Hans Knot's International Radio Report - October 2009


Welcome everyone to this months report. Due to the fact there are new European rules about sending mail to people, it can happen that from next month your provider will refuse my mail and see me as a spammer. I can inform you that every new month around the 8th my new report will be published at www.hansknot.com, where also old issues can be read way back to early 2004. This is possible due to the good work of my very good friend and webmaster Martin van der Ven. So bookmark my site to your favorites and find there the reports if it goes wrong under the new conditions and rules. Already two providers put me in the ban. All reflections and news please send them in the future to Hans.Knot@gmail.com. It’s a sad thing that the real spammers make it difficult to me and other trustful people to bring their information to the readers.

Let’s go to you the reader. First I got an email from an avid Radio London fan from Arnheim in Holland, Denny Jacobs. It was many years ago, so not decades, that I copied some Radio London recordings from my archive so he had some audio memories to Big L. I never heard anything back until late August when he told me that he was making his own Radio London Satchels and that he was proud to tell he carries them every day on his tour through Arnheim on the way from and back to home. He is an honest fan!

Next Freddie Belmont again and he’s a happy man too: ‘Hello Hans how are you keeping? Just an Update for the Monster Hits Show. I contacted RNI on the internet a few weeks ago and asked them if I could join the crew. They said they would be in touch if a spot opened up. They were good with their words and have now ask if I would do two hours on a Friday evenings. So starting in September the Monster will come alive. I will let you know more when they tell me. Thank you for all your help Hans. Maybe one day I’ll get paid for the show but at least I can have some fun. All the best Freddie Belmont.’

Mattie van der Valk from Enschede in Holland wrote me a long e mail from with a short abstract: ‘Dear Hans thanks for then many radio reports and the info about the extra retransmissions of Veronica old shows from 1974. Since a couple of years I’m member of the Foundation Norderney. I’ve just a question to see how many members do remember which radio they used, way back in 1974, to listen to the closedown programs of the then offshore radio stations. I’ve listened to Veronica since 1961 using an old tube radio from Philips. From 1970 on it became the Philips AM de Luxe transistor (see photo). It was a very expensive one, costing 300 guilders in those days. I bought it via my brother from the NATO shop in Germany. The receiver has next to FM, AM and Longwave, four different bands for shortwave reception. I received the German service from Radio Nordsee om 6205 kHz. Till this day I still have this receiver and did use it to record the last week programs from Radio Veronica in 1974. My taperecorder was running all day, while I was visiting an old timer even in the city of Enschede. Near the last hour I was back home and heard them live too. Mattie van der Valk.’

This photo shows Marttie’s receiver. So anyone who remembers which radio was used, please sent all info to hans.knot@gmail.com
But Mattie had more as he also sent me a photo taken from a car which originates from Dundee, Scotland, which was from 1968. But although Martin and I are both loving old timers, there is more as on the back of the car is a pink sticker for Radio Veronica, which was released by the FRC one day. But the photo wasn’t taken there but years later in Scheveningen harbour. To be exactly in July 1973.’
Thanks to Mattie from Enschede and please if you’ve a photo from a car with a radio sticker on the back send it to me at hans.knot@gmail.com

Martin van der Ven sent me the next e mail late August, which he got on www.offshore-radio.de
Hello Dr. Martin, I just wanted to say hello and tell you that I found your piece on Tim Gillett’s show this week very interesting. March 1964 was the birthday of Radio Caroline and also the time that I left school at the age of just 15. I was a quite lad with few friends, if any, and I loved the radio. I so much wanted to be a part of this truly wonderful thing called “Pirate Radio”. I wrote to Caroline and all the other stations as they came on the air trying to get a job as a D.J., but without any luck. Then in November 1965 when I was just 16, I read about Roy Bates and his new station Radio Essex. I phoned him and the next day I was in Southend ready to leave for Knock John Fort. Sadly I only stayed for a couple of weeks, but while I was there I was given the name Paul Freeman which I hadn’t used, since then, until Tim asked me to do a show for this years Pirate BBC Essex. I was so VERY proud and excited to have been asked. You will see my picture on Steve Szmidt’s piece on your web site. I’m the guy signing a piece of paper wearing a white T shirt with Vinyal Shack on it.

Paul Peters on journey to Knock John Collection Paul Freeman

Now, some 44 years after my Radio Essex adventure you can hear me on Forest FM, down here in the New Forest www.forestfm.co.uk doing my ‘Fabulous 50’s Radio Show’ and my ‘Swinging 60’s Show’. The Fab. 50’s goes out on several stations in the U.S.A. too and can be heard anytime ‘streamed’ from KFMJ the Oldies Station in Alaska at www.kfmj.com
Three years ago I thought that I was the last person on earth that remembered the pirates of the 60’s. Then I got connected to the internet! I knew nothing about computers but I had been told that you can find anything on Google. I could not think of anything to ask it so I tapped in “Pirate Radio Stations of the 1960’s” and my life changed from that moment on. A few month later I was contacted by Dilly Barlow, a BBC Radio 4 producer who asked me if I would like to tell my story on a show called “Home Truths” this had been John Peel’s show until he died, I said yes please! The piece that you heard on Tim’s show was in fact that same recording that he edited and added some echo to. Please keep in touch!
All my very best, Paul (Peters or Freeman).’

Nice to see once again one of the former players within the offshore radio industry appearing for the first time in the Hans Knot International Report.

Then remember the wonderful part of last issue in which Ian Anderson went technical with us?
Hans, thanks for publishing the masts article last month. In the Radio Nord notes, I left in a previous miscalculation by error. The top 70 feet of the Radio Nord mast was lost in January 1964, not 81 feet. By the way the picture you used for the Mi Amigo was after the visit to Zaandam in 1966, and not before. One way to tell is the presence of the dark coloured rig behind the mast and before the deck house. This was installed in Zaandam in 1966 in connection with the new 50kW transmitter and it was cut away after the mast collapsed in November 1972. Another way to tell is the group of four spacers around the insulator and feed point fifty feet up the mast (at the height of the lowest stays). That is the point where the 21 foot extension was added in Zaandam between the 50 foot base of the original Radio Nord mast and the 91 feet of Sparlight erected in Greenore in 1964. Ian Anderson.

Thank a lot Ian and if anyone thinks to have a real good photograph of the MV Mi Amigo’s complete mast from before 1966, please don’t hesitate to send it to hans.knot@gmail.com

Next the one who never forgets to write in: ‘Hi Hans, as always the collection not to be missed on the history of… It’s nice to keep the track to everyone through your report each month. Larry Tremaine was right last time regarding the boat that rocked. It will be released under independent distribution in the USA in a much shorter version. Tony Prince’s mention was far too modest, he took over the world with his mix club for deejays and is a global titan of mixing. The scope of his reach was nothing short of record breaking. He currently has also a TV channel and given his interest in brides. He was decided to study weddings up close and it is appropriately called ‘The Wedding Channel’. Also I’m happy to announce that, thanks to your many mentions we launch on two new stations this month. Take care and hope to see you in December. Emperor Rosko.

Well isn’t he nice to get Tony Prince such a plug! Next month Rosko will mention which two new station will air his programs soon too in Britain.

Next one comes from Scotland: ‘Hi Folks. Thought this link might be of interest in case some of you missed http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/features/bbc-archives--gone-but-not-forgotten-1778128.html
BBC archives - Gone but not forgotten. The BBC is archiving online some of the great TV shows in their history. But what about the ones they wiped – and the ones they should have wiped? Andrew Roberts reports. Greetings, Graeme Stevenson.’

Then we go to Manchester with Alan Milewczyk
Hi Hans I’m quickly zipping through your latest report, which is always great reading. I noticed that the link Tom Whestone has for his own AFRTS Archive blog was incorrect, it should be http://afrtsarchive.blogspot.com/ Also a great idea from Andy Cadier to bring the idea to establish a lasting monument or plaque to commemorate the existence of the offshore stations. Radio changed forever in 1964 with the arrival of Caroline and the other offshore stations and their contribution should be recognised. ‘

Remember that one of the extra newsflashes sent out started with the question: Do you remember where you where and what you did on August 31st 1974? Well Alan surely remembers it:

‘Well, my best friend, Peter (who unfortunately died in 2001) and I made a trip to the Netherlands in 1973 which was largely offshore centered and we had a great time. Unfortunately, we couldn’t afford a repeat in 1974 but we did the next best thing - we traveled over 250 miles to Great Yarmouth and spent the weekend in a hotel, armed with radios and tape
recorders, determined to capture as much as we could onto tape! Hearing Rob Out’s final speech on Veronica and the transmitter being cut partway through a Veronica jingle still brings a lump to my throat, I’ll gladly admit, I shed a tear or two at the time. That was repeated when RNI closed to the sound of the “Radio Noordzee, Radio Noordzee Radio
Noordzee” jingle with the sound effects of it drowning in water. When we headed home on the Sunday, it was with a very heavy heart. August is always Offshore August due to the anniversaries of the UK and Dutch MOAs, but this year, it’s been superb listening to the Veronica192.nl stream as they have been playing special programming commemorating 50 years since the founding of Radio Veronica. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying these special programming, such good fun. I have to say I did listen to Veronica a lot when the Caroline ships were towed away in March 1968, but that largely stopped when RNI came on-air and during the 1970-74 period I was very much an RNI man. I think RNI’s programming was more pop-oriented whereas Veronica catered for a wider family audience, so maybe, as a pop-loving youngster in his twenties, it wasn’t too surprising. Since I’ve been a regular listener to the veronica192.nl web-stream in the last few months while I’ve been off work, I have started to appreciate just what a fine station Veronica was. I’ve been recording a lot of the output, although there are one or two gaps, which I suspect I’ll fill on-line! I’ve put together some of my thoughts on-line on my blog at http://soulman1949.blogspot.com - some of it will be out of date by the time your readers see it! Thanks a lot Alan and we see you in November, have a good trip to Amsterdam.

Now we go to a remarkable way of listening to Veronica and other stations in the late sixties early seventies with a story from a guy in Berlin: ‘I’ve been listening to offshore radios quite a bit, especially after August 14, 1967 when Radio London went off the sky, Radio Veronica became pretty important. I was in Amsterdam, in a youth prison, listening to the attack on the MEBO II in May 1971. My lawyer was among Veronicas defenders at the time, if I remember right. Big L’s last hour was repeated on Dutch radio TROS in 1980, when I taped it and recently put it on CD. So these days I play it to my customers; is there anything alike from Veronica ? With the jingles for instance? Love to know. Still today I remember sitting on my grandfather’s knees in a quiet northern village by the sea and listening to a football match being broadcast on a Saturday afternoon. A radio with all the cities on the radio scale, on the medium wave band that came in with the dark and left in the morning with the sun coming up. And that set you’re imagination to dreaming; years later - while we already had a telly set - during the evening news broadcast and us children weren’t allowed to talk while the old man wanted to listen. These days I’m preparing my own playlists to be played on a friends internet radio - www.drdvnyg.de - a quote from a book on Neil Young; back then there was nothing much else - these days it all seems fractured, there’s a drawer for everything, in each country. Now there are the same H&M outlets everywhere, Chris Isaac’s new record sounding like Hank B. in *The young Ones* in 1962. But television definitely took over, although I’ve bought my mobile phone two years ago just because of the fm-receiver built in. So while I was in hospital for throat cancer treatment I listened a lot to the Berlin radios. You know, the radio market in Berlin is very tough, lot of competition, with stations worthwhile listening to, not just playing top 40 radio - like the dutch service of rtl in the mid sixties. That station we could pick on the fm band on a Sunday until 2pm - remember the ‘Teener Toppertijd’? Again with Cliff and the Shadows performing *Red Ted*. It was a chance to listen to new British material long before it would come available in Cologne. Today you try amazon.com or some companies send in their jukeboxes by mail, which I like fine, by the way.

Villa Louvigny Radio Luxembourg Photo: Soundscapes Archive

I have no problems talking about being in prison then. I got busted after a bank hold up in Amsterdam - armed robbery in a gang on February 4th in 1971. It was meant to be a training job for the future because we were having projects - political - for resistance and urban guerilla fighting. The group consisted of Dutch, Peruvian and German freedom fighters, attached to Dutch third world supporters and some circles close to former Che Guevara supporters. As my father was an army officer whose family ties were behind the iron curtain, the separation of Germany and Europe has always been present and an everyday topic in my parents house; and as my father never talked to me about these things. The anti-army movement due to the German commitment in the then newly created North-Atlantic treaty organisation, the Easter-march movement against nuclear armament - and since he was very authoritarian, it was discipline above all at home. And with the spreading of Rock and Roll Music through the slowly growing radio-market, an alternative to the boring official radio-stations, often still ruled maybe not by old Nazis, but certainly by people whose traditions and values slowly turned really backdated. I found myself meeting people - smoking dope, playing theatre-plays in the streets, on improvised stages, clubs playing music you wouldn’t hear on the radio, both jazz, thus black music as well as white trash music, Rock and Roll - and then of course - the blues with Eelco Gelling, Harry Muskee, the Q65, Earth and Fire. I had these old radios that I had picked from the garbage, from whom we built our first stereo-amplifiers, one amp for each channel. As Germans grew more prosperous they’d throw the old radios away. I’d connect them to my record player and imitated the Rolling Stones in Scheveningen - on air-guitar. And in these heydays I was elected and sent to by the cologne anti-authoritarian pupils and students movement in 1967 and 1968 to reunions and meetings across Germany. Hitching a ride; dope by the way was never my main concern, girls were appreciated, but politics and Rock and Roll/Music were and have ever since remained the main purpose of my life. These days and for the better part of the last 35 years with the catering biz. Greetings from Berlin Thomas. La Cabane du Pêcheur – Bistrot am Hafen’.

From Berlin we go to Denmark: ‘Dear Hans, Some news from Scandinavia:
On August 19 the newly established society Scandinavian Offshore Radio History invited former pirates from Radio Mercur, Radio Syd and Radio Nord to a meeting in Copenhagen to inform on the society and the project to set up a web site to give access to the old radio programmes. 21 persons participated from the three radio stations with some radio enthusiast, and a lot of personal histories were shared. Jan Kotschack, the son of Jack Kotschack from Radio Nord, is ready to publish a book on his fathers effort to set up Radio Nord, The title is “Stick iväg, Jack” - meaning something like “Hit the road, Jack”. To be published by Premium Publishing, comes with a CD with samples. Best wishes from Henrik Nørgaard, Denmark.’

Thanks a lot Henrik and good to see that also memories on offshore radio are shared in Scandinavia too. I mentioned the book in an earlier report and will come back to it at the end of this issue of the Hans Knot International Radio Reports.

For those who did hear the sad news late August, Caroline’s first voice to be heard, Simon Dee is no longer with us. Some of the many messages I got on this bad news:

Hi Hans, I Just read this sad piece of news, that seems Simon Dee won’t be with us much longer.
Regards, Chris Edwards’.

Caroline’s former engineer George Saunders and Simon Dee. Photo: Pirate Hall of Fame

More can be found on:

And finally a great tribute can be found at the Pirate Hall of Fame:
Andree Bollin from Wolfsburg in Germany wrote in a nice report:’Hello, Yesterday I was able to pick up the old Veronica programmes via 1584khz The signal here in Germany was weak with heavy interference from Italy. So it will be nice when you can check it and when you can sent me a QSL verification or an email verification (pdf qsl) I will try it again this evening.
Thanks very much, 73 Andree

Date :2009-08-29
Time :21.15 - 21.40 local
Frequency :1584khz
SINFO :22322
Aerial :100m Lw
Receiver :NRD 525
Details :
21.15 announcement by the DJ pop musik
21.23 talk on Veronica A little thing call love (Johnny Cash?)
21.26 DJ talk on music in Dutch music Paul McCartney
21.31 talk by DJ Radio 192 and Radio Veronica instrumental Dutch organ music
21.37 Deejay talk on program next week further Dutch music.
Well thanks a lot for this reception report Andre. I’ve forwarded to the technical man, responsible for the AM transmissions in August. I hope he will send you a QSL.’

Next a nice link to a website. Although in Dutch there are some very nice memories to Offshore Radio: http://www.robkievit.nl/portfolio/rommel/kast.html

On August 30th I took a visit to the harbour of Harlingen for a small but nice reunion from deejays who worked for Radio Mi Amigo in the mid seventies. It took place aboard the radio vessel from Radio Waddenzee and that Sunday the people from the internet radio Mi Amigo got permission to use the airtime of Radio Waddenzee. It was a bit difficult to get onboard the ship as it was at a quayside way back in the southern harbour, which is partly locked so a lot of wandering around had to be done. Well most of the offshore deejays remember those strange harbour places. Anyway, as soon as I came aboard it was seeing a lot of familiar faces and it was good to see them back. Will van der Steen and Nobert I met again during the past years, but Bert Bennet and Frans van der Drift, although both readers of the report, I hadn’t seen for more than 34 years. Of course a lot of memories came above and live interviews were aired by the new Mi Amigo internet team. Other people from offshore days aboard were Elly van Amstel (Radio Monique) and Dick Verheul (Mi Amigo, Caroline and Monique). Also it was good to see once again Peter Jager, former newsreader on RNI. Some of the news bulletins during the reunion day were read by Peter too. The internet radio station Mi Amigo will also be airing a special program from the venue where our annual Radio Day will take place in Amsterdam on November 14th.

Soundlady VRT, Frans van der Drift, Will van der Steen, Nobert and Bert Bennet. Photo: Hans Knot

Talking about Peter Jager, did you see already his marvelous photos taken aboard the MEBO II in the seventies?

Talking about photos, the Radio Day Germany was held in Erkrath in September and Martin van der Ven has is camera with him:

Each month we bring you also an update from the Pirate Hall of Fame: ‘Just a quick note to let you know that I have put my August Bank Holiday Monday to good use, carrying out the monthly update to The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame.
New this month:
• we remember a legend of offshore radio, Simon Dee who died yesterday after a short illness (http://www.offshoreradio.co.uk/sdee.htm)
• we have a fantastic home movie, shot on board three offshore radio ships during the summer of 1967. You can see Johnnie Walker, Ed Stewart, Mike Lennox and John Aston in action (http://www.offshoreradio.co.uk/list36.htm)
• it was something of a man’s world on board the offshore stations of the sixties but this month we hear from one of the few women to work on a pirate station of the era - Caroline South’s Marion Cochrane (http://www.offshoreradio.co.uk/album84.htm)
• former Radio City boss Dorothy Calvert pays tribute to Ian West, the engineer whose sad death we reported last month (http://www.offshoreradio.co.uk/engine2.htm#west)
• we add another piece of the jigsaw as we try to discover more about the mysterious Kilroy (http://www.offshoreradio.co.uk/djsk.htm#kilroy)
• and we hear from someone who worked with the late Ed Moreno in his post-broadcasting career (http://www.offshoreradio.co.uk/djsmo.htm#moreno)

My thanks, as ever, to everyone who has contributed to the site. More next month. All the best, Jon Myer www.offshoreradio.co.uk

Last month I brought a ‘thought to be’ answer on the special commercial played in 1991 on Caroline. (See last two reports). Jonathan Wesley, who asked the question, came back to me after he had read the answer: ‘Hi Hans. Sorry I haven’t got back to you sooner re my question about the ‘water’ promo. I am busy working for WWW.CJMQ.FM doing a rock/pop show every Thursday night midnight- 0200 hrs CET ....L.A. is alive and well there! The Dawn Valley promo was not the one I mean, I remember when I heard it that it did remind me of Dawn Valley! this literally promoted the benefits of cold, clean water....so the search continues....

Again one of the lads working on the Peace ship suddenly came above water and so let’s hear from Mike Galloway: ‘Hi Hans I was transmitter engineer on the VOP April 1988 - April 1979. I found in the loft some aging papers (4 sheets of A4) written by a fellow Canadian engineer Bruce Sabsay on the state of the ships wiring. I am going to copy them tomorrow but I thought you might like to have the originals, being technical they my not be the most interesting documents but at least they are valid. I took these documents to Abie, who glanced at them but couldn’t be bothered to read them. Having read them again now I think his reaction was correct! Just seemed more important at the time. I recently obtained a mug shot of myself taken in the Abie’s office/studio in Frugstreet,

Mike Galloway (collection Mike Galloway)

Another engineer on the ship with me and also a bit before was Buck, an American, I can’t remember his surname name but I can find out. Attached is a photo of him (with his girlfriend edited out) on Tel Aviv beach. At the same time, there was also a chief engineer Bill (again surname forgotten) not to be confused with a more famous Bill. That’s the engineering line-up I can remember for 88/89 although Tony Allan was always more than helpful to us. (in exchange for beer and brandy). There was another American, Richard who, as I remember did the non voice jobs of playing tapes music for the classical/peace hour etc. He was quite noticeable by the lack of one leg, but I cannot remember his surname either. He lived in the UK for a while and although we met up on occasions, I lost touch, and would like to track him down. Best Wishes Mike.’

Buck (Collection Mike Calloway)

Well if anyone can fill in the surnames, of the several people mentioned, for Mike Galloway, please send them to HKnot@home.nl

Well although technical here is the text of the document mentioned by Mike


1. This report is written from an engineering point of view. The facts stated herein are based on direct observation of the conditions that presently exist, along with notations of changes made to the system at the time of writing. No attempt has been made to find fault with any individual either past or present, but rather to simply state the obvious as indicated by observable facts.
The writer has been led to believe that the ship M.V. Peace is now some forty years old. Some of the original wiring dating from the original installation is still in use, primarily in the Direct Current circuits. Both the wiring itself and most of fittings are badly corroded by a combination of salt air and age, along with the movement of the ship. Many changes have been made to this system by various engineers, and as a result there is no longer any recognizable standardization in the original system and in the direct current system. The D.C. system is presently used to provide lighting in the event of A.C. generator failure, and also to power the ship’s radar and other marine devices. The D.C. system is put into use every ten days when the main generator is shut down for maintenance.

The generators on the ship turn out 220 Volts on a three wire system. This current is routed via a distributor panel to the main breaker panel. This main breaker panel ‘provides power to all of the electrical systems on the ship.
Within the main breaker panel various faults were observed. The neutral leg of the electrical system was grounded to the case of the breaker panel by means of a large copper grounding lug. By grounding the neutral to the case and hence to the hull, the potential for electrical shock, was very high at all points on the ships’ hull. Also, the grounding lug was badly corroded by the action of the salt air. This has been remedied by isolating, the lug from the case of the breaker box, cleaning of the corrosion, and covering the installation with grease. This removes some portion of the observed shock hazard. The repair is of a temporary nature.
It should be noted at this point that there is no effective and complete grounding system on the ship. No proper grounding system was installed to match up with the generation of A.C. power at the time of refitting, and the parts and facilities required to remedy this significant omission are not available at this time, the lack of a correct grounding system creates electrical shock hazards as well as fire hazards. The lack of a ground system creates hum and other noises in both studios which affect the quality of the transmitted signals from the transmitters. Attempts have been made to correct the hum and buzz situation by past engineers, but only, limited success has been met with due to the lack of a proper ground system required by any standard electrical installation - particularly a radio station.
Inside the main breaker panel various gauges of cable have been used; to make the required connections. This is contrary to electrical standards and could result in overheating, system failure or fire. At the present time the main breaker is running warm at all times. There is no way to remedy this problem at this time,
Three large distribution transformers are wired in such a way as to take one leg of the basic 220 Volt supply and distribute it through the ship to operate the 110 Volt system. These transformer are running warm at all times, indicating an overload condition. The intent of these transformers appears to be to change the 220Volt supply to 110V. This is not done The transformers are wired in such a manner as to have 220 volts on the input side, and 220 volts on the output side. It should be noted that we cannot dismantle the system while in operation to verify this since the ship must operate non stop. The output of the three transformers is routed through a fused knife switch box to three breaker boxes that supply 110 volts to the various parts of the ship. The 110 volt supply for the lower deck has an additional switch box located next to the main panel. This use of switch boxes is incorrect. The required method as used in U.S. standard installations is as ‘follows: 220 Volts is taken from a splitter box after the main breaker panel and sent to the three 110 Volt breaker boxes, each of which has a switch box located no more than one foot away from the related..’ breaker box. The present method creates an imbalance on the system with overloading in one area and incorrect use of capacities in two other areas. Another imbalance is that the three transformers are operating at various loads.
The three breaker panels that supply 110 volts are not the correct type. They have no ground connections. Attempts are being made to correct this fault, but there are no parts, and in any event, the breaker boxes are not the correct type additions have been made to the system and these additions have been done by people who have no knowledge of U.S. standards Incoming cable runs have had the grounds tied to the neutral bus bar creating an extreme shock hazard, this has been remedied. Incorrect phasing appears to be common in both the refitting and subsequent additions. Some of this condition has been remedied, as much as can be done with the parts of the system not in use.
The cable runs to the 110 volt system are in the most part of the incorrect type and gauge. It is not possible to correct this at this time. The cables have been fastened to the walls and bulkheads, with a form of wire staple that has not been allowed in the U.S. for many years. This staple requires a hammer to drive them in. This system breaks the insulation, and causes short circuits. This cannot be repaired at this time.
The 220 volt system operates directly from the main breaker panel. The current is distributed through the switching portion of the main breaker panel to two breaker panels. There is a third run of the 220 volt system which has a correct knife -switch mounted near the relevant breaker panel on the lower deck. The other two breaker panels have no knife switches - a dangerous method. The three 220V breaker panels have no grounds. This cannot be remedied at this time. The wiring in the 220 volt system is a mixture of various types of cables, most of which are underrated. Colour coding has not been properly observed resulting in a shock hazard to users and particularly to service personnel. This cannot be remedied at this time. Included in the 220 volt system is a mixture of U.S., British, and Israeli wiring runs. This creates a problem of various wire gauges and colour codes, all without grounds. The result is very hazardous. The 220 volt system is in poorer condition than the 110 volt system in many respects. This situation cannot be remedied at this time.

It is very apparent that from time to time additions have been made to the system by people who have had no knowledge of U.S. standards originally employed on the ship. The results have to make the ship a more dangerous place to live and work in. The most obvious faults are in the grounding and phasing. This has been remedied wherever possible, but only in a very limited manor. Cables of various gauges and types have been used in combinations that do not match correct standards.

Peace Ship in New York. Photo: Ed Simeone

The most obvious fault is in the additions made to the cables located on the middle deck, including the telex room. The basic supply starts at the breaker panel located in the centre of the deck. All of the cable runs have been added to a breaker panel that was already operating at capacity. The new cable runs in all cases were laid over top of the runs into the various breakers resulting in two or three runs coming from each and every breaker completely contrary to U.S. standards. This method is also contrary to the standards used anywhere in the western world. This has been partially corrected at this time.
The wire used to feed the cabins is of the type use to make up lamp extension cords, and must never be used for mains wiring or wiring buried in walls. The wire is made of soft rubber and has no ground. In some cases light gauge lamp cord has been used, this entire group of cabins represents an ongoing hazard for shocks and fire. This problem cannot be remedied at this time.

There are virtually no spare parts on the ship. Since the wiring is done to U.S. standards, there is almost no possibility that parts can be obtained on this side of the Atlantic. There are very few I tools of any kind on board the ship, and there are no tools or test instruments for electrical work.
Fuel vapor is always present on the ship, and there seems to be no provision in the electrical system to prevent arcing which could ignite the fuel vapor with disastrous results. Aside from the forty year old wiring, there is no provision for marine conditions. Corrosion is highly visible everywhere in the electrical system, running the gamut from staples used to hold cable runs to the walls through to the receptacle and switch boxes.
This report has covered all of the faults observed. Examples include the use of plastic covered cable to supply 220 volts to the fuel separator. This cable is covered with oil and is becoming saturated and dangerous. This should be replaced with armoured cable of the correct type. The 220 volt supply to the main extractor fan of the transmitters is rubber covered flexible cable exposed to the outside deck and held in place with electricians tape. This I should be replaced with the correct type of armoured waterproof cable with the appropriate connectors. There are dozens more like the two quoted above. Parts do not exist to correct these faults.

The general of the ships’ electrical system is to a poor domestic level. There are numerous shock and fire hazards everywhere. The situation will run downhill as salt air, vibration from the generators, and ship movement eats away at the system. For some five years now the ship has been functioning with various members of the crew receiving minor shocks but no major injuries or deaths. The potential for injury and fire is growing; the past does not exist at this time. The future is what must be planned for.
The first question to be resolved is not whether the ship should be rewired and new panels be installed, but to what standards should the work be done. Is it possible to continue the operations of the Voice of Peace with at least a commercial level of electrical system, or should marine standards be observed throughout. There is no question that U.S. standards should be used since all of the broadcast equipment is of U.S. manufacture.
In order to safeguard the people employed on the ship - a primary consideration - and in order to assure a proper continuation of the ships’ operations, the following changes should be made:
1. Parts be obtained to repair the main breaker panel properly and institute a ground system in the main breaker panel and throughout the ship.
2. New breaker panels be installed to replace the present inadequate system. Along with the new breaker panels the related switch boxes should be installed to make up for the complete lack at this time. Planning should take into consideration the expansion that has taken place since the ship was refitted plus possible future expansion.
3. All of the ships’ wiring should be replaced with the correct types and gauges, and this should be replaced inside box and pipe conduits to withstand salt corrosion and ship movements.
4. All of the receptacles and switches now in use for 110 volt and 220 volt should be replaced with types suitable for use in this environment.
5. There are at present no tools of the type used for electrical work on the ship, Proper tools are needed firstly for repairs and maintenance, and also for the proposed renovations.
6. Parts should be brought on the ship for future repairs, changes and additions, and that parts supply should be maintained at the proper level knowing the long distance involved in obtaining spares.
7. A detailed plan should be made of the wiring system and future additions and changes be noted on the plans as they occur
8. In the past, the engineering staff have not been familiar with the U.S. standards of electrical systems. New people coming on board from parts of the world other than the U.S. or Canada should be trained in the U.S System and be required to stick to the correct methods
This report is written with the aid of aver twenty three years experience in the use of U.S. electrical standards, starting with a degree from the Ryerson Institute of Technology in Toronto.
Submitted without prejudice by Bruce Sabsay.

Here just a small piece of the
original document which is now safe in my archive with a lot of thanks to Mike Galloway

Well I truly don’t understand why Abie didn’t read the report. I’ve read and reread it and it’s obvious that the ship was in a bad condition and that there was really a change that those aboard could become in serious danger. We know that on other ships too, the conditions were not good but reading the report it’s like getting tears in the eyes that Abie wasn’t bothered to read the technical support.

Another new reader is Mark Watkins, who wrote: ‘Hello Hans I’ve rediscovered Caroline in recent years thanks to the web and on-line streaming. I remember listening to both Caroline and Laser in the mid 80’s, much better alternatives to BBC Radio 1 at the time! In respect of Radio Caroline, would you/colleague be able to advise me of the programme schedule (DJ line ups) for a typical week in 1983 and 1984 respectively. I tried Bob Le-Roi recently who was very helpful but didn’t have this info. I’d be very interested to see a schedule/s from this period if poss. Pure nostalgia! Hope you can help with best greetings Mark Watkins, Reading, Berkshire, UK’.

Thanks Mark for your e mail. Regarding your question I can’t give an answer. I wrote for the Freewave Media Magazine (still do) and Monitor Magazine in those years so I did a dive in the archive but no typical listing was done in those days. Also I don’t remember any other magazine which published it. In Monitor the coming and goings of deejays were mentioned with their first and last shows So I will mention the question in the reports and maybe someone has the answers wanted. So anyone who had a run down for a typical week Caroline in 1983 and Caroline and Laser in 1984, please sent the list to Hknot@home.nl

Next PJ from Bristol: Thank you for the latest Report, a fascinating and welcome read as always. I was wondering, does the Tug Volans still exist? It’s amazing to think 20 years has now passed since the August 1989 raid on the Ross Revenge, I wonder is the Volans is still around and owned by the same company 20 years on? Regards PJ.’

MV Volans Photo: Leen Vingerling

Well PJ the Volans was built as the Lady Anita in 1965 as a tendering ship, built at Verolme Shipyards in Heusden Holland. In July 1965 it made her first trip and the Lady Anita was owned by Offshore Marine Services in Rotterdam and used for International Offshore Services (UK) Ltd. Later the ship was used by International Offshore Services in Monrovia Liberia. In 1970 the ship was sold to Rijkswaterstaat in The Hague and renamed into Volans. In 1971 it was standby to extinguish the fire on the radio ship MEBO II. In 1989 again the name of the ship was mentioned in Offshore Radio’s history when it was used by Dutch authorities during the mentioned raid on the Ross Revenge. In 1992 the ship was sold to Roel Feenstra in Den Helder and a year later it was sold again, this time to Seaworx from Den Helder. But that was not the end as the ship was sold again in May 1997 to Galere Ltd with as new home Kingstown, on St. Vincent. Three years later the ship was sold to the now owner of the Volans, The Saigon Shipyard Ltd. In Vietnam. So if you want to visit the ship you’ve to take a long journey.

Next Noam Tal from Tel Aviv: ‘An event commemorating the anniversary of Abie Nathan’s death took place in Tel Aviv. Eighty people attended the event including past broadcasters, members of the public, friends from different periods in Abie’s life and members of the newly established Voice of Peace internet discussion group. An exhibition, which included thirty different pictures from Abie’s life and his humanitarian activity, was displayed in the entrance to the hall. Other items from the Voice of Peace including a life belt, the compass, navigation and media equipment, the microphones, the cartridges and reels of the original recordings. During the event, jingles from the Voice of Peace were played from the original reels and light refreshments were served. At 19:20 people began to enter the hall. Noam Tal opened the evening talking about Abie’s final years. Henry Alkaslasi spoke on behalf of Abie’s family and friends about Abie’s life activities and then Gil Katzir, with a guitar and a piano accompaniment, sang the songs: ‘Imagine’, ‘You’ve got a friend’, and ‘I wish you peace’.

Gil Katzir Photo: Anatoli Rothman

Tim Shepherd gave a presentation about life on the ship and its broadcasters. Tami Tzabari read a poem she wrote in memory of Abie and greeting from broadcasters around the word were played. Then came a twelve minute film about Abie’s life, his humanitarian activities and the establishment of the Voice of Peace. Latif Dori, who broadcasted on the Peace ship in 1973 talked about Abie’s endeavors to bring about peace between Jews and Arabs. During the event a special award was presented to Mr Avi Toyvin who, two months ago, saved the life of a Kayak rower by diving into the polluted Yarkon river. The rower was none other than Abie’s unacknowledged daughter. Toyvin was given a model of the ships lifebelt.
The participants signed up for the founding of a new organization “Nathan” named after Abie (“Nathan” means ‘to give’ in Hebrew). The event closed with the songs ‘And I love you so’ (one of Abie’s favourites) and ‘Give peace a chance’ (with the active participation of the audience). After the event, many of the people went to the nearby pub for a drink and reminiscence of the time on the Peace ship. Best regards to you all Noam Tal.’

Well Noam thanks a lot for this inside story about the event. Most appreciated especially by those who worked for the Peace station and couldn’t make it to Tel Aviv.

MV Peace Lifebelt Photo: Anatoli Rothman

Belgian reader Gert Simon visited on August 31st the Museum Rockart in Hoek van Holland. Not only the Veronica exhibition is held there but on that certain day some former people from the offshore station got together to listen to the studiotape of the last hour from Veronica on August 31st 1974. Gert has made a blog about this get together: www.bloggen.be/zeezenders.

But also reader Willem de Bruijn was there too: ‘Yesterday I really had a fine day. In Hoek van Holland there is that special exhibition about 50 years Radio Veronica. I also wanted to go there as on the 31st the last hour would be played again. Former Veronica technicians Karel van der Woerd – together with his wife – and Ad Bouman were a few of the other people attending. It was a very nice happening. Also it was good to talk about offshore radio in common with other fans, who where there. In my personal acquaintances there’s no one interested in the subject.

Again some old transistor radio’s special ones who could tune in to Veronica. Photo Willem de Bruijn.

Next mail is from Great Britain: ‘Hi Hans. I have been listening to some old tapes and heard some offers advertised and was wondering if anyone still has these items? Radio London record of the final hour highlights offered at 12/6p (final hour show). Radio Caroline AM radio as advertised on the last Jerry Leighton breakfast show for £4.00 What other offers were made and who has what? Thought it might make a good subject and bring back some memories. All the very best and keep up the good work. Mike Ryan.

Thanks Ryan indeed there were a lot of in house commercials on several stations. You mentioned the special EP, which was mentioned on several occasions during the last week of Big L. Yes, I bought that one too and the same with the 8 mm movie, which showed action on board the MV Galaxy. Of course the Caroline transistor was bought by several people. It’s the same with the above shown Veronica transistor radio. And really there were far much more articles plugged by the station. Could publish the lists I have but first let the reader do his work. Anyone who does remember those special offers? Please share them with us and write your memories about it to Hknot@home.nl and if you have a scan or photo please send to Hans.Knot@gmail.com

Regular updates are also coming in from Bob Le-Roi, who this month wrote:
Welcome to the September 2009 Update. We’re back following a frantic summer bringing you yet another giant issue. Firstly thank you for the incredible support of Red Sands Radio, the website www.redsandsradio.co.uk continues to pull in 1000’s of visitors and will remain active whilst we contemplate the future In ‘ScrapBook’ this month we continue the story of Radio Sutch and City in Part 12 with ‘Transmitters, Antennas and More’. With sad news of the death of Ian West we dedicate this feature to his memory, and have a page of commemorative messages from his Radio City colleagues, do send us your memories for inclusion. Plus we’ve a massive selection of aerial photographs of Red Sands Fort taken on Monday Bank Holiday in Red Sands Radio - Part 14. ‘One Subject One Link’ talks about RSL costs and with the season coming to an end we’ve Autumn Barge Sailing dates, plus a few more CD’s and Records added to the sales pages. Enjoy Your Visits. www.bobleroi.co.uk

On September 12th Jana and I, together with Rob Olthof of the Foundation for Mediacommunication took a visit to Bull Verweij, the former director of Radio Veronica. He celebrated his 100th birthday. Earlier that day he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from nowadays Veronica. He received the award from former Veronica newsreader Arend Langenberg and director Ab Trik from Veronica.

Arend, Bull and Ab together with the Award. Photo: Veronica

The family had invited a selected group of people as Bulls condition is not all that well. Lucky enough he had a very good day and enjoyed the celebration. Other old former people from offshore Veronica included Juul Geleick, Ad Bouman, Nobert Jurgens and more. Photos taken by Rob Olthof can be found on www.offshore-radio.de (go to "News").

Andy Wint sent me an email in which he mentioned a link on you tube about a 8mm movie which shows a trip out to the MV Caroline, way back in May 1967:

Next is Philip Crosby who wrote: ‘Alan, who built and operates the Radio Rewind website, has announced he is no longer able to bear the cost of maintaining the website. He has asked if anyone is prepared to assist him with the costs. Although the site is not about offshore radio, it does have loads of good stuff about early BBC Radio One, and lots about the pirate DJs that worked there after August 1967. Maybe your newsletter readers feel they can help? The website is www.radiorewind.co.uk and here is some of the text: ‘Dear Radio Rewind visitor, as an archive radio fan you have listened to and enjoyed some of the hundreds of sounds linked on Radio Rewind which I began constructing in 1999. The website has been a ‘labour of love’ and shares treasured voices, jingles, theme tunes and images from early BBC broadcasts. Visitors have never been charged to read or use any of the content or to download some of our 4,000 archive audio clips. Due to personal circumstances I must now consider to close the Radio Rewind website, as the fees amount to over £500 per year. If you would like these radio memories preserved for all in the future by helping the website continue, please consider a donation, however small. I am currently urgently in need of funds to support the website, however please don’t feel you are obligated. You can donate through the secure PayPal scheme. Your Paypal detail statement will show: “Donation to Alan Davies - Radio Rewind”. Please click the link below (or copy and paste it) to transfer to the secure Paypal.com website and make a donation using your credit card or Paypal account. https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=6607138

Let’s go back to August 25th 1974, the day the following photo was taken in the garden of the Veronica building at the Utrechtseweg in Hilversum during a live recording of the very last ABTT, which was transmitted by the offshore Radio Veronica.

Photo: Meindert van der Meulen

Next to Lex in yellow shirt and headphones on is Karl Braun, left to Adje Bouman in red shirt is Juul Geleick (with bottle again without alcohol). I know this all because I was there. It ment a lot to be there. I was living in Leeuwarden in those days, so going to Hilversum was not nothing. I was 21 years of age in 1974 and have good memories. Meindert van der Meulen.

Paul Jan de Haan sent me a link to a very nice reverb radio station and equipment
high energy memories to Big L and Radio Caroline. By the way Paul has his own sentimental journey each Monday evening.

From Theo Bakker I got an email with a photograph enclosed. It’s taken in the small town of Franeker in the Provence of Friesland in the Netherlands and Theo asked himself if the name of this shop was chosen by coincidence or…?

The Local Political Party Vlissingen, LPV, wants the former radio ship Norderney from Veronica in the Dok harbour there. There are plans to bring in this harbour more old ships with a story and LPV thinks the Norderney, which is now on a quayside in Antwerp, could be a good choice. LPV did sent me an email and asked for a contact person so they could negotiate with the owners. I’ve was in contact with the spokesman of the owners and he told me that at the moment there a four ideas to bring back the Norderney into a Dutch harbour. He thinks a decision will be taken within months.

Remember we had this special question about a song about Ramsey which was played on Caroline North a lot but never became a hit? One of my readers wondered which song it was. Hans Warmenhoven in Germany put the question on the board from the internet radio station RNI and thinks the answer is here:


Last night as I lay sleeping,
I had a pleasant dream.
I thought I was in Minnesota,
Down by a quiet stream
With a charming gal beside me,
The lights would never fail
And I awoke to find myself, be God
In the Ramsey County Jail,

Then combine, ye hump and biddy,
From Tepperty town I steer.
Like every honest fellow
I like my lager beer.
Like every jolly young fellow
I take my whiskey clear.
I’ve a rambling rake of a father
And the son of a gamboleer,
They took me to the prison,
They locked me twenty and four.
They gave me all that I could eat
But I always wanted more.
The beds were of the finest
And sleeping never failed
For the feathers they did tickle me so
In the Ramsey County Jail.

From Folk Songs out of
Wisconsin, Peters
Collected from Lester A. Coffee, Harvard, IL, 1946.
Here the internet link to the station: http://www.rni.zu5.net/

Almost forgot that a reader mentioned that Rosko can now also be heard on Vixen 101 since September 5th from 8.00 PM

Each month we have some lines from Ian Godfrey, so here we go again: ’Dear Hans, thanks very much for the September Report. The reason for emailing at this point is to make a few comments on the wealth of radio activity the last weekend of August. I was very impressed with Caroline’s ‘Now That’s What I Call Radio Caroline’ broadcast and listened for several hours at a time, about 98% of it on the Internet although I really had to check 531 about 17.45 on Friday, both to gauge the signal-strength and hoping to hear the last few minutes of a test transmission, leading up to the official launch. I heard two Pink Floyd tracks, with a brief gap between them, when I thought there’d been a break in transmission. Due to slight interference ‘crackle’ I held the radio to my left ear, rather than increase the volume. I suddenly realised I was doing something I hadn’t done for several years - old habits die hard! The general presentation was consistently upbeat and it was clear that they were enthusiastic about what they were doing. I hadn’t heard Dave Richards since the day before ‘The Raid!’ The broadcast reminded me of the last couple of years or so from the Mi Amigo, and the trips I made to the radio-ships around that time. Some of the tracks played I hadn’t heard for well over thirty years. If it wasn’t for the Caroline broadcast I probably would have spent more time listening to ‘Mi Amigo’ from the ‘Jenny Baynton.’ One thing I discovered it had in common with Caroline was a thirty-second delay between AM and the Internet. I rang a friend just after 18.00 on Friday who was unaware that it had actually started and immediately noticed that the record playing, as he found 531, was completely different from what was playing on the Internet. It didn’t take long to realise what was happening! For me the most emotional radio event of the weekend was the re-run of the final two hours of Veronica. I’d listened to most of the commemorative programmes from 1st August and nearly all of the final week, from early on the 25th. I listened to the finally week thirty-five years ago—or so I thought - as I had virtually no recollection of it, for example, the featuring of one particular year, and two towards the end of the week, for each day, including records by artists such as Burl Ives, Johnny Tillotson and Brenda Lee which I was sure I’d never heard before, plus some clips of shows and schedules from the early ‘60s. The only thing I could vividly remember were the mentions of the hours remaining at the top of each hour. One of the first things I noticed was that the ID at the top of the hour was given as ‘Radio 192’ as opposed to ‘Veronica 192,’ which was intriguing. I found this had reverted back when I tuned in on Monday morning. For about the first three days the presentation sounded just as upbeat and slick as was usual every day of the week but some time on Friday there was a distinct change, as though they’d suddenly become aware of the imminent closure, with several appropriate records being played in the evening, such as “Law of the Land’ by The Undisputed Truth and ‘The Music’s Over’ by The Doors. As I’d had a few problems getting Veronica 192 over the weekend I thought I’d give Spectrum a try (a first for me) tuning in just after 14.00, to hear Bachman Turner Overdrive, which was about no.18 in the ‘Tipparade’. At about the same time I found that the ‘Tipparade’ had just begun on Veronica 192, with, interestingly, ‘Man of Action’. Rather than listening with one record on the right-hand side and a completely different one on the left, and that I could hear the whole chart on Veronica 192, I decided to get a bit of fresh air. When I heard that the Spectrum transmission hours had been changed I thought it had been done for technical reasons but as I was walking back home two things suddenly occurred to me - that it must have been done for the benefit of Spectrum’s listeners without the Internet and that it was possible to hear the final hour twice! On Sunday afternoon I was reading a magazine, with Caroline playing in the background and suddenly, about 14.45, it was mentioned that Simon Dee had died. It took a few seconds to absorb what I’d just heard, mainly because I’d heard nothing about him for some time. Just before 18.00 I tuned to BBC Kent, feeling sure that Roger Day would at least give it a mention found I was listening to probably the most interesting tribute show I’ve heard, with some really informative, and at times humorous, input from Alan Turner and Keith Skues. Radio-wise this has been by far the most eventful Bank Holiday ever - a far cry from reliance on a couple of mentions on a SW pirate! Tuesday was much more of an anticlimax than the usual Monday, definitely a case of ‘withdrawal symptoms!’ only helped by KBC in the evening, with several rare records. Very Best Wishes, Ian Godfrey.’

Another you tube shows a tender from Veronica, the Ger Anne, making a visit to the MV Mi Amigo in April 1973.
Next it’s Clive from Northampton who wrote: ‘Hi, Hans I am sure you know this but I am not sure if some of your other English readers do – that is that Arrow Classic Rock is now broadcasting on satellite Astra 1 19,2 East (full info here: http://www.arrow.nl/rock/ ) This is free to air, also free to air on the same satellite are Radio Veronica, Radio 10 Gold and Radio 538 plus hundreds of other stations from all over Europe. Many thanks for the great Radio Reports - keep them coming, best wishes, Clive.’

Per Alarud sent in the next info to Martin: ‘There will be as special Radio Nord cruising to Turku in Finland from Stockholm at the end of October. That is when the new book, by Jan Kotschack, is ready. He will sign his new book. Also Fredric Karén who wrote the book about Radio Syd; Piratdrottningen, will be there and sign his book. He has managed to secure several books, despite it was all sold out from the publisher. Several of the artists that was played on Radio Nord will appear: http://www.tallinksilja.com/sv/cruises/special/galaxy/radioNord.htm
My wife and I will be there and I hope to take some nice pictures. Regards, Per Alarud.’

Another six weeks before the Radio Day in Amsterdam and we just got information that Charlie Wolf, K.C., D.L. Bogart and Paul Jackson will do their best to come to Holland, too. For all information just go to http://www.radioday.nl

Well another bumper edition and already 10 pages with information are stored on the computer for next months issue. Thanks a lot for your news, ideas and memories and let them come to HKnot@home.nl and the attachments please to Hans.Knot@gmail.com

With many warm greetings

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