Hans Knot's International Radio Report - April 2006 (1) 


Sven Martinssen is one of the people researching the history of the people as well as the radio stations which have been transmitting from the MV Olga Patrica, also known as the MV Laissez Faire. One of the things he asked for if there’s anyone in my readership in either Holland or Belgium who can translate the Dutch book ‘The Five from the Laissez Faire’ on cassette or md. So if you’re interested let me know at Hknot@home.nl

Sven also has more: ‘I recently came across a very interesting recording of R355 from a Saturday in July, 1967 where Dave Mackay is in charge, but with Mark Sloane, Alan Black, TW, David O'Brien (programme supervisor?) and a guest in studio. The transcript runs like this: Saturday, July 29th, 1967(?). Radio 355.Transmission on 845 kcs. 2130-2205 (Right Saturday?) Tony Windsor, Mark Sloane, Alan Black, David Mackay,(guests)David O’Brien, Tim. Parody on ‘Carousel’ Voice ‘Derek Burroughs’ by Mark Sloane and Alan Black: (The real)”Derek Burroughs”: ”That’s Jimmy Feddler and trumpets with a song Lollipops and Roses.” Alan Black: ”Oh, very good Sir. Very nice of you to come down to the studio on this very first broadcast... for several months now. I understand (you’ve had a)..soul condition. (Mark Sloane playing ”DB”) ”That’s very true, Alan. Alan Black: ”I guess you’re not too happy about the prospects of giving up your cabin you occupied for about a year. But I guess you are looking forward to going home.” ”DB”: I have to be truthful here and have to say I am looking forward to going back home to Los Angeles after nearly a year here in this wonderful country on this wonderful little boat. ”DB” then remembered former co-workers and mentioned Ted Delaney, Mark Stevens and Ron Rose!(The same person-editor).. ”Thank you Alan it’s been very nice talking to you here on 355...from my cabin as usual.” Alan Black then commented that ”DB” did not say or talk much. ”You keep yourself to yourself!”... Alan Black: ”Perhaps you’ll introduce our next record?” ”DB”: ”I’d love to!” Vicky Carr: French on Top. Dave Mackay: ”Once again thank you to our good friend and colleague Derek Burroughs. I might add that Derek plays cards with us almost every night...” Ad for Yvette followed Trini Lopez: Hello Dolly (Spanish) from LP Live at Basin Street. Mike Sarne Singers: Everybody loves Saturday Night. Alan Black referred to Ron Rose(above) ”Head of Flower-Power in San Francisco.” Clinton Ford: Dandy
Thoughts at the end of the Day May Each Day Andy Williams ”The time is now 1 minute past 10 o’clock and this is Radio 355 closing down. We trust that you’ve enjoyed our programs today and that you’ll be back again with us tomorrow when we resume our transmissions with Alan Black’s Breakfast Club at 6am. So on behalf of the entire staff of Radio 355 this is David Mackay wishing you wherever you may be a very quiet and peaceful goodnight. Goodnight everyone.” GSTQ?

Based on this transcript, I have 4 questions:
1. Does anyone know if "Derek Burroughs" (that evening?) was invented as name of the Carousel announcer on Britain R/Radio 355?
2. Did David O'Brien succeed John Withers as PD? Does anyone know if these are still among us?
3. Does anyone think July 29th is the right Saturday for this show or was it earlier in July? (For reference, Feliciano concert aired on Thursday. July 6th and was repeated on Sat. July 8th).
4. Delaney/Stevens/Rose has not been found. Does anyone know if he is still among us? Thanks on forehand, Yours sincerely, Svenn Martinsen (please use this address:) svennam@hotmail.com

It seems more and more people have lesser problems with opening their photo books, their boxes with other memories and so on. Martin van der Ven recently got from the Far East a lot of photographs on high quality from Sheridon Keith Street. He worked on Caroline as a technician and did some programs when there were less deejays on the ship. The photos can now be found back exclusively on Martin’s Site: www.offshore-radio.de

Bringing two people who have both worked in offshore radio during the same time (1966) just a mile apart from each other but have never seen each other before? Yes, the strength of the Knot International Radio Report. Here’s what Rick Randell wrote me after he met Keefers: Hi Hans, Keith (Keefers) Hampshire and I met on Clearwater Beach yesterday (Sunday, March 12th) right in the middle of Spring Break, surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of bikinis and bronze bodies glistening in the Florida sun. For me it was like seeing an old friend, which is odd considering we had never met before. I did not know about his television and singing career, and was enormously pleased when he presented me with a CD featuring a great collection of songs called Anthology. I am, in fact listening to it now as I write to you, and find his version of the old Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders songs, The Game of Love, remarkable and striking. I will program some of these songs into my local website - www.MusicTampaBay.com - when I have resolved some technical problems and restore the audio stream that had run somewhat successfully last year for about 6 months. I was also pleased to learn he has resumed his on-air radio career to some extent with a weekend oldies show in Canada, much of which he performs by an internet link during his winter and early spring visits here in Florida. Keefer's wife Cathy was with us, along with some of their friends, and some pictures were taken that I am sure he will send to you at some point. In your next communication with him, please relay my most sincere thanks for such a genuinely friendly and entertaining visit. It was an unforgettable moment with a somewhat international character, bringing together an American and Canadian celebrating an event in England 4 decades ago. Cheers! Richard (Rick Randall) Crandall

Still remember the date our Annual Radio Day will be held? On Martin van der Ven his site you find a banner ‘Radio Day 2006’. Just click on it and you walk into the page where all the info can be found on the November 4th happening as well as information about Hotel reservation and how to get to the Venue: www.offshore-radio.de/radioday

Recently Martin made another top score by finding a tune where many offshore people have been looking for since decades. The tune which was used by the Baken 16 team on Radio Mi Amigo. Terry Snyder & The All Stars - La Cucaracha. It can be found back at: http://www.offshore-radio.de/temp/baken16.zip

I can assure everyone unknown to the tune that it’s an exclusive one!

From California another from Rosko, a question: ‘thus some trivia for you , Johnny is thus the second DJ _/*only*/_ to voluntarily resign from a BBC British pop station. Who was the first? Answer, The Emperor in Septenber 1976 from Radio ONE! Have a nice day or, in your case a nice night! Emperor.’

Well Johnny Walker decided to stop doing his daily programs but didn’t leave Radio Two as he will in the future doing specials on pop music, which he will be producing.

Steve writing in saying: ‘ It is a shame, though, that you don't have much news in your letter about today. After all, what do we listen to now? Veronica 192, Laser Radio, Radio Mi Amigo 192, Radio 227, KX Radio, Radio Caroline, Radio Seagull/Radio Waddenzee? Or do we listen to the likes of the Dutch Public Broadcaster 'Radio Twee' or the BBC 'Radio Two'? It would be nice if you could include a section about today's stations as we still need to listen to the radio. My own preference is Veronica 192 because the music is best. It used to be Radio 192 but it's all broken up as Marc Kloosterman of the Radio 192 fan site http://www.fiatbarchetta.com/192 points out - viz. Where have the 192 deejays gone to? Answer: to five different stations. My favourite programme on Radio 192 was de ‘Nationale Zaterdagmiddaggebeurtenis’, which was just the same as it was on Radio Veronica in the seventies. You might be willing to have a section of your newsletter for today's happenings, but if that makes it difficult for you, then, of course, you can't. All the best Steven Allan’. 

Thanks Steven, the idea of the report is exchanging memories and questions which each other. Now and then some news is Oké but no regular segments. Therefore there are newsgroups on internet as well as many regular sites, who do excellent work on the subjects you want to read. So I advise you to visit on a regular base the next two sites: www.mediapages.nl and www.radiovisie.nl

Next is an e mail from Wales and so over to John ‘R’ Bennett: ’
Dear Hans, I grew up listening to Radio Caroline North. I attach a page from the Big L scrapbook website which gives my memories of the station. It was such an influence that I entered Radio as an adult, working for VOP, Caroline from the Ross Revenge, BBC and ILR. For decades I have been searching for: The Pernod commercial played on Caroline North, usually between 5 and 7 am (cheap rate card time) in the first half of 1967. The ad featured two voices, one of which was very upper class and plumy, saying: Ah, Pernod, our favourite drink in England you know.... There were FX of clinking glasses and bottle-pouring. Any copy , cassette/CD etc. would be welcome. ' Been searching for this since 1967. I wonder if you are familiar with this commercial and whether you have a copy? I would be really grateful if you could help me obtain a CD or cassette copy and I would be happy to cover your expenses. Any details can be obtained from: sloopjohnrb@btinternet.com

Well that’s another question which can be answered by any 50plus reader of the report, I suppose. So if you do have the Pernod commercial John is looking for, please sent it to him as well as to me, thanks a lot. But John has more to share:

In 1964 I was aged 8 and my sister, Joyce was aged 13. One Saturday morning she burst into my bedroom, clutching the big, blue tranny (a wireless set not the cross-dresser) shouting something about a pirate ship. Imagining a galleon with Captain Hook and scurvy crew, my previous worries about Joyce's sanity seemed to prove well-founded – until she clapped the tranny to my right ear. I heard a voice, later ID'd as Jerry Leighton, introducing ‘Spanish Harlem’ by Ben E. King, followed by a ‘little song’ that sang ‘Caroline’ (it was to be some weeks before I understood what a jingle was), and then a commercial for Crunchie Bars. 

Little John Bennett (photo archive J. Bennett)

A commercial? On a station other than Luxembourg? On a Saturday? At about 8.20 am? A pop record? On a station other than Luxembourg? On a Saturday? At about 8.20 am? I had difficulty reconciling the info my ears were giving me, with what my mind told me could not possibly be true. Both of us hugged each other in sheer excitement.’ "You'll be arrested for listening to that station!" worried Mother in the next few weeks. Finally we managed to convince her that sending children to Strangeways for 30 years could be viewed as a tad over-zealous on the part of the GPO. I wish I could remember the date of this event, because, for me, it was Love at first Listen. The next three-and-a-bit years saw me walking around with a radio strapped to my right ear, looking like I had a large blue carbuncle growing out of the outer lobe. Other kids liked lollipops and conkers, Joyce and I liked music! John Newstead did a 'paper round in t'rainy North; I did a milk round with my father, every weekend and every day in the holidays. We would set out to the dairy just as Caroline came on air, a radio in our car and a transistor in the milk truck keeping us tuned in, especially to Jerry Leighton. He once played a track by Mozart as he had decided to ‘bring the tone of the station up’– later his colleagues made him actually walk the plank for this dreadful sin! Jerry played a lot of early-morning turntable hits, not least ‘No Fun At The Fair’– Bobby Goldsboro, – the first song Mike D'Abo ever wrote. Caroline North's programming and professionalism was far superior to that of her sister ship. A large number of people not only agree with this, but point out that in 1967, the Beeb did not do its homework properly and missed out on recruiting the talent that was on the North ship. Mick Luvzit was ‘naughty’ for the time... Tony Prince, the Lancashire lad... Bob Stewart sounded very 'American boss jock', but came from Liverpool... Ray Teret dunked biscuits in tea, coffee – and petrol...! Jerry Leighton was the funniest guy in radio (with due respect to the late Kenny Everett) and my favourite of all time, the late Daffy Don, gave everybody a love of Country music. It was quite a station! ‘


Listening to Daffy Don's C&W show under the pillows, I'd just be dropping off to sleep when he would play the jingle: ‘Don Allen's Country & Western ... jam...bo...REE!!!’ Don played ‘Flowers On The Wall’ – Statler Brothers, and ‘My Son Calls Another Man Daddy’ – Mo Bandy, a lot. This gave me insight into the world of Country music – something I did not even know existed at the time. Don was an expert in the use of jingles.
He could take one jingle bed, and from it make around 20 different ones using different voice-overs. His ‘stabs’, as I then called them, are what we now know as ‘drops’ – as used much later by Steve Wright. ‘Lovely’ and ‘Funnee Funnee’ are perhaps the best. Don was slick and very, very tight in presentation – when I entered professional radio I did my utmost to emulate his way with jingles and drops. Don was years ahead of his time.

The 'Big Blue Tranny', at home in my retro corner – it's between the 1950's telephone and the 1940's radio. Photo John Bennet

Rick Dane is responsible for my nickname! Rick, taken by the new single “Hang On Sloopy” – The McCoys, played it every other record! This got me into the track so much I became similarly obsessed and could not stop warbling it...”If I hear that one more time...” was the usual comment I received. My schoolfriends started to call me Sloopy, and when The Beach Boys’ ‘Sloop John B’ came out (John B = John Bennett), again played heavily on Caroline, that sealed it and I’m known as Sloopy to this day. Thank you, Rick. The station had a big audience. On holiday in Butlin’s, Mosney, Eire, in 1965, the signal hammered into Dublin. The whole camp seemed to have a radio on every corner, all tuned to Caroline. In Eire, Isle of Man, Scotland and Scandinavia the station was absolutely huge, as witnessed by the mail the ship received. In Eire and the Isle of Man; the station held a very large place in the hearts of the people. Aged 9, I wrote to Caroline , offering to give up primary school and go out to Ramsey to work onboard – Chris Moore, Program Controller, turned me down – the first of many radio rejections! Although on relatively low power, the signal was excellent during daytimes; crackles and heterodynes appeared after 8pm or thereabouts.

Caroline North truly broadcast as opposed to narrow casting. The mix of musical styles was eclectic and one record could be the current Stones’ Hit, to be followed by a Jazz classic, then an American import and the next a Flashback. Boring it never, ever was. Caroline North had a station identity and personality, to which the jocks added themselves to form a whole. No other station I have heard had this unique mix. The station ID’s were usually to a jazz organ bed, and to this day if I hear an organ, I think of Caroline. I stayed with Caroline right up to March 1968. The loss of my friends on the wireless cut very deep. In adult life I entered radio, Beeb/ILR/VOP etc., consequently I had the romance and naivety kicked out of me in the hard business of radio. However, like John Newstead, there are a few mornings every year when I wake up and automatically reach for Caroline and Jerry Leighton, Daffy Don, Tony Prince, Bob Stewart, Nick Bailey and Co. Caroline North is still much-loved, and very, very much missed. That blue transistor from 1964 is still in existence and occupies a place in the ‘retro’ corner of my lounge – the tuning dial is always set to 259 meters, MW.

John Bennett in the Caroline main studio (Photo collection John Bennett)

Well John an exciting way you wrote about Caroline North. And it must be so nice for Bob Stewart, Tony Prince, Mick Luvzit and other former Caroline North deejays – who are also getting the report by e mail – reading this very nice words for you almost 40 years later! 

O the small poster with ‘wanted’ on it in the last issue was to small, according the man who did sent it in. However several people did response and most of them had it right. The one who was first with the right answer was responding within hours the report appeared: ‘The wanted poster is Hot-rockin flame-throwin Emperor Rosko - My Main Man Michael Pasternak. Where do I claim my $2500 ????’ Best it to go to California and have a visit at the Rosko’s Place! You’re a winner Paul Rusling!’

Paul went on, as the name Johnny Dark was mentioned in the last report: ‘Johnny Dark is a name that occurs many times in American Top 40 radio - there seems to be at least three different people used that name. I have some tapes of them that a friend of mine in Philly collected and sent to me. Some very old reels, which I didn't play for many years now. I do not know how to check if any of them are the SRE Johnny Dark - they probably only used the jingles!’

And as an answer on Martin Kayne’s question on phrases he answered: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, little one's and kittens’. That phrase was used a few times by Rusty Allen on Radio 270 - and also I think by on of 270's best DJs, Guy Hamilton (now known as Gerry Zierler - he sells advertising time on TV ). Ross Randell (Alan West) used to say 'tigers and kittens'. He also used to use a single word catch phrase - 'phantasmagorical', which I never ever heard anywhere else. he became so well known for it he also used it in a Radio 270 commercial, for Scarborough South Cliff Butchers.’

Another phrase man is David from London: ‘Hi Hans, thank you for your excellent report as usual. A phrase question by Martin Kayne as to who said ‘Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, little one's and kittens?’ I believe was Mike Lennox. Cheers, David Phillips in London.’ 

So who’s right and who has more? Sent it in to Hknot@home.nl

More on ‘Caroline’ and the Fortunes and other subject from Leeds: ‘Many thanks for the 2nd Edition of the International Report for the month of March. 17 pages of news, made this very cold morning most enjoyable. I was most interested in the response to the Radio Manchester enquiry I made in the last report, that solves that enquiry. Would love to hear any more stories behind this project, because I remember reading in the Daily Sketch that it was to start broadcasting. I don't have the exact dates but the ship was supposed to be there in the Irish sea, so the question is was there a ship or not. for Radio Manchester? Caroline by the Fortunes. I have the original copy of this, the B side is called ‘If You Don't Want Me Now’. Decca F11809 dated 1964. In 1964 we had had a big valve radio which was a Sorbell radio set, and I remember friends coming round to our house to listen to this new radio station playing records all day instead of the Midday Spin on the BBC's Light Programme, I am sure that The Fortunes record ‘Caroline was played’. ‘Caroline’ by Roy Hastings on Decca F11678 was, as we know, cut up and used as a Caroline jingle. This record is dated 1963. B side is called ‘My One and Only One’. ‘Caroline’ by the Fortunes was re-recorded and issued again in 1985, that’s the date on the copy I have. Also interesting to hear that Bob LeRoi has recordings of a station called Radio Poplar which has he says began broadcasting in the 80's from the Balearic Islands, I wonder if these are the same people involved who now broadcast via the internet. I listened last Sunday and they were playing records from the Offshore era from 1964 to 1967 and some very rare records played too, which I must admit have not heard on the radio since those offshore days, also they play offshore radio themes non stop which you don't hear on the radio these days.

On our BBC TV Look North on Wednesday 15th March a little tribute to Radio 270 with Paul Burnette and some footage of the Radio 270 ship as well, did any one else see this .I did record this by the way, now saved in my archives. Best Wishes, Colin

Wonderful update Colin. Good to hear that you recorded the ‘270’ special. Is it possible for you to upload it on Internet so we ca have a view too?

Another one of the Caroline tune and maybe the closest answer we could expect: ‘Dear Hans, Just a note about the Caroline theme. ‘Caroline’ by The Fortunes was used as the theme tune to the programme ‘Caroline Club Requests’, which started in the summer of 1964. The first edition of the programme was presented on Caroline South by Doug Kerr and Simon Dee, and on Caroline North by Tom Lodge and Jerry Leighton. Soon after this Caroline South used only one DJ for the show, while Caroline North continued to use two DJs to present the show for some months. I bought a copy of ‘Caroline’ by The Fortunes in either June or July 1964 on the Decca label. Both Caroline North and Caroline South used ‘Around Midnight’ by Jimmy McGriff as the closedown theme. Caroline South closed down at 8.00 pm on 1493 kHz until the Mi Amigo had its new transmitter in April 1966. Caroline North closed at 8.30 pm after ‘The World Tomorrow’ on 1520 kHz, also with the theme ‘Around Midnight’. Caroline South stopped using ‘Around Midnight’ after the Mi Amigo went aground in January 1966. After this they played ‘Caroline’ by ‘The Fortunes’ at close down. It was reported in the newspapers that DJ Tom Lodge took the copy of ‘Around Midnight’ with him when he was taken off the Mi Amigo when it went aground.

Caroline North always closed down with ‘Around Midnight’ by Jimmy McGriff. I heard the MV Caroline (then off the Essex coast) play this theme at 6.00 pm on Easter Sunday 1964 when they closed down with a short announcement by Simon Dee at 6.00 pm. They also played ‘Around Midnight’ at the end of the final transmissions from the MV Caroline (then off the coast of the Isle of Man) at 10.30 pm in March 1968.

Now a question. I remember Tony Blackburn talking about Pat Starling back in 1965, so why was Pat known as ‘The Child Scientist’? I always read your report and find it interesting. Best wishes, Alan Hamblin, London.' Well maybe Pat can answer this question himself?

Of course I reported the last answer on the subject ‘Caroline’ to the one who started the question, Chris Edwards and he came back to me: ‘Hello Hans, very many thanks for this, as you say think this must be the nearest answer there is. It would seem that ‘Caroline’ became the official theme after the South ship returned to the British coast, after running aground. It had clearly been played before then, but hadn't been ‘officially’ used as the station theme. This seems to tie in with what Tom Lodge said originally and is supported by the tapes Francois found. It's lucky that there were such dedicated listeners, who often have better memories than some of the deejays. Best wishes, Chris

Arik from Hollywood is the next one: ‘Dear Hans, how are you doing? Do you happen to know if there is any Voice of Peace DJ that lives in the USA or where is John McDonald? Arik www.kolhalev.com

Thanks Arik and as far as I know no one of the deejays is living in the USA although some people next to Abe in the seventies are living there but I will mention it in the next report. And the other question no one seems to know the answer so no news about Mc Donald. As he has lived all around the world before he went to the Peace Ship I think he's travelling the world again’. So anyone of the VOP people reading this if you know the answer don’t hesitate to write to Hknot@home.nl

Last month Arik came with the good idea to ask the Nobel Committee for the Peace Price to Abe and after I mentioned it the next came in from Kas Collins: ‘Great idea, Arik. Here’s my two cents. ‘Dear committee, I know of no one who would be a worthier recipient of your prize than Abe Nathan. I worked as a volunteer on his major venture, The Voice of Peace radiostation. He has dedicated his life to creating a platform for dialogue in the Middle East. Abe is my hero. He could be an inspiration for people the world over. Thank you for your attention. Kas Collins van Iersel, Naarden, The Netherlands.’

I did sent the e mail from Kas to Arik and he came back with this one: Dear Kas van Iersel, thank you very much for your support. I think all Europe should do something to help Abe to get the peace price he deserve, even more than Bono/Geldoff! You can enjoy memories from the Voice of Peace www.kolhalev.com/www2/schedule.php in the Linda Mason show. Thanks and keep in touch, Arik

Erik Wiltsher came with the next, bad, news: The Phonographic industry, the group representing record companies in the UK, are to make it impossible for radio stations to stream audio outside the UK. Therefore, RTI may be forced to turn off its internet stream to anyone outside of the UK from 1 April 2006.’

Erik is one of the main people behind the station. First I thought it would be a first of April Joke but Rodney Collins sent me the next one on this subject.

‘Licence-free web streaming of radio stations ends. This is just for those used to binning correspondence from the CRCA before reading fully! It follows on from the issue raised at the conference regarding the termination of all radio station's PPL licences to simulcast programmes worldwide on the Internet. From the end of this month any ILR station wishing to stream its programmes on the Internet has two choices: 1) pay an additional licence fee to PPL for international simulcasting (or negotiate with every country separately!), or 2) put in place a mechanism acceptable to PPL to restrict web listeners to UK territories (thought to include Eire and UK colonies/dependent territories, but I'm not certain of that). We haven't seen a final cost for an international licence yet, but previous suggestions were of the order of 0.7p per track per listener. For a typical ILR that works out 10p per listener hour. As a more meaningful guide, for a typical station streaming for a max of 10 listeners and achieving an average of, say, 5 listeners for 20% of the time, it would mean a bill of nearly £1000 per year - perhaps ten times the cost of the streaming server itself! For those who want to stay within the UK, there seems to be two options acceptable to PPL: 2a) require every visitor to sign up and enter their postcode, which must be validated against the UK Postcode database before permitting them to carry on, or 2b) use a ‘Geo-IP’ system to verify the region that they are in via the IP address of their ISP. These system have become quite sophisticated and accurate. I don't know if modern 'IP cloaking' systems can help listeners abroad circumvent such things, but PPL accepts them. Alex Gray from Two Lochs Radio tried putting his Internet address in and it reported ‘(guessed) Kings Lynn, UNITED KINGDOM IP found in 0.0059 seconds’, which presumably is where his ISP's main internet connection is. Similarly, Nevis's audio streaming server is reported as being at Camberley, UK.Maybe the only way a non-technically advanced user could circumvent this from abroad would be to dial internationally to an ISP in the UK, which they might not be likely to do just to listen to an ILR station! On the other hand, I can't see what is to stop any user lying about their location on the postcode option, except that they would need to know a valid UK postcode (which they could probably get form any radio station's website contact page!). The second option is more transparent for the user and avoids them having to enter at least their postcode everytime they 'tune in', but could be costly for small stations to implement individually, so the CRCA is proposing that it develop a central 'gateway' for all stations wishing to use it. They say the cost for this would be in the region of £60 per station and they want an indication of interest or otherwise from all stations before going ahead. ‘ 

Very bad news, again the whole game is called again ‘Money, money’.

Per from Sweden has a question: ‘On July 29th, 1972, I visited the Caroline/Mi Amigo Pirate Museum in Zaandam harbour, arranged by FRO-FRC-Holland. During that visit I noticed that work was being done in the Tx room. When I tried to enter, I was stopped. Asking why I couldn't enter, I was told "No, the boss says so". Have you any idea of who that might have been, that told me not to enter? Per from Sweden.’

Well I know that Gerard van Dam was at that stage the Boss but it could be one of the other people working on the ship who have stopped you. Anyone who has been on the Mi Amigo too in Zaandam harbour in 1972 and has any idea?

An e mail from the Marathon Man: ‘Hans, thank you for your ‘good luck’ message in your latest Radio Report. I think I'll need it! I hope that my efforts will do justice to the memory of a great broadcaster. It is just a shame that Tony himself will not be there to see it, because I *know* that he would have had a few witty comments ready to greet me at the finishing line! Please remind your readers around the world that if they follow the link to http://members.aol.com/carolinesales/rcs.html they can find out how to make donations to the Tony Allan Memorial Fund. Keep up the good work with your Reports. I am always amazed that there is still so much interest in the subject after so many years. Best regards, Graham Coull (the Marathon Man).

Thanks Graham and to you the reader please feel free to do a donation as Elja is doing with the work a very good job!

We’re going to see what Jan van Heeren: ‘Hello Hans, I read with a lot of pleasure your item about sports on offshore radio including the one about race horses in Beverley, August 30th, 1967. On internet I found more on this horse. It was borne in 1964, the same year Caroline started, and won three of the seven races I could find back. Winning was 4745 dollars, which was really good in those days. Parents were father Sing Sing and mother Sweet Caroline. www.pedigreequery.com/radio+caroline

Who does remember John Wendale, who wrote a lot about the return on Radio Caroline in some magazines in the early eighties? Well he did sent me an email advising to listen to a new radiostation, Capitol Radio from the USA, a station which won’t leave his computer again. www.capitalradio.us

Please update Favourites on your web browsers for the internet address from the Guernsey branch of Monitor Magazine as it has changed to: http://web.guernsey.net/~deejayclancy

Another new internet address for a Flemish station which tries to aim at people from 45 years and older aims to reach the listener with Dutch, Flemish, Germain and French music from the past. Also pro hour two new products are played. www.radiopopular.nl or www.radiopopular.be

Then space for Andrew from Luton: ‘Hi Hans, this is my first E-mail to you although I enjoy reading your reports and have done so for some time now. Regarding Tara Jeffries, she was one of the original team of presenters on our ILR station, Chiltern Radio, with studios in Dunstable and Bedford, when it opened in 1982 (if my memory serves me right). Unfortunately I cannot remember how long she stayed with the station. Very best wishes to you Hans. Kind regards. Andrew Pearce. From Luton in Bedfordshire. England.

Thanks Andrew and step by step we learn more and more about Tara. Who knows more write to: Hknot@home.nl

Back to the catch phrases: ‘Hi Hans. My first time of writing. Always enjoy reading your reports. In response to the question from Andy Cadier with regards to who used the catch phrase ‘Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, little one's and kittens’. Believe this was Mike Lennox on Big L. Originally lived just north of London. Clearly remember listening to Radio Caroline on their first day of broadcasting in 1964. Seemed a world away from what the BBC were doing. Listened to them throughout until 1968 and also on the night of 14 August 1967. Listened occasionally to Big L, City, Swinging Radio England and also to Radio 270, Scotland and Caroline North, which could be picked up after nightfall. Once Radio Caroline closed in March 1968, I listened to Veronica and also RNI when they came along. Radio Caroline also once again when they reopened until I emigrated to New Zealand. Now of course, listen on the internet. Have always been interested in music, running a disco myself in the late 60's early 70's and I think the offshore stations were just different and I got hooked and still have an interest. Found your reports sometime ago via the Offshore Radio Guide.

I look forward to continuing the interesting reading. John Carter, Taranaki, New Zealand

Thanks John and nice to see we have another new reader from New Zealand. By the way your answer about the catch phrase is 100% correctly. A pity Andy Cadier didn’t put a price on the correct answer!

Another mail, this time from Rob Wolf in Delft, Holland who wrote: ‘Hi Hans, Maybe it’s interesting to mention that there is a site about Radio Cité in Belgium, a station that left the real airwaves 209 years ago: http://radiocite.skynetblogs.be/



New Pacific Asia Log [PAL] Shortwave Guide
Over 1600 shortwave frequencies from the Pacific-Asia region are
included in this new guide now on line at www.radioheritage.net
It follows the same format as the existing medium wave guide, with information about station locations, transmitter power, current broadcast schedules and languages, and also includes the target area for transmissions. The free guide can be searched by frequency or location, and a downloadable version will be available later. The Pacific-Asia region is undergoing a slight resurgence in
shortwave broadcast activity as Australia, New Zealand and the Solomon Islands add new DRM transmitters. China has just commissioned 100 new high power shortwave transmitters. Interested in shortwave broadcasting within the region? Then the new PAL Shortwave Guide is great news! Users are encouraged to send in updates, correct errors and add other information of use to everyone. The shortwave guide is part of the highly successful PAL guide series edited by Bruce Portzer and available only at www.radioheritage.net
A freely available service of the Radio Heritage Foundation, supported by donations from listeners and others worldwide. Warm regards, David Ricquish
Radio Heritage Foundation




The tracks on this double DVD are from artists like: The Who, The Kinks, Small Faces, Manfred Mann, Dusty Springfield, Ekseption, Desmond Dekker, Hollies, Shocking Blue, Cat Stevens, Jimmy Cliff, Jefferson Airplane, Blue Mink, Abba, Procol Harum, Dave Davies, Norman Greenbaum and others.

The price for this double DVD is € 21,-- and is available from SMC P.O Box 53121 1007 RC AMSTERDAM HOLLAND


Next to a lot of other internet sites like www.hansknot.com, www.mediapages.nl and others, the Knot International Radio Report is, from last month on, also published by www.popdossier.nl. Interesting as there’s also a lot of information to be found concerning the history of pop music in the Netherlands.

A few issues ago a reader had some remarks on Robert Preedy’s book on Radio 270 stating that it realy wasn’t researched well. Here’s Robert’s answer on that: 

‘Hans - may I reply to the comments about my book - Radio 270. To refer to it as a fan publication rather dismisses the 20 years it took to track down and talk to the many people involved in the project. I interviewed the three directors of the company - and subsequently numerous staff and backroom people at the station. It took me from 1978 to 2002 to satisfy myself I had the basis for a substantial book. I had waited in vain for others to write the history, but as non did, I remain proud that our local station eventually received recognition of its part in offshore radio history. Radio Yorkshire Ltd was a company set up in the early sixties following a hint of commercial radio in the 1962 Pilkington Report on UK broadcasting. The name was a shell company and never had a licence to broadcast. Don Robinson began his Scarborough project with that name, but as the name was already registered he changed it to simply Radio 270 - which gives the all important frequency for listeners. The name Radio Yorkshire would also not describe the transmission area - the 10kW power took in the North East up to Newcastle, down to Lincolnshire and over to Derbyshire - much wider than just the county of Yorkshire. No sure where the reference to Garner Ted Armstrong taking over the station came from. All I said was that the revenue from this programme paid for the weekly expenses of the station. The detailed research into the life of Allan Crawford came in my next book, Radio Caroline North - and was subsequently reproduced in Hans Knot's Wet and Wild History of the organisation. Once again the research for this article took many years and I was helped substantially by his niece, who checked all my written facts.

New information always comes in following publication and I included an update on Radio 270 in the Caroline book. 

My latest book charts the radio life of Johnnie Walker. It puts him in the context of UK radio development (or regression !) from the 60s right up to date. 

Johnnie Walker is the only remaining national link between now and the 60s offshore stations. He has honed his intimate style over 40 years but started off as an almost raucous broadcaster on the ship with the tightest format - Swinging Radio England. A quick transfer to the legendary Caroline South found him taking over from Rick Dane on the 9 to midnight show. Very soon he created some brilliant nighttime features - kiss in the car, warm and tender love, and the infamous flashing car lights from Frinton. His defiance against the Labour Government in August 1967 firmly locked Johnnie Walker in the legendary class.

His time after Caroline was one of continuously searching for the next big move. He almost forced his way into Radio 1 but left seven years later amid tension over teeny bopper playlist records. A period chasing the American dream almost broke him, but he returned to the UK and resumed his radio career starting in local radio and over a lengthy period eventually returned to the bosom of the BBC. This book is not a biography and deliberately plays down the sensational aspects of his personal life. Instead it concentrates on his determination to be a presenter of classy music and never allow his ego to dominate the show - a lesson many UK broadcasters ignore. Today DJ talent seems to mean the ability to talk drivel. Johnnie Walker stands tall in the DJ stakes and his departure from daytime programming is the end of an era stretching back to a golden time when presenters took a pride in their record selection. This book is a tribute to a legend we'll never see the likes of again. UK price is £6.99 post free. Please e mail for euro price.

Details of the book "Johnnie Walker - Cruisin' the Formats" can be obtained by e mailing me at rad270uk@yahoo.co.uk. I also welcome extra information about the northern offshore ships.

Our reader Steve Allan has followed the radio scene in Holland from England and has written about some recent changes. Hopefully some of the readers involved will stand forward to answer him: ‘I can only think of one radio station ever, namely Radio Veronica (1959-74) which rather like a human being has had so many offspring that it's like a family tree of stations with a full ancestory.

The Veronica family is a story in itself which is a different story from that of the original Radio Veronica. On the free radio end, Radio Veronica was revived as a brilliant station called Radio 192 with 2 directors - Michael Bakker and Ad Bouman. It ran out of money so many of the 192 team went with Michael Bakker starting Radio Mi Amigo 192, whilst most of the other half followed Ad Bouman with Veronica 192 and Laser Radio. Now, Radio Mi Amigo has split into two as well, following some kind of hiccup. Michael Bakker stays behind with a couple of deejays, whilst most of the others start Radio Popular, a station that is already being dubbed Radio Mi Amigo 2 ( which can be traced back to Radio Mi Amigo 192, then further back to Radio 192 and finally one arrives back at the original Radio Veronica). Only Veronica 192 is really authentic, with all the records being from the Veronica years and the jingles being original. The topical story, however, is Radio Popular. With Mr. Mi Amigo (Martien Engel) presenting the first programme, it will be interesting to see if Radio Popular sounds more like Mi Amigo than Mi Amigo does. Try as I may, I can find nothing on the internet to explain why this split at Mi Amigo, so do any of your readers know anything that they can divulge? Perhaps one of them is a deejay on one of these stations. There has always been animosity over Radio Mi Amigo, with ex Radio 192 deejay Rob van Wezel not even mentioning it on his weblog. He does, however, tell us about Radio Popular, so will this be the free radio station, the youngest child of Veronica, for us all to listen to? It starts on Sunday 9 April at 10.00 UTC, 11.00 British time, 12.00 Continental time. Their website is already on line at www.radiopopular.nl All the best, Steven Allan.

Bob LeRoi time again: ‘Ash made Jonathan see Red’ 40 years after it was produced Jonathan Shirley has paid over £200.00 for an Ashtray manufactured for a few old pennies! Produced in very limited number, the Radio 390 Ashtray was a promotional item for the Pirate Radio station that broadcast from the Red Sands Forts in the middle of the Thames Estuary 7 miles off Whitstable in the 1960’s. Donated by former Pirate Radio 390 Senior Announcer John Ross-Barnard now ironically a JP, said “ I came across the Ashtray in perfect condition buried in an old BBC Radio tape box! I thought it would be nice to raise some money for my adopted charity the Coventry based national charity Baby Lifeline” “I asked Bob Le-Roi the Whitstable Broadcaster, also a 1960’s DJ on that other famous fort Shivering Sands that broadcast Radio City, if he’d put the Ashtray on his formative Media Website www.bobleroi.co.uk Bob decided to run an on-line auction. Bidding was brisk & Jonathan Shirley, who runs his own leisure company Outside Pursuits in Hemel Hempstead, was determined to win & made a generous closing bid of £205.00. 

Photo Bob LeRoi

Said Judy Ledger – Baby Lifeline Founder & Chief Executive “I’m delighted & honoured that you’ve supported the Mother & Baby Charity Baby Lifeline. Your auction touched my heart, thank you”. Baby Lifeline was founded in Coventry in 1981 & since has saved tiny lives and supported pregnancy & premature-birth specialists with equipment, training & education programmes for maternity & special-care baby units all over the UK. Baby Lifeline celebrates its 25th silver jubilee anniversary in 2006. Photograph alongside HMS Belfast: John Ross- Barnard JP (left) & Jonathan Shirley receiving the Ashtray, provenance & a copy of the documentary CD produced by Bob Le-Roi on the history of “Radio from Red Sands”. For more information contact: Bob Le-Roi – 0044 1227 263 160

On www.bobleroi.co.uk a wonderful update this month with very unique photos taken in the sixties by Martin Stevens, most of them never published before.

Tendering from the Harvester II (photo: Martin Stevens)

Last words are for Mark Dezzani: ‘I’m enjoying your monthly newsletters. They are a wonderful way of keeping all the offshore broadcasters and their fans in touch. My apologies for not having sent you the Mi Amigo video CD yet. Please resend me your address and I will immediately send you a copy autographed by Tom Anderson. The video CD is not available commercially and its use for attracting new subscribers to the Radio Caroline Support Group has ended. Their will be a 2nd drive for new subscribers this Easter. New subscribers will receive a DVD with rare footage from a Caroline Club film in the 60s featuring a tour of the Mi Amigo and Caroline House in Mayfair. New and all existing members will also receive an audio CD documentary on Johnnie Walker. New subscribers can join on-line by visiting the Radio Caroline web site and going to the Support Group page. I will be returning with a weekly show on Radio Caroline Sunday evening. Tom Anderson will be presenting a new edition of Overdrive Easter Sunday evening. I have been in touch with Grant Benson, who was known as Steve Baker on the Voice of Peace, to tell him about your radioday and to suggest that he tells his story of his time on the Peace ship. Grant is currently presenting shows each weekend for Italian national network RTL 102.5 Hit Radio as well as working as a European agent for Radio Express (Los Angeles) and the satellite music subscription service Music Choice. Keep up the excellent work. Best regards, Mark Dezzani.

Well April is here so I wish you a nice spring and a Happy Easter too and let the memories flow again so we have another edition somewhere else this month.

Greetings from Groningen in the Netherlands, Hans Knot.



Offshore Deejays' Nicknames


Female Offshore Radio Deejays


Read Hans Knot's former report