Hans Knot's International Radio Report - June 2009


Hi and welcome to the June edition of the report and thanks for all your mail and memories. Before going over to the news and more; I want to tell you about something very special, which occurred to me April 29th.: ‘Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands has honoured me, Hans Knot, as a Knight of the Order of Orange Nassau, as part of her Official Birthday celebration. The Mayor of Groningen officiated at the award ceremony, which honoured my forty years as a researcher and writer about radio history; thirty as the final editor of Freewave Media Magazine; thirty years as unpaid advisor to the Foundation for Media Communication and almost thirty-four years' service at Groningen University, including the many extra activities, I do there next to my normal tasks.

What can I say more! Photo: Egbert Knot

The knighthood also recognized my charity work for many years in hospital radio as well in reading the Freewave Media Magazine and other radio news for more than twenty years for the visually handicapped people in Netherlands and Belgium. However I have to thank all who did participate with me in doing the many work during the four past decades. So thanks: to all who worked together with me at the editorial staff at Pirate Radio News, The Freewave Media Magazine, as well as Ger at the Soundscapes on line Journal for Media and Music Culture. Without your assistance the knighthood was never given.

Of course I would like to thank Rob at Foundation for Media Communication in Amsterdam, the people at Belgian RadioVisie, Martin at Offshore Radio Guide, the people at the Monitor Magazine, Offshore Echo's, Radio Journal in Germany and a lot of other magazines around the world, who gave me the opportunity to publish countless articles about radio’s history. Also a big thanks to Ingo Paternoster, Mary and Chris at Big L, Jon at the Pirate Hall of Fame, Jelle Boonstra and Bob Le-Roi, who all did support my work through the years. Last but not least thanks to Jana and my other dearest, who gave me all the love and space to explore the very interesting history of the radio world.

Above all it’s a most happy feeling that with this knighthood all the work I did to get the history on offshore radio on paper, as well as reporting on it during the times it became illegal (1974-1990), is recognized officially by getting this knighthood. And I can tell you: I will go on researching and writing as long as possible.

Let’s start with the e mails and first we go to Belgium: ‘Hallo Hans. In your last report, as always masses of striking news, but the story that touched me the most was the one of Kate Nicholls about her stepfather Don Richardson and her mum Nan. What a coincidence that now more than forty-one years later, a tiny memo revealed that her mum used Kate’s' telephone number at work as a contact in case of. Last week I was listening to some of the mp3 recording from Pirate BBC Essex and I was especially happy to hear Steve England and Dave Owen, who worked on both Radio Caroline and Radio Atlantis, again. They had lots to say about radio both then and now and I still miss that great sound of the International Service of Radio Atlantis. And as I searched on the internet I found a short movie about Pirate Johnnie Walker called the Jingle Sessions Sneak Peak at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BG0rNuFGkBQ and later found out that S2blue was the maker of that jingle package. As you probably well know S2blue was formed in 2001 when Steve England merged his company with Simon Prentice and as I searched on the website of S2blue I've found the master video of the YouTube version at http://www.s2blue.com/videos.cfm and many more. Yes “Pams Master” Steve England did it again! So that was my story so far, many thanks for what you've done for free radio past and presence and cheerio! Philip Taghon (Jabbeke - Belgium)

Thanks Philip for the nice words and surely Steve will also be smiling when he reads this month’s issue of the Hans Knot International Radio Report. Next from the UK it’s Phil Hilton:

‘Dear Hans, as a well connected person I would like to know if you ever hear of or know stations or groups in Europe or elsewhere who could benefit from my radio consulting. I specialise in Station Sound and on-air promotion, winning several awards along the way at Promax, Vox advertising awards and the New York radio awards for my production work. I have turned many stations around from poor ratings performers into stronger successful operations which of course means more revenue in commercial terms and greater justification and success in BBC terms. My work varies from promo making, working with station Editors/Managing Directors on campaign planning and promotional priorities, advising on overviews of the on-air sound and commissioning on-air ID and jingle work. I help to develop and train staff and presenters on how to grab and hold listeners and raise their production values! Recently I worked with BBC Radio Cornwall helping them get ready for new commercial competition in the form of Atlantic FM who posed a threat to Cornwall's 40+ audience. Prior to Atlantic's launch we boosted Cornwall's reach, share and listening hours to an all time high (38% reach) giving them a strong base to defend their patch. I continue to enjoy your radio reports. Kind regards Phil Hilton.’

Thanks Phil and anyone who wants to know more about his work and possibilities to work for you can check at: www.philhilton.co.uk

That Saturday it’s again the meeting for European radio makers and listeners in the rooms of the observatory in Erkrath . The event is scheduled from 13.00 to 20.00 hours at Observatorium of Sternwarte Neanderhöhe at D-40699 Erkrath. We expect our guests: Roger Kirk, Radio Victoria; Peter Verbruggen, Free Radio Service Holland; Don Stevens, Voice of Peace Radio Caroline; Herbert Visser, Radio Monique, 100& NL and others. Details on programme will be announced soon.
For more info:
http://snh.rp-online.de or http://www.offshoreradio.de

Car time! Remember we started a few month ago the search for cars with a radio sticker on it? We already had some nice ones and this time an e mail from Ruud van der Kuijl: ‘I’ve searched for my photos with my cars. I found first a photo of my Citroën 2 CV, which I had in the mid eighties. I painted the MV Ross Revenge on the backside of the car. Later on I had a Fiat transporter with I also painted with the Ross Revenge and the words
‘De middengolf leeft’ (Medium wave lives’).

Thanks a lot Ruud, most appreciated. You must have a lot of questions from people when seeing your cars. Ruud also sent some photo’s taken in the harbour of IJmuiden when the MV Communicator left the harbour, a couple of years ago. It was heading for England and would never come back to Holland again.

Photos: Ruud van der Kuijl

Next an e mail from Roger Davis: ‘Hi Hans I Just wanted to thank you for always sending me your brilliant informative report whenever you issue it, always a very interesting read, and I learn a lot from your report thank you very much, I hope you are keeping well. I seem to remember receiving reception reports from you during BRIs 1st year on SW in 1980! We are still broadcasting in 2009 mostly via Laser hot hits 4025khz outlet, also occasionally on 6255khz during the 2nd/4th Sundays, also sometimes the shows are put out via our webstream at www.geocities.com/britainradio48

I noticed in your report that Ian Godfrey has been listening to some of my shows on Atlantic oldies website www.atlanticoldies.com I present a rare 60s show on there each week, times are 8pm Tues/Thurs 1am/ and Saturdays from 5pm. All times are UK, any publicity for this programme would be much appreciated, I also still present weekly shows on Radio Seagull 1602khz AM. I enjoyed the Pirate BBC Essex Easter programming, I was also surprised how much the veteran DJs have aged while watching the live webcam! Anyway Hans keep up the good work with what you are doing. Kind regards. Roger Davis from Britain Radio International.’

Well thanks a lot Roger and I hope a lot of the readers will try to tune into one of your programs soon.

Now memories from the USA: 'Hi. You asked for personal memories of RNI so here goes: In 1972 and 1973 I was building sports cars for a small company in Oxfordshire, UK. Our workshop was the old shower block on an abandoned World War II airfield. Although the location was cold and windy it was also fairly high in elevation and I could pick up RNI fairly well on my portable transistor radio with a makeshift antenna attached. As I was still mad at the BBC for being part of the government Marine Offenses Bill that had shut down Radio London and other pirates years earlier, I really did not listen to the BBC's Radio 1. So I listened to RNI all day and although the daytime transmissions were in Dutch most of the music was in English. The three numbers that always to this day remind me of RNI are: ‘Child in Time’ by Deep Purple, ‘Popcorn’ by Hot Butter and ‘Brandy’ by Looking Glass. I was at Clacton in the UK when Radio London (just a few miles offshore) closed down and we listened live to the sad final closing moments after ‘A day in the life’ by the Beatles was played. The following day we went out on a boat to sail around the remaining pirate Radio Caroline and wave our support. I think it satisfied my still rebellious instincts to be listening to RNI a few years later. I even listened when the government was sending the jamming signal out on the same frequency and found that after a while you could ignore the jamming noise. I know it easy to be nostalgic but the kids today will never know how important that tinny sound of the pirate radio stations on AM radio were to our pop music starved generation. Thanks for keeping some of these memories alive. Keep up the good work. Larry Simpkins. (Now I’m living in the USA).’

Thanks Larry for these wonderful memories. Indeed you’re right when talking about nowadays kids. Lucky enough we still can tell them what happened in those days. Thanks for sharing it with us. You can all share your memories at HKnot@home.nl or Hans.Knot@gmail.com

From the USA we go to Sweden and Ronny: ‘A reunion of former Radio Nord staff members was held at the DeGeer concert hall in Norrköping on May 8th. It was arranged by local Radio Nord-enthusiast Håkan Thornell. The venue was actually sold out and apart from participation by some former "pirates" a number of beloved performers from the days of Radio Nord were entertaining us. In all a very good mixture of offshore radio nostalgia and music from way back when. More about this evening can be found on my blogs http://www.radioenthusiasts.blogspot.com (English) and http://www.ronnybgoode.se There is also a film from the event which can be downloaded from http://radiohistoria.jvnf.org/rn/v/radionordafton_norrkoping_20090508.wmv
Participating from Radio Nord were Lars Nestius, Lars Branje and Seve Ungermark (former news readers), Owe Sjöström and Kenneth Agehed (technicians), Lennart Atterling (DJ) and Miss Radio Nord, Christina von Sheck. Also present was Jan Kotschack, whose Radio Nord book will be published in September. There is a discussion forum on the subject of Radio Nord and those of you who are interested are welcome to join us at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/radionord although the forum is in Swedish it is also possible to post questions and comments in English and there are lots of images and soundfiles. All the best, Ronny Forslund.

In last issue I wrote about Rosko: ‘although you're were not the first you're a runner up this month.’ For those who read the report for the first time, the Emperor Rosko and I are playing a little game for a couple of years. Sometimes he has important news but mostly he wants to be mentioned in the report. So here we go again from California USA: ‘Thanks for the plug, I was about to give up!! It was better to be last than not to be! Or (knot) to be. Have a good one and see you soon. EMP. ‘Thanks buddy more on you later in the report as some people have news on your person too!

It's less than a half year until this year's Radio Day in Amsterdam takes place on Saturday 14th November. At the moment, we're concentrating on the scheduling of the "Laser is 25" reunion. We have been in contact with many former jocks, technicians and employees, but at this very moment we won't reveal the list of those people who will definitely attend. Be assured that it will become a big happening. Hans, Rob and me would be glad if the readers of this report can possibly help us to get in touch with the following people we haven't yet been able to locate: Paul Dean (Paul May on RNI), Chris Carson, Erin Kelly (Erin Weber/Erin Cavanagh), Dave Chaney (David Holderman), Craig Novack (Alan Bishop), Chuck Cannon, John Leeds, Jay Mack, John Allen, John 'Rock 'n Roll' Anthony, Robby Day (Paul Faires) and Bill Voight. So if anyone knows any e-mail address, telephone number or postal address, please get in contact with us and write to hknot@home.nl
As a sort of appetizer the former tender captain Leendert Vingerling has opened his scrapbook with splendid
Laser pictures at:
Don't forget that this year's Radio Day will see the second "Radio Day Awards" ceremony. The 2009 awards (commonly known as ‘The Radies’) will again have 4 categories and are awarded for: “An Outstanding Contribution to Offshore Radio” (3 awards), “Offshore Radio Top Technical Support” (1 award), “Offshore Radio Writers and Historians” (1 award), “The Radio Anoraks Award” (1 award). You can start guessing who will be the lucky ones! More information on the Amsterdam Radio day at http://www.radioday.nl

The Radio Days Radio Awards (Photo Robbie Dale)

Theo Bakker is next: ‘Thursday morning 14th May 2009 I got in the car after a message from Mandy Marton from Radio Seagull that the Jenni Baynton, the radioship from Radio Waddenzee and Radio Seagull, would be docked. In the meantime it had been towed from it’s mooring in the Willems Harbour in Harlingen to a wharf outside the city. On the way to Harlingen I passed the transmitters on land from which is broadcast temporarily. Because I could hardly see the ship from the road around the harbour I decided to drive to the wharf itself. When I called the reception from outside the gates a nice lady allowed me to come in and make photos of the Jenni Baynton. I got a pass for a day and could stay as long as I liked! In the meantime the ship was tightly anchored on the working place. Several people were busy with the ship that already had been stripped of the shells which in the course of many years had stuck themselves to the hull of the ship which had got the skin of a whale. The men, who were wearing gasmasks, were busy spraying primer on the part beneath the waterline. They asked me to stay away from it as it was dangerous. The ship itself is a solid round shaped ship that has been built as a lightship. The lighthouse is still there very prominently and was a beacon at sea. Now the electronic signaling has taken over from the lighthouses and lightships they are not needed anymore and the Jenni Baynton is one of the very few that escaped scrapping. And that is very nice. On the bottom of the ship is a kind of ring that should prevent the ship from swaying and gives it more stability. Also on the Waddensea it can be very dangerous seen the large number of shipwrecks on the bottom of the sea. So it may be very useful! It is a very impressive ship that looks much smaller above the waterline than it is in reality. The iceberg! If you have to be on a ship for months it is very nice of course that you have space for victuals and to live in. At this moment the ship will probably be back in the Willems Harbour from where it will leave for the island of Griend in the Waddenzee at the beginning of next week. On that small island was in the Middle Ages a small city with a monastery. From this location Radio Waddenzee and Radio Seagull will broadcast live from May 20th until June 6th next.Then, how nostalgic, there will be a real working radioship before the Dutch coast! A lot of thanks to the people at the wharf!’

The other photos taken by Theo Bakker can be found at: http://www.offshore-radio.de/images4/drydock/index.htm

Red Sands Radio the local radio station that has to date broadcasts from the Offshore Forts has found a new home. Said project-redsand chairman Robin Adcroft, “The WWII original fendering collapsed in the winter storm, it’s staggering it lasted 65 years! We’ve cut away the debris and are in the process of remaking replacement steelworks, but this won’t be completed in time for the Red Sands Radio broadcasts”. However, Whitstable Angling Club has come to the rescue and offered Red Sands Radio its premises. Roland Joint Chairman of the club said “We welcome Red Sands Radio with open arms, we’re about to undergo a major refurbishment of our club house at the old Steam Packet public house. The radio will help promote the activities and the fast growing membership of the club”. Radio Red Sands launches on 4th July 2009. For more information contact Red Sands Radio, PO Box 299, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 2YA or telephone 07961 601 893. Bob Le-Roi - Programme Director

‘I’m trying to locate deejay Keith/Dave Rogers (Keith Chanter), whom I known as a child because he worked for Radio Atlantis; as my parents did. I’m really interested how he’s doing. Can you help me to find him please? Yours truly, Daisy in The Netherlands.’ So if anyone can help Daisy with the current whereabouts from Dave Rogers please inform me at HKnot@home.nl

Next one for Steve: ‘Hi Hans Nice website... Check out www.radiokaleidoscope.com you will find our good friend "Buster" in full DJ form! Along with a list of other 1967 DJ's that you may also remember. Kind Regards Steve Taylor.

Next from Australia it’s Ian MacRae: ‘Hi Hans, I thought you’d be interested in the review I wrote about The Boat That Rocked for www.RadioInfo.com.au....
By the way interesting you should mention that the Radio City story would make a good movie. I’ve had a script based on that very subject sitting in my bottom drawer for a couple of years now. Can’t seem to get any interest in it. Cheers, Ian MacRae.

In the sixties, DJ’s on the UK’s “Pirate Radio” ships did nothing but party and have sex with the constant visiting supply of lusty young ladies. Oh yes, and present the occasional radio program, which was totally off the cuff as no preparation was required. At least that’s what the new movie “The Boat That Rocked” would have you believe. OK, you expect a movie to have a bit of artistic license and it’s great that a whole generation of British kids will now be aware that it was us broadcasters who were directly responsible for forcing later Governments to legalise land-based commercial radio in the UK.
However I squirmed for the over-long 135 minutes the movie runs watching misrepresentation after misrepresentation of what really went on flash up on the screen. Firstly I have to take issue with the title of the movie “The Boat That Rocked”. Radio Caroline, on which the story is based, was a “ship” not a boat. People row boats. Secondly no visitors were ever allowed on- for insurance and safety reasons. The idea you could invite 200 fans and have them running all over the ship is ridiculous when you have generators running and transmitters putting out 50,000 watts. Which makes the scene, where the two guys compete to climb the mast, even more ridiculous. The few visitors who did come on board were people like pop stars and entertainers, for on-air interviews, and they had to have special permission from head office in London. The movie makes no reference to the station even having a head office, which was actually a salubrious building just off Park Lane, but gives the impression the whole operation was totally run from the ship.
I’m being careful not to put any spoilers in this review, in case you haven’t seen the movie yet, but you’ll probably be a bit confused as to what the Bill Nighy character is supposed to be. He seems to be a combined ship’s captain, Program Director and owner. In real life there were two sets of crew on the ship the seamen, headed by the Captain, and the radio station people such as DJ’s, engineers and technicians. Neither group had the faintest idea what the other actually did. The movie makes it appear there was only one radio ship, which they call Radio Rock, with one DJ telling his listeners he has 25 million people listening to him. In fact there were at least twelve stations that I can think of broadcasting around the coastline, with about six positioned off London, all with a combined audience of 25 million. The movie really totally misses the point when the police attempt to raid the ship to close it down. The vessel was in international waters and outside the jurisdiction of any British authority. A raid like that would have been real piracy by the police. The only way the government could eventually close the pirates down was by cutting their supply lines. They made it illegal to supply them with everything from advertising to food, water, fuel or even supplying labour. That is, working for them. Come ashore and you’d get arrested. That’s when I decided two years at sea was enough and came home to Australia where you weren’t a criminal if you worked for commercial radio.
As for the movie enjoy it what it is – entertainment. But don’t regard it as history.’

Thanks Ian and I must say a very honest review from point of the historic truth! I hope you’ll find someone who will be interested in the script.

So let’s go to another former offshore deejay from the sixties as here’s a comment from Tony Prince: ‘Hi Hans, It’s pointless asking Rosko to remember engineers, he can’t even remember working with me on Caroline South, although he remembers us sharing a hotel room for many moons when I went North and he on South had the same weeks off rota. I remember Barry Goldberg, a British engineer, big round lad with a mass of beard. He told us of his adventures to the Antartic, swimming in the sea after breaking through the ice, even showed us photos. I also remember an engineer called Manfred but can’t recall his last name. Both were Radio Caroline North. I’ll ask Bob Stewart who’s in Texas, he has a good recall. Regards, Tony Prince.
PS: What 40 years did to the Royal Ruler: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EM5fHu6r9Ck a happy dive!

Hi Tony, of course I didn’t ask him for the technicians. I only mentioned two reports ago about a special page from the Pirate Hall of Fame where a lot of technicians are mentioned as asked the reader in common if they had an update to mention it. Manfred was Manfred Sommer. As I recall a very nice easy going lad and a long time engineer. Thanks for responding, Greetings

From Bob Stewart a few days later: ‘Barry Goldberg died a long time ago. I don't know Manfreds' last name. He was Austrian. Chief engineer on Caroline North was another Austrian by the name of Paul?. In the early days before you came aboard there was an English guy named Trevor. I don't recall last names. i think trevor came from Yorkshire. I think it's all long ago and far away.’
Also thanks to Bob Stewart for his comments. Paul Dale came from Graz in Austria and it was Manfred Sommer in 1965 and he worked on the Fredericia till closedown in March 1968 and indeed he came from Austria. Trevor Grantham was the name and for much more about offshore technicians go to

Next it’s Peter Messingfeld from Germany: ‘Dear Offshore Radio Friends. During April the British media reported on a nearly daily basis on the former offshore radio stations. The 45th birthday of Radio Caroline, the new movie "The Boat that Rocked" and the special broadcast of Pirate BBC Essex must have been the most outstanding events. On Easter Monday I had the chance to visit Pirate BBC Essex. My report is now online: http://travelseries.de/trav2009/trav09_1.htm

Also we’ve an e mail from a Caroline jock from the early seventies, Leon Keezer: ‘Dear Hans, I was amazed to find my picture in the last issue of the Knot Report. About that picture I can say it was taken by my then girlfriend Dory, a few days before the Mi Amigo was taken to Amsterdam harbour by RNI's Eurotrip and got impounded, more pictures on my fotowebsite

Anyway, I'm still active in radio in the Netherlands where we recently upgraded Amsterdam's Radio Decibel by taking over City FM and Hofstad Radio in Den Haag. Decibel can now be heard in the entire mid- and western part of Holland plus the city of Eindhoven on 6 transmitters (Amsterdam: 98.0, Noord Holland: 98.3, Utrecht: 98.5, Rotterdam + Zuid Holland: 97.6, Den Haag: 99.4 and Eindhoven: 93.6. After 2 months in this new setting we're now the fastest growing radiostation in the Netherlands and it is great fun working with many talented young jocks such as Eline Lacroix, Barry Brand, Barend van Delen and many others, all people totally dedicated to radio as we were in the offshore days. In fact it was Eline who send an email to the Decibel crew to invite us all to go see 'The Boat that Rocked' together and that's why I send back aforementioned picture.

Funny detail is that Ruud Hendriks (formerly Rob Hudson on Radio Caroline) did the same as me and send in this picture of him in that very same Caroline studio. Ruud recently also returned to his 'first love': radio and now hosts a (house) program on Sundaynights on Radio Decibel, which is now very much a modern 2009 radiostation. I made a short video when Decibel 3.0 as I call it was launched, last February 1st and it can be seen here: http://www.dailymotion.com/user/keezer/video/x8bqo0_radio-decibel-kickoff-122009_music

My first video on the -then- landbased pirate station Decibel 1.0 was taken exactly 25 years ago and can also be seen on the internet here: http://www.dailymotion.com/related/x8bqo0/video/x8irnq_the-decibel-tapes-radio-decibel-198_music?hmz=74616272656c61746564

Comparing both video shows that Radio -as our society- has changed a lot over the years, however it is still very much alive today and it's a lot of fun to still be a part of it. All the best, Lion Keezer.’

Hi Leon very good to see it all goes well with you and of course the radiostation too. Also thanks for the links and keep it going man!

Remember last issue’s radio t shirt was one with Radio Caroline and promo on it? It was from 1990 and it was the former Editor of the Freewave Media Magazine, Jos Leijgraaff, who wrote in to tell that the shirt was made to make some gain for the Magazine. About 150 shirts were sold in those days.

Jos also comments on Liz West: ‘I’ve met her a few times. I know she has some chronically problems with her lungs. One I bought medicaments for her which someone else took to the Communicator. A week later she played some songs for a great friend in Holland and told that she had much more air after using the medicaments.

Talking about t shirts here some from the 1972/1973, a photo which I took in those days from a part of my own collection

From t shirts , you can always send your own photo to HKnot@home.nl, we go to the USA and former Laser and Caroline deejay Blake Williams: ‘Please forgive my last message for being so short. It's been a busy time these past few weeks. I've been working on some films lately and loving every sleep deprived minute of it. Things are going to get even more interesting soon when it's time for me to jump back up on the tractor to cut and then bale hay for the farm I work for. The state I live in has offered tax breaks for the film industry so many of the big companies are here making movies. Many people like me are getting involved in different levels in film making. It's a lot of work but I love every minute of it. I'm still doing voice work but that has throttled back some what due to my tight schedule. We had a late spring as it seemed like winter never wanted to leave us here. Finally it's beginning to get warm and the weather is nice. My horses have been acting rather ornery due to the spring air. Please feel free to keep in touch and if you have any questions, please do ask. Blessings, Blake’.

Well Blake thanks for the update on all your activities. It’s good to hear you’re still going strong and hopefully there’s a change you show up in Amsterdam. In the meantime we now also know for sure the originally Steve Masters from Laser 558 is joining the gang at the Radio Day in November

Mary Payne: ‘It's been a long wait since Easter, but our eight-page photo gallery of Pirate BBC Essex 2009 is finally finished! We hope you all enjoy it.
Of course Mary and Chris have much more updates on their wonderful internetsite.

Next one a question from Robert: ‘Hi Hans, I was wondering whether you might be able to find space in the next International Report to ask if anyone could provide me with a copy (photocopy would do) of Caroline Movement Bulletin no 56? I have a complete collection from about bulletin 3 onwards except for this one issue which I think was the penultimate one. I would be really grateful if one of your readers could help and will be happy to cover any costs. Kind Regards Robert James.’

So please if anyone can provide this issue please mention it to HKnot@home.nl
But Robert wants to share also nice things with us: ‘Please find attached to this mail some scanned photos which I can guarantee you would not have seen before. My Father before retirement worked in the British civil service and was attached to the Naval base in Portsmouth. A friend of his was one of the Naval photographers and he took all of these images for me. The first two were taken from a Royal Navy ship sailing past the South Falls head in January 1990. The other three of the Nanell/Mi.Amigo II were taken when it was laid up at the top of Portsmouth Harbour in the autumn of 1989. It was moored right out in the middle of the harbour a long way from land so unless you had official reason to be there it was hard to get close up photos. This was very near to where the King David ship that went to Israel was fitted out. The interesting thing about the Nanell photos is that the centre vent which the mast was built around is fully intact, yet the stories at the time were that the mast had collapsed. Having seen these photos I find that difficult to believe as it would have caused severe damage to the central vent. I always thought that for some reason the mast had been removed in a port somewhere, but have never found anyone who knew the truth. I understand the mast was no longer there when it was off the Belgian cost. I wonder if any of your readers know what really happened. Kind Regards Robert’.

MV Ross Revenge South Falls

MV Nannell Porthmouth Photos: Collection Robert James

Hi Robert, thanks for sharing and hopefully someone comes with the answer to the mast question.

Last issue we mentioned that we found Angelica, also know as Kim Frazier on Radio Caroline. I did get back to her: Can you tell me some more about how you got on Radio Caroline, what you did afterwards so I can take a mention in the Hans Knot International Radio Report which come out every month during the past last 11 years?

‘Hi Hans, Thank you for your reply (I wasn't expecting one!). I got onto Radio Caroline via a recommendation from Tony Kirk. I'm afraid I've done very little broadcasting since then (though I'd love to go back to it some time). Instead I have put my energies into my art www.sl-art.co.uk and photography work. I am still in contact with Tony Kirk and Gerry Wright (who now works on Radio Jackie in South London). Kind regards, Angelica.’

Thanks a lot Angelica and really wonderful artwork on your internet site.

Time for Jon: New this month on the Pirate Hall of Fame:
• We visit Harwich for the 2009 broadcasts from Pirate BBC Essex;
• we hear from Johnny Lark, one of the first DJs on Radio Invicta back in 1964;
• we discover more about Radio 390's Samantha Leigh;
• we hear studio quality audio of Radio City's Tony Carroll, a DJ whose career was cut short by acute appendicitis;
• we meet Sylvan the stowaway girl who spent a weekend on Radio Caroline South in 1965;
• there is news of another pirate special coming up on the BBC;
• and we hear from the daughter of the late Guy Blackmore (alias "Jumbo" Jimmy Gordon). It has been a bumper month for visitors to the site - undoubtedly helped by Pirate BBC Essex and The Boat That Rocked. More than 25,000 people visited The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame during April.
• With kind regards, Jon Myer www.offshoreradio.co.uk

And also we have the Bob Le-Roi update: ‘Welcome to the May 2009 Update
In ‘ScrapBook’ some more photographs of the MV Communicator, which have just come to light. The ship is undergoing its painful transformation from its Dutch incarnation to the Super Station RSL for the Orkney Islands. ‘One Subject One Link’ takes on the Global economy with a contribution saying radio was on the slide before the money markets crashed. The East Kent (UK) Battle of the Bands 2009 took place in March we’ve pictures of the young groups that appeared. We’ve updated Fort Fax & the Caroline Roll Call with more information and finally the sales pages list a Dave Clark 5 Album, a Greatest Love CD and useful Telco Unit. Enjoy Your Visits www.bobleroi.co.uk

John mentioned already in his update that there is a report on a visit singer Sylvan took to Caroline: http://www.offshoreradio.co.uk/odds52.htm

And that brings us to the subject artists visiting offshore radiostations or their ships. If you can mention one please send a photo of the artist mentioned to HKnot@home.nl Next a photo which remembers me on RNI's radio days.

It shows daughter and father Willeke and Wily Alberti. Both had many hitsongs in the Dutch charts and were played a lot on Radio Veronica in the sixties. In the seventies RNI Dutch service even had an own radio show for the two on Sundays. Photo: Collection Soundscapes.

Almost every month there’s an e mail from Australia and former Caroline deejay Colin Nichol, and I must say it’s always interesting: ‘Patricia Adkins (now Adkins-Chiti) was the assistant to Chris Moore (real name Stephen Christopher Moore), who was programme director at Radio Caroline. She was a sensible spirit in the madness that was Caroline House. Also she was a very nice person. She has made a major career for herself as mezzo-soprano, creator of "Women in Music", a foundation she created and a prominent member of Italian government (she lives in Italy) as well as a prominent musicologist. She is married to conductor Gian Chiti. For full information, I suggest you search her on the internet. A great career and one of the women of pirate radio. COLIN’.

Patricia Adkins Photos Collection: Colin Nichol

Oké from Australia we go to Germany: ‘Hans, we talked a few times in the mid-90's about my stint on the Red Sands at Radio Invicta (as sponsored by Houchin Engineering of Ashford). It was just after Ed Moreno had left and together with Eddie Jerrold, Bruce Holland and Phil Perkins (the engineer), but we never got past a couple of preliminary calls. You even sent me a cassette which I never got round to talking onto. I'm buzzing you now to find out if you have any archive recordings of broadcasts from Invicta from around that time, or if you know anybody who has.

My interlude with Invicta has a prelude to it: I'd moved up to London in 1962, in that first flush of young adulthood (you may remember) and was living with my girlfriend in the back of her father's shoe shop at 98 Queensway, in Bayswater. In the "Golden Egg" next door we hob nobbed with a couple of gals called Christien Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davis - just innocent, neighborly stuff over pancakes and whipped cream, mostly. Next to the Golden Egg was the Picasso, where, as I remember, they even had nude models - and this was (protestant) London in 1962! One day I noticed an advert (postcard, next to ads like: "French model, call: Bayswater for appointment") in the newsagent's shop window at the top of Queensway, where it joins Bayswater Road. The ad that interested me said you would earn a lot of money, so I rang the number, and, bingo: there I was working for a fast-talking speed freak (and I don't mean that in any derogatory way) called Ronan O'Rahilly, giving out invites in and around Piccadilly Circus to suitable looking youngsters to go to his club "The Scene" in Ham Yard, just opposite the Windmill theatre. The Thursday resident band, as I recall, was a scruffy crew calling themselves "The Rolling Stones". All was more than well, until one day we burnt down the shoe shop and consequently moved back down to the parent's place in Whitstable; so goodbye Ronan. But, as fate will have it, standing at the bar of a pub down by the harbour, a complete stranger to me (Eddie Hinkins) asks me if I'd like to be a DJ on the radio station off Whitstable. The conditions - one week on, one week off and 15 pounds a week - convinced me. So the next evening I was at the harbour, got on the fishing boat with EJ your DJ, Bruce Holland, Phil Perkins et al and the adventure began.’ Looking forward to hearing from you soon, Helmut (Lee) Taylor.’

Well Lee, thanks a lot for your interesting story and I’ve uploaded the Invicta recordings I have. Also sent the e mail to Bob Le-Roi who really is specialised in the Offshore Fort Radio Stations, so hopefully he has more. By the way please let your stories come. Just hours later I got another e mail from Lee: ‘Hello again Hans, and thank you very much for the broadcasts; takes me back to some carefree times, when I felt like I was broadcasting to the world (but was actually only getting a listening public from South London to Brighton - but egal, it was a lovely time! Writing to you now has put me in mind of a further episode which might be of interest to you – it’s not to do with broadcasting, but sort of "alled". See what you can do with this:- In around 1975 I bought some (b/w) video equipment and went around the clubs and pubs in London and recorded about 50 or more of the bands performing - paces like the Marquee, the Speakeasy, The Greyhound in Fulham Palace Road and a number of other venues. One night at the Greyhound there was a band scheduled called Jigsaw, and they played their latest number/release, called "You've blown it all sky high", which I recorded. Subsequently their manager asked me if I would do a separate "video" of their entire album. So we hired a local south London hall, they stood on the stage and mimed to the album. I think one can say that this was the very first music video - sort of like the first b/w movies made, with piano accompaniment. Another band I recall were called Stray (recorded at the Marquee), but there are lots of them. I haven't gotten the video recorder (old National Panasonic half inch reel tape) out for about 15 years, and I'm not sure that it will work any more, but you never know. Could one get somebody to work up a sweat about this documentary evidence, do you think? Helmut.

PS: Any info on Eddie Hinkins, the some time station manager who hired me? 'Cos I recall you told me about the demise of Bruce Holland, Eddie Jerrold and (Dr) Ed Moreno; ‘schade - mais, c'est la vie, eh’?

Earlier on we had a former Laser deejay and here’s another one: ‘Laser 576 KC. Hi I just wanted to let you know that part of the journal I kept while on Laser is back on line with this picture of the ship; http://www.flickr.com/photos/kirkclyatt/3354350333/  Some may find it interesting. Have a good week! Kirk

Another short but interesting one from Andrew Dawson: ‘Hi Hans I was in Dublin for a reunion dinner. And while walking to town I saw this street sign. It’s named after Ronan's grandfather. Best wishes, Andy Archer.’

Photo: Andrew Dawson

The Dutch Society for Radio jingles and tunes has produced a new CD called PAMS in Holland. On the cd several packages wh
o are produced by the legendary PAMS in Dallas for stations in Holland. Of course the offshore lovers all know PAMS from the jingles they produced for Radio London, Swinging Radio England and Britain Radio. The first ever legally used jingles in Holland were heard in 1975. It was the NCRV radio, one of the public broadcasters who ordered a package. The CD is produced by Jelle Boonstra and Benno Roozen and next to the package as produced in Dallas by PAMS they have added also material from PAMS produced by others like Mike Eisler, Toby Arnold and Ben Freedman. This was possible as PAMS went bankrupt and it was possible to buy several packages by other sources, who partly bought the rights. Very special are the jingles produced for Radio Paradijs as they never were aired due to the fact the ship, the station used, was caught in international waters by the authorities. Former Voice of Peace deejay Kas van Iersel tells in the cd booklet how he went to Dallas to get the Paradijs jingles. Furthermore resings from PAMS packages can be heard for Radio Veronica (1994) and Cable One, first ever satellite radio station in Holland with the Marlboro Country program. Also the jingles Top Format produced in PAMS style for Radio 10, way back in 1995 and 1996.

The cd booklet is in English and had several unique photos from masters, singing sessions and the famous PAMS building in Dallas. People in Holland can find information in Dutch on www.jingleweb.com

The prices of this unique CD:
18 EURO (for all countries worldwide)
Post & packaging is included also for all countries worldwide.
This unique CD is available in limited edition.

How to order?
2) Please transfer your money to Stichting radiojingles, Maaslaan 72, 8033 DP Zwolle, The Netherlands. ING Bank 999736, IBAN: NL52 INGB 0000999736, BIC: INGBNL2A.

Make sure you write down your full name, address, zipcode, city, country and
your complete order. Please allow us 14 working-days for guaranteed delivery, see
www.jingleweb.com  or  www.jingleweb.nl

Now over to Ian Godfrey and his monthly meanings: ‘
I feel a bit reactionary about what has become the established formatting of radio stations. For several years I worked on Reception in a Community Centre and would usually have a female assistant, for the purpose of writing out messages, etc., who would always tune the radio to one of two London stations: Heart 106.2 and Magic 105.4, both of which have very restricted playlists. It didn't take long to notice that particular records were being played at particular times of the day with different pitches of tempo at different times of the week, in order to 'plug in' to the emotional state of the listener. Every artist would have between one and three records played - for example the only track by Otis Redding would be 'Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay,' usually played early in the week and it would be unusual to get to lunchtime on a Friday and not hear Aretha Franklin's 'Dancing in the Street,' an upbeat record related to anticipation of the weekend.

I work with groups of doctors in February, June and October, when a taxi is arranged to and from the hospitals. I noticed that the same record was played at about 07.35 on the first Tuesday of October one year and February the next, which I felt was more related to programming policy than coincidence! Both stations are aimed at a MOR 35-50 age-range and have an almost identical format, featuring mainly Top 3 records with a sprinkling of new releases. There is clearly wariness, possibly paranoia that listeners will tune away if they hear more than a couple of consecutive tracks unfamiliar to them. The chances of this probably increased a couple of years ago when a station that had started as Jazz FM (in the days when stations all had distinctly different formats) and went through at least two radical changes including name and rebranded as 'Smooth,' with similarities to Heart and Magic but generally more upbeat with a fair range of oldies, pitching itself fairly near to Gold. The ideal of a variety of stations all catering for a particular genre was clearly not commercially viable, as the general overheads and presenters' salaries are so high. There are so many music stations - arguably too many - targeting particular middle-ground markets, with slight tweaks of format, that commercial survival is more important than ever. The Heart and Magic audience figures are consistently quite good so they wouldn't risk changing. Presenters claim that they can play what they want to play although I have my doubts. Either their choice just happens to fall within the playlist range of the station or they're deluding themselves! Slightly amusingly, and something no-one could have imagined only a decade ago, is that the greatest chance of getting our choice of radio is from the BBC, with programmes like 'Pirate BBC Essex' and 'Pirate Radio Skues,' although there are some imminent radical changes affecting the latter. This afternoon Tony Blackburn is presenting another commemorative show on BBC London, featuring Roger Day, and Johnnie Walker and, for the first time as far as I know, Richard Curtis - should be interesting!

Living in Southend I was in probably the most ideal position for recording offshore radio, English and Dutch, but, unfortunately (in this respect) we had an electrified railway at the bottom of the garden. Every time a train passed I would get interference on the radio, in the form of clicks and brief crackles, so I never felt it was worthwhile buying the equipment. When I needed a new radio in about 1975 I bought one of the radio/cassettes of the time and did make a few recordings, for example, Tony Allen on Caroline with a 192 test transmission in April, 1976. I haven't played it for about twenty years so I'm hoping it hasn't deteriorated. With Best Wishes, Ian Godfrey.

Well Ian – who has very visual problems – I hope someone can help you to learn how to download. Very nice story on formatting and if anyone will comment, please feel free to do so at: hknot@home.nl

Another interesting site to take a few minutes to explore:

From Ian to Ian Anderson on the Shetland Islands who reflects on last issue where we talked about mast lengths: ‘That's a good effort by the "very investigative" Peter Phillips on the length of the Big L mast when he said that "we knew her breadth from the plans, and by factoring that we came up with about 140 feet". In fact the length of the mast is near enough 150 feet (46 metres). In "factoring" something as long as the big L mast with something as short as the beam of the vessel there is fore-shortening from the angle of view. The closer the camera to the object then the wider the angle of view and this leads to greater fore-shortening away from direct right-angle from the object. In the picture in question, the distance from the camera lens to the bottom of the mast is shorter than to the top, and so the top will be of a smaller scale than the bottom. There is a formula for this but you need to know at least one length and one angle, or two lengths, given that the mast is at right angles to the vessel. In recent days I have completed the actual lengths of all the main offshore masts (very few were the lengths published at the time and since). I have done this mainly from first hand information checked against the formula. This will be published as soon as I write it up. Ian Anderson, SIBC.

Thanks a lot Ian and in the meantime I’ve provided Ian with photo material which he can use by his article. It will be sometime published in printed form in OEM and a special internet version will be published in the on line Journal for Media and Music Culture. As soon it’s there I will let you know.

Next one comes from Larry Grinnel in the USA, who worked together with the late Mighty Joe Young, ex Laser 558 and Caroline technician, in the USA in the seventies: I wrote a rather long blog on my time at WEXY/WAXY which can be seen at www.mymac.com/showarticle.php?do=something&id=1874 It describes the station at the same time Mighty Joe Young (Vogel) worked there for the first time. Thanks for the excellent site you operate.

Joe Vogel Photo: Larry Grinnell

I have enclosed the only picture I have of Joe Vogel from the time I worked with him. This picture was taken at the WEXY-AM 1520 control room in Oakland Park, Florida (next to Fort Lauderdale) in April, 1972. Best regards, Larry Grinnell.’

Well Larry I thank you very much for sharing this memory with us. Most appreciated.

Another interesting posting from the Pole with the Soul in Manchester:
Hi Hans, for inclusion in your next bulletin, please. I've been a studier of charts for many years now and no more so than during the Offshore radio era. From 1964-1668, Caroline played the American chart countdown on Sundays, actively using the Cashbox charts. For some reason I always thought that they used Billboard's Charts as they were often announced as the Hot 100. From the late 50s onwards the Billboard chart was known as the Hot 100, whereas the Cashbox chart was simply the Cashbox Top 100. It wasn't until I was recently asked to date a chart clip that I realised that it was indeed Cashbox that was used by Caroline - so the term "Hot 100" was used erroneously in that context. For those interested in such things, the Billboard charts are available in various volumes through Joel Whitburn's excellent volumes - I have 1955-59, the Sixties and the Seventies. Each of these has the week by week rundown of the chart, photocopied from the original and they make for fascinating reading for music anoraks like me! I also have the Top R&B Singles 1942-2004. They're all pretty hefty volumes that were sent by sea mail when I bought them a few years ago. They are in the process of being transferred to PDF format on DVD-ROM. http://recordresearch.com is the site.

The Cashbox Singles charts have been assembled at http://www.cashboxmagazine.com/archives.htm If you click on, say the 60s banner and then pick a year, you will be presented with a page listing week by week the number one record in the States that particular week. If you click on the date, that week's Cashbox Top 100 loads up. Although there were many similarities between the Billboard and Cashbox charts there were also subtle differences, in much the same way as we had in the UK with the charts from Melody Maker, NME, Record Mirror, Disc and Music Echo at one stage! Nevertheless for someone interested in American charts, a fascinating site.

Staying on the chart theme, the complete Radio London ‘Big L Fab 40’ charts are available online at http://radiolondon.co.uk/rl/scrap60/fabforty/index.html No such detail is available for Caroline's charts as far as I'm aware.

Can't remember if I've listed them before but Dutch Charts are also available online - the Radio Veronica charts for 1965-1989 are in summary form at http://home.planet.nl/~elber875/chart_veronica.html, and the Dutch RNI Charts weekly from 1971 to 1974 at http://home.planet.nl/~elber875/chart_noordzee.html. The site also contains the Smashplays / Powerplays of both stations.
I have most of the charts for the 1970 incarnation of RNI and plan to put them online shortly. Obviously I don't want to duplicate effort if it is already there online, perhaps you or your readers can advise me. I would also be interested in hearing about Continental charts online, especially for France, Italy and Germany - my interest is up to 1980. I am not interested in charts beyond that date. Also I am aware that Caroline in the post-1974 era had various Top 500 charts, etc. For completeness, I would be interested either in that information or being pointed to the appropriate links. I hope this information is of interest to the music anoraks among you. Regards, Alan
Milewczyk aka The Pole with Soul
Soul pix on the net at http://www.soulman1949.com
Soulman1949's Blog at http://soulman1949.blogspot.com

John Bell is one of the many silent readers and has never written before but was asking me what Peter Chicago is doing nowadays. Well as far as I know Peter is working for the company from Andy Anderson, who’s into transmitter building. Peter joins the annual Radio Days very regularly so John feel free to join us in Amsterdam in November and ask Peter himself.
But Peter’s name was mentioned in another e mail too: ‘Hello Hans, I’ve been reading a book recently about the Enigma code breakers at Bletchley Park, England 1942/1`943. This Poem comes from an unknown operator working there and it made me think of Peter Chicago.

I hope that l shall never see
A thing l hate more heartily-
A wireless set which squeaks and then
Just squeaks and squalks and squeaks again A set that makes you swear and frown A set whose note goes up and down And eats up dots and dashes too Then spews the whole thing back at you Poems are made by fools like me But only hell makes things like thee.......
Love, Light and Peace, Ian in Bulgaria.’

Thanks a lot Ian and you see we’ve readers everywhere in the world. Another regular one is Herman from Gent in Belgium who wants us to go to another interesting internet site which also will be of interest to Alan the Pole with the soul: http://radiohistoria.jvnf.org/radionordT20.htm

Next an e mail from May 7th: ‘Hello Hans I receive the main French television stations by satellite and tonight (6 May) both TF1 and France2 in their main news bulletins carried items on the release in France of The Boat That Rocked. Excerpts from the film and some footage of Radio Caroline taken in 1964 were included on both channels. But here's the interesting thing. The film has been renamed Good Morning England in France, an obvious hark-back title-wise to Good Morning Vietnam. Incidentally, while writing to you, Charlie Wolf is still often seen reviewing the next day's UK national papers on BBC News and Sky News. All the best - Mike Guy
Thanks Mike and in the meantime several highlights have been watched. There was some excellent footage from French television, recorded in the sixties in a few of the specials.

Jon from London sent me the next link, in which news about another daughter for the late Abie Nathan:

Steve Jessney is next and I promised you all that I would come back to the Emperor Rosko: ‘Hi Hans, I hope you are keeping well. Do you remember when you did a live interview on a 'Vixen 87' RSL as part of our 'Pirate Radio Day' a couple of years ago? At the same time Rosko did us some promos for the event prompting you to say it was the first time both you and Rosko had broadcast on the same radio station on the same day! Well we are now 'Vixen 101' a full time voluntary staffed Community Radio station for East Yorkshire on 101.8 FM and our very exciting news is that 'The Imperial One' - yes Rosko - will be on our station from somewhere in June, every Saturday night from 8pm to 10pm with 'The LA Connection'. What is even more surprising is that the show is possible due to being sponsored by none other than Paul Rusling who now owns The Triton Inn in East Yorkshire. Two Broadcasting legends are bringing one of the great voices of the pirates to the region. So - Rosko comes to East Yorkshire! - What will the residents of East Yorkshire make of him? - will they be able to understand what he is saying? - will they even know where LA is? - Does he have a flat cap (essential headgear in Yorkshire) - does he keep whippets? (the pet of choice for all Yorkshire men) - Is he a John Smiths or a Tetley drinker? (beer is very important in Yorkshire) – It’s all very difficult to take in
We will just have to keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best. Steve. A same kind of message was received from Paul Stellings, the manager of the station. And as Paul Rusling was mentioned surprisingly a couple of days later an e mail was received from Paul Rusling: ‘Paul Stellings at Vixen FM told me that you were going to mention in your monthly report that we are sponsoring the Rosko programme to be on their station. The reasons we are doing this is that it was Rosko's programmes on Radio Caroline South in spring 1966 that really gave me the radio bug. His style was so fresh and exciting - I think Rosko was about the first DJ I heard who sounded as though he was enjoying himself - and its that style that I have loved and craved ever since. Had it not been for the 66 Rosko, I would probably have never gotten into radio. So, I just love the guy to bits and this was a great chance to have Rosko heard in East Yorkshire – it’s an honour for us to be making it possible by sponsoring the show. I just wish we could afford to sponsor him on an international radio station (what international radio station? Good question!) Last month we had three members of the cast from the Boat That Rocked at one of our Swinging Sixties Dinner Dance nights. The TRITON name of the pub is most appropriate - Triton was a sea god in Ancient Greek mythology, who had a big horn that could stop wars and even make noisy women quiet! In Western Europe we have the same guy in our hearts, but call him Neptune. I hope that is OK, Hans and useful to you.
Have Double Mercy Big Daddio! (Sorry, that must have been 'the man' and his influence). Met vriendelijke Groet, Paul Rusling.’

Saturday May 23rd Martin van der Ven, Rob Olthof and me headed out to the radioship from Radio Waddenzee. It was beautiful weather. Many seals, a lot of sunshine, rowing boats in a speed game together, Sietse Brouwer and his perfect team, former Caroline and Mi Amigo deejay Peter van Dam together with former Monique deejay Nico Stevens, Menno Dekker and Chris Kennedy (former Caroline) just a few of the many people who were there on the radio ship, which is anchored in Waddenzee for 2 weeks. It was a year ago I visited the ship the last time and must say that the conditions on the former light vessel are far much better than last year. Also on transmitter site Walter Galle has done a lot of good work. I’ve made a photo impression of the visit which you can find on: http://www.mijnalbum.nl/Album=RNQ3SMSD

More photos and this time sent by Leen Vingerling, who had a dinner in Italy, organised by Mark Dezzani and was organised to get a few friends together to talk about their memories to the late Bilbo. It was an informal happening in a restaurant in Seborga. Among the friends: Pyers Easton, former Caroline technician, Kevin Turner and Grant Benson (both former Caroline offshore deejays), Mark Dezanni, Dave Finch and Chris Bent (Caroline on shore and Radio Seagull).

Chris Bent, Kevin Turner, Leen Vingerling

Mark Dezzanni Photos: Collection Leen Vingerling


Next an email form Jaap Been who remembers that in the seventies a large factory pipe was painted with the word Veronica on it. Jaap told me that it was east of the A28 near Nijkerk. Jaap drove everyday to his barracks and lately he had contact with someone living nowadays in California. Also this guy did remember it. Of course Jaap is wondering if anyone in the readership remembers it and has a photograph of this pipe. If so the regular address to react is HKnot@home.nl

Well Jaap hopefully someone has taken a photo some 35 years ago. Next we go to James Day:

‘Hi Hans, It's James Day: congratulations on your excellent blog;so very interesting to note that it grows month by month as the interest in offshore radio obviously never dies and in fact it looks like the 'Boat That Rocked' maybe breeding a new generation hungry for that which most of your readers here have already known! The phenomena of Offshore Radio. I hope they too can experience it somewhere; someday! Since hearing about the Laser Radio Day I've been wanting to come, and can now confirm my attendance. I sailed the Communicator out of UK Government detention that dark blustery night in November 1986, straight out to the Sunk Outer Anchorage 14 miles off Felixstowe! So started one of the most challenging and interesting maritime escapades that I've ever had! The Laser Hot Hits project was certainly beset by difficult problems and some of the worst weather. Dare I say even 'supernatural' weather that brought the ships towers down in January 1987! I will look forward to being able to share more of my memories of the Communicator and of course the Ross Revenge; rebuilding her early in 1988 was quite a challenge too; sadly Steve Conway appears to have written me out of his book which covers the period, and it appears his recollections differ quite greatly from mine; after all, for the Ross's Easter 88 'walkabout' of the Southern North Sea; I was on board and he wasn't!

Listening to Laser HotHits in Beautiful shot Red Sands
James Day sitting - Transmitter room Communicator


James Day and daughter Jenny 2008
All three photos collection: James Day

I've attached a couple of photo's for you Hans; then and now; firstly a picture of me (sitting) with Ray Anderson and Mike Barrington in the Tx hall of the Communicator on the 1st December 1986, the first hour of Laser Hot Hits 576 kHz (I'd love to meet John 'Rock and Roll' Anthony again. The poor lad got totally freaked by the stormy weather we had just in the first few weeks!) The second photo is me with my eldest daughter Jenny on top of the Southern gun tower of the Red Sands Fort during last years Red Sands Radio broadcast. Once again Hans well done, for an excellent blog, and I shall look forward to seeing you and my offshore colleagues in Amsterdam in November. Best regards, James Day, Deal, Kent, U.K.

Thanks a lot James and wonderful photos but I presume it’s not Ray Anderson for he hadn’t a beard in those days. Maybe another name? And James got back: ‘Glad to know you got the photo's ok. I've had a think about it and I can confirm that it is Ray Anderson (Warner).The beard is what we used to call a 'DTI Disguise Kit’ Ray had grown the beard over the previous weeks because when he was on board earlier in November we had been overflown by a UK Government aircraft, which was a regular occurrence; so he'd grown the disguise. Crew on board at the time was: Capt Bob, James Day (me), Johnny Lewis, Mike Barrington and John Anthony. Ray and his lady friend were on board for the 'switch on'.

One other thing - You have remembered crew members of 'Communicator' who are no longer with us. Another one who I think you may have forgotten is Jose van Groningen, the tx engineer. I was honoured to have been able to talk and share with Jose on the 'Communicator' during January and February of 1987 (albeit during very stormy weather for most of the time he was on board!). A wonderful engineer he was, who I am proud to have worked with offshore, who is sadly no longer with us in this life.
Keep up the good work Hans; thank you for keeping the dream alive whilst the 'legal technical problem' has existed, but maybe not for much longer! sssshhhh! James Day.’

Thanks James and we haven’t forgotten José, who also worked for Veronica and on the MV Nannell. By the way Leendert the tender king also says it wasn’t Ray so if anyone recalls the name of the bearded man please reflect!

José van Groningen in transmitterroom Communicator

Well finally a very sad photograph taken by Simon Tuder during his holiday early May. It was in Orkney where he saw what was once the proud transmitter vessel from Laser 558 and Laster Hot Hits.

Thanks all for your support and till next month all the best from

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