Hans Knot's International Radio Report - August 2004 (Part 1)


Welcome to the August edition of the international radio report and I hope you had a relaxing summer with a break you will remember for a long time. My wife Jana and me stayed for nine days in her original hometown of Rostock in Germany and next we are going to the Isle of Terschelling for a few days, which is above the North of the Netherlands. It's a beautiful isle with lot of small places and space enough for going to the beach, cycling as well as walking.

Okay let s go over to radio and the first e-mail which came in from Walter Beiloo in the Province of Zeeland, who wrote that he found back a very small recording from Radio Delmare, a low powered radio station at the end of the seventies of last century. The station, headed by Gerard van Dam, used several transmitting vessels and under most dangerous situations those vessels were tendered. Just shoestring radio, you could say. On the recording Johan Rood, technician can be heard, doing some tests. At that moment he was the only person on the ship. I think this only happened at one other offshore station, when being on the air. On Radio Essex, which was transmitting from one of the Maunsell Forts in the Thames, it also happened once. Johan Rood used a nick name in this program, which I did not mention before Willem Weerstand (Resistance). So add it to your list.

On this photo the ship on the right is the MV Aegir, one of the Radio Delmare ships. A very early photo when the ship was registrated in the harbour of Delfzijl.

On July 20th the Kanaal 2 , which is one of the Flemish commercial television stations, showed us a 25 minutes during interview with Adriaan van Landschoot. He was the man who became rich in the seventies with his boutiques in Belgium and bought transmission time from O Rahilly. His station, Radio Atlantis, became a success in Belgium and more than a competitor for the BRT, which had up till July 73 the monopoly in radio in Belgium. After October 15 the gray fox, Ronan O Rahilly, did a deal with another Belgium business man, Sylvain Tack. A new station started from the Mi Amigo on January 1974 and so Adriaan had to look for an own vessel. He found this and the Jeanine was rebuilt at Cuxhaven in Germany. Well known people like Steve England, Andy Anderson and Chrispian St. John were working for him at the international service. Also a Flemish service was run from studio s at Oostburg in Zeeland (Holland). In the television interview some amateur movies were shot, showing tendering from Belgium harbours (which was officially forbidden as there was already a law in Belgium against offshore radio since 1964). And still Adriaan could have a big smile on his face, talking about thirty years ago. Nowadays he's living in the White House II, a copy of the American President s One and is still very successful in the music business in Belgium.

Got another e-mail came in from Bill Danse and I know for sure some ten people reading the report have worked together with him on the MV Cito, better known as the MV Peace: I read your report. The message of the passing away from Tony Allen shocked me. I haven t seen or spoken him for many years but it was hard to think back to those good old days. I did work with him very intensively for more than two years on both the Voice of Peace and the MV Mi Amigo (Radio Caroline). A very professional deejay and very sad to hear the bad news. I also read another name in your report, which is very familiar to me: Steve Gordon. Is he still working in radio? I did also work with him in the early years of the Voice of Peace off Israel. Abe didn t like his voice, it was to high and he sounded to young on the radio. Tony had a more professional voice and was the leading factor on the ship. He told when one would be on the air and looked for the rules of formatting. In the first year we were on the air there were only English language deejays on the stations and sometimes a French program was aired. Those were presented by the assistant cook we took with us from Marseille in French. When you want more memories, please mention it. 

Thanks a lot Bill and let the memories come, always welcome. By the way, maybe Steve Gordon can sent me an e mail. He did some months ago but I forgot to put his address on the e mail list. It would be good to have it, so I can sent you some photos. I did met Steve some three years ago and nowadays he s living and working in Scandinavia.

From the beautiful isle of Guernsey a long email from Robert Stanley Clancy came in from which I publish a small part in the report: I read with interest that Andy Archer had been in my neck of the woods/world (the Island of Guernsey) back in, I think 1969, when he saw someone called Don Richardson a transmitter engineer of Caroline? What was Andy doing over here at that time on holiday? Mind you we have had our fair share of Offshore Radio personal over here in the last few years. We had for a few years living and working the following Offshore personal:  Kevin Stuart (Radio Jackie and Radio Caroline) Deejay David Brown worked on Radio Contact 94, BBC Radio Guernsey and Island FM, Jon Meyers (Radio Caroline & Radio Contact 94 in France.) Jon Tyler worked on Contact 94, Island FM and BBC Radio Guernsey, Chris Moore (Radio Caroline North) worked in local nightclub, Dave Owen of Radio Atlantis and Radio Caroline worked on Island FM as temporary relieve presenter and finally Tony Adams of Radio Luxembourg and Radio Caroline worked as a late night presenter on Island FM. Perhaps you could ask your many Offshore Radio contacts weather or not any more have come to my little Island of and what they came over for?

So anyone in the ballgame who has visited Guernsey let Robert know. You can sent in the answers versus my email address: Hknot@home.nl

Next one is a message from Jeff Martin, who wrote: Firstly, thank you for sending the reports, they are always of interest. I like many others was so sad to hear of Tony Allen's death. I was only playing a recording of his when he was on RNI on my way home from work. He has been a true friend of Offshore radio and will be sadly missed. My other reason for writing Hans is. I am trying to get a copy of the last "RNI Smash Play" from the International Service. It was a Dutch group called Kayak and I think the title was "Wintertime". It is a great track and I would love to get a recording even if it's an MP3. I wonder if anyone can help? 

So if you do have it on mp3 and you want to help another radio enthusiast please sent it to Jeff at mebomartin220@hotmail.com

Listening to an old program of Radio 227, which had Tony Windsor as program director, I learnt that we forgot to mention Your man with the music on the long list of nick and assorted names, so you can add that one. By the way, Tony also used this during his period on Radio London. I don't recall if he used it on Radio Atlanta or Radio 355. Who does?

During the past month, after I finished the last two chapters for the Caroline book, I suddenly has some spare hours left to fulfill another idea. I've scanned a few hundred photographs from my archive which are made between 1960 and August 1974, covering the offshore radio station Veronica. The main part can now already be visited on internet by going to the Photo gallery on www.mediapages.nl

Don Scott wrote in to tell about the new photos from the Ross Revenge: Hi Hans, just a brief note to let you know that our www.monitor.org.uk site now carries news and photos of the Ross being towed to Tilbury. I trust all is well with you. Best of luck Donald Scott

So just have a look at www.monitor.org.uk

The Pirate Hall of Fame came with some updates which included two female deejays we have not mentioned before. Well Candy Calvert was mentioned in connection with Radio City but not with Radio Sutch, where she worked too. Also her sister Susan did a program on Radio Sutch.

August 3rd the message came in that Jessie Brandon cannot attend the Annual Radio Day as organized by the Foundation for Media Communication. But she has also written that she would like to be on the list for one of the forthcoming Radio Days. We ll keep you informed. 

For more info in English on the Radio Day write to Rob Olthof olt@xs4all.nl

Then an e mail came in on August 4th from a female listener to the offshore radio stations in the sixties, Jempi from Belgium: Dear fellow Pirate Radio Fans, I ve got a burning question on my mind, two actually. Here are the facts:
March 27, 1964, Radio Caroline starts broadcasting.
July 2, 1964, Radio Atlanta turns into Radio Caroline South and the original Radio Caroline becomes Radio Caroline North.
I learned that, most of the time, the two pirates had different programs and DJ s. But what about the charts?
Question one: 
* Did Radio Caroline, before the multiplication into North and South, had a chart and if so, when was the first chart broadcasted? 
* When were the first Radio Caroline North and Radio Caroline South charts broadcasted? 
* When did those two charts emerge into one (if they ever did)? 
* How many positions did all those different charts have?

I know, question one contains four questions. I hope you'll stay with me (that's not a question, that s a wish). If we can solve this question(s) and make a structure and timetable of Radio Caroline's Chart history during the Sixties, then the next question pops up.

Question two:
I would like to ask you to go on a quest. If you have old tapes of Radio Caroline shows maybe there s a chart on them. If you took notes of charts maybe some of them are waiting to be discovered in the attic. Ask around. Talk to friends, family maybe they have long forgotten shows or notes. 

It is my aim to disclose these charts and to preserve this heritage for future Pirate Radio Fans. But I can t do on my own. I ve collected several Radio Caroline charts over the years, but the collection is far from complete. Every little peace of information, even partial, could prove to be the missing link in the reconstruction of those mystical Radio Caroline charts. All information is welcome at jp.laevaert@skynet.be. I hope I ve put some burning questions on your mind. Regards,
Jempi . 

I know for sure there are a lot of listeners who can help her so please try to keep in contact with Jempi and her very good ideas about disclosing the Caroline charts. 

The First Step is the title of a cd which will be released in September. On this cd are 12 tracks compiled by the late Tony Allan in cooperation with Robb Eden for Jacobsladder. In the sleeve Tony wrote: Around the planet there are hundreds of thousands of musicians trying to get their work heard. Unfortunately so many record companies are now run by accountants and lawyers that there is no room for talent; no room to take a chance. It s just all down to how many units can be shifted. This album goes a small way to redress the balance. So talent finally get once again a chance by the release of the cd. Robb Eden did sent me a copy and I can advise you to order your own copy. The price is 10 Pounds exclusive postage and packing. 5 Pounds of every order will be donated to Tony s nominated charity, The Mary Curie Cancer Care . 

Just sent an e mail to editor@Jacobsladder and Robb Eden will verify postage amount. 

Recently a spokesman for the TROS, one of the public broadcasting organizations since 1966, announced that there are plans to step out of the public system. Nothing is sure yet but they seem to have found a partner in Belgium, called the VTM. This is a commercial organization running a commercial television as radio station in Belgium. Talks are going ahead and hopefully later this year a decision will be made. The TROS started as REM, which used the artificial platform off the coast of Noordwijk in 1964, better known as the REM Island.

Martin van der Ven sent me an e mail from Bernie Robinson, who reminds his days while listening to RNI: I was in Sheffield UK in 1970, when 'searching the ether' as one did on a small 'Grundig' City Boy transistor radio on the short wave band came across a test transmission given by Roger 'Twiggy' Day. In those days I improved transmissions by calculating the length form the frequency of an aerial with stand off insulators with a link to the back of the radio (radios you recall had external aerial connections in those days). I remember in those days the signal was clear. My reason for searching for new stations was to access any station that was pop orientated - there did not appear to be many in the North at that time apart from BBC Local, (with which I assisted in a Sunday morning programme subsequently concerning a student programme but more about that story later...). I was staying with my girl friend's parents at the time while she was away at college in Essex and I at University and occupied a top floor bedroom from where I could receive a clear signal. I listened to all the DJs - Roger Day, Spangles Maldoon, Carl (weird beard) Mitchell, Mike Ross (who I remember opened up afternoon broadcasts - there was a voice over something like 'Now is the start of Summer time RNI, with etc. .summer days to summer nights, summertime RNI'), Duncan Johnson, Norman St John, Alan (SOS) West. I might have infringed copy right but I took recordings of the intros ad jingles to the USA where on an ice cream truck I wired it up to play them aloud as i played my wares through residential estates - mad, I was crazy - but everybody bought the ice creams! RNI at that time was my inspiration and it captured the mood of free radio. When I graduated and moved to Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, UK, I had other interests with local hospital radio and I remember listening to RNI again in 1974, as a shadow of its former self ...the record played was the Stylistics 'Better By Golly Wow!' .A great time and a great station. When are we going to have a reunion of DJs and listeners. Yep I listened all through the jamming, fire, boarding party and as Radio Caroline. I was a hopeless case! I would not have missed RNI for the world! 

Well great memories except the mistake mentioning Norman St John [well he must have thought of Crispian St. John... The editor], who worked on Big L as well as on Radio Caroline. Think he had only one spell on Caroline but truly a good deejay to remember.

Great to receive a good response on the early August e mail regarding my new book: The wet and wild history of Radio Caroline . You still can order it by sending an e mail for more information to the publisher, the Foundation for Media Communication in Amsterdam which can be found at olt@xs4all.nl

It was for instant a former Radio 227 deejay, called Harky, who wrote in that he wanted more info on the book as he wanted to read all about his all time favorite deejay from the past, the Emperor Rosko. Rosko is highlighted in the book as well as many other persons. Proof print is ready and within days the first copies will be going into the post.

Stephen Cobb from Ipswich wrote in: Dear Mr Knot, I work for the local bus service here in Ipswich, and for the past 20 years we have had a policy of naming most of our buses, mostly after the Thames sailing barges that used to call at Ipswich Docks. As the person who has picked most of the names that the buses carry, some of them have (conveniently!) had other connotations as well, one of the barge names being Caroline . A recent repaint of one of our buses provided too good an opportunity to miss and it now carries the name Caroline, 1964-2004 as shown on the attached .jpeg file. In addition to the Caroline we have a double decker named Veronica (which was actually a sailing barge as well), which will shortly be joined by an Atlantis and a Mi Amigo (which weren't barges!). Unfortunately I've now run out of buses to name, so it may be a while before a Noordzee or similar appears, but I wouldn't rule it out! Keep up the good work with your monthly postings, Best wishes Stepen Cobb. 

From Monday August 16h there will be on the former Classic Arrow Rock channel, 828 kHz a special broadcast. In cooperation between the owner of the frequency, Quality Radio, and the Foundation Norderney, old programs from the offshore radio station Radio Veronica, which have been preserved all those years by Ad Bouman, will be retransmitted. From August 21st there will be also live programs, presented by many former Radio Veronica presenters. Also former technicians will be active in the programs. It will be presented from special studios with old equipment, at the Laapershoek Hotel. This is at the Utrechtseweg in Hilversum and is the same location which was used by Radio Veronica between 1969 and 1974. Surely photos will be available in the next issue of the report. Hope the 828 is listenable in your surroundings. In Groningen a German station is stronger but there will be also a live feed on internet.

Tom Mulder, presenter and director of Radio 10Gold, is recovering from a minor brain bleeding, which happened to him early this month. His programs are presented now by Peter Rijsenbrij who left the station in 2000. Tom, who s also known very well as deejay Klaas Vaak on Radio Veronica when the station transmitted from the Northsea (1969-1973) recently celebrated 35 years in the radio industry. Surely we do wish him a very speedy recovery and take care of yourself Tom!

Radio 192 is currently back on Internet as well on several cable networks in Holland. The station has been sold but is transmitting non stop. Soon will be announced when the station will restart and what name the station will use. Also they will transmit on satellite (Astra) The best thing is to check their internet site www.Radio.192.nl regularly for more information.

Rebecca FM, the regional commercial radio station in the Northern and Eastern parts of the Netherlands, also makes a new start. They have done proper research and will restart with a Classic Rock format, as this format is not brought by any other station in the region North/East. As well on FM Stereo the station can be received at a lot of cable networks. The main target will be people between 25 and 45 years.

Next an e-mail from Andy in Northampton who wrote: According to the Radio there are some plans afoot to refurbish (if that is the right wording) Red Sands to make it accessible to the public! If so, the reports are mistaken. The website http://www.project-redsand.com states: "it is not considered that casual visits by the public would be encouraged." But the whole thing it just a crazy dream, nothing more. It would be cheaper to build an air-conditioned pedestrian tunnel from the shore to the fort than refurbish the existing structure on the scale envisaged. The website makes no suggestion on how they could possibly finance a project of this scale (and not surprising either!). If the country cannot find enough money to save all the castles on the BBC 'Restoration' programme, buildings that the public likes, how on earth do these people think the public will support rebuilding a rusty heap that they cannot even see (except from the top of a hill overlooking Whitstable when the weather's good)? Great shame but we have to live in the real world. Cheers, Andy.

Quite right Andy, thanks a lot for this opinion.

Next and last for this issue of the international radio report it s Jos Leijgraaff from Nieuwegein in Holland who was listening to some old Laser 558 recordings and this brought him some memories which he wants to share with us. Let s go back to 1984: Listening back to this old programmes I must admit that the station had a very small playlist already in 1984. The presentation however, especially during the first period, was very good with Charlie Wolfe at the top. I think he did what he liked to do and so he did far much more than the other presenters. Yes that was a deejays where I listened to during the evening. Sitting down and relaxing with Laser 558, instead of watching the telly. Also I made several boat trips to the Offshore radio stations at that time, mostly organised by the Foundation for Media Communication and Leen Vingerling. At one stage a certain Eduard van Loon was one of the many people who wanted to go out with the tender. He was and still is the man from the Caroline Fan Club in Holland. I ll will never forget the moment that we were away some 30 minutes from the Radio Caroline ship, the MV Ross Revenge. Eduard went down into the forecastle of the ship to refresh himself. He came back with his Sunday clothes on. He had to, as he was The Caroline Man in Holland . Oh we surely had a very good laugh on him. And next to that it was one of the only times we did not get permission to enter the radio ship. He was so very sad, poor Eduard. 

Thanks a lot Jos. When you want to share your memories, news and other things just sent them in to Hknot@home.nl

Till next months and try to enjoy the good old Veronica programs on 828 kHz till August 31st at 18.00 hrs.


Offshore Deejays' Nicknames


Female Offshore Radio Deejays


Read Hans Knot's former report