year's programme and our invited guests will be announced soon. Martin van der Ven.

Radio Day website


Next informative e mail came from Jack Curtiss, one of the former Swinging Radio England guys from the sixties: ‘Hi everyone. Here at last is the fairly complete Harry Putnam/Johnny Dark "missing years" story written by Harry's daughter Michele with Putnam family input and some minor editing for clarity by me. Also attached is a second cartoon (presumably by Alan Black) of Harry in a BR plane. I am hopeful of also getting a picture of Harry, Michele and her late mother Penelope together either in UK or US which I will send along later. I also will try to arrange for Harry and his daughter to visit the former Olga Patricia which operates from a dock not that far from Michele's home in Virginia. Will keep you posted. Thanks for all your support in this. Harry and his family are very pleased. Best regards,

Harry Putnam (born 1936, Washington, D.C.) was an American airtime salesman who worked with and broadcast on Radio Essex and Britain Radio. Before heading to the UK around 1965, he broadcast from the DC area on such stations as WDON, WEAM, WASH, WEEL, WIVE, WPIK and WTOW and served as General Manager at some of those stations. He became involved with Radio Essex very early in the station's life and brought some high-powered salesmanship to the operation. (There are apocryphal stories that he had his car radio ‘tweaked’ so that Radio Essex's notoriously weak signal sounded louder than any other station on the dial when he demonstrated it to prospective advertisers! And, allegedly, he was known to play Radio 390's much more powerful output, claiming it was Radio Essex!) Although he was not a daily broadcaster on Radio Essex, Harry's voice was continuously heard on numerous commercials and he occasionally presented radio programmes in person from the Fort Knock John Towers. In 1966, he transferred to the Radio England/Britain Radio setup. Again he was mainly employed as an airtime salesman but he also hosted the regular Sunday evening R&B Night Ride on Britain Radio under the name of 'Johnny Dark'. Following the end of the sixties era of offshore radio, we lost touch with Harry but his Britain Radio colleague Jack Curtiss tracked him down in June 2008. From what we understand from Harry and his family, after the pirate stations went silent in mid-1967, Harry, his 2nd wife, Penelope, and infant daughter Michele moved back to the Washington DC area and worked as General Manager at WTOW and WEBB. By the 1970s, Harry had left broadcasting altogether but continued to work in the music business selling recorded background music. He was one of the top producers each year and eventually went on to own his own background music company, operated several petrol stations, a satellite dish business, along with numerous other successful ventures. As of June 2008, “The irrepressible Dark Lord of the Night Ride (aka Harry Putnam) was found and is alive and well (after having a few strokes) and living with his current wife, Cherl, in Pasadena, MD, not that far from Towson, the Baltimore suburb where he worked years before coming to England.” One of Harry's daughters, Michele Trankovich, has very kindly sent this photo and other items of memorabilia which will appear on The Pirate Radio Hall Of Fame and other fan sites. Our grateful thanks to Jack, Michele, Cherl, and Harry for putting all this information together.

Thanks a lot Jack for sending this detailed information for our readers, most appreciated. If anyone has memories or material to add to the Hans Knot International Report feel free to send it to HKnot@home.nl

From Belgium reader Herman I got the next internet address where hundreds of radiostations around the world can be found for direct listening: http://nl.delicast.com/radio

But also the next one is interesting: Old Age Radio, a station, which transmits a lot of very old material including radio drama. Really from the days Television hadn’t won the game. It’s a radio station located in Toronto, which has 50 kW of Power. During nighttime hours they also have a widely listenership in the USA: http://www.am740.ca/main.htm

Remember the question Chris Dannatt asked in the report about the tune from a program on Radio 390? Well Chris is here again with the answer: ‘Hi Hans - Greetings from the UK - I hope you are well. I am pleased to say that I have solved the riddle of the music which was used on Radio 390 in 1966 for the 'Sunday Times Hour of Jazz' (and also on the recent BBC TV Drama show called "The Invisibles"). I am grateful to Christopher Fielder who wrote to me with the answer to my question. The track is called "Boogie Stomp Shuffle", and is from an album called ‘Mingus AH UM’, by Charles Mingus. 'The Sunday Times Hour of Jazz' was broadcast on Sunday Evenings on Radio 390, and was introduced by Jazz Legend Alexis Korner. I gather that there were around 26 episodes of this show, and version of the programme was also broadcast by Radio 270, however, this did not run the full 26 weeks on this station. Best Wishes, Chris Dannatt’

Well really good news Chris that our reader Christopher Fielder knew the answer. Also thanks for the additional info about the program.

Next a short but very interesting one from Jan Sundermann in Germany who wrote: Hello Hans, here is a copy of register Germanischer Lloyd ed.1960 containing the Norderney. This I received once by the help of the Hamburg chamber of commerce. Best regards, Jan.’

Thanks Jan for this very unique document from the Hamburg Archive.

Another e mail from Greg Bance, who we also know under a couple of deejay names : ‘Hello Hans. This is just a brief off-the-record groveling. Your monthly Report is required reading but somehow your July part one edition missed this mailbox. Is there any chance of a repeat?’

Well Greg, the problem is that my provider had severe problems. I got hundreds of messages stating that the report couldn’t be delivered without saying to one the report was sent. So it was impossible for me to resend them directly. Anyway for all who missed the one or any copy of the Hans Knot International Report it’s always possible to read old editions as well as the most recent one at our site: www.hansknot.com

But Greg went on his e mail with: ‘When I make a contribution to your Report - and even I hope it will be soon - it may be to do with an area of offshore radio that has been sadly neglected: the epicurean life at sea. Since any army marches on its stomach - including an army of resistance to state monopoly of broadcasting - it is a subject of vague recollection whose time has come. Stand by for stories of corned beef dependence, a thousand ways with Weetabix and the importance of 'fly pie' on RNI. I wish you well and send kindest regards from Canterbury. Greg.’

Well seems to me as most interesting to read Greg. So hope you will find some time to write this memories. Of course listeners to RNI do remember Greg as deejay Arnold Layne on the station.

Last issue also had some info on the history of AFN/AFRTS which reflected an email from the USA where two internet pages were mentioned to have a look. I must say I really had fun visiting them. The first one is a big archive with memories to deejays who have worked for the station, a site which is updated every month:
The second one is: http://scnradio.bravehost.com

This is the Southern Command Network. From its official beginning it 1943, to it’s shutdown in 1999. The Southern Command Network served the Panama Canal Zone with honor, pride and quality. Fort Clayton was the Headquarters of the 193rd Infantry Brigade of the United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM). Serving Fort Clayton, Ft Amador, Corozal , Fort Kobbe, The Rodman Marine Barracks, Albrook AFB, Howard AFB, Quarry Heights: Headquarters, United States Southern Command Panama and the Panama Canal Commission. Both internet addresses were sent in by Thomas Whetston with a lot of thanks of course to him!

Another e mail from the USA came in from Jeanne Hendricks who wrote: ‘Hi Hans, I know this is a long shot but I was searching around Google for Eddie de Boecke and came across his name under a Radio Caroline reunion article. You were looking for Eddie and I wondered if you ever found him? I used
to know Eddie and his family in 1977 and 1978 he even recorded my ex husband and myself at his house in Gent or Eke. He would know us as Zac And Shelly at the time. I live outside of Boston Ma. I don't mean to bother you but if you have any idea of an e-mail or his whereabouts I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks, Jeanne.’

Eddie worked for a short period also together with Will Vandersteen and Nobert and I contacted them first. Both haven’t been in contact with him for decades so no step further Jeanne. Let’s hope any other reader, especially in Flanders, knows more about his present whereabouts and so if anyone has an answer please write to HKnot@home.nl

Now an e mail from around the corner. An offshore radio enthusiast who only is about 350 meters away from my house, Jan Fré Vos, who did sent updates for our long list with nick names. He was listening old tapes from 1979 and found two nicknames for Paul de Wit on Radio Caroline. First the nickname ‘Kettelbinkie’ appeared and later in the program it was Marc Jacobs who mentioned him ‘Knier Ketelbink’. Also from 1979 on Radio Delmare was deejay John Anderson. Three different nicknames appeared for him: ‘100 kilo muziek’ ‘Uncle’ John Anderson as well as ‘Ome John het vleeskanon’. Uncle John ‘the Meat Gun’. Possible the last one was given due to a bit of over weight.

Talking about Radio Delmare, it’s 30 years ago this month that the station came on the air from the radio ship Aegir Above mentioned John Anderson has a very interesting weblog about the history of Radio Delmare.

Thanks also to Martin van Doren who send me the text of a Danish press report in which was mentioned that next year a movie will be released about 50 Years Radio Mercur. In last issue we had the long story from Henrik which told us more about the station which started 50 years ago. As soon as the movie is out we hope to get more info from Denmark.

Now out the new CD from Nick Barnes: Throwing Stones

A wonderfull 12 track CD which features the singer songwriter Nick Barnes who was assisted on this CD by several people including Tommy Mandel on keyboards and Ian Cutler (from the Strawbs) on violin. All nice songs, especially ‘90mph’ which allready reached the number 5 position in the British Musictrax Charts. All info concerning Nick Barnes his work can be found at: www.nickbarnes.does.it

Next one comes from the Netherlands: ‘Hi Hans, As usual your newsletter was again very interesting. How do you do this every time? I read it a little bit late because I'm busy with "31 of August" preparations. I have a question. On a tape of the radio history of ‘Radio Unique’ (Amsterdam) someone mentioned de name of ‘Radio Amstelland’ transmitting in the seventies on 270 meters medium wave, 1111 kHz. Is there anybody who has information about this station? Kindly regards, Rob Veld.’

Well Rob as I don’t live in that area of the Netherlands I asked my readers in Amsterdam and surroundings to think if they have any memories of the land based pirate Radio Amstelland in the seventies. If so please send it to HKnot@home.nl

Next an email from a reader, Chris Payne, who was very sharp when he read the last edition: ‘Hi Hans, just to clear up a mistake and add some information, the track you have talked about closing down Radio Caroline is actually called 'Round Midnight' by Jimmy McGriff. It's on his album 'I've Got A Woman'. It is now a very rare LP, but it is still being advertised on the Collectables website - http://www.oldies.com/product-view/57522.html
Jimmy McGriff only recently died in May this year, and you can find details on our site, here:
Kindest regards, Chris Payne.’

Thanks a lot Chris, and for you additional information. Most appreciated. Colin Nichol added more info about the song: ‘In case anyone is interested, Keith Martin has now sent me the details of the record he has containing the Caroline ‘After Midnight’ theme: The record details ... "I've Got A Woman" Jimmy McGriff. Sue Records ILP 907 Distributed by Island Records. 108 Cambridge Rd., London, NW6. Regards, Colin.’

Thanks Colin, and the record he talked about it the original copy taken from the MV Fredericia by his former colleague Keith Martin.

Next an e mail from Andy Archer: ‘Hans, thank you for the latest report. I meant to send you this earlier, but have been up in the north of Scotland on holiday. John Sheffield has died at the age of 95. (July 1st 2008) He was the founder of the Norcros group of companies and one of the most innovative financial minds of his generation. John Sheffield, Jimmy Ross and Jocelyn Stevens were the first people to invest into Radio Caroline in 1964. His daughter Jane, a former lady in waiting to Princess Margaret, is married to Jocelyn Stevens. Hope all is well with you, perhaps see you later this year.
Best wishes, Andy Archer.’

Thanks a lot Andy, many people always forget that without the main investors the stations wouldn’t have been of pleasure to us.

In our last issue a question was made by Graham Gill about an interview with him appearing in the seventies. I got from 4 different sources response, including the next one: ‘Thanks for a great report, as usual. If somebody else hasn't already responded to Graham Gill's request, I do have a copy of the DJ and Radio Monthly issue including the ‘Radio burials and a piano full of piss’ story and I will be happy to mail a scan of the article as soon as I get back to Stockholm. At the moment I am staying in Northern Sweden for a while. Keep up the good work and see you in Amsterdam in November. All the best, Ronny Forslund, Sweden.’

Thanks to all responding to Grahams Gill question and just the day after the report came out he could read it on his computer. Well done!

Steve Pregnall came with a question: ‘Hi Hans, Here's one I received at my website regarding the Caroline Personal Top 30: Hi, about 30 years ago I used to enjoy the personal top 30, I spent hours and hours with a very small radio in my room listening to the finest music at that time. I recently heard the intro and end tune of this program and it give me a bit of the feeling I had at that time. Unfortunately I couldn't pick up name or artist, so I am still in the blue, but would like to fint out which song or artist it was. Ludwig Daene (Belgium). Ludwig later mentioned it was an instrumental with guitar work so I suggested Lynyrd Skynyrd's ‘Freebird’ or ‘Jessica’ by the Allman Brothers but I don't remember if the show had any particular theme or not.
All the best, Steve Pregnall.’

Well Steve It was the same as they used on Radio Caroline with the Personal top 3 in later days and so the only answer is ‘Jessica’ from the Allman Brothers.’

I was very surprised to receive an email from one of the deejays who worked for Caroline in the late seventies, which were not on my e mail list yet. It came from Dickie Allen: ‘Just back from a long stay in Belgium, I took the
time to take a look at the Norderney, which is still at dock in Antwerp. She looks in very good condition, has been repainted and it seems that much work has been undertaken on the main structure of the ship. I was trying to compare her with my old ship Mi Amigo, Norderney is much bigger than I thought and is very solid. The metal work still looks in very good condition.
Would love to see the condition of her hull below the water line? Now that I have retired from my business, I am looking forward to presenting shows on Caroline again. I have time to get back into my first love, radio! Let’s hope they want a real old pirate back? Look forward to meeting you at Radio Day in November. Cheers Dickie Allen.’


Next e mail came from Michel van Hooff in Holland who wrote: ‘During my summer holiday I also spent some time surfing the internet and found an interesting site where a few studiotapes from Radio Atlantis, Radio Mi Amigo and other Dutch stations can be listened. Also I found 53 minutes of studiojingles from the international service from Radio Atlantis. I advice you to give it a mention: http://albatrosstudio.web-log.nl

Also I was, one Sunday afternoon, listening in the garden to an old Mi Amigo 272 radio program from 1979 and the name Daniel Boolen was mentioned. I googled on internet but couldn’t find anything. My question is, who knows more about Daniel Boolen. What has happened to him after his days on international waters.’

Anyone who has an answer on Michel’s question please inform us on HKnot@home.nl

Alan Freeman had nothing to do with offshore radio but was, as far as I remember, the reason for a couple of guys in Australia to follow him to Europe in the sixties, including Graham Gill. Freeman died in November 2006 at the age of 79 and was more than 40 years a big radio personality in England where he also appeared on television on Top of the Pops. Fabs of Radio Luxembourg also remember him from the days on 208! On internet there are a few tributes on his career:

Alan Freeman (Archive Dick Offringa)

And talking about Radio Luxembourg, here’s another memory to this station:
‘Dear Hans, I know full well that your newsletter deals with offshore radio first and foremost. But having attended the Radio Luxembourg 2008 reunion in the Grand Duchy at the beginning of August I wonder if you can stretch a point. I couldn't help thinking about the 208 guys who fought the BBC, the press and the GPO to bring us pop music before and after the offshore station. They deserve our respect and equal gratitude to the DJ's who battled against the waves at sea in my opinion. After all many of the offshore jocks joined Radio Luxembourg. Names like Paul Burnett, Tony Prince, Mark Wesley, Stuart Henry, Bob Stewart, Chris Carey, Pete Drummond, Paul Kaye, Tommy Vance, Johnnie Walker, Kenny Everett, Duncan Johnson, Rosko, and Roger Day all did programmes for the Great 208.

After Caroline went off air on the 3rd March 1968 Luxembourg was the only night time station playing pop and rock to Britain and probably the rest of Europe except for AFN. The Luxy lads kept alive the rebel offshore spirit of goodtime radio. Long after the pirates had come ashore and been sucked into the establishment of the BBC or the restrictions of the IBA. And that tremendous camaraderie and team spirit is still there, and was very evident at the 208 reunion at the Le Royal Hotel. Colleagues and friends picked up quickly where they had left off perhaps decades ago. Even the bad old days came back, with some of the old boys going round the Luxembourg bars till 3 or 4 in the morning as they use to. Tony Prince was ring leader as usual.

The highlight for me, someone who was working in Luxembourg on the edge of all the excitement of 208 in the early seventies, was meeting old friends again and reliving all the stories and anecdotes about what the DJ's got up to on and off the air. The 208 team was as close knit as any you would find on an offshore station and that fun and laughter came out over the transmitter. Before everyone went to the airport on Sunday a crowd of us jocks went in search of the Villa Louvigny. It was hilarious to watch Tony Prince, Paul Burnett, and Timmy Mallett etc. all pointing in different directions in the central park as to where the radio station used to be. And then trying to work out which side of the old chateau the studios were situated.

The reunion was fabulous and the Gala Dinner paid tribute to all those past and present who had contributed to a golden era in popular radio that began 75 years ago. Call me old fashion but give me the old rebel fading 208 sound any day of the week to today’s sterilized and soulless FM safe selection. Thank you 208 for so much enjoyment. Chris Baird.’

Hi Chris and thanks a lot for reporting on the Luxembourg reunion. What you didn’t know was that I got an invitation to come to, but had arranged a visit to Germany, which was arranged with Christmas already. Sometimes you’ve to make choices. I was in Luxembourg four years ago on invitation by VPRO Radio to recall the memories of the Dutch Service from the fifties and seventies. Photographs made during the visit can be found on www.hansknot.com When your on the site click on the word ‘features’ and scroll almost to the end where you find ‘Hans Knot in Luxembourg’. Click on the photo and you will find a lot of memories.

Alan Bailey, former technician on the station also went to the reunion and took photographs. Here’s one of them:


Talking about Rosko, he almost never missed to get a????

‘Dear Hans, an name check from you is always good news! When I learn to spell I will write the book! Missed you at the Luxembourg reunion which I might add was well organized by reunion standards. So well done to Stan and Dan! Emperor Rosko.’

Here are two blogspots which deserve a regular visit too:


For those interested in a short history of Radio Uilenspiegel there is a new book published about Cadzand, where nearby the radioship stranded in 1962. It’s called ‘Van Badhuis tot Boulevard’. More info can be found at: http://www.zeeuwstijdschrift.nl/index.php?q=nl/node/589

More info from Mary Payne: ‘Just to let you know that this year we have commemorated August 14th with the addition of new items of memorabilia from the collection of the Galaxy's late Captain, Bill Buninga. These personal items, many of which indicate how highly the Captain was regarded by Radio London management, have generously been donated to us by Bill's son Ron.
We have also made a number of updates and additions to the Caroline Countdowns. Also there is a photo report made during the 70th birthday celebration of former London deejay Duncan Johnson. Best wishes, Mary.’

Former Radio 270 deejay Mike Hayes wrote to me: ‘Again I really enjoyed the report. I want to mention that I have updated my site with video’s, photos and more. Maybe you could give it another plug. www.mike-hayes.nl

AFN deejay, Neil Christian and Mike Hayes in the sixties (Archive Mike Hayes)

Here’s one from Roger Hurst: ‘Hello Hans, I just discovered your excellent web page thanks to a link posted on Digital Spy Forum:-
It’s really interesting so keep up the good work. I thought you might like to see some odd bits of memorabilia I picked up when I was on one of my visits to Holland/Amsterdam back in the late 60s/early 70s. Looking down the chart lists, it seems that there was a lot more ‘crap’ (if I can say that) being broadcast than I ever remember! However it was a real time for broadcasting. The ‘Veronica Bar-Dancing’ leaflet has some interior photos I don’t recall seeing since. Do you know what happened to Paul Harris who wrote ‘Broadcasting from the High Seas’? An interesting book, although rather too much about the shambles of the ‘King David’ and ‘Capital Radio’!
Best wishes, Roger Hurst.’

Thanks Roger for your bits and pieces. As you see I’ve published one of them, which I never saw before. Regarding the question about Paul Harris I can tell you that my last info is that he was still in publishing and living somewhere in Asia. Other news is that Media Netwerk is doing a series specials on a new book from Paul Harris, which is to be released next year:


One subject I did not mention yet is ‘remember the t shirts’. In a few issues I was reminiscing about the many t shirts which were released by the radio stations or by organisations which supported the stations. Anyone who has still a t-shirt from those days can send a photo for publication in the Hans Knot International Radio Report to Hans.Knot@gmail.com

This time a photo which was sent to me by Dave Warwick who wrote that he had bought the shirt way back in 1975. It’s visible that he has worn the shirt many times. He found it back recently on his loft and still brings to him a lot of memories to the golden days of Radio Caroline when Loving Awareness flooded into our homes. Also I think the shirt is moth-eaten. Nevertheless it’s beautiful from Dave to bring back this t shirt. Who’s next?

Next one bring us a lost deejay from Voice of Peace days. From Australia here is Alan Roberts: ‘
Hi Hans. Like Gavin McCoy I too would like to be added to your VOP Events list. Gav was an old chum as we had worked the Danish Club Circuit together and came from the same area back in the UK. While Gavin was at Radio 210 in Reading I was with BBC Radio Oxford in his home town and the spoofs between the two stations and our programmes were rife. He also forgot to spell my name correctly (Allen indeed) I reckon that was so I'd notice and email you. At the time DJ's also included Kas Collins (Dutch Veronica DJ Kas Van Iersel, I gave him the Collins Tag), Kelvin O'Shea who was using the name James Ross at this time, Carl Kingston, Roger Kitson, Dave England and Don Stevens who left the station as I was coming on, we swapped notes and stories at the flat in Tel Aviv and he joined me on the tender to pick up his stuff from the ship afterwards. I never saw him again and that would have been around September 1976, also never heard from Tom Hardy either who was a good mate on the VOP and left the same day as myself. He went onto Radio Caroline afterwards, maybe I should have taken the same path but had contacts at BBC Local Radio level. Bill Danse was always a great guy as to were Peter the Painter, Monty the American Chef, Buck the Second Engineer, Martin the Cabin Boy and the Phillipino Deck Hand, whose name always escapes me. Our entertainment usually consisted of a table tennis table and Jordan TV Channel 9 (They taped the programmes in London and TX's them usually complete with clipped UK Adverts from London Weekend TV) and a couple of old Playboy Magazines with sticky pages that we handed out between ourselves. We were allowed a quota of about 20 cigs a day if I remember correctly either Rothmans or Marlboro and four Macabi Beers. A couple of us namely Tom Hardy, Dave England and myself would save half of them until Friday Nights when I used to host the ‘Party Night’ between 7 and 10pm and by the end we were all pretty tipsy. There were endless supplies of tinned grapefruit segments I remember and Monty's Gruel which was the meal of the day that always tasted the same, usually laced with chili powder.

We stayed the flat in Tel Aviv when we eventually get off but I usually stayed with my girlfriend Dolly (Dalia Berkowitz) who was the big busted girl behind the bar at Bernies the English Pub in Tel Aviv), whatever happened to her does anybody know, if there is a paternity suite don't tell me. I followed Gavin McCoy as the Senior DJ/Programme Director and stayed on the Voice of Peace for nearly a year. When the late Howard Rose (Crispian St John) returned for his umpteenth stint on the ship he assumed he was automatically the new PD but had to wait until I'd left. I only left because Abie was beginning to moan about my wages. If you stayed longer than the initial three month stint he doubled your wage, so I went from £15 a week to £30, after six months I was on £60 a week, by nine months £120 although I never got it. He refused to pay and I stuck at £60 a week which I think was the most he ever gave anyone in the 1970's at least. I was the PD during the much publicised trip from Haifa through the Suez Canal and Up the Gulf of Aquaba of which I could write a book, so many things happened, CSJ, Tom Hardy, Roger Kitson, Dave England and myself were the DJ's on board during that trip.

I always regarded Chrispian as one of the most gifted DJ's within offshore Radio and it was a sad loss when he suddenly died during that heart operation) Alright he could be a difficult sod to work with but a huge and natural talent and it was a great privilege to have worked with him as too with all the blokes when I was there. By the way Mark Hurrell is a BBC Boss of some kind these days and I last heard from him when at BBC Radio Gloucestershire a few years ago. After I left the ship I went onto work for BBC Radio London for about five minutes before joining Radio Oxford the Swansea Sound, where I met up with Chrispian St John again, he had a big thing for rock singer Bonnie Tyler you know and most of us worked in her club The Valbonne at some time or another in Swansea.

Then I went onto Severn Sound Radio where I stayed for eight years, GWR FM in Swindon and then Bristol before joining BBC Radio 2 as a Producer, and finally back on air with the BBC World Service with the Country Programme before moving to Torquay. Nowadays I do Voice Overs for TV mainly in Australia and the USA as the proverbial Deep Voiced English Twat from my own studio. I did some documentaries for the BBC Local Radio Network as well and I'm planning a radio comeback somewhere someday but nobody has asked me. My nickname on board the Voice of Peace was 'alienrobotz' which still plagues me to this day. I was tagged this by Gavin McCoy because I was always reading UFO Books. Regards, Alan Roberts
ex VOP and a million others

Best Regards Hans and keep on writing the news.
Alan Roberts’
Quay 3 Productions..
email at


Hi Alan, good that you found the offshore gang in the Hans Knot International Reports and thanks a lot for your interesting story.The reunion took place in 2006 in Amsterdam and we had a lot of fun that day. A pity we didn’t found you. Here you can find the photos of the happening as well as the sound of the roundtables from the reunion
Enclosed a photo from my archive, from January 1977, with a lot of people which you mentioned in your story. I’ve forwarded the mail to some of your former shipmates. Keep enjoying my work and I’ve put you on the e mail list for monthly reports. When one of them wants to share more memories with Alan please also send them to me too
With greetings Hans

Kas Collins, Martin Fisher, Crispian St John, Tom Hardy, Alan Roberts and Monte Levison, the American Viet Nam veteran. Archive Hans Knot

My response to Alan’s email was send to him and he came back with the following: ‘
Hi Hans, thanks for the email and the prospect of receiving the bulletin on a regular basis. I do look at your column when I remember anyway, but have always tended to lay low with latter day events preferring the background to the limelight. I think you'll find the photo you sent has myself (5th from left) in the middle after CSJ and Tom Hardy, I'm holding a movie camera (8mm) of which I managed about ten minutes of VOP Film but only one reel with about three minutes survives I lost the rest along the years. I'd be glad to give you regular tidbits and perhaps my account of the New Years Day Sailing down the Suez Canal with Abie aboard ship and Captain Don tearing his hair out. Oh, by the way it was John Kitson who I believe took that photograph on Kas Collin's camera, but I could be wrong.

After the Keith Ashton, Ken Dicken, Stevie Gordon, Phil Brice, Don Stevens and Phil Mitchell era we were the team who saw the move into M.O.R. and ultra short links. As PD I was never totally happy with the laid back sound which was introduced by Gavin McCoy under certain duress from Abie but as there were so many new broadcasters coming onto the ship it was probably the best idea to be cautious with the personality side of things at that time. The Second tier of VOP Broadcasters certainly didn't have the experience and pizzazz of the original team and I'm sure we would all admit to that. I mentioned Don Stevens leaving the same day I joined, well Phil Mitchell was also around at the time staying at the Tel Aviv Flat, he primed me on what to expect over the coming months and was also on his way home.
Best Regards, Alan Roberts.

As the Hans Knot International Report September edition is closed early this month due to other commitments, I don’t have the contents of the new update for the Pirate Hall of Fame of Bob Le Roi Pages. But please visit them after September 1st at

Well that rounds up another bumper edition from the Hans Knot International Radio Report. As always you can send your memories to
HKnot@home.nl and photos or other attachements please to Hans.Knot@gmail.com

Till next month I wish you all the best with greetings from Groningen in the Netherlands
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