Hans Knot's International Radio Report - December 2004


Hi and welcome to the last report of this year. On the day the latest report was issued it was November 25th and birthday time as this e-mail came in: ‘Hi Hans, It's my birthday today and imagine my surprise when my wife came down to breakfast with my present - your book on Radio Caroline. My son and her had scoured the internet for something that they knew would interest me by doing a search on Google and finding Pirateradiosales.co.uk They also bought me The Beat Fleet Book by Mike Leonard. I look forward to reading both books and adding them to my offshore memorabilia. Incidentally, I have bought a second hand reel to reel recorder and will look through all my old tapes to see if any of my old recordings have survived from that exciting era of broadcasting. Cheers Mike Lane.’

Well I hope, in the meantime, Mike that you enjoyed the books and let us know if you’ve find some interesting tapes in your collection. Cheers from us to on your birthday. 

Then an e-mail from France from Karel van der Woerd, former technician on Radio Veronica and he reflects on the foreign language programs from Radio Veronica way back in the sixties. It was Juul Geleick who already told us something about those special shows and Karel tells us more: ‘I was technician with the station from 1960 up till 1974 and it must have been around 1962/1963 that my wife and I went to Language Institute De Ridder in Amsterdam to get more knowledge of the Spanish language. One of the people working there was Isabel Calvo Roderiques, a young Spanish lady with a scientific background formerly living in Madrid. She was in Holland as she was married to a milkman named Jan Ruwiel, from whom she got two children. I asked Dr. De Ridder, the owner of the Institute, if she could work together with us on Radio Veronica for the Spanish program. Once in a fortnight I took her with me to Hilversum to record two programs, which was a lot of pleasure. A pity she died only a few years later as result of a brain tumour. I think to remember that Corinne Mudde was working for the Spanish Travelling Association in the Hague in those days. I wish you a lot of luck with your historical writing and if there are questions about Veronica I’m always there for an answer, although of course I don’t know everything (anymore). Greetings Karel.’ 

Well thanks a lot for this marvellous update Karel and keep enjoying living in France. 

Last time there was also the question about Rob Randall and the answer is here already coming in from Peter McFarlane, whom we also know as Kevin Turner (from his Caroline days): ‘Hi Hans I can tell you that Rob Randall still lives in Walton-on-Thames in Surrey and works now as a theatre agent. I last had contact with him a few years ago when he used to call me up to arrange for me to do interviews with various "stars" on the radio stations I used to work for (in Cheltenham, and before that in Salisbury). I haven't spoken to him for a while but I know he's still doing this because I was only speaking to someone who had heard from him recently earlier this week! I worked with him on Radio Sovereign in 1983-4. The schedule then was: 07-10 Crispian St John, 10-12.30 Rob 12.30-4 Me, 4-7 John Kenning (the owner), 7-midnight Lots of people!! After we moved Sovereign to the Riviera in 1984, Rob went to work for Radio Jackie. I still get a Christmas card from him most years. I might have a photo of him in the Sovereign studio somewhere. If I can find it I'll send it to you! Regards: The Rt. Hon. Kevin Turner otherwise known as.........Peter MacFarlane’. And also good old Michael Barrington reflected: ‘Rob Randell. Yes he did work on Radio 390 and later on Radio Sovereign in London with my self and Crispian St John. Then later on to Radio Jackie until its close in 1984. All the best Michael Barrington. Chief engineer Principality of Sealand.’ 

Third response comes from Ted Finch: ‘Hans. Your report is welcome as ever, for which many thanks. Rob Randell, I think he lives in Surrey as I heard him interviewed on community RSL Susy radio (Reigate, Surrey) I think in 2003. After Radio 390 closed down he hosted a weekly disco in Surbiton SW London which I attended as a teenager. Later he could be heard on land based gold pirate (again Surbiton) Radio Sovereign, I think that was in 1984 or 85. Subsequently Rob was on ILR gold station County Sound Gold (Guildford, Surrey) in about 1986, with others such as Tony Brandon. Regards, Ted Finch’. 

Thanks a lot Kevin, Michael and Ted and again a wonderful update. So where does John Kenning live nowadays and what he’s doing for work? I know Howard (Chrispian) mentioning a lot of him after Sovereign days in England. 

Last issue also saw the question if someone had dived for the wreck of the MV Mi Amigo and if so if there were photos available. I personally told you I didn’t believe that there would be any photos. But there’s other evidence of a diving as Andy Archer wrote the next answer: ‘David Phillips wrote a note about a possible diving to the wreck of the MV Mi Amigo. A few years ago, a diver called David Tobin went out to the wreck and brought me back a shear pin from the main mast. It's either bronze or copper and is about 18 centimetres long. If anyone wants it, I can send it to them in return for a donation to the Tony Allan Memorial Fund. So if anyone want this shear pin and want to donate a little sum to the Tony Allan Memorial Fund just mention it to me and I will bring you in contact with Andy: Hknot@home.nl

But Andy Archer has other good news for us too: ‘Following the Class of 74 Reunion in Amsterdam in October, I thought I ought to put together a "diary" of the events on Radio Caroline from January 1st - August 31st. It's taken a lot of hard work and research over the past couple of months, but it's now finally finished and will be up and running around Christmastime on www.adroberts.net. Special thanks must go to you [Hans], Dr Martin van der Ven, Johnny Jason, Robb Eden, Dennis King, Elija van den Berg, Graham Coull, Monitor Magazine and Ad for helping me recall the events of that time and put dates to them. It covers all manner of events and lunacy both on board the Mi Amigo and on land like the Stonehenge Festival, The Radio Caroline Garden party in Vondelpark and a midnight raid to the MEBO II in which Peter Chicago, Robb Eden and I could have easily have drowned. As well as written entries, there will be some fantastic audio clips including Howie Phillips singing "Let the Music Roll" [a Caroline anthem] which we recorded at Stonehenge, Johnny Jason and I presenting a programme very very drunk and Peter Chicago's interview with Simon Dee on Caroline's tenth birthday. 

Listening this Friday, November 26th, to a very old tape recording from 1973 from Radio Veronica I heard a few words which are common to us in this decade as well as in the last one of the 20th century. A jingle was playing with the words: ‘Hey Lex, (referring to Lex Harding) you’re a shock disc jockey.’ Two questions: Does Lex remember this jingle as well as ‘Are you agreeing with the jingle maker that Lex was a ‘shock jock’? I don’t think so. So Lex come on and response and bring us some personal memories! By the way talking about Lex in a program from Veronica, way back in 1970, it was Klaas Vaak who called him ‘Sexy Lexy’. Shall we put it on our list of nicknames? 

For those who are interested in the ever growing list of nicknames I will give you the internet address where you can find my archive. Not only the list with nicknames can be found, also the one with the female offshore deejays and many of the international reports which were issued earlier this year. New in the archive is a long list with names of programs ever used in offshore radio. I would like you to ask to have a sharp look on the list and if you think I’ve forgotten to mention one, please don’t hesitate to e mail me at Hknot@home.nl

You can find the archive at: www.offshore-radio.de In the upper line there’s a mentioning of ‘Hans Knot’ so click on those words and you’ll find the archive. Thanks to Martin for creating this. 

Got the question from Mr. Stevenson to publish the next request for articles for a featured publication of the Radio Journal: As our own proposed marking of John Peel’s extraordinary contribution to radio, to be published in a special number in Volume 4 (2006), The Radio Journal would like to invite submissions of original academic research into any aspect of John Peel¹s broadcasting career. We especially wish to encourage articles that would strive to go beyond historic details - familiar or unfamiliar -of his career, and which would seek if possible to illuminate various aspects of radio, the nature of the medium and broadcasting in general through in-depth consideration of his important work and its effects.

The number will be co-edited by Journal editor Ken Garner, author of the official history of BBC Radio 1¹s support of new live music In Session Tonight: The Complete Radio 1 Recordings - and Eric Rothenbuhler, Professor of Communication at Texas A&M University, who has long had a special interest in American music, and the record and radio industries. The Journal would particularly welcome research on any of the following (this is only an indicative list, other topics are welcome): 

*The 'unpluggable' DJ: Peel, the music business, the promotion of the new, and public service music broadcasting.
* His effect on and relationships with global listeners and musicians, via the BBC World Service, & more recently the internet.
* Peel and the conventions of US format radio: his early career in US Radio, 1963-1966, on (successively) WRR & KLIF Dallas; KOMA Oklahoma City; KMEN San Bernadino, California.
* Peel¹s place in the 'Pirate' era: The Perfumed Garden 1967, Radio London, North Sea, BBC Radio 4¹s Home Truths, documentary and magazine radio, and notions of authenticity, sincerity and performance.
* Peel, the Army and National Service: his relationship with British Forces Broadcasting (BFBS) and its listeners in the British armed forces overseas.
* Peel the European: the impact of his shows for commercial stations in
Bremen, Helsinki, Berlin/Brandenburg, and elsewhere.
Articles should preferably be written in English and between 4000 and 6000 words in length, complete with a 250-word abstract and up to six key words
for indexing purposes. Articles should be submitted by e-mail MS word attachment no later than September 30, 2005, to Ken Garner (k.garner@gcal.ac.uk) or Eric Rothenbuhler (rothenbuhler@tamu.edu). Earlier submission would be appreciated. We would welcome receipt of proposed abstracts by January 31st, 2005, for intended submissions, but this is not essential.

All articles will be blind peer-reviewed by members of the board(s). Please follow the Harvard or included style of referencing. Numbered notes may be used in addition where necessary, for example for archival sources and radio broadcasts not readily accessible following original broadcast.

The Radio Journal: International Studies in Broadcast and Audio Media is published by intellect books in association with the Radio Studies Network, the UK¹s association for researchers and teachers of sound broadcasting, and is an academic, peer-reviewed publication for all those interested in research into the production, reception, texts and contexts of radio and audio media; including all structures, forms and genres of radio broadcasting, while also embracing net distribution and audio streaming of radio services and texts, CD-ROMs, books-on-tape, and sound art. The Journal welcomes individual contributions from established and new scholars around the world, including work and research in progress. Critical approaches are invited from a range of scholarly disciplines across the humanities and social sciences. Joint and/or inter-disciplinary submissions are also encouraged. Original work on practice and production in the radio industries is as welcome as theory formation. Pedagogical issues will be covered in an annual feature on the teaching of radio studies.’

On search on the internet for early American radio history I found a very enjoyable site which I would like to introduce to you: 

The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame has just been updated, wrote John on November 30th: 

New this month: the great Kenny Everett would have been sixty this Christmas. We have updated the 'Spotlight on Kenny Everett' page; with the festive season looming, there is an 'Anorak's Gift Guide' and we have updated 'Christmas On The North Sea'; there is another fascinating vintage chart, this time from Radio Caroline in 1967, there is more news on the Radio London racing car colour-scheme (purple and orange?) and we finally discover the real name of Swinging Radio England's Boom Boom Brannigan and what happened to him after he returned to the States; we have also added some Big L audio to the John Peel tribute page. 

Talking of John Peel, don't forget that Radio One pays tribute to the man who graced their airwaves for 37 years with a special evening of programmes on Thursday 16th December. Details on the site. And the Radio Academy announces some new inductees to its own Hall of Fame on 2nd December. Rumour has it that another ex-pirate will be joining their list of celebrated broadcasters. We will be adding the details after it's been officially announced. Alright my friends? 

There won't be another full update until after Christmas so, if we don't speak between now and then, let me take this opportunity to wish you all the best for the holiday season and thank you for your support during 2004. Have a good one, Jonathan 

The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame www.offshoreradio.co.uk

In the evening of December 24th there will be a special broadcast, and also the very first one, of a new web station. On that evening an old RNI top 100 will be transmitted and from that day on it will be full force for the new Mi Amigo 192 station with a lot of memories to the old offshore days: 

Oké, Keith Knight also wants a plug in this edition of the Knot Radio Report: Hello All, my latest radio clip programmes have just been uploaded to the NTL world site - I hope you enjoy them. The link to the site is at the base of the index page http://www.wirelesswaffle.co.uk Best regards, Keith. 

I’m very flattered getting hundreds of wishes for me and Jana for the Christmas as well as for 2005. Thanks a lot to all sending in those wishes. One came in from Marieke Veen who is working for many years at the Dutch Broadcasting Museum, which is now a part of Dutch National Institute for ‘Beeld en Geluid’ Sound and Vision. She tells me that they’re following my ‘interesting’ reports and even are printing them out to get them all into the library as a historical item! Nice to hear Marieke and greetings to all at your department. 

It’s a common issue in the report, the nick names of deejays in off shore’s history. This time Martin sent it the following three from Radio City: David Gilbee ‘Big G’, Martin Green ‘Little G’ and ‘Mad’ Ian West. 

He also sent in info he got from Tony O’Neil from the LV 18, which was base for some RSL’s in the past couple of years: ‘Incidentally, we had a great day on the 25th of November for the Press Launch at the Electric Palace. The Queen, who was at the cinema earlier, was told all about the broadcast and the DVD by Steve Scruton, who was presented to her. The Duke of Edinburgh is the Master of Trinity House and is aware of the LV18 project. He was in Harwich to lay a foundation stone at the new TH HQ. It was a good day for PR!! Mary Payne was at the launch and has kindly put some pictures and info on the Big L site. Best wishes, Tony O'Neil. LV18’. Keep up the good work Tony and keep us informed. 

In this special last issue for 2004 we have some memories from the archive. First one this time comes from September 1974, more than 30 odd years ago, when Bull Verwey – co owner of the former offshore radio station Radio Veronica, received a lovely letter from Bathurst in the African country of Gambia. It was sent out by Constance Wadner Enhärning, to people who ware following the offshore radio world since the sixties is Conny Wadner, the daughter of the former beauty queen of Sweden, Britt Wadner. Conny was at that stage already a couple of years in Gambia working for Radio Syd, which had the slogan ‘Radio Syd, your all day and every day music station.’ 

After Radio Syd closed down in the sixties off the Swedish coast the ship Cheetah went to the British Coast to be used temporary for Radio Caroline South as their own ship was stranded in 1966 and needed some overhaul as well as a new transmitter and so the MV Mi Amigo went to Zaandam harbour and so the Cheetah II was used as long as the Mi Amigo was on air again for some days. Then the ship went, versus some harbours, to her new anchor place – which should be in Bathurst. First rumours came into the newspapers that the ship would be rebuilt into a night club. 

There were several plans to use the ship as again the base for Radio Syd with programs in several languages next to the Swedish. Many immigrants in the African country came from Sweden so there was a commercial market for the station. But let’s go back to the letter from Conny Wadner to Bull Verwey, who’s still alive and 95 years of age. 

She wrote in the week after Radio Veronica closed down in 1974: ‘It was with great sadness we received the news about Radio Veronica closing down. I passed through Holland a couple of weeks ago on my way up to Sweden from Italy. Unfortunately I didn’t have the time to come in and say hello since I had to hurry up and catch my flight down here in Gambia. Anyway I asked the people I came in touch with at gas stations etc. about you and they were all very unhappy about Veronica’s destiny. 

My mother, Mrs Wadner, has told me so much about you and the fantastic times you had together some years ago. She was deeply touched to hear you bed to close down as well. She will never forget the enormous amount of tulips and kind words you sent her when she was in prison. She send her kindest regards to you and is so sorry she cannot do it personally since she is incredibly busy getting the hotel ready for the tourist season. They work day and night now and have only a few more days till the first group arrives. 

Anyway we live here in Gambia since 1969 and Radio Syd is back on the air again. But my mother built a hotel with 250 beds which are chartered by a travel agency from October up till the end of May. Therefore I work with the radio station and she with the hotel. We no longer are broadcasting from the Cheetah II, which makes the job so much easier. We have finally come ashore and are now broadcasting from a house practically on the beach near the capital Banjul. 

Radio Syd in Gambia 

There are quite a few Dutch products sold here in Gambia like Amstel and Heineken Beer. Do you now know any advertising agencies I could contact in Holland to get these commercials over Radio Syd? Did you have an agent or did you manage to get these advertisements yourself? I would be very pleased if you could send me name and addresses of the companies who could be our agency in Holland. But I hope doesn’t give you too much of extra work since I understand you are very busy. If you want I can send you some facts about the Gambia. Kindest regards, Constance Wadner.’ 

It’s so nice to bring to you this never published before letter with thanks to Hendrik Verwey who gave me a big part of his personal files years and years ago and also gave me the flags which were on the Norderney from Honduras as well as Guatemala as a ‘big thank you’ for all the work I’ve done for Offshore Radio. 

In the meantime the station is still on the air in Gambia and take a look on www.google.com
and type Radio Syd Gambia and you’ll find many sites to learn more on today’s happenings. 

A photo from a 10 years ago shows what happened to the Cheetah II in the harbour of Banhurst. It must be a very sad look for our readers like Robbie Dale and Tommy Vance who have both worked on the Cheetah when it was temporary used by Caroline South. 

Wreck of the Cheetah II in harbour Bathurst Gambia 

Some other memories came from Eddie Becker and Chiel Montagne talking late August in a special program on Veronica on the times they had onboard the Norderney in mid sixties, reading the news. On Sundays the cook onboard the Veronica vessel first picked a washing comb and opened three tins of mixed fruit. Then he took a lot of whipped cream and served it as mixed fruit with shaving whipped cream! On the other hand it was tasting really good. 

Some attention for new web sites. The first one is for ‘Hello Lad’ Johnny Lewis, aka Johnny Moss, aka Stephen Bishop, who’s working within the radio industry way back from the second part of the seventies of last century. His website is not only about his radio career in past and present but also about his hobbies like golf and beer. So have a look at: http://www.roundsandsounds.co.uk

The next one was sent in by Hans Hendriks as well as Jean Pierre Laevaert: Hi Hans, 

I like to introduce OldiesProject. Check it out! OldiesProject audio stream on line. In recent months a select group of oldies collectors has been working hard to bring on line a 24/7 non-stop audio stream playing vintage oldies from the sixties and seventies. Earlier today the stream has finally been launched. Looking beyond merely the American and European charts, the OldiesProject stream also offers its listeners original versions of famous songs, typical Radio London hits and Northern Soul classics, many of which have been long forgotten or are simply ignored by radio stations and DJ's worldwide.

Without fuzz or format and devoid of all pretence, the OldiesProject has been set up for the love of music and can be found at: http://www.oldiesproject.com

Then some news about Euronet Radio, which has been experimenting with high-powered
short wave transmissions targeting the British Isles and continental Europe the past three years. The people behind the project want to bring several programs on short wave in next year and have a internet address were they want to inform the listeners on their forthcoming activities: http://www.euronetradio.com

December 12th saw the very first tests on low power of the Sietse Brouwer station called Radio Seagull/Radio Waddenzee on 1602 kHz AM in Harlingen. They have an official licence to transmit programs and as they finally succeeded getting a licence to put their masts in Harlingen the test could go ahead. And believe it or not, Radio Seagull has its transmitter site on an old three master ship in the harbour of Harlingen, called the MV Thalassa. It’s a twin station whereby Radio Seagull is trying to bring the format which made the offshore station Seagull famous in 1973/1974. We wish Sietse and his crew all the success in the world. 


Next an e-mail from Mike Ryan about the Ross Fleet: ‘Hello Hans hope you are keeping well. 

I recently purchased a copy of "Hull & Grimsby Stern Trawling Fleet 1961 - 1988" published by Hutton Press. I am curious why the Ross Revenge is not shown in the book as 5 other ships of the Ross fleet are mentioned, can anyone clear up this mystery? A very happy Christmas and New Year to you and everyone who reads your fine report. Regards, Mike. 

Thanks Mike and it’s up to you the reader to have an answer on Mike’s question.You can send it to Hknot@home.nl

For the first time I heard from Gary Lee, who did follow me versus one of the internet sites where the report can be read too: ‘Dear Hans, This is the first time that I have written, so may I first express my thanks to you, for all the wonderful radio information that you pass on to us through your radio reports. My reason for writing, is to inform you about my new website. 

But first, allow me to tell you a little of the history. Originally a pirate station, The Overflow ran for 15 years in Essex/UK, between 1986 - 2001. Since then I have been involved with many legal radio projects. Currently, my radio show - The Overflow Music Network, can be heard regularly on Radio Seagull, Anglia Online Radio & Apple FM - Sky 913 (full details on website - see address below). The programme isn't everyone’s cup of tea, as the music is Non mainstream (including new and un-signed bands). Each show consists of the very latest new and pre-releases from the world of Alternative/Underground music, and a few choice cuts from the archives. The new website contains the complete history, photo galleries, poster galleries & lots more besides. There is also a gallery of pictures from my time on board the LV18 (Mi Amigo RSL - 2002) and I will shortly be adding the Pirate BBC Essex gallery too. 

Feel free to visit www.theoverflow.co.uk and please remember to sign the guest book (located at the bottom of each page), so that we know you have paid us a visit! Finally, Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2005 to you and yours and all your readers. Best wishes, Garry Lee.’ 

Well Garry I have already paid a visit and hope many of the readers will do to. A lot of success in the future too. 

It’s already some weeks ago the Orkney special licence ended and so the Communicator isn’t used anymore as a radio ship. The owners have it for sale and in one of the many radio related newsgroup I’ve found the – not officially – message that a certain Peter Moore had bought the ship. Well if so he has too old radio ships. If not there is still an opportunity for every Anorak to buy his own radio ship and start a museum on it. Next to that I’ve heard that there are plans to start another RSL in March on the ship, again in Orkney. Will the inhabitant of the Isle of Okney be listening to it as earlier reports mentioned that the station had a lack of listeners and as a result of that also a lack of advertisers? 

Again I would like to sent you into internet with a site address which was sent to me by ‘Bertie Bert’. He invited me to have a play with the juke boxes on the site and really it’s some fun to visit the site. Even a Christmas Juke Box is installed: http://dapatchy.com/oldies

December 18th and three new nick names can be added to the long list. I listened to an old program from Tommy Rivers on Laser 558 in which he called him self ‘Thomas Rambo’ Rivers. Martin van der Ven found two in an edition of Offshore Echos. Bruce 'the long tall D.J.' Holland and Larry 'L.P.' Pannell (John Ross Barnard op Radio Invicta). 

Finally an e-mail from my best friend since 1970, Paul de Haan: ‘On December 25th and a repeat on December 26th between 1200 and 1800 hours you can listen to air-checks of well known radio voices from the UK from 1989 and 1991, most of them ex offshore broadcasters. Alan Freeman and DLT BeebBeebZee Radio One. Johnnie Walker GLR. Dave Cash, Jimmy Saville, Paul Burnett, Kenny Everett and Tony Blackburn Capital Gold. Rob Harrison, Dave Asher and Caroline Martin Radio Caroline. Roger Day Coast AM. John Lewis Invicta FM. Benny Brown and Joost de Draayer Cable One. Ferry Maat Radio 10. Andy Archer Mellow 1557. Ray Clark, Jeremy Scott and Peter Phillips Breeze AM. Bob LeRoi Invicta Super Gold and Tony Blackburn Capital Gold.
Go to http://www.marinebroadcasters.tk
Indexpage section Marinebroadcasting listen to oldies stations. Paul de Haan.

So that should be fun with those good old air-checks from the past. Enjoy listening to the Marine Broadcasters

May I wish you all a very happy time with all the festivities with Christmas and the Old and New Year and wish you the best health for 2005. 

And as always keep sending in your comments, photos, memories and questions to: Hknot@home.nl

Hans Knot 

The book ‘The wet and wild history of Radio Caroline’ can now be ordered from the publisher, The Foundation for Media Communication at PO Box 53121 1007 RC Amsterdam. The price of the book for people living in Holland and Belgium is 25 Euro. For outside those two countries the price is 20 Pounds. 

For ordering you can order by sending the money to giro account number 4065700 on name of SMC Amsterdam.
IBAN: NL37 PSTB 0004 065700

For ordering from outside Holland you can also sent money in cash to Foundation for Media Communication, P. O. Box 53121, 1007 RC Amsterdam Holland. Please don’t sent any bank cheques as the exchange costs are too high. 


Offshore Deejays' Nicknames


Female Offshore Radio Deejays


Read Hans Knot's former report