Hans Knot's International Radio Report - July 2009


Dear friends welcome to this month edition of the Hans Knot International Radio Report. And once again thanks a lot for all the e mails with memories, tips and of course the hundreds of congratulations I got from all around the world for the fact Queen Beatrix decided to honour me with a knighthood. I’ve decided to bring ten of all those e mails further on in the report.

Let’s start with one to think about. It’s a text which I got from several sources, all former radio people including Steve Young, Robbie Robinson and Ron O’Quinn: "The radio business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- Hunter S. Thompson

Just after finishing last edition André Schokker informed me about an interesting internet site to go to: www.pirateradiousa.com

r the most recent issue, which was sent as a word file, I got several complaints from people who couldn’t read it as they use an Apple computer. I couldn’t send it otherwise that time as the email file was rejected as it had too much editing in it. When it happens again in the future I can mention that the report will be on internet in the week after the e mail version has been sent. Always at www.hansknot.com, where also the old reports, going back to early 2004, can be read.

Also on the same internet site you can find memories to Radio 270. Almost a year ago one of my readers did sent me a parcel with a lot of newspaper cuts about the station which transmitted from aboard the former Dutch fishing vessel ‘Oceaan 7’ off the Yorkshire coast. I’ve added some material from my own archive too. If you go to www.hansknot.com and you see this sticker, just click on it and you’ll find these special pages.

Next from The Dutch isle of Texel it’s the famous brewer Nico Derks who tells us he’s in radio too. They make shows for several Dutch Radio stations and have two internetsites: www.terugnaar80.nl as well as www.radioeurope.org

Next time for a comment on last issues article from Ian Godfrey: ‘Hi Hans, Ian Godfrey's comments on formatting certainly strike a chord with me. I appreciate the importance of setting a format which is commercially viable and not rocking the boat by deviating from it. In fact, it gives a feeling of security to the presenter to know that they are playing the right music. But, I, as a presenter, had limited tolerance for some of what I was required to play, just as I have little time for the commercial AM & FM music stations on the dial where I live. I am surprised that Magic, Smooth etc. manage to please enough listeners to make money. Perhaps I have been spoiled by too much choice in music! The 'Graveyard Shift' on the VOP gave us (unofficial) freedom which, I think, many commercial presenters of today would very much like to have. Working on that station widened my musical tastes. For escapes from commercial AM/FM, I would suggest free-to-air satellite radio, night-time tuning around on MW and free Internet radio. I use Screamer Radio: http://www.screamer-radio.com
All the best and Good Listening, Paul Fraser.’

Thanks Paul and always happy with your comments. Next is another t shirt which was released way back in 1972 when Radio Veronica changed wavelength from one side of the dial to the other side. Yes from 192 to 538 metres. I presume this one was white when it was bought. Myself I had a blue and a orange version of the shirt. If you’ve also a photo of a radio t shirt please send it to HKnot@home.nl

Dutch Society for Radio jingles and tunes has produced a new CD called PAMS in Holland. On the cd several packages who 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 legall
y 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 re-sings 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 radio jingles, 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

Inthe meantime, just days ago, another product from the society has been released. A book and cd about the very first year ‘Dik Voormekaar’ show on RNI in the seventies. More next time or see their site at www.jingleweb.com

Time for another returning subject is the artists who visited radio stations within the offshore radio scene. This time a photo from 1966 which shows us, in the middle, Frank Sinatra his daughter Nancy. Next to her on left is Larry Dean and on the right Ron O’Quinn. Yes, both deejays and newsreaders aboard the MV Laissez Faire, also known as the Olga Patricia. The ship was home of five offshore radiostations including Britain Radio and Swinging Radio England.

We go to London and former Radio Scotland watcher David Burke, who wrote: ’Hi Hans, how are you? Hope you are well. Whilst I'm writing I have to ask whether you have yet seen 'The Boat That Rocked’. I have, and I know that many people have commented on it, but I thought that it was absolutely fantastic! I think it captures the mood of the pirate era and the 60s very well indeed. The star of the film was for me of course the music! I'll never be able to for example listen to the Kinks 'All Day and All of the Night' again without thinking of the film! The editing of the soundtrack was superb. We all know that it was never going to be, and was never intended by Richard Curtis to be, 'factual' or a documentary, and so with a suitable pinch of salt it was a joy to watch. And didn't the ship look fantastic?! It's a shame that they quickly sent it back to Holland and removed the masts etc. - surely it would have been a great tourist attraction down in the West Country for a while, after the film had been made. Top marks for me went to Bill Nighy in his role. It was heartening to see on television all the interviews on the night of the premiere in Leicester Square with Bill and Richard Curtis etc., who were clearly huge 60s pirate radio fines, which I'm sure helped with the authenticity of the atmosphere generated within the film.

It was also worth noting that the younger actors got caught up in the moment, which just proves what a magical time the 60s pirate era was. I was disappointed at some of the criticism the film got from some 'anoraks' - pity they just don't accept that it is just a 'romp' and sit back and enjoy it! And did you notice that many of them weren't actually there in the 60s - so how do they know?!

It's been a fantastic year, what with Pirate BBC Essex's most excellent pirate weekend and the film. I really hope we see PBBCE back again, and surely we will in 2014 on the 50th anniversary. Well done to all the jocks there; they really did capture, as they have done before, the atmosphere of the era! And it sounded just as fresh to me as it did back in the 60s, and was as far removed from what a 'product' UK radio has become these days as one could imagine. And it wasn't lost on me that they used an old lightship to broadcast from, so memories of Radio Scotland came 'flooding in'! I'm sure you will continue the atmosphere at Radio Day later this year!’

Thanks Dave and of course we will try to get a magic atmosphere at the Radio Day in Amsterdam November 14th. Hope I will see you there too! Too my surprise Dave came back within minutes with another e mail: ‘Best wishes Hans, I just had to write again! Well done and many congratulations on your award of Knight of the Order of Orange Nassau! You really deserve it for the work you have done over the last few decades. For reporting the history of the heydays of radio and for helping to keep those good times alive. That explains the "royal" in your report heading email! Keep up the good work of course. Your latest report is a fabulous read! For me what a sad picture of the Communicator in Orkney from Simon. Has he any more pictures of her I wonder? I think that images of old discarded radio ships are very sadly poignant - who cannot be affected by those historic photographs of the Galaxy in Kiel harbour for example! Dave Burke.’

Thanks Dave for the congratulations and I promised to publish ten of the hundreds of them I got so here’s the second one and this time a emotional one for me from Noam Tal: ‘Dear Hans, Congratulations for getting the ‘Knight of the Order of Orange Nassau’. I believe that this is a gesture of respect from your country for your contribution to the society in so many fields. You were honored on the 29th of April, which is Abie Nathan's Birthday so as you see it’s very symbolic. I want to wish you and Jana good health and many years of fruitful activities. Noam.’

Thanks Noam and for those who don’t know him, Noam is a very good friend from Tel Aviv who did together with Eva and others so much good work to care for Abie during his last years of his life. Also he’s responsible for taking care of Abie’s archive. And Noam, when walking back from the celebration party to our home I had my thoughts to the same fact it was Abie’s birthday and it was some 40 decades ago I met him for the first time in the same town I was knighted.

Jana and me directly after I was knighted

The third one comes from England and Bill Green: ‘Hi Hans, congratulations on your Knighthood, what a fantastic achievement. I guess my old mate Buster Pearson will be looking down with a big smile. (For those who don’t know Buster was the editor behind Monitor Magazine as well as friend from all those who worked in illegality in the seventies of last century). Thank you for the Radio Reports, they are very interesting. I can't believe how many people are still interested in off-shore radio. Whenever I mention the subject to anyone, they either say, they never listened or that they thought it all stopped in 1967. I was intrigued to see the picture of MV Nannell. I don't know anything about it. I gather that Steve England reads your reports. Please say a big thanks to him and Dave Owen for their program on Pirate BBC Essex. I thought Radio Atlantis was brilliant and lots of fun. Well Hans thank you for Keeping The Dream Alive. Reading your reports makes me feel I am part of the biggest family in the world. Regards, Bill Green.’

Thanks Bill, well we’re not the biggest family but we all have strong contacts. Steve England is reader of the report and surely he will like the comment. About the MV Nannell here what Martin van der Ven writes about it on his ‘Offshore Radio Fleet pages’: M.V. Nannell. Ship details: The MV Monte Cuatro was built in 1956 at the S.A. Juliana Const. Gijonesa shipyard. The ship's length was 244 feet 4 inches (74.71 metres) and a width of 35 feet (10.75 metres) built in such a way that it could be converted at any time from a 550 BR Tonnes freighter with an open deck into one with closed top deck of 1165 BR tonnes. Motor: 1230 PK. The s call sign was H2NN, and listed by Lloyds of London under number 6416718. The MV Monte Cuatro was renamed MV Monte Balerdi in 1982. Later the ship was renamed the Dionissios K, and sailed under the Cypriot flag. Then the ship was purchased by Harvey Metals.

In 1984 the vessel was towed from Scotland to Southampton via Portsmouth. While in Southampton the ship was overhauled, the first since the ship was built. The ship was renamed the MV Nannell and registered in Puerto Cortez, Honduras. The name Nannell was chosen in honour of a senior lady in the owners family - Nellie, who was known to her many grandchildren as Nan Nell. Harvey Metals sold the MV Nannell to Worldwide Broadcasting Corporation during a voyage from Southampton to Spain. Amongst those people who were temporarily involved in the Nannell project were Paul Rusling, Nico Volker and Ex-Veronica technicians José van Groningen and Hans van Velzen. In February 1986 the MV Nannell sailed from Southampton to her home port of Santander via Gijon. The vessel was taken to the Alantico shipyard to be converted into a radio ship. The British Government put pressure on Spain to prevent further conversion work taking place. Spain demanded that the work should stop and insisted that, since the MV Nannell was a Honduran ship it should also have a Honduran license for radio broadcasts. In March the MV Nannell left the Atlantico shipyard stating her destination as Oran, Algeria, however the ship had stayed without completing advice from professionals that the 240 feet mast be fully stayed.

Within a few miles of the coast it hit huge 'Bay of Biscay' rollers, the ship pitched, rolled one way - and the mast went another and was forever lost beneath the waves. Lesson number 2 of offshore radio - get the mast properly stayed! Instead of Algeria, the ship sailed for France. At the end of April new backers had been found and the MV Nannell sailed back to Santander under a different flag with all the correct paperwork. More financial problems slowed the project down. By June 1989 the MV Nannell was anchored off the Belgian coast, but some months later, it headed for Portsmouth harbour. In 1990 the owners of the ship decided to scrap the ship, which had now been renamed Mia Migo in the meantime. In September the Mia Migo was scrapped In Zeebrugge (Belgium).

Planned offshore radio station: Stereo 531 (or Stereo 576) and WSOL 801. According to Walter Zwart (Simons) there were also talks with Delta Radio from Nijmegen/Netherlands and with the American based Music Of Your Life. Herbert Visser reported that in the summer of 1989, a single FM-test was transmitted from the MV Nannell off the Belgian coast. Planned location: International waters of the North Sea.

Well Bill hope the above information brought you more on the failed project. Also Stuart Dobson, who was involved too in the project, reflected on the Nannell strophe from last month: ‘I agree with the Nannell theory that the mast could not have come down and said that at the time but no one agreed with us! Remember we were there when the mast was erected! And I knew it was around the center vent! Stuart Dobson’

Putting the mast on the MV Nannell (Photo: Archive Hans Knot).

In last issue we had the question from Robert James who was searching for a single edition of the Caroline Movement Bulletin, to bring his collection up to date. We got a few responses including the one from Graham Hughes: ‘Hi Hans. I have a copy of this should Robert require it. I’m happy to copy and scan it to him if you can let me have his e-mail address. Cheers and keep up the good work. Graham.’ Thank you all for responding and to Graham for making a copy for Robert of that issue number 56 from 1977.

I promised to publish 10 of the many hundreds of wishes, which came in and so here’s number four from Keith Skues: ‘Now this is good news. Many congratulations on the award from Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. Are you now Sir Hans of the Knot clan? It's a wonderful title and a great honour to you personally. Well deserved, if I may add my own feelings. I had better check my etiquette book to see how we address you in future. Once again many congratulations. Yours ever, Keith Skues.

Thanks a lot Keith and all the others who responded on the news. Most appreciated. Number 5 comes also from a former offshore deejay from the sixties, Tom Edwards: ‘After years of writing about other people I now see on Bob Le Roi's site that you, dear friend, have been honoured for all your many years of work. I am so delighted for you. Bob says The Order of Orange Nassau from Queen Beatrix, what an honour for you. Unfortunately in this day and age yesterday I watched in horror pictures from Apeldoorn of the carnage a young man dealt out towards the Royal Family on what should have been a happy day, taking lives of innocent people and putting fear and terror everywhere. I am shocked, angry, and saddened to see such things happening in 2009. As a young man I came to Amsterdam many times. I fell in love with the Dutch as they did with me and made many friends, so it’s upsetting to see such a horrific incident. Time will tell I suppose on what this maniac's intent was all about. Congratulations again Hans you must be so proud. Tom Edwards.’

Photo Colin Nichol Archive

Number 6 comes from one of the very first offshore deejays in Europe, who worked for CNBC in the very early sixties, Paul Hollingdale: ‘Hi Hans, first of all may I congratulate you on your recent award from the Dutch Royal Family. You must be very proud of your achievement. Many people, who have received your monthly radio reports on Off-shore radio, over the years, will no doubt join in with their good wishes. As an early veteran of Pirate Radio, CNBC in the early sixties, it is good to know that the spirit and the memories of that era have been continued with your good work. People today get so much out of their radio listening with the choice that is available. But in those days we were fighting an indifferent British Government who wanted the BBC's monopoly to continue. Long may you continue to provide us with many more interesting and enjoyable newsletters. Maybe I missed it - but have you had much feedback from those who have seen the Richard Curtis movie – the boat that rocked? Best wishes, Paul Hollingdale. P.S.: At the moment I am currently working in Vienna as a Film Commentator and doing voice overs in English and German.’

Thanks a lot Poul for your congratulations. I did met Poul for the very first time in 1978 and had that certain day in July an interview with him, which was the very first ever interview with an offshore deejay for the then new publication Freewave Media Magazine. The Magazine is still published and I never met Paul Hollingdale again till we suddenly met two years ago in London, which was a very nice moment to remember. Also good to see you’re working in Vienna at the moment. Must also bring memories way back to 1979 when you opened Blue Danube Radio in Vienna.

It was also very nice to receive congratulations from a person whom I worked with very closely in the late eighties. It’s Rob Chapman from Manchester, who’s very good publication ‘Selling the sixties’ was published in 1992. Rob and I had, in the pre e mail period, a lot of conversation by sending each other very long spoken letters discussing the world on offshore radio. Also I did for him a lot of translating of interviews and articles from Dutch into English. Countless cassettes have gone from Holland to England and backwards. Rob wrote: ‘A thousand congratulations to you Sir Hans of Groningen. This is the most fantastic news I have heard in a long time. Please don't forget your loyal subjects and keep on producing that radio research. Rob Chapman.’

Time for a very serious e mail which came from South Africa and I hope one of the many readers in Belgium can help to solve the question. Warren wrote the next text: ‘Hi, I am enquiring for a radio personality Bruno Van Laar, also known as Bruno Jean Julio Brisard. I read an article on line that says he passed away in 2000. I would just like to make sure that is it indeed the same person as Bruno Jean Julio Brisard? Was he employed by Radio Ace around 1984-5? Do you perhaps know if he made a trip to South Africa late 80’s and if so, if this is indeed the same person (born 25 Nov 1965 and has two brothers)? If you would be so kind as to forward all information on his life that you may have till his death.

My name is Warren and I am 21 and come from South Africa, and I have a strong feeling that he could be my father that I never met, so any information would be greatly appreciated. Or, even if you can point me in a direction of where I may be able to learn more about him. Awaiting your reply in anticipation. Kind Regards Warren.’

Well Warren I didn’t know the person myself but did some research through the files of the RadioVisie on line Journal, which I’m also writing for. I found a small article in the September 26 edition from the year 2000. It stated that Bruno Brisard (his family name) died after a long period of suffering. Also it mentioned that his radio personality name van Bruno van Laar. So I presume it’s the same person you’re looking for. He became known in Flanders (Belgium) by working for radio stations like Radio Highway in Edegem, Radio Ace in Kontich, Radio Metropolys in Antwerp and Radio Contact in Antwerp and Boom. He is buried in a place called Aartselaar. I hope some of my Belgium readers can tell us more about Bruno van Laar.

Next monthly update time for: The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame.
Among the new items this month: we have four pages of wonderful photos taken on board Radio Caroline South in late 1967/early 1968. We think they were taken by engineer Maurice Brown; speaking of which, there have been a couple of additions to the database of offshore engineers of the sixties; we hear from Colin Dale, one of the first DJs on Radio Sutch back in 1964; and we discover how Radio Caroline beat Radio Atlanta on to the air in 1964.
My thanks, as ever, to everyone who has contributed. More next month....
All the best, Jon Myer www.offshoreradio.co.uk

We now go to Eric Wiltsher: ‘Dear Sir Hans, I've only just managed to read your report for June. You may recall I asked, last year, who would continue your work in the future. I hope that the recognition you have just received will serve to encourage others to enter into all the areas you have served so well in that last 40 years. Again my sincere congratulations! I am now pleased to share that whilst we suffered a terrible time earlier this year, to some degree we are back. There are many people to thank for this, as I'm sure to miss some out can I just say thank you to everyone. Now, RTI has an active stream back again (we've retained images and reports on the site just to remind everyone of the real story) and now we're not in the clutches of the Slovak regulator. We retain our passion for the area and are pleased that local Slovak groups have returned to support us including cultural groups that wish to advertise via our online service. Extracts of shows and mini-shows can now be found on the iPhone via the AudioBoo application. Actually Tony Blackburn uses it more than I do. So now we can record things on the iPhone, both using the internal microphone as well as connecting it to a studio, and then upload the content to AudioBoo. That can then be heard by anyone with an iPhone whilst travelling around and by anyone else by going to http://audioboo.fm/profile/EricWiltsher and simply listening. Actually, the quality is outstanding. I'm also very pleased to say that my show, PostCard from Poprad, is also being aired by www.replayradio.net which is supported by people like Mike Knight, Rosko, Enda Caldwell and more. So maybe the regulator did us a favour - we found new ways to reach planet earth and still help those around our home studio. So the 'Station Of The Stars' didn't go away, we just started phase two without regulatory control. Best Regards, Eric Wiltsher.’

Well Eric thanks for the congratulations and I see you also still have the power to go on with all the strength you have. Good luck and one day we will drink a pint together again! It’s some years ago, isn’t?

Monthly Ian Godfrey is reflecting on several things too: Dear Hans, I've just finished reading your tribute to CSJ on the journal for Media and Music Culture at www.soundscapes.info, together with the intermediate link, which deals with his dismissal from RNI, resulting from the Noel Edmonds comment about RNI being financed by listeners' subscriptions. I vaguely remember reading the article. I'm sure it was in 'Record Mirror,' in which he wrote a weekly column. I seem to remember that it was on the same page as the latest news about RNI and Veronica and was never that complimentary about offshore radio but part of its purpose was probably to give some sort of balance. I listened to Radio Sovereign probably from day one - early January, 1983 - and listened every day till the sad closedown almost exactly a year later. I was living in Shepherd's Bush at the time, about ten miles from the transmitter site and the signal was quite strong but on 1494/1503 its coverage couldn't have been that vast. Ironically the 'oldies' format was so novel and, although the coverage couldn't have been that wide, it was probably responsible for the creation of the 'gold' stations, even though it took about four years! I always felt that CSJ had a unique voice but, when you mentioned that he was hired by Steve Merrike, I could immediately see a similarity between the two.’

Ian and I had an e mail conversation about the late Howard Rose, who died this month 7 years ago suddenly at the age of 49. Of course the main part of our readers knows him either than Crispian St. John on Caroline, Atlantis and RNI or as J Jackson on Caroline in the eighties. I knew him personally from the late sixties when he subscribed to Pirate Radio News and in the late eighties and nineties when I wrote for his Radio Magazine and he wrote for our Freewave Media Magazine. We not only discussed the character Crispian but also his famous test programs. Ian went on with: ‘As a follow-on from the comments on the 1187 test another test transmission featuring CSJ, which I found by chance, was from Atlantis on 1115 kHz. a couple of days after Christmas, 1973. The signal in Southend, unsurprisingly, was strong but the first thing I noticed was that the audio quality, although acceptable, wasn't as sharp as the Caroline tests of a year earlier. Two records I distinctly remember are 'Radar Love'/ Golden Earring and 'First Cut Is the Deepest'/Keith Hampshire, both of which were played several times a day. Very Best Wishes, Ian Godfrey.’

Well if you have, as a reader, special memories too to the late Crispian St. John, please send them to HKnot@home.nl

In last issue of the Hans Knot International Report there was the question from Matt if we could tell Daisy in Holland more about Dave (Keith) Rodgers. Dave worked in the seventies for RNI as well as Radio Atlantis. It is Simon who responded first with: ‘Hi, I believe that Keith works for Southend Borough Council on Southend Pier. He also trained to be an actor in 1997, and now works on many productions with the Southend Shakespeare Company. He is also on Facebook under the name Keith Chanter. I hope that helps for the person that was trying to locate Keith. Kind Regards. Simon Humphreys.’

Well, Simon thanks a lot for responding and I’ve forwarded it to Matt.

You all know I’ve a very special love for all happening with Abie Nathan and so I was very pleased to read the next announcement: ‘Hello Hans, when visiting Israel on business last May, I asked my associates in Tel Aviv if they could find out if there already was a museum or exhibition about The Voice of peace and/or Abe Nathan. Within a day we were visiting Givat Haviva where we were pleasantly and warm welcomed by David Amitai and his staff, who gave us a very complete guided tour thru there archives. I was happily surprised to see there are still so many items preserved from the Peace Ship. They allowed making lots of pictures of the material they got on stock there. Together with the account of a very pleasant conversation I had with Noam Tal I posted the photos on a special page.

The people of Givat Haviva are still looking for additional funds to materialize their desire to open the Abie Nathan Museum, so if there is anyone out there willing to financially help out, please have a look on the page and find the contact details. The building is ready; the plans are made so let's hope they can make it work. Oh and something else, perhaps there is a way to supply them with server space somewhere to place the hundreds hours of VOP recordings? Kind regards Alex van der Hoek

Congratulation number 9 comes from Gerard Smit nowadays living in Surinam. During his offshore days Gerard worked on RNI Dutch service as newsreader as well as a presenter: ‘Congratulations with the decoration you got. I don’t think you once started history writing about (offshore) radio with the idea that you would once get a knighthood from Queen Beatrix. But on the other hand you really deserve it. It’s funny to know that during the past two months I’ve talked with two persons about you Hans. Against the first person I mentioned that it would become time to offer you a ‘learning chair’ or at least a honour doctor ship at a university as offshore radio historican. Against the second person I mentioned that it would become time that you would get a special decoration for all the many work you’ve done through the years. For sure, without all your work, almost nobody would know anything about that special part of radio history, you took your time for all those decades. Future historians will talk with much respect about your work in a few decades and make their own publication on the results. And the last person I spoke to was Harry de Winter, the one who worked for RNI in the seventies too. I only was too short in time to have a long talk with him. He’s doing very well with his events company. For now as ever ‘Garoeties’ from Gerard.’

And finally number 10: ‘May I congratulate Queen Beatrix on her wisdom and foresight. I Ray Teret in the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man, born of Mother Nature and Father Time could not have chosen a better man for this medal. A man, who has the knowledge of learning, determination of a hungry dog and the patience of Job when it comes to world of Radio. I thank you Sir for the manner in which you have opened my eyes for many years. Wear your award with pride and whenever you can. You deserve it Ugli Ray Teret

There’s also a group of readers who discovered the sound of the nation, Radio Caroline in their youth, which was late seventies of the last century. Radio Caroline had a Dutch as well as English service from Eastern 1979 till the MV Mi Amigo sunk, early March 1980. One of the deejays of the Dutch service was Peter de Vries and recently he sent a lot of photo scans to Martin van der Ven and me. They can be found at: www.offshore-radio.de/images4/wvdm/wvdm1.htm

Also Peter sent me the following document, which was a letter from the crew of the Rainbow Warrior. In 1979 the ship regularly tendered the Mi Amigo and Peter added in the e mail that they not only brought oil and water but also every time cooked a fresh meal. Something sometimes wasn’t possible for weeks on the MV Mi Amigo.

For those in Holland and Belgium I can tell that two very long new stories have been published this month on www.hansknot.com

The first is about all things happening on December 17th 1964 when the REM isle was entered by Dutch authorities and what happened in all those years afterwards with the isle. Not only the story is there, but a lot of historic photos and more, which partly were never published before.

The second article tells the story of Dimitra’s life. She was presenter of a special program for the Greece guest workers in Holland in the sixties. This was transmitted on Veronica. In January this year I only wrote a small article about it and within days her daughter found it on internet and took contact with me. I had a very nice visit at her place and there I took the personal archive from her mother, related to the program, with me to Groningen. Almost 1000 letters from listeners between 1965 and 1969 and other material, which led to a long story. Enjoy it. Also some rare soundfiles from this program in the year 1966 can be downloaded free there.

T-shirt time again and here a picture taken by Alex van der Hoek from his girl friend and nowadays already wife for more than 33 years. She’s wearing a T-shirt which was released by RNI in 1973. If you’ve also a T-shirt photo, please send it to HKnot@home.nl

Next it’s time for an e mail from George Hare who organised a lot for Radio Caroline in the sixties: ‘Thank you for your newsletters which I always enjoy especially memories about the Caroline Jocks, engineers and the staff from Caroline House. If my memory serves me correctly Chris Moore also had another secretary Allison Muir. I don't know if she was with him before or after Patricia Adkins.’

Thanks George for that one. Indeed Allison is to add she was also secretary to Gerry Duncan between 1964 en 1967. But George went on with: ‘The latest newsletter from Hans has prompted me to send my comments on 'The Boat that Rocked' I saw the film in Hammersmith on 7th April, I counted five people in the auditorium, I think that one of them was the projectionist having a kip at the back, somebody else departed half way through, mind you it was a matinee. Not exactly box office stuff. But I did have deja vu when the wedding scene was shown, as I helped to organise Mick and Jans wedding on the Caroline in Ramsey Bay. I remember that I obtained the ceremony procedure from the Panamanian Consulate in London, which was of course in Spanish. So I brought a friend of mine, Michael Jackson, out to the ship to translate. Michael's father Basil owned the Majestic Hotel in the I'O'M', where we held gigs with the Jocks when they were off the Fredericia. I don't think that Michael was ready for having a microphone thrust in his hand and being told that there are 6 million people listening to this, he did royally and we had a good laugh afterwards. Sadly Michael passed away many years ago after a long suffering with motor neurons disease.

Captain Maarten Gips, who was quiet nervous about his role in the ceremony sent me the attached letter the next day that was much appreciated by me.
The only other thing that reminded me of the past was the tender bobbing about in the background whilst tied to the ship. Other than that there was little that looked realistic about the operation so I think that it is thumbs down from me for Richard Curtis and his fairy tale. He could possibly have spoilt it somewhat for a serious and authentic movie about the subject. Mind you I am no movie critic as the last one that I saw in a cinema was Dustin Hoffman in 'The Graduate' Very best wishes to all and thank you for your newsletters. George Hare.’

Thanks a lot George for your informative e mail. I hope the recordings of the marriage have found their way to your home and will bring some more memories. Some years ago Mick Luvzitt did sent me a bunch of scans of the photographs of his wedding aboard the Fredericia and what could I better publish next to George story than Captain Martin Gips kissing the bride.

In the meantime George reflected on the recording he got: ‘Hi Hans, Well thanks a lot for that, really great sound quality on my DVD player. It brings back lots of memories about the day, and indeed all the problems that we had with fog at the airport and visibility at sea, we were not allowed two way radio contact with the tender! Life without Mobile Phones it's unimaginable now. Thanks again Hans for the trouble that you have taken for me. Best Wishes George.’

Next it’s Bob Le-Roi time: Welcome to the June/July 2009 Update. With Red Sands Radio on-air throughout July we bring you a big double issue. In ‘ScrapBook’ we catch up with the latest on Red Sands Radio 2009 and a squint at some more of the photographs from last year. Back to the poor old Mi-Amigo in the 1970’s with many never before published photographs from the Martin Stevens archive of the antenna building in 1973. ‘One Subject One Link’ takes a sideways look at the cost of playing music. We’ve June’s sailing dates and in the Personal Pages a gathering of 100’s of MX5’s in Beaulieu. Finally, newly added to the sales pages a couple of Joe Meek CD's, Cream's Disraeli Gears on Record as well as Crosby Stills Nash and Young. Enjoy Your Visits www.bobleroi.co.uk

Of course it’s always useful to take a monthly look at Mary and Chris' pages at www.radiolondon.co.uk

Caroline 199 at the Cavern is one of the stories this month on their pages and Chris Payne writes: I thought that heading would get your attention! Recently, I was contacted, through Trevor Dann of the Radio Academy, by Ian Forshaw, who is one of the members of Liverpool's Cavern Club house band, 'Caroline 199'. Ian and fellow band member, Keith Gunson, were at the Radio Academy's ‘A Celebration of Offshore Radio’ (ACOOR) in August 2007 and had been impressed and fascinated by the video material I'd put together for the event. Although they are too young to remember the 60s, Ian and Keith have for many years held an ambition to stage a live music production that explains to the audience the major role that offshore radio played in the decade's music scene, with the band playing songs to fit the story. Their idea was for the whole show to be an audio/visual experience, capturing the offshore radio atmosphere. 'Caroline 199' wanted to know if they could use some of my material from the ACOOR event to illustrate 60s offshore radio history in their live music show. The band will perform the show at the Liverpool Adelphi on Friday, August 28th at 14.30, as part of the massive annual International Beatles Week Festival.
However, before that, a free (yes free!) preview of the show 'The Sound of the Nation – Live!' will be staged on Saturday July 4th at the Cavern for the media and interested parties. If you would like to be part of a unique event at the famous Cavern Club, please call Ian on 07948 587 963 to obtain tickets. Although the band is called 'Caroline 199', rest assured that the other offshore stations will be well-covered in the show, and there are a few surprises in store! The highlight of the preview will be an appearance by Sam Leach, who was the Beatles' promoter. Sam will be relating some anecdotes from the era and there will be a book signing. The band also played live on Billy Butler's show on BBC Radio Merseyside on Friday 19th June, to promote the show. Incidentally, Billy was the DJ both when the club closed and when it reopened with Harold Wilson presiding at the ceremony. At the time, he apparently praised the idea of giving the young people the music they want... and then proceeded to close down the offshore stations. It's also hoped that some of our favourite offshore DJs will make guest appearances on Billy's show.’

Earlier in this issue of the Hans Knot International Radio Report we had another artist (Nancy Sinatra) meeting offshore deejays. Martin, who originally came with the idea of this subject, has sent me some other names. He found the next on internet: ‘April 1967: American soul singer P.P. Arnold, visits the Galaxy to promote her new release "First Cut Is The Deepest". 8th April 1967: Jonathan King visits the Galaxy, claiming that Radio London was one of the offshore stations who helped break his 1965 hit "Everyone's Gone to the Moon".

August 1967: Beach Boy Bruce Johnston pays a solo visit to the MV Galaxy.

Marianne Faithful, 12th May 1965

and Gene Pitney

Gene Pitney aboard the Galaxy Archive: Chris and Mary Payne

Mike Ryan wants us to listen to a certain Canadian radio station: ‘Hi Hans, Thought you might be interested in a Canadian radio station I listen to everyday on my internet radio. Below is an extract from the playlist and at the top we have Keefers. Many old tracks from pirate days being played some I had forgotten about and had to look up on the FAB 40 chart listings. Best regards Mike Ryan

8:27AM Daytime Night-Time Keith Hampshire
8:24AM Groovin' Young Rascals
8:16AM Chapel of Love Dixie Cups
8:12AM You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet Bachman-Turner Overdrive
8:09AM Nowhere Man Beatles
8:06AM Everybody Plays the Fool Main Ingredient
8:03AM Build Me Up Buttercup Foundations
7:59AM Everyday People Sly and The Family Stone
7:56AM Hit the Road Jack Stampeders
7:53AM Love Child Supremes
7:46AM Sundown Gordon Lightfoot
7:42AM Light My Fire Doors
7:37AM Kicks Paul Revere and the Raiders
7:34AM Get Down Tonight K.C. and The Sunshine Band
7:29AM Rain Dance Guess Who


Question time from Australia and Colin Nichol: ‘I wonder if you have a lead for me to anyone who was at the Woodstock Festival in 1969? The local state paper is doing a feature for the 40th anniversary and asked me for help. I don't know anyone and I wasn't there - I was reporting on it at the BBC at the time! it does seem a rare thing to know someone who was at Woodstock 1969, the first one. It would be helpful to put the request into your report, as the actual anniversary date is not until 15-18 August. By the way, a film about it is on the way - it has been seen at Cannes just now. Also, there is a film due about Joe Meek (of Telstar fame, etc). http://www.telstarthemovie.com/telstarmailer1.html
Kind regards Colin Nichol.’

So if you’ve been there please take contact with me at HKnot@home.nl and I will forward the e mail to Colin.

Recently I got two very nice programs (yes here he is once again) featuring the Emperor Rosko on Radio Caroline in 1966. The Emperor added me in an e mail not to mention him this time because he needed a rest. Well I can tell you that, after listening to the two shows I was very tired. Super high energy radio! Well he mentioned a nickname I couldn’t remember from him. ‘The Geator With The Heater’. I know Larry Tremaine used it on RNI in 1970, but this one was new to me.

Now more on Red Sands Radio, starting in a few days: ‘Defending Britain’s eastern seaboard during WWII the offshore Forts off the coast of Whitstable and Herne Bay have proved an endless fascination for droves of people. They stand on the seafronts and peer endlessly; take trips on barges, motor & sailing boats to see them at close quarters. Bases of the first wave of Pop Pirates and now home to Red Sands Radio the Forts are sadly off limits for the station this year, due to winter storm damage. But you can still get out and see the Fort. Listen to Red Sands Radio win a trip for two to see the Towers aboard the stations very own tender the X-Pilot. Red Sands Radio will be on 87.7 FM and launches on 4th July 2009. For more information see our websites or contact Red Sands Radio, PO Box 299, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 2YA or telephone 07961 601 893. Bob Le-Roi - Programme Director www.radioredsands.co.uk

It's less than 5 months 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), Holly Michaels, Tim Levensaler, Chris Carson, Erin Kelly (Erin Weber/Erin Cavanagh), Dave Chaney (David Holderman), Chuck Cannon, John Leeds, Jay Mack, John Allen, John 'Rock 'n Roll' Anthony 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

By the way this is me wearing a t shirt from 25 years ago on the way to Radio Waddenzee in May. Photo: Martin van der Ven.

Talking about Laser, who does remember the very first weeks they started with the Laser Club? Everyone could become member by writing to the New York Office. On forehand I got the press report about it from Madison Avenue with the request to promote it too in our magazine. One day in June 1984 I was very surprised to hear my name connected to a Laser club member card number, even one of the first mentioned on the air. 5 Days later a parcel with LP’s arrived including Culture Club and Bronski Beat. Here’s the certificate which was included:

Now a little push for our friends at the Horizon Magazine:

Details of the July August edition of the HORIZON MAGAZINE are now posted via the Radio Caroline webshop at http://www.radiocaroline.co.uk. Stories, photos and opinions always welcome for our little magazine to contactbill@horizonmagazine.co.uk

Bill Barnes for Horizon Magazine Caroline and Free Radio Past Present and Future mentions about the next issue: ‘From new pictures of the Caroline DJs from the real boat that rocked in 1967 to the aftermath of the 1989 raid twenty years ago HORIZON is as packed as usual. Back to the present day we have Tony Paul on the fun of presenting Caroline’s breakfast show from Los Angeles and station manager Peter Moore on the good and bad of Caroline being featured in the press and movies. We have a feature on Sixties transistor radios, more on music for today's Caroline by Caroline’s Alan Watts and a visitors view of Pirate BBC Essex from Harwich. All the latest Radio News, Pandora`s Rockbox on summer Festival and The Captains Log.

Two issues ago we have a photograph featuring Mike Barrington, James Day and a unknown person which I didn’t know and either didn’t get into the minds of some of the main Laser lovers. Two weeks ago I decided to work on two special photo albums which will be on display during the Radio Day in November and which will bring hundreds of photographs featuring the Communicator and Laser. And so I found this photograph featuring the same bearded guy. Sent it out to some people and here’s the reflection from James Day: ‘Hi Hans, about this man with the beard on board the Communicator' I'm starting to think that it must be Ian. He was the 1st mate. We had Captain Bob at the time and Ian was a chap who always sailed with him. I really can't think of who else it could be. I really cannot think of who else it might be. I'm going to be appearing on Red Sands Radio with Bob Leroi in July; sadly we're 'on the beach' this year, but it's going to be a whole lot of fun! We've just got the new web-site up and running:
I believe this is where the audio stream will also be. Keep up the good work Hans. Best Regards, James Day, Deal, Kent.’

‘Ian’ on deck of the Communicator during late evening (collection SMC)

Well thanks a lot James. I must tell you that this and other photos of this ‘Ian’ were made during the time the Communicator was anchored off the French coast, so the period after Laser Hot Hits closed down. So who can tell us more about the supposed ‘Ian’ can write to HKnot@home.nl

Next a new e mail contact in Israel: ‘Dear VOP Member, on August 27, 2009 we will mark one year since Abie Nathan's death. It is a great opportunity to appreciate his life's work on the legendary radio station that we grew up with and miss very much. We will appreciate it if you will be able to attend this special reunion together with dedicated listeners of the VOP, Abie's family and friends. The gathering will take place in Tel-Aviv with a whole day agenda starting a visit to Abie's grave in the morning ending in the big gathering in the evening. A more detailed itinerary will be sent separately at a later stage. To mark this special occasion we would like to record a special program with all of you in the Radius 100FM studios. If there is someone among you who would like to record a show on his own to be aired on Radius 100FM is more than welcomed to do it, no need to set time ahead. If there is anyone who would like to make a short slide show regarding the Voice of Peace, to be shown in the evening we would appreciate it very much. Please inform Tami to the e-mail below. Those of you who will not be able to make it that day in Tel-Aviv are more than welcomed to send us a video tape saying hello and a few words about Abie and the Voice of Peace way of life to be shared with all of us in the evening. As seats are limited, we would appreciate it if you could confirm your arrival by returned e-mail to: Zabari-t@012.net.il or Tim1@013.net, so we can reserve seats for you ahead of time. Thanking you in advance with great hope to see you in this special reunion with us. Love and Peace, Tami & Tim.
Tami did invite me too to the gathering but due to working load around that period and fear for long distance flying I can’t make it in a short available period. You all the VOP people will be in my thoughts that special day.

Well that’s all for the Hans Knot International Report for the months of July. I think it will take some time to produce the next one as we’re taking a summer break to get some sunshine, rest and making fun. Hope you all have a good July and take care.

Greetings and till next time,
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