Hans Knot's International Radio Report - December 2005 (1)
Welcome to this edition of the Knot International Radio Report. December is here again and so a month of celebrations for most of the people. After last issue a lot of questions came in from which a few will be mentioned in this issue:
A question from Colin Stevens: ‘Hi Hans, You’re my last hope. A question which I have been trying to find out for 30 years. I am trying to find out the make and model of the headphones used on the MEBO II in 1970. They were seen a lot in the photos of Roger Day, Andy Archer, etc. just after the station opened. I know this is a long shot but this question I have spent hours upon hours on the internet and books trying to find the answer to. Hope your keeping well. Colin Stevens. Offshore Music Radio.’
In the meantime Roger Day answered with: ‘Hi Colin, I had a message passed on about the RNI headphones. Sorry but I can't remember any details. I'll ask Chicago next time I see him. Best Wishes, Roger Day.’
Thanks for that one Colin and to everyone who thinks to no the answer my e mail address is open again at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Then space for Clive Warner: ‘Dear Hans, thanks for the last report. I thought you might like to know that I am still active in the radio business to some extent. Some while back I met the rector of the Millenium University in Torreon, Mexico, and he spoke of his desire to establish an educational radio station in Torreon. This has to be built with little money, the whole thing is a charity project. So, I decided to offer my abilities for free, and am busy moving this project along. Already, some very kind people in the USA have offered us a working FM stereo transmitter complete with two drive cabinets and an exciter, all in working order. It's a 5KW unit. My next task is to organise transporting and importing it. The next problem will be the antenna mast and elements. I might even construct some panels myself, but the feeder is going to be a sticky item to source. I'll need to one and seven-eighths semi-air spaced. I'm also hunting for studio kit if anyone can spare anything. My email is email@example.com I'm continuing to put up pictures of various world radio sites at www.citiria.com and still have some more to scan! Best wishes Clive Warner.’
Clive Warner worked on Capital Radio in their early years, went on to Radio Caroline as Clive Corell, and went to Piccadilly Radio. From that point on he worked in various parts of the world mostly technical work on transmitters.
So please anyone who can help Clive please take contact on the above address.
A parcel arrived at Hans Knot headquarters in Groningen from Chris and Mary Payne, which resulted in the above photograph; yes a wonderful new t shirt with the Radio London Logo. You can order a copy yourself and all information can be found at: http://www.radiolondon.co.uk/store/tees.html
The Dutch Giro (Postbank) gives their clients the opportunity to have a special photo in front of their credit card. One of the offshore friends in Holland tried to get a photo from the Norderney but is was withdrawn as ‘Veronica’ is copyrighted and the name was on the ship of course. Another offshore friend, Jan van Heeren from Dordrecht and already for many years a most wonderful volunteer doing the monthly lay out for the Freewave Media Magazine in Holland, had more luck. He sent a photograph of his favourite ship and has now a very unique credit card
Bernhard from Guilford in Surrey wrote to me about a question I asked a couple of issues ago. I was asking who had heard during the last few months something about Richard Jackson. He was working on Caroline as well on the Voice of Peace and I wanted to contact Richard to about the forthcoming reunion. I sent an e mail to Richard in Thailand and that was bounced back. So he probably left that country. Bernhard told me that he heard recently Richard doing a program on BRBM in Birmingham. We’re a step further. And guess what? Caroline Martin, who did also a lot of programs on Caroline in the Eighties, nowadays is working on BRBM and I’ve sent her an e mail for more information about Richard.
She came back with: ‘Good Morning Hans, Yes I do remember you from the Radio Caroline days. Sorry Richard Jackson to the best of my knowledge has never worked here, maybe your reader was getting him confused with Nick Jackson who did until recently work here. Hope you find him eventually. Regards, Caroline Martin.’
Thanks a lot Caroline and so our search for Richard has not ended yet. Anyone who knows more, please respond.
Let’s go for a trip to California and see what Dan O’Day has to report:
The Best Career Investment A Radio Programmer Can Make...
PD GRAD SCHOOL 2006
The Power of Cult Branding (BJ Bueno)
Your Programming M.A.P. (Mastery Action Plan), Part Two
(Mike McVay) (3-Hour Super Session)
Teach Your Talent Well (Dan O'Day)
Podcasting for Ratings, Profit, and Survival (Holland Cooke)
Your Radio Promotion Blueprint (Doug Harris)
Life Is A Contact Sport: Real-World Strategies For Taking
Your Career And Your Station To The Top of The Mountain
120 New Radio Ideas In 120 Minutes (Dan O'Day)
> February 3 - February 4, 2006/Los Angeles
MORE INFO FROM: http://www.danoday.com/pdgrad.shtml
DOWNLOAD THE BROCHURE: http://www.danoday.com/PDGrad2006.pdf
Tuesday November 26th was the time to take the train from London Liverpool Street Station to East Anglia. Just within 90 minutes the One Rail Road Company brought us to a little town called Frinton, in offshore days better known as Frinton on the Sea. And indeed walking from the railroad down the main street of Frinton we walked directly to the lovely seaside. But it wasn’t the seaside, either the beach, which was the main aim of our visit to Frinton, where I was earlier on a trip way back in 1985 to visit East Anglia Productions, a company from Ray Anderson, one of the four directors from the new Radio London International. Which can be found at 40 Connought Avenue in Frinton.
Radio London International is a kind of a reincarnation of the very well known Radio London, Big L, which was very popular as an offshore radio station between December 1964 and August 14th 1967, when it has to be closed down as a result of the Marine Offences Act in Britain, which made it almost impossible to transmit from international waters off the British Coast. Ray Anderson, who made a radio career since 1974 when his first stint was in Radio Atlantis, was just ending a program, in which he stood in for Mike Read. Mike was that day over in London to interview Sir Cliff Richard for a program, probably transmitted around Christmas. It will be a special about all those songs recorded by Cliff way back in the period March 1964- August 1967.
‘The time on Radio London is now’
The new Radio London International came on the air in spring 2005 and can be heard on the digital platform from Sky, as well as on internet and the 1395 kHz. Although the later one wasn’t on air on the official opening program and it would last till some days later before the AM was switched on. However the power of the used transmitter, which was formerly uses by Radio10 Gold, wasn’t the 20 kW as promised by the NOZEMA, the company which provides the main part of transmitter gear in the Netherlands. This as Radio London was hiring airtime from Quality Radio BV in Utrecht, the company which owns officially the licence for the 1395 kHz.
We talked during our visit in Frinton with Paul Graham, a consultant hired by Radio London International (from now on mentioned as Radio London). Paul, who has a long standing broadcasting career since the seventies and had many jobs including ILR and Radio Caroline, told us about the low power: “The power of the transmitter was probably 50% as it was used to be when used by Radio 10 Gold. We complained with Nozema but they denied the power was lower. We, from Radio London, had gone out with the car to several locations in Essex and Kent when Radio 10 Gold was still on the air. The signal was measured and it was far much better than when the transmitter came on for use by us.”
From then on the power problems were not solved by Nozema. Even for several weeks the transmitter wasn’t on as spare parts for the Harris transmitter had to come from the USA and Radio London owners refused to pay the bill as no full services were given to them. As a result of that Nozema switched the transmitter off and Radio London was only to be heard on the Digital Networks Channel 940 from Sky all over Great Britain as well as on internet.
Since late November Radio London has a new backer, who comes from Birmingham and wanted to be involved in radio again. Paul: “Ray found a new backer who comes from Birmingham and was earlier involved in Laser Hot Hits in the eighties, a station also runned by Anderson. This guy, is now director number four on the board of directors and has invested enough money that we can go on for at least 18 months without any financially problems. We hope to come into the black figures within 3 years of broadcasting.”
Till now no officially listening figures are published as Radio London has not subscribed to RAJAR. This will change from January 1st 2006, when during the first three months the station will be followed by RAJAR too. But there are some figures known to the station. Graham once again: “We asked RAJAR to do a small research from which we learned we have an average listener ship of about 156.000 people who switch on weekly, 15% of them are listening through internet. “
Till early December no advertising was heard on the station but that will change soon. In Great Britain it’s very difficult to get advertising on a new station as long as there are no official RAJAR figures. Paul Graham: “We have very soon four national advertisers who have promised to give us a try and believe in our future. Also from next month we have our breakfast show sponsored by the main Railroad organisation in our region, One Railway. They will advertise our station on billboards on the several stations in East Anglia. From January there’s also an arrangement with Arriva, the main Bus company in Great Britain, whereby several busses will carry a huge promotion poster, driving through the main cities like Ipswich, Canterbury and others, this to gain recognition for Radio London.”
As the old Radio London used a radio ship in the sixties, the new Radio London got the idea to give it a try as promotional subject. In January, when the London Boat Show will be held, the MV Heavily, will be anchored off the Frinton coast to promote the station as well as the exhibition in London. Graham: “Maybe we give it a repeat in summer to get the ship for a three months period off the coast again. Putting a fake mast on the ship, giving it a look a like as a radio ship. Listeners and the many holiday guests can visit the ship from Frinton harbour then. “
It all looks as the people of the new Radio London hope to see a bright future for their station, which can be found at internet at www.bigl.co.uk
If you want to look at the photos I took when visiting Radio London I suggest that you take a look at www.hansknot.com
Some music enthusiasts have been working on a fan site for the Dutch Group Champagne, which was very popular, also outside Holland, for a short period in the seventies and eighties. Very nice site and they ask people to cooperate to get the story complete. So who helps: http://www.champagne-music-online.de/
More news about internet from Germany: my friends and I wrote a book. The title is “we got our kicks in Cux66”. Inside is the story how the beat-music comes to Cuxhaven in the 60th and 70th. I think the music from the “Pirat Radios” is important part of this time. You know the ship Norderney (Veronica) was a Fisherman and comes from Cuxhaven side. You can see under www.cuxhaven-beat.de
Then a sadden message which was sent to me by several persons: ‘Prime Time Radio recently reported greatly improved listening figures considering the difficult task they have of not only promoting their station but also having to cope with the slower than expected take up of digital terrestrial radio.
The impending closure of the station was announced late November after the station's owner Roger De Haan was unable to secure an agreement with GCap, the national digital radio multiplex (transmitter) provider. Gcap apparently did offer PrimeTime a further 6 years on DAB but without any assurance of any continuation after that. Obvious speculation has to be that a further 6 years would only just be enough to bring the station into profitability as the existing 4% DAB radio ownership gradually increases. However with no guarantee that PrimTime would get a further 6 year extension after that the company would have been unable to retrieve money previously spent developing the business and promoting the new medium of DAB.
Considering most analogue stations these days are receiving 10 and 12 year licences from Ofcom so that stations have a chance of making a return on their initial investment, surely the same consideration should be given to a DAB station that has pioneered the digital mode on behalf of the radio industry and the government. If GCap are able to place the future of national digital stations in jeopardy every 6 years, they are doing nothing to assist in the transition to DAB, nothing for their contracted stations, nothing for the staff that work in the industry and nothing for their listeners.
Many dedicated listeners, the very people the radio industry want, have spent money on expensive digital receivers in order to listen to their favourite digital quality radio station, now only to find that station is being financially forced off the air due to what many regard as an unfair decision by GCap. PrimeTime are looking for a solution to this dilemma in hope of continuing the service, with or without DAB, but the clock is ticking. They say their contract with GCap expires in May, however it is alleged that plans exist to axe presented programmes from January and play back-to-back music during the remainder of the period. Surely there must be someone sane enough to care about the radio listening audience and the broadcasting industry to bring an end to this stupidity. The implications of which will reverberate around the studios of all other DAB stations not owned by GCap and who use GCap transmission facilities. Of course one cannot blame GCap entirely as it was the British government that introduced a broadcasting system where most independent radio stations are obliged to hire DAB multiplex channels from a major broadcasting competitor. Naturally this does fuel speculation fair or otherwise, but is it really fair to artificially bring about the closure of the station that has done so very much to enthusiastically pioneer DAB, particularly when it has had to overcome so much pessimism over both the introduction and prospects of DAB? GCap must have realised that the building of their national digital transmission network was at best going to be a very long term investment and surely now is not the time to get cold feet.’
In the meantime there’s some positive news from the program director David Atkey: ‘Roger De Haan made strenuous efforts, but was unable to agree terms with the DAB multiplex operator. However I have been given the brand of PrimeTime Radio to see if I can find Sponsors and Investors to secure its future. PrimeTime Radio is one of the success stories of digital radio and every effort will be made to continue broadcasting. This may or may not include DAB, but again every effort is being made to keep PrimeTime Radio on DAB, Sky digital and NTL cable, plus the Internet. We know how much people enjoy PrimeTime Radio from their responses. They are loyal and dedicated listeners and rest assured we will not go down with out a fight. Thank you for your support. David Atkey - Programme & Operations Director.’
Let’s all hope that they will find a solution to keep the station on the air with presented programs. It’s like losing Radio 390 again. Prime Time Radio is on a lot at our home in Groningen. Very relaxing radio, which can be found on the internet at: http://www.saga.co.uk/primetime/pages/index.asp
Jean Pierre Berckmanns from Belgium has updated his site about former Veronica and Luxembourg presenter Stan Haag. Although in Dutch interesting to visit at: http://users.skynet.be/berckmans2/STANHAAG.htm
Dutch company KPN has announced that they will buy Nozema, the transmitter supplier to most of the radio and television stations in Holland. They offer an amount of 75 million Euro’s. Next to this KPN is active in the world of Multi Play, mobile telephones, broadband internet and television services. In the concept contract between the Dutch State and KPN the running of the management of the arial masts all over Holland, will be given to a third Party. KPN thinks that with the arrangements it’s possible to bring digital radio and television in a faster flow in the Netherlands.
Back to Offshore Radio and the answer which came in from a reader in the Province of Friesland. ‘Hans could you tell me where Erik Post and Gerard Smit, we all knew from the program ‘Buitengaats’ on RNI, have gone?” Gerard is a reader of the Knot International Radio Report for many years and is nowadays living in Suriname where he is active in radio, television and producing of video clips. Erik Post is a technician at the Regional Radio station RTV Rijnmond, based in Rotterdam.
Then an email from Jim who want attention for a special website: “Here's a great website. You might want to share it with your readers: http://radiologoland.com
It features all kinds of T-shirts, sweatshirts, coffee mugs, mouse pads and other stuff with logos from the greatest Top 40 radio stations of the 50s, 60s and 70s. American, European, Aussie, Kiwi, Canadian, and Mexican stations. There's no other site like it in the world as far as I know. Take a look Thanks. And enjoy. Jim.” Thanks Jim really a nice site, although I missed my favourite t shirts from station K N O T in Arizona.
He’s coming back at regular moments in the report, the late John Peel. This time by an e mail from Mike in England: Pirate radio listeners will be interested in a restoration project using tapes of the final transmissions by Radio London from their last day Aug 14, 1967. John Peel's last pirate show, aka "The Perfumed Garden," all 5 ½ hours worth, has been painstakingly rebuilt. Some UK collectors located 90% of all of Peel's original low-fi (and very quaint hippie-esque) intro’s and outro’s from various reel to reel home-recorded sources. Then over time they located clean copies of every song he played that night. This new and old material was then seamlessly cut together, and a 5-CD set has been making the trading rounds. Info on the restoration project can be found at
Now a Peel tribute site has the whole thing available for download in 5 parts at
Another of the many Peel Photographs
It is one of those download situations where you can only download one thing every few hours, so it takes some time to get all 5 parts but it is worth it. A great piece of off-sea pirate history, a great musical time capsule too (Tom Roche, GA, Nov 26, DX LISTENING DIGEST).“
Thanks Mike but I think all the glory has to go to Harm Koenders of the Dutch Offshore Radio Download Club, who did all the restore work to get all the 5,5 hours available.
Then over to another Mike, this time with the family name Grant: ‘Hi Hans It’s Mike here over in England again. Hope you are keeping well. I was just wondering if through your monthly report you could put out a request for me. I was wondering if there were any other offshore radio fans who live in the South West of England. Ideally in the Somerset, Devon or Dorset areas. I somehow doubt I’ll get much of a response since most offshore fans live in the South East of England and East Anglian Regions but figured it would be worth a shot, especially for perhaps swapping recordings and/or offshore memories. Would be great to hear from any Radio Fans who live a little closer to me and would be interested to get in contact. As I may have told you Hans my location is Chard in Somerset.....nearest large town is Taunton. If you can help I’d be much obliged. Many thanks, Mike’. Mike.firstname.lastname@example.org
Well Mike hope the readers in that part of England will reflect to you, sure there are enough of my readers living in that area but just a small part of the readers reflect on the report.
Bad news early December from Noam Tal, my direct contact to Abe Nathan, the man behind the Voice of Peace radio station from 1973 up till 1993. Here just a small part of the mail Noam sent me: ‘Hi Hans three weeks ago Abe had another stroke. He was taken to hospital in Tel-Aviv and been there for 2 weeks. We were afraid that he suffered another damage but luckily he is now much better. All the best, Noam’.
Abe Nathan in early years (thanks to Noam)
Well, Noam hopefully you can care from him for a long time and you can tell Abe he will be in my thoughts a lot.
In last issue brought a piece on listening results for Radio Caroline in the Sixties and it’s Rob Chapman who wants to reflect this time: ‘Nice to see the memo's flying thick and fast, and the thinking too, although some of it thicker than fast I'll wager. This is a very healthy debate. Can't wait for Andy Archers book. He's always been one to cut through the bullshit. I remember him telling me, when I interviewed him once that he thought "there was a lot more LA among the listeners than there was on the ship." More food for thought!
More thoughts on audience figures. First of all, to all the people who get a little defensive about these things, and can't bear to have their home truths challenged. I don't wish to denigrate pirate radio in any way, or to lessen the vital role it played in pop culture, particularly in the 1960's. I was a loyal listener and pirate radio helped shape my life as it did anyone who was a teen or twenty something at that time. Here is a quote from the late music writer Ian MacDonald that illustrates my point perfectly. "At that time The Beatles, the Stones, The Beach Boys, Dylan, The Byrds, James Brown, Hendrix, Clapton, Motown, Otis, Miles, Coltrane and you-name-it, they were all going on, all very active and present. It was incredibly exciting. I remember being in my back garden one day in the very hot summer of 1966 listening to Radio Caroline. Every single record they were playing was great. I just looked up at the sky in a sort of ecstasy and thought : 'This is fantastic, this is the best it¹s ever been.' I think everyone from my generation agrees: 1965-7 were the peak years in pop.”
I had that same feeling exactly, even at the age of 12, and I'm sure many other people reading this newsletter did too, so please don't construe any of the below as 'pirate bashing' because I was that pop kid who went on all of the FRA/FRC marches from 1968 to 1970. And I was that pop kid on the 'stop the jamming' march in June 1970 (the day Germany beat England in the World Cup as I recall!) In fact Ronan and Simon Dee brushed right past me as they went to deliver the petition to the door of 10 Downing Street. Have you any idea how that made a 15 year old kid feel! It was like standing next to the Beatles!
The truth is, it doesn't matter whether Radio Caroline had 25 million or 25 thousand listening at midnight on August 14th 1967. The pirates importance can't be reduced to mere audience figures. That’s for the marketing men and the advertisers. And everyone knows the old maxim about advertising; "only 50% of the money spent on advertising is worthwhile. Trouble is, nobody knows which 50%." And then there's the one about audience figures. "Only 50% of the media tells the truth about its audience figures. The other 50% lie!"
With that in mind, if you read pages 44-50 of my book Selling The Sixties this is all outlined clearly. Most polls use unreliably small samples. Audience reach is often said to be greater than it actually is. Potential audience reach is often relayed as actual audience figure. Figures are often rounded up not down, so 2.2 million soon becomes "nearly 3 million'. It’s not just radio stations that do this. Newspapers and magazines frequently massage their audience figures, giveaways being included in sales figures for example (i.e. that free newspaper you collect on train or plane is often included in sales.) There's nothing new under the sun here. It’s gone on for as long as there's been mass media.
So fine, if you want to defy all demographic realities and believe that 25 million were listening to Caroline at midnight on August 14th, dream on. (Presumably that's half of all pensioners and five year olds too! Remember there was a baby boom at the time!) Me, I was fast asleep. Earpiece in my ear I'm sure, but I just couldn't last the course I'm afraid. Why? I was 12. Way past my bedtime mate. And besides I had to be up at 6 o'clock to do a paper round.
Like every other loyal listener though I listened faithfully until the very end. And like Rob Hughes said in Record Mirror the week after Radio One started. "At the weekend my radio was tuned to 247. By Monday it was back on 259." And I still remember that ominous confused feeling I had on that grey Sunday morning in March 1968 when I turned on my radio as usual, and there was no signal on 259.......................’
Thanks Rob Chapman and if you want to reflect to please use my e mail address: Hknot@home.nl
During my stay in London also had a few drinks together with Peter Moore from the Caroline organisation, who had some news in line: ‘Radio Caroline are pleased to announce that they are now live 24 hours a day on NTL Digital Cable Channel 927 in Southern Ireland. NTL state that they now have 100.000 homes in and around Dublin Cork and Waterford. In addition the cable company told Radio Caroline that many other Irish homes get NTL cable ‘unofficially’. It is hoped that this will lead to some UK cable coverage in the future although the station is very pleased with NTL for the coverage in Southern Ireland for now.’
Thanks Peter. Indeed there are plans to start on other NTL cable networks, including London, in the future but we more about that in the future. The radio ship Ross Revenge, so Peter told us, is still in Tilbury harbour and has been removed a bit into the port on a remarkable way. First it would be towed by a towing vessel but it came out that the turn, which the Ross Revenge had to made, couldn’t be made at the time due to a huge ship lying across. So Peter came with a splendid solution: His girlfriend Melanie started her car and a rope was put between the radio ship and the car and centimetre by centimetre the ship was replaced to the other side of the quay.
Then back to the e mails: ‘Hi Hans, I found your address via the Radio Days' website - I've just installed broadband and I'm rather like a small child at Christmas as I log on to Dutch radio and television stations (Nederland has always been dear to my heart). Unfortunately, this has resulted in too many late nights. A bad thing for me, the guy who gets out of bed at 3.30am to present the BBC Radio Norfolk Breakfast Show! Browsing your site, I was pleased to see Ferry Eden looking so well. He gave me my first DJ job on Radio Europa, Italy, back in 1980. I'd very much like to get in touch with him again. We haven't spoken in over 20 years. I would be most grateful if you could pass on my email addresses to him. I hope you don't mind. Steve Bumfrey.’
I’ve sent Steve’s e mail to Ferry and again just one of the many people who got together again via the Hans Knot International Radio Report. Steve, by the way, nowadays works for the BBC as well as BFBS.
But there are more Steve’s, here’s the one who does a really good program on Radio Caroline on Sunday’s, Steve Silby: ‘ Hi Hans. Just looking back over some old reports. I was a Peace Ship DJ in 1986. Although this is a period that is not well recorded, the station was in good shape and sounded good. I am still in touch with most of the crew, most of which went in a full time broadcasting career. I have very fond memories of this time and many photographs. I'd be pleased to hear about the reunion and the book since it will be a 20th anniversary for me! There is a most interesting recording of the opening broadcast of the Peace Ship now available at Chris Visser's download club. See you at the reunion! Best Regards Steve Silby ( Richard 'Tricky Dickie' Staines!)’
Thanks Steve and if you have some nice memories and photos feel free to sent them to me too. The VOP recordings which you talked about is just a small part of those I’ve given to the Download Group from my massive archive. This month some new chapters for the forthcoming VOP book have arrived from former VOP people in New York as well as from Cyprus. For anyone involved in the station in the earlier mentioned period, the Reunion date is settled at November 4th 2006 in Amsterdam. Full details at a later stage.
At the last Sunday from November Tom Mulder (former Veronica’s Klaas Vaak) was heard again after 15 months of absence on Radio 10 Gold. He had a stroke and a long time to recover. In the program he was interviewed about his career as well as his illness. He will probably heard for some hours during the Top 4000, which will be transmitted this month on the station. Also Tom mentioned in one of his e mails to me, that he will be back with his own shows from February on.
From December 6th at 7 in the morning local time the countdown begins at Radio 10 Gold and several former presenters of the Top 40 from the past forty years will join in, including Lex Harding, Joost de Draayer, Jan van Veen and Erik de Zwart.
But more oldies will be back on the radio as I heard that Sir Jimmy Saville, one of the most loved British presenters, can be heard on Christmas Day. Real Radio asked him to do a three hour program. It will be his very first stint in 8 years and he will present a program called ‘Christmas Day Travels’. It can be heard by more than 1,5 million listeners who tune either by DAB digital or Sky Digital whereby he will bring memories from the Christmas charts from 10,20 and 30 years ago, as always smoking his huge cigars during the program.
Talking about Christmas, Chris Baird wrote to me: ‘Doing a Christmas day show called ‘Ghosts from Christmases Past’ including clips from old jocks shows over the Christmases of long ago. Should prove a goodie for the archive. Can be heard via our website 7 days after Christmas day www.bbc.co.uk/derby
Just before ending this edition of the Knot International Radio Report I learned that on December 4th Ted Allbeury died on the age of 88. Ted was world wide known for his more than 40 very popular books he wrote. For us he was also known as one of the men behind KING Radio, which was in 1965 using one of the disused forts in the Thames Estuary. Allbeury decided that a different approach entirely was needed to make the station profitable, so he bought out the shareholders, changed the format to sweet music aimed at women and named it Radio 390. This from the wavelength on which it broadcast. It was immediately successful, as was Allbeury’s own weekly programme of nostalgic music, Red Sands Rendezvous. This he compiled in the living room of his house in Chelsea, and despite the King’s Road traffic clearly audible in the background he got a lot of fan mail. Radio 390 closed down in 1967 as many of the British Offshore Radio Station. But Ted himself already had changed stations as from February 1967 he worked to reorganise at Radio 355. Ted will always remembered as Mr. Easy for bringing such a wonderful format to our ears. On the Pirate Hall of Fame the next can be found about Ted, including his radio career.
Born in Manchester on 24th October 1917, brought up in Birmingham, Ted was a draughtsman before joining the army. During the war he served in intelligence, later working in the advertising industry before buying a Kent farm. In 1965 a mutual acquaintance introduced him to a man called David Lye. Lye had invested in a small offshore station called King Radio which was losing money. He wanted advice from someone who knew about the advertising business. Ted suggested that the station needed a more coherent programming policy and a considerably better signal. He became fascinated by the project and wanted to get involved. A new company was set up with Ted as managing director. Most of the big offshore operations were pop-based. His plan was to launch a middle-of-the-road station, aimed at the housewife market. Funds were raised, a more powerful transmitter was bought and new studios were built. Originally Ted wanted to call the new station Radio Eve but a last minute change of plan saw it launch as Radio 390. It was an immediate success. As well as running 390, Ted also found time to present a weekly programme and, as a broadcaster, is therefore eligible for inclusion in The Pirate Radio Hall Of Fame. Named after the war-time fort on which the station was based, he hosted Red Sands Rendezvous every Sunday night. In February 1967 Ted left Radio 390 after a disagreement with his fellow directors. He took over the ailing Britain Radio which he relaunched as Radio 355. He did not present regular programmes on this new station but did make one last appearance during its final closedown show. Following his offshore days Ted found great success as a novelist, writing under his own name and as both Richard Butler and Patrick Kelly. He published more than forty titles, many available from Amazon. He died on 4th December 2005 aged 88. There is an obituary on The Times web site.
For the next issue your news, comments and memories are welcome as ever on Hknot@home.nl
Enjoy the rest of December!
Offshore Deejays' Nicknames
Female Offshore Radio Deejays
Read Hans Knot's former report