Hans Knot's International Radio Report - July 2005


Welcome to the July edition of the Knot International Radio Report. It was a very nice last part of the month June, as Jana and I finished off the month with a 5 days walking period in the beautiful ‘Geuldal’. A very interesting part of the Southern Netherlands where it seems that sometimes we were the only two within miles as well as if the time stood still. So very good for relaxations. 

Then back to all the emails coming in and as promised last time Robert from Guernsey would come back several times with news from his research in the archives of the harbour office. First an e mail which came in just before last report went out to you the reader: ’Hi Hans, I've secured these from my contact at the Guernsey Harbour Master Office, these are the official birthing photo's on record at our Harbour Master's Office. I've not been the only one looking into the M.V. Ross Revenge's history over here according to my source, there have been other researchers over the years and have had copies of these photo's. It's the first time I've set eye's on them my self, I presume that you may have seen these already if they have been used before!. The Harbour Master's Office over here is quite happy for you to use them as long as you say they gave you permission to do so. My contact is still looking through the files to come up with the owners of The Ross apart from Captain Silas Victor Oates that is, now the mystery deepens!. According to some files at the GHO there are links to The Ross with these local companies: Alderney Shipping Co .Ltd., Huelin-Renouf Shipping Co. Ltd. and (this one again!!) The Sark Shipping Co. Ltd. And one from the United Kingdom which brought the ship to Guernsey in May 1979 on behalf of Captain Silas Victor Oates which was TEESIDE SHIPPING BROKERS Co. Ltd. 

Ross Revenge near Guernsey (@Guernsey Harbour Master Office)

Also on file was this:-
Ship history details:- M.V.Ross Revenge GY718
converted Ross Fisheries side fishing trawler (1974) to Salvage Vessel.
Previous Owners of Birthed Vessel:- Ross Fisheries Co.Ltd(1960)., British United Trawlers Co.Ltd.(1968), Teeside Ship Brokers Co.Ltd.(1979), Captain Silas Victor Oats(1979). My Contact is routing around in the files to try and find out who was supposed to be the owner when the Ross left here!. They are also still trying to track down the exact date and year the M.V.Ross Revenge left St.Sampsons for the very last time and who were aboard at the time, every ship that leaves must deposit a full crew list and what the ships carry in the way of cargo. Every ship must also give the next port of destination for security and tracking reasons. Another photo has not been published before :
M.V.Ross Revenge GY718 Leaving St.Peter Port - Entering St.Sampsons April 1980 (Guernsey Harbour Master Office Photo)

Thanks and very well done and keep us informed Richard.

On the day after the report went out it was Peter Moore who sent in the latest news on his Radio Caroline: ‘Sorry about the delay, my computer broke down. Caroline news is as follows: The station is now on Apple FM on Sky Channel 913 each weekday from 12 to 2pm. We hope for extra hours in the autumn. After purchasing and delivering receiving equipment to Radio Tatrus, our programmes are on air from their FM transmitter in Slovakia on 94.2 each night midnight to 5am UK time. We are awaiting an invoice from NTL cable to pay for hardware they need in order to send our signal in Southern Ireland. We hope to first cover Dublin, Cork and Waterford City. NTL are very slow and we have been discussing this possibility for some time, but we hope it will now happen soon. Our club magazine Newsbeat is now printed and awaiting being posted to our supporters. We have rejoined the queue for our own Sky Channel number but have no time promised yet for when this will happen. On a personal level, Peter Moore's own boat, called Llys Helig, was holed and sank on its moorings in Essex. Since the boat weighs 150 tons, this was a big problem. The boat has now been refloated with the help of Caroline boatman Howard Beer and Caroline staff Peter Clayton, Andy Riley and Steve Bradley. Now Moore has many tons of mud to dig out of the bottom of the ship. That’s all for now Hans, Peter Moore.

Thanks Peter and hopefully you succeeded to solve the problems with the mud as the weather was very hot is must have been smelling not too good, I suppose.

Then an other email from England, this time from Clive Smith reflecting on a posting from Dokkum in last issue: ‘Just read your 2nd June report, and it was interesting to read Henk de Boer's reminiscences of Caroline on 773 KHz. Of course, Caroline used 773KHz briefly in 1973 for an all day English service. This was following the loan of the vessel to radio veronica after the grounding in April of that year. Bob Noakes, in his book ‘Last of the pirates’, catalogues the happenings at this time quite concisely, and how the two services were a lash-up, with generators being cooled with water from bin-liners with holes cut in them, and rather dangerous antenna arrangements. A somewhat younger Paul Rusling found fame at this time, as ‘Paul Alexander’. The whole thing imploded when the generators gave up the ghost. Following the input of cash from radio Atlantis the mast was completed, new generators purchased, and the 50KW TX restored, albeit with floor tiles in the valve base of the PA! Of course, Radio Atlantis was to use 773KHz, but appeared on 1187KHz by default, as that's how Noakes engineered it. As already alluded to, 773KHz was later used to test the water for an all day English service in 1975, and also to prove Chicago's skills at Diplexer construction. there was (as ever) no money for this project, needed to buy new PA valves for the 10KW TX, and that is why the signal faded away later in 1975.’ 

Thanks Clive and yes reading back your lines I remember how it really went wrong a lot within the Caroline organisation due to a lack of money. On the other hand there were and are always people standing for the good old lady station to bring her back on the air for some periods. 

Next it’s ‘the curly headed kid on the third row’ who I had to listen to when he was on the air during his time on Caroline, way back in the sixties: ‘Hi Hans, I have to know what all the fuss is about regarding Linda Van Dijck. Can you Email me an mp3 file so that I can give it a listen? As usual your International Report was great reading. Thanks for sending it out to me on a regular basis.
Best wishes, Steve Young, Victoria, BC’

Well I must say that I’ve sent it away to everywhere in the world as so many readers were interested why some of the former RNI deejays were melting away way back in 1970/1971. Or it must have been that special hot pants photograph, which I published in last issue. Hope you liked it too Steve!

Getting back to Steve Young and ‘lovely Linda’ (no not the one from the Beachboys) he reflected again after listening to the Seduction Song from Linda van Dijck: ‘Thanks Hans, I had a listen....it made me want to run away to a desert island and live in a grass shack with a beautiful woman who would fulfils all my dreams....no more of the ‘everyday’ drudgery......oh....wait....time for me to get back to reality and do some work again. Thanks for sending the song! Steve’. 

‘Hello Hans’, writes Ron from Canada, ‘Another very interesting issue of the *Radio Report* You have my interest in the artist - Linda Van Dijck and ‘Seduction song’. I would very much like to hear this song via mp3/media player, is it possible to email this recording my friend? I have a few songs on the hard drive of pc but they are mostly Mexican Cumbias and Soca/Arabic Dance Music. It is very strange how our musical taste changes as we grow older. Still can't find any Earth and Fire in my sharing program (LimeWire) but I did find some Kraftwerk. Enjoy the Summer Hans.’

And just like Steve Young and all the others who requested me for the Linda van Dijck song Ron came back to me in ‘no time’: Jah! Jah! Jah!... Thank You Hans for sending Linda. After listening to the song I needed a ‘cold’ beer and a ‘cold’ shower.. ha! ha! Once again thanks for sending Linda. Adios Amigo, Ron C. Jones’

Then some words from Paul Easton after he read the last issue of the Knot International Radio Report: ’Hi Hans, Hope all is well. It was interested to see you asking about a definitive history Contact 94 in your June 2005 Radio Report. I was launch/programming consultant to the station in 1988 and, as well as still having some C94 memorabilia and photos (mainly of studios under construction) from the launch period, I'm still in touch with the station's original owner, Stephen Clipp (he and I met while doing hospital radio in 1970). So, I'm sure I can come up with something for you over the next month or so. Tot ziens! Paul E’. 

So you see, even a non offshore station will get attention in the future and thanks in advance Paul!

Searching in my archive for a photograph from a well known BBC Radio 2 presenter, which we come to in a minute, I found another photo taken by me in 1973 in my bedroom. It shows that RNI was more than my favourite station at that time. Just one Atlantis and one Caroline shirt and the rest of the promotional material was from RNI. If you have such a photograph taken during the years, just sent it in to share with is to: Hknot@home.nl

Then an e mail from one of the many readers within the Public Broadcasters in Hilversum, which comes from Tom Blomberg. He is probably the one who knows the most about music and her history in Holland and is a well know radio producer, He started his e mail with: ‘Congratulations of course for your radio reports. Every time a pledge to read. Not only to get all the information but also to see the visions, opinions and memories of connoisseurs and colleagues. Next to that there is another thing Ton van Draanen (program composer at the AVRO Radio) and I we have to listen for years now, every week. Every Saturday morning between 9 and 11 hours Dutch time we have to tune into BBC Radio Two and ‘Sounds of the Sixties’. For more than 15 years it’s presented by ‘your old mate’ Brian Matthew and he does it very well. While listening to the program you learn very quickly that he is a very congenial. 

Brian Matthew - Way back in the sixties

I know, he hasn’t any offshore background. On the contrary the BBC always saw him as one of the ‘uncles’ who had to bring the Light Program as an opposite of the offshore radio stations. Matthew also is known of the countless quarter of an hour sponsored programs from record companies, transmitted by Radio Luxembourg, way back in the Sixties. Every two weeks Brian Matthew has a competition in his program ‘Sound of the Sixties’ on BBC 2 and it was on Saturday June 25th that he came to my surprise with a Radio London Competition!

Every time during a competition he asked the listeners three questions during the first hour of the program, which are repeated in the second hour. Normally I record the program so I can listen to it when driving into Arnhem to present my weekly golden oldies show ‘Weekend Retour’ on the regional radio station Radio Gelderland. As I did record it I can give the exact text from Brian, which I love to share with all the readers and so here’s what Brian Matthew: "Let me remind you that the prize in this instance is a double CD, recently released on Sanctuary, called We Love The Pirates. In the, sort of, sub-title it is suggested this is 'charting the Big L Fab Forty'. That was a sort of Top 40, you may recall, that had little or nothing to do with record sales but with the choice of, well let's be charitable and say, the disc jockeys on the ship. Now there are some good tracks on there and you will really enjoy it. They're all interspersed with jingles from the Big L, which kind of livens things up. You got three questions, as usual, and they are: 1) What was the U.S. minesweeper USS Density renamed when it became the home for Radio London? 2) In which year did the Marine Offences Act come into force, which ended the majority of the pirates? 3) Considering it was difficult to send a request to a boat, which well-known street in London would you write to. to get a request played on Radio London? Three relatively easy questions. Send your answers to Pirates Comp, Sounds Of The Sixties, BBC Radio 2, London 1A 4WW or email them to sots@bbc.co.uk, marking the subject-box "comp". Let's have a sample from these Radio London-favourites. All tracks that were actually part-and-parcel of the so-called Fab Forty...."

During the second hour Brian Matthew came with some more explanation to the questions and with some personal comments: "And now for our new competition. The prizes on this occasion are double-CD's, issued by Sanctuary, called We Love The Pirates. Which is really not for me, because I disliked the pirates. They were, as far as I was concerned, the enemy. Of course they did an enormous amount of good for the future of radio, but let's not get too carried away... ....as they seem to do on the sleeve-notes, suggesting that the BBC were wicked sinners at the time and never played any pop music. Well, never heard of Saturday Club? They did have quite a few programmes like that. Anyway, we've got these double-CD's as prizes. In order to be up for winning one of these, you need to correctly answer these three questions...." 

Tom Blomberg (With thanks to Jelle Boonstra)

After the third question (about the street in London where the Head Office of Radio London was, Brian added: "I'm told to give you bonus points if you know the answer to this one......but you don't get any additional prizes!" Really it’s Forty years after Wonderful Big L gets, on several fronts, still the acknowledgement for all their unequalled pioneering. Isn’t that ‘Fabulous’?’ Tom Blomberg. 

Now we go over to Derek May: First of all thanks for the Monthly Newsletter, an excellent contribution to Radio History, which will be valued when these days are gone. I look upon yourself as having a good view of Radio across Europe, especially Netherlands and the UK. Please help me in understanding the current Radio scene. I have been listening to UK Radio since 1958. I have always preferred non-UK radio. When I was young I listened to AFN and Luxembourg in the evenings. In the early 60s I fixed up a wire antenna so I could receive German Luxembourg in the day - I never 'hit' upon Veronica and CNBC. Then Easter Monday 1964 it all changed for me. It was the offshore stations until 3 March 1968, followed by Veronica from April 1968. The rest is history. I have tried many times to listen to UK radio, but I cannot stand the Ads, the talk, the phone-ins, the play lists, you name it. I have tried the numerous satellite stations we now have, the odd record is OK, but still there is no spark in any station. I spent last weekend in Amsterdam. Well, I had Radio 538, a high energy pop station which was excellent (available in UK via Astra 19.2, of course). I had VRON, not bad. I had Radio Veronica (also on Astra 19.2), Radio 10 Gold (Astra 19.2) Arrow on mw, Radio London on 1395khz, City fm (excellent station, complementary to Arrow), Fresh fm and Magic fm. All stations were exciting and played MUSIC..... Please explain why UK Radio is so crap. I put it down to the following:
1. The UK government takes so much in licence revenue that the stations must 
have so many ads.
2. Ofcom says that stations must offer 'balanced programming', so we get individuals who like the sound of their own voices, in preference to music. 3. The people who are the establishment in radio really think UK radio is great - cringe, cringe. So it feeds on itself.

As you said in your report, people criticise Radio London, but Ray Anderson is providing a good service. There is one exception, Mike Reid is starting to like the sound of his voice so much that he could be on any UK station, mind you, he has a UK Radio background. Radio Caroline also provides a good service, despite the critics' comments. I note that the UK now has a Classic Rock Station, courtesy of Virgin, on SKY, but it has no atmosphere compared with City fm or Arrow, and the playlist is lacklustre. My view is that UK Radio will always be as dreary as it always has been, and we shall rely upon niche sources for our listening pleasure, and feeds from Netherlands Radio. I try to be unbiased, but Radio really is dire in the UK. What do you think, and why is UK Radio so bad. Regards, Derek May.

Thanks Derek, I don’t agree totally with you that it was always boring. After Caroline closed down in 1968 I really had a lot of listening to BBC Radio One and although it tried to copy the Offshore Format, it had some very good programs than. Commercial radio in your country had also from 1973 up till the late 80’s a lot of good radio programs and presenters and still some are doing well. However it became partly dreadful when the big companies started to buy a lot of radio stations so the ‘competition’ fell away partly and the presenters got also orders to make the links shorter and shorter as music was more important than personality. But Derek, not only my opinion counts so let’s see what the reader has to write about this subject. You all can sent in comments to Hknot@home.nl

Sad news from England which was brought by Jon Maier: 

Allen Mackenzie worked for a short while on Radio Scotland. Unfortunately we do not have much information about his stay on board the Comet and would be grateful to anyone who can provide some details. Although his time on Radio Scotland was short, Allen went on to a long and successful career in broadcasting, as a journalist at Capital Radio and LBC, then in management at Beacon Radio in Wolverhampton and Radio Tay in Dundee. He later moved into academia, working for the University of Dundee as Director of Development throughout the nineties. The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame attempted to contact Allen via the University in 2003. Although he had left the job by that stage, the letter was forwarded and he replied. He wrote: “Well done on the website. If you give me a little time I will get some information to you about my time at Radio Scotland. If I get a chance and dig deep enough in the attic I might even find some off-air tapes and also publicity material from those halcyon days of broadcasting! Right now I am very busy with a new publishing venture which is taking most of my time but I promise to keep in touch and I will get some material to you as soon as I can.” Sadly he never did have the time. His partner in the publishing venture, Derek Smart, tells us that Allen suffered from poor health and died in February 2004. He says that Allen's Radio Scotland colleague Tony Meehan paid a very moving tribute to his friend at the funeral.’

Hi Hans it’s Phil once more from Coalville. Just read your wonderful report as always today. I do wish some people would stop slagging of some of the people in this wonderful media we call Radio. Ray Anderson has brought back Radio London and yet some people are still not satisfied there cannot be true offshore radio due to the various radio acts so you have to compromise as I seem to remember the only reason why there was offshore radio in the first place was because the various government bodies didn’t want commercial radio for some reason.

Ray Anderson

I guess if the government of the day had said yes there would have been no offshore stations. The radio stations are only as good as the presenters which they employ. As you will have seen lately there are quite a number of stations at present being rebranded if you go around the various radio dials whether it be DAB,FM,AM it as always happened. I remember certain stations in Ireland in the 80`s doing this. There will always be some rubbish on the radio just like there is on TV but that’s another matter, which I won’t get into, So instead of calling the people behind radio give them your support for a change they are I think trying to do there best and if they don’t give someone else a chance now i have got that of my chest I will return to Radio London on the Internet. Keep up the good work Hans, regards Phil Pickering’

Real good words Phil very positive! Another short e mail comes from Paul van Gelder, former Harky on Radio 227 in the sixties. He wrote: ‘Although I’ve nothing to do with the station myself I want you to know that I really do enjoy Radio London. A few good deejays, reasonable new songs played as well as a good mix of golden oldies. And of course not forgetting those old jingles. Awesome. ‘

Paul himself does a lot of work in these radio these days. Even he can be heard sometimes again at VARA Radio during the night hours again. Also on Radio Waddenzee he does some programme as a result of ‘voice tracking’. 

In the last issue I came with a little idea that it maybe could be interesting to couple the yearly Radio Day in Amsterdam in 2006 with a reunion of people who have worked for the Voice of Peace. It’s like Radio Caroline that always people reflect when I do write something about the Voice of Peace. This time once again many reflections. A few are below:

‘Hi Hans, I remember Bill Danse - when I arrived on the VOP in July 1978, he had flown out specially to fix the severe transmitter difficulties we were having. We had to go round Tel Aviv looking for "Freon" to use to clean the transmitters as they were dirty and kept arcing-over. Whilst cleaning the transmitters I met a fifteen year-old technical genius - young Noam Aviram - who continues to be one of my best friends to this day (and is now Israel's number one voice-over artist). After a week's work, Bill got both transmitters running well. We were back on 50 kilowatts and I remember him coming in the studio, listening to the speaker very carefully for about 5 minutes, then saying ‘dats's good modulation don't ya think?" Two weeks later a cassette and reception report arrived from Japan! Within a few weeks of Bill going home we were back to 25KW and it would need the genius of Peter Lewis to get us back to 50KW in October. It'd be great to meet Bill again. Please pass on my e-mail address to him. Best Wishes,
Robert Owen’. 

From Ireland and e mail came in from radio station Today FM: ‘Hi Hans, Saw the note from Bill Danse in this month's report. Count me in for a reunion! Regards - keep up the great work. Tom Hardy (VOP '76-'77)’.

Tom Hardy and Steve Gordon

Even an e mail came in from Israel in which was a proposal to held the reunion in honor of Abe Nathan in that country. However the Radio Days are already 27 years long in the center of Holland and we want to give our beloved radio anoraks the possibility to join in during the day, as we always do. In the mail from Israel Mike mention the condition of Abie Nathan, the founder of the Voice of Peace in 1969: ‘Abie is in very poor health indeed. The last time I saw him ( a couple of months ago ) , he was in a wheelchair, and could hardly speak, has to be fed sometimes, and in general, is in very bad shape.’

I will be coming back to the VOP and the reunion idea at a later stage.

Remember some months ago that is was Hans Hogendoorn, former RNI newsreader and presenter in the seventies, who asked some questions about the music played on the international service as well as if anyone in Great Britain had written down the weekly charts of the international service between February 1970 and September 1974? Well it resulted in a cooperation between a few readers in England as well as in Holland. Not only we took our own lists but also did listen to a lot of old programs. All this resulted in the fact that now already 122 different partly complete and partly incomplete chart lists from that period can be found back on internet. Wim de Water was so friendly to make space for this project on his site. You can find it on www.mediapages.nl And if you have any supplement to the chart lists please sent it to Hknot@home.nl

The towing of the LV 8 to Harlingen (Copyright Radio Waddenzee)

Great news is that the people behind Radio Waddenzee succeeded to get their new ship towed from England to the harbour of Harlingen. Already earlier I mentioned that they’re planning to have the ship just outside the harbour during the spring and summer months. In autumns and winters it will be along the quayside. Sietse Brouwer informed me on Sunday June 26th that many people were watching the towing into the harbour, around 14.15 hrs Dutch time. ‘The towing from England was terrific with a lot of foam at sea and swinging of the boats. So the beginning is there! The biggest compliment we got was from one of the Anoraks who stated: Most people in this branch talk a lot of nonsense and don’t do anything. From your organization we don’t hear a lot but always you’re surprising us!’

The future for the LV 8 Copyright Radio Waddenzee

Well Sietse and friends of course we wish you a lot of success with rebuilding the former Lightship LV 8, which seems to me looks far much better than the LV18, which is still anchored of the Harwich harbor and was used before for some RSL programs as well as Pirate BBC Radio Essex last year. 

It’s Stuart Dobson reminding us on the ‘Pirate for Peace project’. A four years ago I mentioned it for the first time as a ship had entered the harbour of Southampton for rebuilding into a floating radio station, mainly as a trainee school for young people. Stuart told me that the ship has left the harbour for some time and her destination is not known to us. The organization hasn’t update their internet site for some time. So have a check now and then yourself at: www.piratesforpeace.co.uk

It was John Spargo who sent in a local newspaper cut telling the story of a certain Chris Tetley who died early July at the age of 62 in Alderley Edge. He has worked on Piccadilly Radio between 1977 and 1993 and was filling in on Radio One for Tommy Vance during his absence in 1986. Chris his career in radio, the article stated, started on Radio Caroline in 1974, where he worked until he went for Piccadilly. I tried to give a Caroline deejay name to the person, in which I didn’t succeed. Spargo thought it could be Peter Haze, the Chesire Flyer. Maybe one of the Caroline jocks reading the International Knot Radio Report could fill in this question.

Next an e mail form Southern England: ‘Greetings from sunny Bristol, hope you are well. I have bought your new book - The Wet and Wild History of Radio Caroline from Pirate Radio Sales, It’s a great read, very interesting and amusing, I’m glad to add it to my Offshore Radio book shelves. I have gone crazy over Radio Mi Amigo 192 on the Internet, the presenters have done wonders in re-creating the sound of Radio Mi Amigo, I missed out on the station the first time round, but obtained many cassette recordings during the 1980s. Please can you tell me Hans, are all Radio Mi Amigo 192 programmes pre recorded or are some of the programmes live? If possible Hans, please could you ask on your Monthly report where former Laser Hot Hits presenter Brandy Lee is these days, I would love to know if she is still a radio presenter? She was my favorite Laser presenter. Thanks Hans, keep up the great work. Very best wishes Paul Johnson - Special Music Radio.’

Well Paul thanks for the compliments on the book ‘Wet and Wild’. Very nice to read you enjoyed it. Next book out in October, however this time only in Dutch. But more English language material in time to come. Your question on Mi Amigo can be answered that the main material is recorded on forehand. What happened to Brandy Lee is not known to me, but hopefully some of the former Laser people who are reading the report have an answer on that one. And if you have an answer on the question please sent it to Hknot@home.nl

Well more next month, I hope you do all enjoy this wonderful period of the year
Hans Knot


Offshore Deejays' Nicknames


Female Offshore Radio Deejays


Radio London Commercials


Offshore Radio Programme Names - Programmanamen Zeezenders 1958-1990


Read Hans Knot's former report