Hans Knot's International Radio Report - January 2009


Welcome to this years first Hans Knot International Radio Report. We’re celebrating as ten years ago the Radio Report appeared on a very small scale, but grew to an enormous success, which we have to thank you, the reader. I hope I can bring a lot of interesting things this year. Also Jana and I would say a very big thank you to all those hundreds of people who sent us Christmas wishes and New Years wishes. The walls in our living room were totally packed with those cards coming in from all parts of the world. We hope you all had a lovely time during the festivity period. This year 2009 will not only see our 31st year organising Radio Days (together with Martin van der Ven and Rob Olthof) but also hope to congratulate Hendrik Verweij, better known as Bull Verweij. He was one of the directors of the offshore station Radio Veronica between 1960 and 1974. If all goes well he will become 100 years of age in September.

Bull Verweij in late 2008 (Photo: Verweij Family)

Of course in the Christmas wishes received there was some additional information for our readers, for instant from Rob van Veld in the Eastern of Holland who wrote: ‘Dear Hans, first of course Happy New Year to all. A special year cause 50 years ago in Hotel Krasnapolsky in Amsterdam was the start of Radio Veronica. But now to the point, as I’ve read your Christmas edition of your Hans Knot International Radio Report, which was again very interesting. I have some information for Ian Godfrey of the ‘Lex Harding Top 40 show’, he mentioned in last issue. This was the Top 40 of 22 of May 1971. Greetzzz from: Rob Veld.

Thanks Rob and we’re coming back to Ian later in the report as he has much more to share with us.

Next is John Patrick. A lot of people know John P as a deejay from Satellite Radio Caroline. Others know him as the main person behind the project to see if there are opportunities to bring back the MV Mi Amigo, or parts of the good old lady, back to shore. It’s this year 29th years ago the former Radio Caroline vessel sunk. John wrote me the next info: ‘I have recently been contacted by Jan Kotschack (Radio Nord) about his father's ship. Also, Johan Sköld got in touch with about the same project. I have supplied him with all the information I have about the boat and put him in touch with several other people interested in raising a few bits from the ship. The visibility in the River Thames this last year has never been more than 10 cm so diving was a no go. More information when I have it.’

Thanks John and that’s the first time John officially mentioned the info for the report. However John and I are already years in contact about the diving’s without mentioning his efforts in the report. John also went to America recently and brings back some memories from that trip: ‘I have a short anecdote from my recent trip to the US. I went to Austin in Texas and bragged my way into KLBJ using the Radio Caroline name. I entered the on air studio and met three DJ's who were doing the daytime shows. They asked me who I worked for and saying ‘Radio Caroline’, they had wide open eyes and all said that they loved what the old girl was doing and wished they could be like her. They said that in all the radio schools in the US Radio Caroline was given as an example as what real free radio was all about. The guys at KLBJ all wished they had the freedom that Radio Caroline had and when I enquired why they had not got the same level freedom as Radio Caroline, they showed me the computer generated output.

Every hour each DJ was allowed to talk live twice but each time it was scripted and no variation was allowed. They ask me what I played and what was I allowed to say. I replied that I could play whatever I wanted and could say anything. They didn't believe me so I said that that they should listen in. One of the guys there even used the name Johnny Walker on air after his hero. A few days later I received messages from two of the guys saying they hated me for the freedom I had and could they have jobs on the old girl. So, if you ever have doubts about the influence that Radio Caroline has on the world of radio. Above is the proof. I have more but will not bore you with that now. John Patrick (Radio Caroline)

It was so good to hear, after a very long time, from Mick Luvzit from Canada: ‘Thanks Hans for the Christmas card...and best wishes of the Season. I've been pretty sick over the holidays but am recovering very slowly due to my chest infection and a lot of pain but am glad to be alive. I may have to go in for another operation but will keep you up to date. Your friend, Mick Luvzit, Radio Caroline,’

Well Mick it’s been some 5, 5 years ago we met for the last time. Remember it very well there in London. As I told my readers earlier last year Mick had severe heart problems and step by step he’s getting back with his feet on the ground again. I hope you’ve the strength to fight back and hope to receive memories from you about your days at Radio Caroline North. Take care!

Someone in the USA discovered my name on internet regarding offshore radio’s history. Seems to be a young lad who’s very interested of all those who worked on international waters so let’s see what he has to mention: ‘My name is Dave Lewis, I live in Richmond Virginia USA. Just to let you know, I have loved reading all of your in-depth information about offshore radio - of yesterday and today. I volunteer at a local independent (commercial free) FM radio station here in Richmond, and I host an overnight radio show ("It's Still Friday")... at 3am on Saturday mornings. www.wrir.org
I'm lucky enough to have the freedom to play pretty much whatever music and feature whatever theme I choose. (Great fun!) I'm a nostalgia nut - in general and now I've finally begun to read and research the history of offshore radio (something I've always been aware of, but have never researched before now.)

And now I'm beginning to edit together sound-bites that I've collected and as I'm learning more and more; I'm finding myself putting together a show about offshore radio history to put on the air. I really wish to be as accurate as possible in all that I report. So: If you're willing and available, I would be honored to have an on-air chat with you via telephone! It would be more or less a casual conversation and allow you to give our listeners the real story about the past present and future of offshore radio. If you'd rather not, I'll understand; and, still I'm so thankful for all that you've put online about Radio Caroline and the other stations! Thanks! Dave Lewis.’

Well and that indeed I like so much that someone of the younger generation is interested in the good old days of radio! I’ve already arranged with Dave Lewis to do a chat in one of his February programs. Also it was very interesting to talk with a few students from Amsterdam, way back in December. There are plans to use the former REM island platform as a restaurant and the owner has asked a group of students to think about how to use a part of the platform. And so they came to me to talk about the history of the REM Island (1964) and ideas to bring a museum into the platform. Yes, the younger generation has more interest than computers and their IPods.

Remember a few issues ago of the Hans Knot International Radio Report that Klaas Vaak, aka Tom Mulder, wrote about his love for radio and trains and trams? Still people are reflecting and I must admit that Tom and I had the idea that this should happen! Here’s another lover for radio and trains:
‘Dear Hans, regarding your Radio report and deejays, who have trains, model railways and buses as a hobby. I have to admit that I am 'guilty" of this too having been a fan of buses and trains almost since birth. I have built four model railways, three of them OO gauge, one Narrow Gauge and all of them for other people. My collection of diecast bus models numbers approximately 234. Attached a picture of the Narrow Gauge railway model I built. I did hear that Bill Hearne, of Caroline Cash Casino fame, later became a full time professional model-maker-can anyone confirm this? All best wishes, John R Bennett. ‘

Photo: John R. Bennet

Anyone who wants to share more on trains and trams, don’t hesitate to write to me at HKnot@home.nl

More from Wales and Mike Kerslake: ‘Hi Hans, I found the attached picture today whilst scanning some pictures for Gil Katzir, so thought it might be of interest. It shows from left to right: Tony(?), Mike Kerslake (Coconut), Paul Fraser and in the background Alex Lee. Photo was taken in 1987 onboard the Peace Ship.'

Hi Mike nice to see the photo. I’ve never seen photo before. Could be either Tony O’Reilly, or Tony Martin. Maybe Paul Fraser does remember? greetings Hans

Photo Archive Mike Kerslake

Next is Jean Pierre Legein from Belgium, an avid radiolistener since the sixties and strange enough he listened to offshore radio most of the time when being on sea. He was a fisherman in those days: I found ABC history page about the landbased station in Ireland http://www.abcthehotfm.com/

Thanks Jean Pierre, nice memories! Another reflection from Belgium comes from Luc, after I published info about a well known American deejay: ‘Dear Hans, thanks for you (ever longer?) report. I remember listening to Charlie Tuna almost daily on AFN radio in the early seventies, along with Wolfman Jack, American Top 40 with Casey Kasem, American Country Countdown with Don Bustany, the Golden Days of Radio and many other very good shows that aired at the time. Thanks to you I have been able to download and listen to the Charlie Tuna 1978 Xmas show. Thanks for this nice Xmas present. Best regards from Belgium, Luc Masuy.’

An American in Paris is a wonderful composition in music. But, what about an American in Belgium? I know Elton John composed a song about Belgium and listeners to Radio Veronica heard Bojoura in the late sixties sing about Belgium, but the American is heavy in love with a Belgium lady and decided to move to the little country in Europe: ‘Hi Hans, Rosko has it right! One should make a sandwich and get a beverage before sitting back to read your interesting newsletter! Always enjoyable. I hope you and Jana had a wonderful holiday season. You did me a huge favor this year by the wonderful suggestion of where to get DVD and CD blanks in Luxembourg, and will probably return in 2009. I've been trying to buy a time base corrector for video (rack mount) specifically a CTB531R. I found a firm in Derbyshire (England) that sells one for 462 pounds 50 pence, but they only ship to the UK. Do you know of any good sources for this type of almost professional equipment, say, in The Netherlands, or Germany, Luxembourg, etc?
I'm willing to travel! I've been re-reading Kenny Everett's biography and had forgotten a lot about Radio London when it signed on. Not very glamorous! How I wish I could have been here in those days of glory to just twist the dial and hear them! Tom Konard.’

Thanks Tom and have a good read! Hope to bring more this year. Sorry no answer on the equipment, will ask the readers for that. Yes Radio London did start very poor, took some weeks to become really a radiostation. But always it’s good to listen back the old recordings. Hope anyone in the readership had an answer about where to buy the time base corrector mentioned above. Answers please to: HKnot@home.nl

Short press release from Eric in Slovakia: ‘RTI has ended the Slovak/English programme exchange project 19 December 2008, RTI has ceased broadcasting Slovak shows on FM services in Slovakia. The service remains automated until full closure in the very near future. The International service of RTI retains presenter shows and plays non-stop music at other times when Slovak shows were aired.’

News from Sven Martinssen and his research work: ‘Dear friends,
I’ve to mention that important updates are on! The story of my finding more on the Radio England/Britain Radio etc. broadcasting ship Olga Patricia's time as a Navy Ship and of her present stint as a menhaden vessel was uploaded to the internet on the 42nd anniversary of the close down of Swinging Radio England on November 13th. This edition of my essay contains the absolute proof: The Earl J Conrad Jr IS the Olga Patricia and the USS Deal!
Special credits to the kind contributions of Ben Miller(c), Leslie Wright(c) and Jeff Turner(c).
The original picture from fall 2007 that led to the solving of the mystery, by Marc Piché is here:

A look at Radio London from the technical side, courtesy of the kind contribution of Big L engineer Dave Hawkins(c).

An input on the often forgotten, but very important group of people: The North Sea Engineers by Derek Burroughs, Jr. (c) with contributions by George Saunders(c) from Radio Atlanta/Caroline South and Dave Hawkins of Radio London(c).
Svenn Martinsen, Radio Historian, RONG, NORWAY

Well Svenn thanks a lot for this update and congratulations on you very good work done! We hope all to see more of your excellent work later this year.
As you see there’s a special chapter added about the technicians aboard the radio ships, a subject we started also in the Hans Knot International Radio Report. Here’s another one who wants to be added to the list: Clive Warner: ‘Well, you can add me to that list! I was on the Mi Amigo in the mid seventies working as a technician for Radio Caroline. As to what I am doing at the moment, well, I finished restoring the 1KW FM and sent it off to Torreon; I'm teaching physics and chemistry full time, have a small publishing company, Citiria Publishing, and recently began a new business teaching the SAT, GMAT and GRE exams. So, I am quite active. Clive Warner’.

Now it’s time for a photo in our series about offshore radio t shirts. This is a photo taken in 1971 from the Veronica Promotion girls. Must have been nice weather and pretty to be on the tender too! The photo comes from the archive of Koos de Ruiter, who really was very friendly to us to donate six scrap books filled with newspaper cuts and photographs. Thanks again Koos!

In last issue I wrote about a planned station who wanted to use the name of Radio Nova, so well respected by many radio listeners. That is, the original Radio Nova. Its ridiculous people think they can adapt a name without asking for permission. Stations using names such as Radio Nova is another prickly subject when you consider that Nova it's not that surprising that another station uses the name but it's a form of plagiarism; it reminds me of a similar situation at Big L, with their use of the strap line 'it's all about the music;' when Capital and Classic Gold merged and adopted the highly innovative name (!) Gold I was disturbed to discover that they were using the same phrase. Mike Read launched an appeal against them although he couldn't have had much success as they're still using it. I've tuned into Nova Classic Rock recently and found that it's also being used there, plus obviously the use of Nova!’

I got the next e mail from Chris Vezey: ‘Your Christmas report was forwarded to me. Just to put you in the picture - when I heard Gold were going to use the phrase "Its All About The Music" - I wrote to GCAP suggesting they might consider not stealing our strapline (they also copied much of the Big L front page website too - it was too close not have been). When they continued to use it, I applied for the trade mark of the above phrase. This has recently been confirmed and I now personally own that phrase for both radio and advertising. So now we are able to deal with it.
Regards, Chris Vezey.’

Was Don Stevens at the special award happening where Rosko got his long life award, early December? I ask this due to the fact I got an e mail coming in from Cherry Hueges: ‘Hi Hans, I was at the Radio Academy lunch. Rosko's speech was less than three minutes as requested by the Radio Academy, and he received a standing ovation, and no complaints. Maybe Mr. Stevens was at a different lunch! Regards, Cherry.’

Well there you go, in last issue Don mentioned that Rosko talked endless on the lunch and so I got back to him with the question where he got the info from: ‘I did not hear the speech Hans, I was told about the speech and its reception by the audience from an attendee whom I met by the venue. I am trying to find the copy of the letter I wrote you; I must have mistyped it or something. A Happy New Year, Don.’

Rosko getting the award in London: Photo: Cherry Hueges

And so Rosko had his share in the report again!

In the latest edition of Radio Review I found a nice article about nicknames, which was written by Phil Champion. I remembered he once wrote a beautiful article in the Freewave Media Magazine (which I’m the editor from). It was years and years ago and so I asked him if he was the same person: ‘Yes Hans, I'm the one who writes for "Radio Review" and used to write for "Offshore Echos" and your magazine in the past. Thank you for the list of nicknames/phrases you’ve send me. I might use some of them in future but I'll give full credit to you. I've recently taken early retirement from my job but though I am still very busy I've been researching SRE/227 plus the Scandinavian pirate stations.

I did though find your piece on Dimitra interesting. (www.mediapages.nl) Radio Veronica used to have so many shows for 'gastarbeiders' (immigrant workers) for a commercial station, let alone a pirate. By early 1969 there seemed to be one most nights. Thursday had the most I think. At 2000 was Suhandi or a female, I think the female was back at 2100 then two shows by a male in a completely different language 2130-2145 and 2145-2200 though one week they went 2130-2150 and 2150-2230. I always assumed it was a far eastern language. I couldn't say the deejays name- I was just getting used to saying and writing some of the Dutch names. I could manage say Lex Harding but Chiel Montagne took a bit of getting used to. Happy memories. I'm glad I didn't like BBC Radio 1 -or I wouldn't have had all those Dutch stations and some great European music to listen to over the years. Regards, Phil Champion.’

Dimitra: Freewave Archive

Well good you enjoyed those special programs on Veronica for Italian, Greece and other foreign people working and living in the Netherlands. Dimitri died some 5 years ago; I heard when suddenly her daughter got in touch with me early January.

Martin van der Ven forwarded me an e mail from which he thought the content could be of interest for the Hans Knot International Radio Report. It’s from Theo Bakker in Leeuwarden who mentioned he went on a holiday trip to Morocco and France in 1978. Theo wrote that they had a lot of people looking at the Caroline 319 sticker as it was the year Princess Caroline from Monaco married.

Theo’s car in Morocco

But Martin van der Ven sent also a photograph from his car way back in 1977 featuring a car sticker from an offshore radiostation.

Martin and Christian van der Ven and the Mi Amigo sticker. Archive: Martin van der Ven

The big question of course is do you have any photograph of your recent or old car featuring your love for radio? Just sent it to HKnot@home.nl

Like last month a long e mail from Ian, who just has discovered the world of internet and has a lot of interesting things to mention: ‘Many thanks for the Christmas Newsletter and also the upload (I'm still not fully familiar with some computer terminology so hope that's correct!) I finished a ten-week computer course a couple of months ago and received a certificate and apparently got a high score so I guess I can't be that bad!

After reading all the highly interesting contributions in the Newsletter I did wonder how my e mail was going to fit in - and I must admit - thought it fitted in quite well, which was a relief. I can safely say that my contributions are very likely to be based on recollections as a listener and comments on stations past and present; that's why I was a bit skeptical. It's good to see that the Monitor situation is looking a bit healthier than this time last month, due to the amount of genuine support shown by contributors; heart-felt response like this makes the world of difference. Monitor and 'Buster' Pearson are such major factors in offshore radio heritage.

A very exciting key date for me was 30th September 1972. I'd checked 1187 kHz several times since I heard Chris Carey say on RNI, round 18th August: "If you want to know where I'll be in a few days just add 39 to this frequency and a 'Record Mirror' article about the imminent return of Radio Caroline I was beginning to wonder if it would ever materialise. Knowing that Rosko was on Radio One I was curious to know if he was doing anything for their 5th birthday although I never found out as, en route, I found a strong, varying, test-tone on 1187 kHz (which I soon began to regard as 'characteristic Chicago;). I listened for a few minutes till I was called downstairs for lunch and when I tuned in again, about 12.30, continuous music was in progress. I forget how long I listened but I sat, with A4 pad on lap for hours, making a list of the records played plus jingles, comments on the modulation and audio quality (which I was very impressed with). Out of curiosity I decided to check RNI and Veronica (who'd been announcing the switch to 538, and discovered that on the verge of taking place, just before 13.00, but didn't realise that RNI was about to start using 192 metres as RNI 2! It was a clean switch but the first thing I noticed was the signal strength had dropped slightly together with noticeable 'breakthrough' from the 220 transmitter and Tony Allen advising the Veronica listeners to switch to the new frequency and referring to "our friends at Radio Veronica," which sounded very appealing. I think RNI 2 only lasted for two or three days and I couldn't really see the point of it, unless there was a massive increase in signal strength. There was also a very low-powered loop-tape message advising Veronica listeners to re-tune, which lasted till about 4th October.
I read in Monitor that 'Buster' had logged exactly the same as I had but for much longer! I think he said he listened to the Caroline test till he fell asleep at about 03.00 and that the power was about 7kW.’

Thanks Ian for this reflection. Indeed this special day we must never forget at it was a day a lot of things happened for the Anoraks. The very surprised taking over of the 192 frequency by RNI was for everyone a very big surprise and I think a big shock for those involved in Radio Veronica. But Ian has more to share with the readers: ‘mention was made in the last newsletter of an American station called K-Earth; since starting using the computer I've tuned in two or three times and am quite impressed and will probably add it to the 'Favourites' list. I was interested to discover a Radio Veronica, at West Point, Pennsylvania! It uses a couple of the jingles used by Veronica 192 - not featured on the original station - and I wondered who used them first. There was also mention of 2NG, a station I'd never heard of and, checking the web site, I found that Bill Rollins presents a couple of Programmes; I heard him this evening and although the presentation was unsurprisingly good the content, being nothing but Christmas records, was, for me, a complete turn-off. I switched to 'Pirate Radio Skues' which wasn't a lot different and it's the first time since the programmed started that I've given it a complete miss! A fairly safe haven was KBC on 6055, where the only one played was 'Run Run Rudolph', by Chuck Berry which is the only one I can really appreciate, being a strong fan of his. It's obviously difficult to avoid Christmas records at the moment; Veronica 192 - obviously due to their unique format - has been free of them for the past hour.

Over the past few weeks I've seen about half-a-dozen photographs of the Caroline ships under tow and find the images quite disturbing, so profoundly representing the end of an era. One of the reasons I appealed for a replacement copy of 'Script No 3' is that if features similar shots of the 'Mi Amigo' at the time of the 'mutiny' on 28/12/72 when I thought Caroline's relaunch had been completely scuppered. Thanks also for the photos in the report, the most interesting being the NS tank engine (I'd like to know more about Dutch steam; it's difficult to get information in the UK).’

I must add that Ian is visual handicapped and I’ve such a high respect for a couple of my readers who have the same handicap and who are so very enthusiastic in talking and writing about their hobby. I do a four hours radio program on regular base for a small group of visual handicapped people about radio for more than 20 years and nothing is more thankful in the hobby than doing this program for them. Anyone willing to be in contact with Ian about the subject steam, please send me an email so I can send his address: HKnot@home.nl

Then Ian has some comments on listening to Luxembourg: ‘The only time I tuned into 208 was in the early-'60s; I wasn't aware that for instant Spangles Muldoon was working there. If I'd known I probably would have tuned in. A notable feature, and something which seems to have been common to all the offshore stations, was the single ad between records, as opposed to batches of four or five on contemporary radio; I've always felt that single unannounced ads are more likely to generate positive response from listeners; I find set ad-breaks tedious - by the third ad I'm pretty keen to get back to the programme. Other peoples' views would be interesting to read.

Regarding the mention of Mandy and Radio Seagull, in I think the November Newsletter: whenever I tune in I do notice a love for the music and a 'spiritual experience' similar to '70s and '80s Caroline, and more so the original Seagull. Radio Caroline has always generated that aura, almost exclusively, one exception possibly being Veronica, to a much lesser extent. I've always felt that, although it was quite clear to Ronan that Caroline would be commercially unviable after 14/8/67, he chose to continue for the sake of freedom of expression and the whole essence of the station's existence (about five years ago, round 14th August, Steve Wright on Radio 2, interviewed Tony Blackburn and Johnnie Walker on their offshore experiences - Tony upheld what he regarded as the 'professionalism' of Radio London to which Johnnie immediately replied: "The difference between London and Caroline is that we had soul"!)

Whenever I mention offshore radio, I invariably get the response: "What, do you mean Radio Caroline?" No-one seems aware of any other station; but I get the impression they feel Radio Caroline is a station that's bucked the system - a real pirate in their eyes! On a completely different note, two weeks ago today I was reading an interview with Roger Scott, in the latest 'Offshore Echoes,' recounting his brief time on Caroline North (where incidentally he remembers a distinct lack of soul and the feeling that the end was nigh) and also listening to the Adje Baumann Top 10. No more than five seconds after I'd finished the article No. 1 was played - it was 'Caroline Goodbye' by Colin Blunstone! Coincidence is a strange phenomenon!
With very best wishes, Ian Godfrey.’

Rob Olthof, Hans Knot and Martin van der Ven have been making plans for this year's Radio Day which is taking place on Saturday 14th November 2009. We will meet again in Amsterdam's Hotel Casa 400 near the Amstel railway station (James Wattstraat 75) from 11:00 till 17:00 CET (Dutch local time). More details on this year's schedule will be announced during the next few months. To celebrate our new Radio Day Internet address, which is http://www.radioday.nl we have arranged a "Radio Day Experts Competition".

You will find a new Radio Day banner on the mentioned website containing many photos of former Radio Day guests from 2001 to 2008. Just go to the new Radio Day website and download a larger version of that banner. Then you have the following challenge:
1. Find out at least 100 guests on that banner and identify their names.
2. Tell us at least 2 guests appearing three times on the banner.
Send your answers to hknot@home.nl

Closing date is February 15th 2008. We will draw 2 winners who will get FREE ADMISSION on November 14th.

Next is Michel van Hooff who wrote: ‘I visited the Radio Day for the very first time. Mighty beautiful to shake hands with my all time favorite offshore radio deejay Marc Jacobs. How beautiful that man can tell stories. Also during the forum of former Dutch Caroline deejays. With thanks to the world wide web and ‘missed programmed’ I enjoy the Sunday Afternoon program from him on Radio Noord. Fascinating!’

Marc Jacobs worked in the seventies on Radio Mi Amigo and later joined Radio Caroline. Since the eighties he works on Radio and TV Noord and has – among other programs – a very good Sunday afternoon show from 13 up till 18 hrs with golden oldies and never forgets to mention the good old days in words and sounds. Have a listen at www.rtvnoord.nl

Marc Jacobs 2000 Photo Martin van der Ven

Next one is from Sally who loves land based pirates already for decades:
‘Hello Hans a nice website about landbased pirates in the seventies and eighties: http://www.cq3meter.nl/index_n.php

We go back to the earlier mentioned question about the names from technicians on offshore radio and where they have gone. Here’s an e mail from David Porter: ‘Hi Hans, well this is a subject dear to my heart as it was the antics of these people who gave me the idea for a career and one that I have been involved in since 1970! On Caroline South was Carl Thompson who has just given a talk at the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Club about his watery wireless days. On Radio City was Ian West G3SZC, who designed a more powerful transmitter and of whose handwritten schematics I have a copy!
Also on Radio City was Phil Perkins G3OUF and was famously cited as being the guy who hid the [spare] 1034 kc/s quartz crystal from the transmitter when Major Oliver Smedley's lads did their raid. On Radio London was Russ Tollerfield G3SQD who was ex-BBC at Skelton HF site and famously got the 1133 kc/s RCA Ampliphase transmitter to load up properly into the 212' mast. Long time HK correspondent Clive Warner was a tx engineer at BBC Skelton then did time on the Mi Amigo. Later on of course was Peter Chicago G3WZG on the Mi Amigo, Ross Revenge and MEBO II. Robin Adcroft was one of the tx engineers on the MEBO II with Bob Noakes, whether they were on the boat at the same time I'm not sure. Even later was the lad of Hull, Paul Alexander Rusling again with Robin Adcroft on the Communicator. The amateur radio call signs given are in the public domain as they are published by Ofcom and the Radio Society of Great Britain. I have written to Russ Tollerfield by post and sent a follow-up letter but to no avail. It looks like he does not want to be reminded about that particular time of his life. So there you have it Hans I wonder if you have had anymore thoughts? *Was there not someone called Manfred Sommers who worked on Caroline North? Regards, Dave.

Thanks a lot Dave and indeed Manfred Summers was technician on the MV Fredericia. Also nice to see the call signs next to the names mentioned. In a second mail David mentioned too that Sven Martinsen just published his special sites about offshore engineers.

One of the famous transmitters in Switzerland is not in use anymore. Beromunster was therefore in the news recently. Watch the video:

Time for my monthly radio friends, this time first Bob Le Roi:
Happy New Year & welcome to the 1st Update of 2009. We’ve been toying with the idea of compiling a complete a-z of everyone who’s ever worked for the Lady for sometime &at last we’ve assembled 19 pages of our progress thus far. With your help this could become the definitive galley of everyone who’s ever been involved, from the moment the Fredericia went into Greenock. Those on air, the crew, the technicians and the people in the background working on the various ships, in the offices and the services since up to date. ‘One Subject One Link’ has a contribution echoing thoughts on holiday relief cover and swing jocks
Newly listed in the equipment section a Sony MDS JE440 and the workhorse of the industry a Technics SL 1210. We’ve a whole selection of Elvis Presley on 12” vinyl, from the budget to the rare & much sought after pressings
The CD Rack has its 1st listing of Country & there's another ever popular Instrumental plus a Commercial Breaks CD up for grabs. As ever enjoy your visits: www.bobleroi.co.uk
Once again it is time for the monthly update to The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame. What's new this month, I hear you ask. Well...
• We have some wonderful photos taken on board Radio Caroline North, supplied by engineer Mike Wright;
• Colin Nicol has provided the Caroline South programme schedule for a week in June 1965, as issued by the Caroline press office;
• And I have begun adding links from any mentions of songs or theme tunes on the site to the relevant page of the Amazon MP3 Store where you can hear a short extract of the track and, if you are based in the UK, purchase an MP3 download. Not every track mentioned on the PRHoF is currently stocked by Amazon but a large proportion of them are.
Almost 240,000 people visited The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame during 2008. That is not quite as many as in 2007 when 283,461 visited but last year's figures were undoubtedly boosted by Pirate BBC Essex and the publicity surrounding the 40th anniversary of the Marine Offences Act. It will be interesting to see what effect the release of the movie 'The Boat That Rocked' in May 2009 has on next year's statistics. Incidentally, if you haven't seen the trailer for the film yet, it is here:

My grateful thanks, as always, to everyone who has contributed, helped or supported the site during the year. May I wish you a very happy new year and all the best for 2009, with kind regards, Jon www.offshoreradio.co.uk

From Australia here news from former SRE Jack Curtiss: ‘A happy New Year. We hope everyone had a safe and sound New Year advent...we rang in 2009 quietly at home watching a movie (with our two new housemates) and managed to catch the Times Square celebrations live on webcam the following morning Australia time. And after another Holiday Season stint as Santa, I've returned to radio (sort of). I'll be making fortnightly appearances on the ABC Network Station here offering commentary on US political developments and the new Obama Administration. Meanwhile Melanie has a solo art show lined up in Sydney this summer. Our very best wishes for a most happy and prosperous New Year. Jack and Melanie

A lot of success Jack with your next radio steps!

Steve ‘a go go’ Young send me the following comments from a Canadian Newspaper: ‘Philip Seymour Hoffman's economy music People News’ Jan 3, 2009, 8:00 GMT.

‘Philip Seymour Hoffman thinks 60s pop music will help people through the credit crunch. The Oscar-winning actor is convinced his new movie 'The Boat That Rocked' - set in a 60s pirate radio station loosely based on the infamous Radio Caroline that broadcast from the North Sea between 1964-67 - will allow people to forget about the global economic crisis. He said: "I don't want to give away the ending, but these words come up on the screen and I just remember thinking, 'Yeah, that's right, that's beautiful. I think I'll take that thought for today and hold onto it.' I really hope the film does that. I think a lot of people will get a lot out of it." The film, directed by 'Love Actually' director Richard Curtis, features an all-star cast, including Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans, Gemma Arterton, Nick Frost and January Jones.
Before the shoot, Curtis loaded the cast's iPods with albums by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and other popular 60s artists. Hoffman thinks music from that era is particularly relevant in today's turbulent times. He explained to Empire magazine: "The state of the world isn't so hot, you know? How people are feeling when they get up in the morning may not be the best, and the idea that rock 'n' roll is cathartic has a very important place in the world."

Thanks a lot Steve as always good greetings from Holland.

Northern Star International Broadcasters AS
PO Box 100
N5331 RONG
Email: 1000@northernstar.no
Open future for Northern Star International Broadcasters AS.
On its General Meeting December 8th, in Bergen, Norway, the shareholders of Northern Star International Broadcasters AS (66,48 % of the issued shares represented) voted to be open for different future scenarios for Northern Star International Broadcasters AS, the company still holding a provisional license for the AM frequency Longwave 216 kHz, power 1.2 Million Watts, offered by Norway’s Mass Media Authority. The founder and chairman Svenn Martinsen comments in the form of this editorial:
”Early in 2008 our company invited its shareholders to an internal debate as to the future of our radio project. On the background of the received inputs the board in the fall has attempted to formulate a strategy for the way forward. This was voted over in the recent GM.
For the public, we’d like to offer the following honest evaluation as to where we stand as of January 1st, 2009:

Northern Star-No available funding?
Northern Star International Broadcasters AS was established on the last day of 1999 to build a commercial, international radio station on AM 216 kHz longwave, the project having been worked on since 1994. The idea came from partly the Mexican ”border-blasters” like XERF as well as North Sea and Irish Pirates, but also an interested party in Norwegian Telecoms bureaucracy had independently thought of a ”super-power” voice from Norway. In 2000, our company commissioned a Business Plan for this project, and at the end of that year, we had contact with 3 major USA investor groups, and one Irish, one saying they were ”very interested” another one wanting to put his writer in charge of the radio station! By the end of 2008, we also have had serious contact with 2 UK, and 1 Norwegian group.
If we leave out the ”armchair critics”, it must be said that generally the project has received a good reception, something also proved by the large number of hits to this website. But in spite of many conversations, exchanges and meetings with investors (many of them good, and very friendly people) at this stage no decisive interest has been noted. Whatever their reasons, we respect them. We feel it is a bit strange though to observe that evidently large amounts of media resources are put into everything from more and more in our opinion silly TV ”reality” shows, over ”soap bubbles”, to channels of doubtful value, and even quite disturbing content on satellite/cable TV.

Murphy's Law of Pirate Listening
By Pat Murphy
I've been DX'ing pirates for over a decade and the most often asked question is, "how do you hear them?". It's not like you can pick up a "Passport to Pirate Broadcasting" or a "World Radio TV pirate handbook" to check on schedules, because pirates don't maintain regular broadcast schedules and those that do don't last for very long. There are however, some patterns that develop and places to look that once the persistent DX'er understands, tend to turn up these "bad boys of the bands" on a regular basis. Let me pass along my "Murphys Law of Pirate Listening". http://www.frn.net/ace/murphys.htm
The next one was send by Sally. Did you ever hear about the landbased pirate ‘Black & White’? I didn’t till I read somewhere the header: ‘What did we really do’. Go to the special report of soldiers who made pirate radio on the army base in their free time.

No we go to London and Chris Edwards: ‘We've updated the Offshore Radio Themes webpages, with more themes and info' plus more audio clips including the John Ross Barnard theme: - Surf dell'amore - Tutti's trumpets and Sunday Times Jazz Hour theme: - Boogie Stop Shuffle - Charle Mingus.
New audio in Promotions includes: - Jambo Sana - Mario Mathy; Please love me again - VIP Connection; Peace will come - Melanie and more.
If you spot any missing themes or can add any missing details please let us know. Chris Edwards www.offshoreechos.com

Everyone interested in the history from Radio Veronica knows the name of the tender: Ger Anne. What a lot of people don’t know that in 1960 there was another tender from skipper Groen, who irregularly tendered the MV Borkum Riff. When authorities warned the skipper that, when he would go on with the tendering his fishing licenses would be withdrawn, he decided to stop with the work for Veronica. On the next site exclusive photos from that tender Scheveningen 26.

About 6 years ago Mary and Chris Payne from the Radio London Internetsite visited Groningen and it was then we had a walk into the city. One of the objects we saw was a shed on which ‘Radio London’ was painted in 1966 and it is still visible in 2009. Arie Regtop sent me a photograph from a wall were Veronica graffiti is painted. Anyone else who has such an interesting photo? HKnot@home.nl

Early January we heard about the death of former Caroline technician Andy Howard, due to a blood clot in his brains. Andy worked as chief technician under the name ‘Bilbo’ on the Ross Revenge during 1984-1985. Also he presented now and then programs under the deejay names Rolland Butter and Morris d’Anser.

Bilbo comes from Bilbo Baggins, one of the characters from the Tolkien Books, like ‘The Hobbit’. Andy read this books on the Ross Revenge and choose Bilbo as his nickname. Andy was a very conspicuous person on the ship with his beard and ponytail. After his time on Caroline he also worked as chief technician on Kiss and Capital Radio in London. Together with Pyers Easton he grounded SBS in Hastings, a company specialized in transmitter equipment. Andy Howard became 54 years of age and was cremated on January 15th in Oxford. (with thanks to Leendert Vingerling).

Andy Howard Photo: Leen Vingerling

Next from France it is Paul Ciesielski who wanted me to mention that there a nice photographs to see on the internet of the model he made from the MV Norderney: http://www.norderney.nl/aandemuur.html

An excellent, thorough overview of the history of audio tape types, with
up-to-date research into the treatment of problem tapes, has just been
made freely available online. "Tape Degradation Factors and Challenges
in Predicting Tape Life", by Richard Hess is here:

Don’t forget to have a look regulary on our new internetsite:

News now from the Isle of Man again: ‘I trust the New Year has started well for you. Further to my last note, the Manx National Heritage 'Pirates Of The Irish Sea' exhibition has been extended until the end of this Summer. I'll let you know the exact date as soon as it's confirmed.
(The official website hasn't been updated yet)

Just in case you missed Paul Rowley's BBC Radio documentary 'The Other Radio Caroline' I've attached a link to an off-air recording.
Stay in touch, Best Regards, Andy Wind.

We have another one for Tom Mulder and his love for trains, trams, ships and radio. In the nineties of last century there was a commercial station in Holland using the name Radio London. From 1995 up till 1998 they transmitted from a train near the Eerbeek station in the Provence of Gelderland. In 1998 they changed the name into QRadio and took over the Communicator which was then owned by Veronica FM. A year later Q Radio went bust. But Michel van Hooff dived into his archive and found photos of this radiostation in the train, which he took in 1997.

Well that round’s up this edition of the Hans Knot International Radio Report. We will be back somewhere in February or March. I’ve a lot of travelling to do for my work so lesser time to do radio related thing in the evenings. Take care and of course let it come in, your news, memories and other things at HKnot@home.nl and photographs please to Hans.Knot@Gmail.com




Offshore Deejays' Nicknames


Female Offshore Radio Deejays


Radio London Commercials


Offshore Radio Programme Names - Programmanamen Zeezenders 1958-1990


Read Hans Knot's former report