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


Welcome to the shortest month of the year and another edition of the report. As always thank you a lot for all your reflections, questions and memories, from which I’ve taken the most interesting things. But first a lot of nick names to mention:

By the time you’re reading this the list is already updated by webmaster Martin on www.HansKnot.com. We first mention new ones found for people who have worked on the Voice of Peace: John 'Uncle Nobby' Mc Donald, Dave 'Dirty Dave' Lee, 'Randy' Rikki Marks, 'Kinky' Kenny Page, Offer 'The Gafel' Nachson, 'Wee' Willy West 'and the hairy chest', Steve 'Spittin' Switchards, 'Cuddly' Chris Massey, Chris 'Anorak' Massey, Mc Lelland 'Big Mac' Hackney. Offer 'Ahasveross the King' Nachson, Kenny 'Queen Ester' Page, Rikki 'Haman' Marks, and John 'Dancing Queen' Mc Donald. On Radio Caroline we found Dave 'the wild man of Borneo' Foster, Sean 'in the morning' Taylor, Sean 'in the afternoon' Taylor, Sean 'in the evening' Taylor and Ronan 'our beloved leader' O'Rahilly. 

Last issue had also a piece about the Veronica station in the USA. I mentioned a website but that was already page 2 of the site. The main site can be found at http://www.radioveronica.us

From Michael Bakker (web radio station Mi Amigo) we got a press report stating that the Radio Mi Amigo 192 Radio Day, which was planned for March 11th in Antwerp has been cancelled. Reason is that the organisation is not convinced that enough people will come to this event. Radio Mi Amigo is now orientating if there is another occasion in the forthcoming month to go to Antwerp. As soon as this new ‘date’ is known I will be mentioning it in the report.

Photographs are always nice to have in the report and this time one sent in by Colin Wilkins from Leeds: ‘Once again may I thank you for the latest Radio Report. I don't know what I would do now with out this every month.. On its way to you by post is the photograph I took of you and Spangles Muldoon. Sorry it’s taken a while, but what with holidays and Xmas time just whizzes by. Perhaps you could print it in next months report. 

Copyright Colin Wilkins

Thanks Colin, and as you can see the Postman did his job.

I’ve to thank you of course for sending in the photograph taken at last Radio Day in Amsterdam, where also Ian Biggar was in October and he’s next:

Hi Hans, Thanks for the report and I look forward to another year. I will off course contribute when I have something of interest. I certainly intend to attend the Radio Day this year and I think Ken will too. I was speaking to my old mate Steve Marshall who did work some time with the Voice of Peace and I think he will attend too. I never worked on ‘the ship’ and the nearest that I got was in 1982 when I was working in Ireland with Don Allen. We had both just left Radio Carousel and Don had been asked by Abe to go to the ship. He asked me did I want to go and I said yes, but first have a short holiday in Scotland. Well in the end neither Don nor I went but we both were back working on other stations in Ireland. I look forward to the Voice of Peace book and also the Andy Archer one. I hope the Radio Scotland book is published as well. However I would like to get in touch with the writer as there were a couple of small mistakes in the article that he wrote for the Sunday Times. Anyway Hans, keep in touch,

Thanks a lot Ian and it will be great too see the three of you again in Amsterdam on the first Saturday in November. Nice to see you’ve worked together with Don which must have been a good traineeship for you, isn’t?

Down Yonder we go to Australia: ‘Hello Hans, Too much to read in your report, as usual! Andy Archer was correct about the photographer on the top floor of Caroline House, but I recall his name as Rolf Von Branzig. He was, apparently, a German Baron. I suppose he had an arrangement for the use of the otherwise unused top floor for his studio as he was a friend of Ronan O'Rahilly and was a sort of official photographer for Caroline, as I remember. I had a series of publicity photographs taken by him and one is attached, taken on the roof of Caroline House. He wasn't the only titled person in the operation. There was some involvement by (I thought) a very pleasant man of about twenty with whom I became quite friendly. His name was Rollo Feilding and I subsequently discovered he was Viscount Feilding and later became 11th Earl of Denbigh and 10th Earl of Desmond (the latter an Irish connection). He became an F1 racing car driver and died in 1995 at age 51. The 11th Earl, his son, is about 35 now. The are many stories within the story! Regards Colin Nichol

Colin on top of Caroline house (R van Brandtzoeg)

You see that in the name of the photographer again there is a little chance. Reason is this e mail from Chris Edwards from Offshore Echoes: ‘The photographer is R. van Brandtzoeg (the o and e are joined as one letter) according to what is printed in the Caroline Christmas card in my archive, which I was given by the late Dick Morecraft. Not sure if the R is for Ralf or Rolf, but know that he had a studio at top of Caroline House in the turret part at very top.’ 

Just going back to the station Veronica in the USA and one of the questions brought in by the guy over there, Rene Tetro, to Juul. He asked: ‘The closest involvement I've had with European pirating was back in the early 80s. I was working for a 50kw station in Philadelphia, and we sold our old RCA BTA-50G transmitter to a group who were going to be putting it on a ship offshore of the UK. I never heard what happened and if it ever got installed.’

Well Rene you must be astonished as a new reader to hear that within 24 hours after last report went out there was an answer from one of my good radio friends in England who started his offshore career in 1973 as the ‘Young’ Paul Alexander Rusling. He answered with: ‘That was the big transmitter for Stereo Hits 531 - the ill fated project from the MV Nannell. The Philadelphia station Rene worked at was the one time sixties rocker, WIBG - a powerhouse station on the big 990. It was known as 'Wibbage' and home to many legendary jocks - Dick Clark, Joe Niagara, Tom Danahue and the original 'Geater' .They also had a Tom Rivers for a while (not the Laser guy) and the station is the one Rocky the boxer listens to in the seventies movies. I had been up there to its Ridge Pike home a few times, almost a pilgrimage to me, when it changed to be WZZD (The Wizzard 99ers, a disco format!) in the late 70s. Later it became a religious station, Philadelphia's Light and bought a new Harris unit, it would have been 1985 that we bought the big RCA monster transmitter mentioned. Unfortunately it got shipped to Europe in an open top container on deck to save money and arrived in Rotterdam in a sorry state. I don't think it was ever completely re-assembled, certainly not before I left the project. WIBG was one of that breed of stations that encouraged visitors and had their transmitters all visible from reception. Those RCA’s had mercury arc rectifiers, all glowing tubes and swinging meters. The huge transformers were so big and ran so hot they were accommodated on a gantry half way up an outside wall; Continental designed a replacement unit without such needs which spelt the end of RCA's business in that line. The WIBG installation had been a 'showcase' project for RCA who built the units in nearby Camden - it was probably the best cared for and most advanced of that model. A shame it never got heard in the UK, though WIBG was a regular DX catch for Europeans in the early 1970s. Its odd that 990 is religion now as when it first started WIBG was a religious station - the call letters stood for 'I believe in God") . I heard it last year and its all right wing talk nowadays and is co-sited with its biggest rival - WFIL. Now THERE was a station that rocked, with Dick Clark, Dr Don and other 'boss jocks' (got to get Paul Rusling's nurse to come and hold him down now before he fills a report about the golden age of Philly radio)’

Well I think the quickest and also the most interesting answer to one of the questions appearing through the years in Knot International Radio Report. Wonderful Paul and I hope to get more interesting news from you in the future.

In the list with female presenters/deejays up till now we missed the name of Tracy. She was deejay on Radio Caroline late 1989 and early 1990. I can’t find in my archive which family name she used. Maybe one of you who knows it? Answers as always to HKnot@home.nl

Just some more nick names with came in, this time three from deejays who have worked on Radio Caroline in the Eighties of last century: Blake ‘The Yanker’ Williams, ‘Mad’ Max Buchannan en ‘ Randy’ Andy Bradgate. 

Next one of the many people with ‘Chris’ as a surname: ‘Hi Hans - Thank you for another informative and interesting Report. I was asked a question recently by a ‘Pirate Radio’ fan that I could not answer, and I was hoping that you might be able to help - with your vast knowledge of such things. Can you please tell me the name of the pirate radio station that closed in the summer of 1965, and played the McCoys, Hang on Sloopy as their final record, UT was about 4pm , and I think it was a Friday. Any suggestions??? Best Wishes from the UK. Chris Dannatt, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire'

Well Chris as there was only one station closing down, KING on September 22nd 1965, there could only be one answer. Although I don’t have any recording of the closedown and also don’t know if KING would play a song like that. Anyone who knows if this is correct?

Nice to get an email from the grand daughter from former Radio Uilenspiegel owner Georges de Caluwé. She wrote me that she loved to know me by communicating in the silence way. She, as I have, has the love for radio in her genes. ‘I’ve got it from my daddy Marcel de Caluwé who received QSL cards from all over the world.’

Thanks and welcome to the group Andréa and hope you will enjoy our memories too.

It was Paul Jan de Haan, who still thinks that his studio has to be an original one, so record players, Revox, a good mixing table as well as cartridge machines, got a good idea with getting on with a problem ‘getting older’. It became difficult to read with just one lamp in his studio and so he searched for a space to put a second illumination in the studio. Here’s the result:

By the way, I totally agree with Paul’s idea about original equipment.

Next an e mail from Martin Peters: ‘Hi Hans, I’ve just been reading your latest radio report and wanted to make sure my name will be featured in the VOP book! I was on board from December 1980 to June 1981 and presented Breakfast, Twilight Time and the Classical Music program for most of that 6 months. The only nickname I remember is that we used to call Crispian St John, ‘SOGGY’. Look forward to the book. I hope it will be available in UK. Kind regards – Martin’

Well I wrote a short note back to Martin enclosing an amazing more than 250 names list from people who’ve worked in 20 years on the Peace Ship and which will be in the book compiled by Chris Edwards and Coconut. Martin came back to me within 45 minutes with the next email:

‘Ah! Fame at last! Thanks, Hans. I see all my crew mates have not been forgotten either so I guess this is a pretty comprehensive list. I write for the reincarnated Short Wave Magazine, Monitoring Monthly. I’ll be sure to give your book a plug, once I’ve bought my copy! In the meantime, if I can recall anything worth writing down, I’ll drop you a line. Kind regards – Martin Peters.’

Also Phil Brice wrote to me with some pages filled with memories, which will be his own chapter in the book. One of the things he told was that Ken Dicken had the nickname ‘Yes’ as the meaning of ‘Ken’ in Hebrew means ‘Yes’. Just one short other memory from Phil about Ken Dicken: ‘Ken was the star on the station. We were always being invited to visit listeners on shore. Ken and I were on shore together with Jules Retrot in Tel Aviv. When Ken was invited to a party, we decided to go along as well. We took a cab, but it had to drop us off some way from the address because the streets around the apartment were packed with cars. We soon learned that all these people were jammed in to the apartment to see the Voice Of Peace deejay Ken Dicken. We couldn’t move. It was an amazing night.

From Belgium a question came in from Pascal Jacobs. He asked if anyone of you can help him with a jingle package called ‘the best show’ and if possible the one made for TROS in Holland. Pascal can be reached at: p.jacobs@village.uunet.be

Next the internet address about a station, WLAC which was hot with rhytmn and blues and gospel music in Tennessee. A beautiful site filled with memories: http://www.yodaslair.com/dumboozle/wlac/wlacdex.html

It’s almost 16 years ago that Radio Caroline made a name as a horse. No, your host has no mental problems either did he had too much booze. I go back to 1990 and recall: ´Horse Racing fans and Caroline listeners may well have been tempted to back a horse running in the 4.15 pm at Carlisle on May 12th. It was the very first race for a two year old horse called ´Radio Caroline. Unfortunately for those who backed it, it lost the race.´ Of course there are a lot of readers who have thought to mention their kid after Caroline, Veronica or maybe after one of the many deejays. More sport activities were made in the history of Offshore Radio. Let’s see who does remember anything so we can make a new category: ‘Offshore Sports’ . All memories are going to Hknot@home.nl

Now I’ve a big question to Peter Messingfeld, who’s following the offshore radio world since the seventies of last century and doing pilgrimages almost on a yearly base. In 1990 he was writing in PIN magazine, which was partly reprinted in Offshore Echos Magazine. As the later one didn’t publish the complete PIN text I would like to know more details of the following OEM publication. The reason why will follow. OEM published: ‘Ideas that the liberalisation of East Germany would allow a radio ship to broadcast from off its coast have come to nothing. With the opening of its borders it was thought that such a project could be run from the German Democratic Republic which had not ratified the Strasbourg Convention and so had not passed any anti-offshore law. A ‘not unknown’ German friend of offshore radio who has a private radio station reckoned that transmissions from the Baltic Sea could go on for at least three years. He sought a suitable vessel in Rostock. However, at the start of 1990 who could have foreseen that the unification of East and West Germany would happen the same year?’

Well Peter can you tell us more about the ship and the people behind it. I presume you know far much more. Although it never became reality I would love to hear more on the project. Not only as a the most radio ships came from aboard coasters built from Groningen, the Province where I live in the Netherlands, but also as my lovely wife Jana originates from Rostock! So it would be lovely if Peter still remembers the facts.

Donna Leyton was one of the female deejays I mentioned last time to be added to that list. A typing error occurred as Leyton should be Lynton.

It’s David Miller from New Zealand who brings us the sad news of the passing away in December of deejay Barry Knight (Barry Simeon). He was one of the pioneers of private radio in New Zealand, appearing on the rebel Radio Hauraki station in the late 1960s. At the time, the station exploited a loophole in the law by broadcasting outside New Zealand waters from their ships the Tiri I and Tiri 2 and stayed there on air 1111 days at see. Lately Knight was in business and lived in Tauranga. He died after battling cancer.

Barry Knight (Archive Hauraki)

It’s through my good radio friend, since 1971, Ingo Paternoster, that the next message came in, which we want to share with all readers. It’s all about the ‘Armed Forces Radio Turns 65’. It was back in early 1941, some cold and lonely GI's at Sitka, in the Alaskan Territory, made a big decision. They rigged up a little radiostation and played music to keep themselves entertained in the middle of winter that year. They gave themselves a call sign, KRB. Sitka was a hotbed of radio broadcasting that year, as KRB was soon followed by another GI station, starting as GIN (guess the source) and becoming GAB soon after. In the fall of 1941, an officer led 'pirate' radio station began broadcasting from Kodiak, using the call sign KODK.

When the servicemen wrote to major US radio networks asking for free records to play, the military powers that be learned 'they' had three 'armed forces radio' stations broadcasting in isolated Alaska. From this 'pirate radio' beginning, soon grew the global Armed Forces Radio Service, later known as AFRTS, sometimes known as Armed Forces Radio, sometimes as 'your American Expeditionary Service' station, and by 1945, there were hundreds of stations worldwide.

One of our major ongoing research projects here at the Radio Heritage Foundation www.radioheritage.net is recording the stories of the many AFRS stations that broadcast within the Pacific region. We do this for several reasons. Firstly, it's important to remember the individual broadcasters who made radio 'come alive' in very strange places. Secondly, in many cases, these AFRS stations were the first [and often only] radio stations to broadcast from parts of the Pacific. Thirdly, although the ranks are getting thinner every month, some of the old time DJ's and engineers from the 1940's are still around, and willing to share their memories, photos, memorabilia and friendship. Finally, arguably the best American music of the era was recorded just for these stations, and the Pacific resonated to the crooners, swingers, jivers and big bands of a golden age. In just one place can you find all the stations and all the stories of AFRS radio from this era: www.radioheritage.net

Station lists for AFRS Japan, AFRS Alaska and AFRS China-Burma-India, with AFRS Jungle Network, Mosquito Network and Pacific Ocean Networks
coming soon. Memories from WXLG Kwajalein, WVTR Tokyo, WXLE Canton, WVUG Fort Greely, KMTH Midway, WVUS Tontouta, WVUV Pago Pago, VU2ZP Bangalore, and more. You can help this research expand to cover more stations, more stories, and help us reach vets and their families before it's too late. Every day, old photos are torn up, old pieces of station memorabilia dumped in the trash, and memories fade a little more.

Keep the memories alive and free for all to share. Please visit www.radioheritage.net and make a donation of funds. The Radio Heritage Foundation is a registered charitable trust in New Zealand [#1473801] and all funds are used to support our radio heritage projects. Warm regards, David Ricquish

Then someone is looking for recordings and so who can help us Mike Grant from Chard in England? Hi Hans. Wonder if you can help me. I’m trying to get hold of a recording of the complete Radio Caroline top 500 Records which I think was broadcast back in 1984. Do you know of any fans who might have a copy of the complete show...Broadcast over several days.. (perhaps on an Mp3 DVD disc). I have segments of the show but would love the complete package so to speak. Any info much appreciated. Keep up the great work. Best Mike.
Well Mike can be reached at: mike.grant1@tesco.net

Wednesday 27th January 2006, the next one came in: ’RNI is pleased to announce it has been successful in its licence application for the establishment of a new commercial shortwave radio station located in Latvia. RNI will commence daily shortwave broadcasts when we have completed installation of the necessary technical equipment. Further details will be posted on the RNI website : http://www.rni.fm

An e mail from a radio friend from decades ago: ‘Hello Hans, My compliment for your great radio reports. Can you subscribe to get them via email? I remember you from the days of the PRN (Pirate Radio News) and last time I heard from you was a couple of years back when you sent me a QSL-card for the Veronica special broadcast on 1224. I also bought some offshore radio tapes from you in the 70s. Are you still trading/selling tapes? I might have something for trade, although most of it was recorded here in Sweden, which means the reception was not always great. I also have produced a number of special programmes on offshore radio, including a two hour Radio Nord special which was broadcasted over the Sitkunai SW transmitter in Lithuania.

I have been writing various radio articles myself and there is one interesting person in the history of offshore radio, about whom very little seems to have been written. I am referring to Kitty Black of Project Atlanta. Do you have any further information about her, what happened after her involvement with the Atlanta group and the Radio City raid? You might have written something earlier on the subject. Searching the Internet has so far produced very few results – only that she was a publisher, author and obviously hailed from South Africa. Also, she translated the works of Jean-Paul Sartres. Naturally, from a Swedish point of view, her connections with the Atlanta group are interesting as they acquired the former Radio Nord ship. Any information about her would be highly appreciated. Is it possible that she is still alive today? Best wishes from Sweden for 2006 and keep up the good work, Ronny Forslund.’

Great to hear from you again Ronny after so many years. Yes it was me who went away the special DX Cards from Veronica transmissions years ago. The Pirate Radio News was an English Language publication which came out 10 times a year and was also a platform for the Radio Anoraks, although the word ‘Anorak’ didn’t consist yet at the time. I’ve put you on one of the mailing lists Ronny and so the Knot International Radio Report will be in your mailbox in the future. Good to hear you’re still doing well with making special programs. I stopped the tape service years and years ago just to concentrate on writing. My whole archive had gone to the Downloadclub in the Netherlands. There guys are doing wonderful work and will digitalize my audio as well as video-archive. A lot of work and one day it will become available to download. All information about the club can be find at: http://www.offshoreradiodownloadclub.web-log.nl

About Kitty Black I can tell you nothing more than you wrote in the e mail, so anyone reading this and knows more, please inform us at our address: Hknot@home.nl

More nicknames came in on January 30th: Radio Mi Amigo’s Ton Schipper was called by Marc Jacobs ‘Tollebol’, Caroline had ‘Little Steve Masters’ and Radio New York International ‘Big’ Steve Cole. 

Site updates with memories on offshore radio again first The Pirate Hall of Fame, which has this time included: memories of the Cheeta II and the first page of photos taken on Radio London from Mitch Philistin's collection. http://www.offshoreradio.co.uk
And the nice thing in the update that there’s just one answer to Duncan Johnson’s questions about John Pancake (see last report) as there are photos to be found of John.

Mitch and John and what a nice piece of work (Archive Mitch)

Also Bob LeRoi has a new update: Scrapbook reflects back 40 years to Swinging Radio England & Britain Radio joining the pirate fleet. In Part 1 we share their great jingle history, along with some never before published photographs. One Subject One Link has a contribution from Ian MacRae on the hot battle looming between Terrestrial, Internet & Satellite Radio. www.bobleroi.co.uk

And don’t forget to visit the Home of Big L: http://www.radiolondon.co.uk

Mail from the Shetland Islands: ‘Dear Hans, I see that Mr. Bollier is still working to clear his connection with the Pan Am bombing. He has a degree of sympathy in the Scottish legal system (under which the trial was conducted in Nederland) and there have been moves for a declaration of mistrial. The story is not over. Ian SIBC: http://www.mebocom-defilee.ch

Thanks Ian and indeed he is doing a lot, hope he will be successful 

Some news on the Peace project. As you know early November (4th) will be the Voice of Peace reunion and I’m working very hard to produce, together with a lot of people, a book filled with memories. I must say that from many unexpected sources material is coming in. For instant today, January 31st, a story came in from the USA from a missionair who worked together in 1972 with Abie to help after the Earthquake in Nicaragua. Yesterday with the help from Noam in Tel Aviv hundreds of very unique photographs arrived in Groningen. This all came from several sources including the Archive of Abe Nathan himself. Remember it’s now 15 years ago the first Gulf War took place. John Mc Donald wrote a very impressive diary about all the things happening in Tel Aviv and surroundings during his stay on the ship in wartime. It will be in the book. As it’s almost midnight and tomorrow February 1st just two days of his diary as a pre publication:

31st January 
Some ground skirmishes are reported from Kuwait. We are still living through the storm. It blows down a little bit in the afternoon. It never rains but it pours. I am going into the 1800 news when the air-raid sirens go again. About two minutes of standing in the wind and rain and I see the flash of ground explosion. This time it is a long way inland and at 1900 the BBC say it has come down on the West Bank. No casualties or damage this time but the all clear does not sound until 1920, so once again I enter on the advertising log that tonight’s commercials are cancelled due to missile attack. As if in protest at the attack the wind starts blowing faster and soon we are resigned to another sleepless night as the wind gauge reads 50 knots. 

1st February 
The day starts with the wind dropping away. During the night our antenna has broken so we are on FM only. Previous experience has shown that it will take about 24 hours to become properly calm again. There has been a lot of rain over the past week. So much in fact that the officially declared drought can be cancelled. As the Jewish Sabbath approaches tension begins to rise again. This is the third one of the war and on the previous two Sabbaths missiles have hit Tel Aviv and Haifa. We are watching and waiting. 

Another nice picture from the past came in from Secco, one of the early Mi Amigo deejays in 1974. Jos van Noord wrote for the newspaper ‘Het Vaderland’ a piece about Secco and Andy Archer and their plans to start a deejay school, now 32 years ago. A photo was made and brought to Secco by Jos van Noord on February 1st 2006. And now Secco wants to share it with us all.

Andy and Secco (Archive Jos van Noord)

It’s a real honour to announce that from next week our former Klaas Vaak, known from Veronica days, and who made a career in radio since 1969, will be back on the radio for one day a week from February 6th on. We know him since 1975 also as Tom Mulder and Tom was recovering since August 2004 from a bad illness. Still it goes step by step but Tom is very hopeful he will recover for 100% in the future. We wish Tom good luck with his new start on the station. 

There’s no better way to end this edition of the Knot International Report than the return on the radio of Tom Mulder. Later this month another report and keep your ideas, memories, photos and news sending to Hknot@home.nl


Hans Knot


Offshore Deejays' Nicknames


Female Offshore Radio Deejays


Read Hans Knot's former report