Hans Knot's International Radio Report - November 2005 (2) 


Hi and welcome to this second edition for the month of November 2005. Just before flying to Great Britain to do some work as well as enjoying meeting a lot of friends in the forthcoming 8 days. So for this time memories can be sent to the normal address Hknot@home.nl but if you want to sent an attachment I would like to ask you to use my other e mail as elsewhere the box will be filled too soon completely. So for photo’s and other attachments please use: Hans.Knot@gmail.com

First mentioning in this report is for Ronald van der Vlught, one of the many volunteers who have worked in the late seventies for Radio Delmare. His memories, although in Dutch, are put on a personal weblog and I can advise you to have a look there. Regular updates are made: radiodelmare.web-log.nl


Next space for an advertisement for a book I reviewed a couple of bulletins ago:

This wonderful book can be ordered at Bob Le Roi’s internet pages and costs 7.50 Pounds. Just go to www.bobleroi.co.uk
to order this book. We have also a Very Special Radio 390 Offer running until the end of the year! So see our pages for all special offshore radio memorable www.bobleroi.co.uk


Talking about memories related to RNI, there’s a story about the last days. The Dutch team, who normally were recording the programs in the studios in Naarden, were invited to do live programming from the MEBO II to give a better atmosphere in the programs. One of the deejays was Ted Bouwens, who hadn’t been on the ship too much. They told him that during dark hours the ship had to be guarded as many times intruders wanted to come aboard the MEBO II. So Ted got his own time share to guard the MEBO II. And suddenly, when he was armed, he looked a bit scary! After more than 31 years this Polaroid Picture, which has never been published before, is offered to be shared with you!


One of the first e mails coming in after sending away the report at the end of October came from Alan Cook who wants to respond on Peter Moore's answer on an earlier mail from Alan: ‘Hans thank you for early November report, which I was very much looking forward to. I hope you enjoyed Radio Day 2005 last week. Well I am speechless at Peter Moore his response to my letter. I thought I made myself plain in every respect without being too hypocritical of the station. What is free radio? In my book a certain amount of freedom as to what the deejay plays, 60’ s, and 70’ s music mixed with jingles and humour from the deejays like Roger Day. Of course Roger left because it was unpaid work. If Peter Moore changed the format of Radio Caroline, he would probably pick up a lot of advertising and be able to pay top class deejays and Roger Day would, I think, return. I have all the equipment to listen to Radio Caroline, I choose not to. It has no atmosphere. I suggest Peter Moore listens to Radio Mi Amigo 192 Saturdays and Sundays for one weekend. They call it the happy station and it is. I have it on all the time when I’m not at work.... Best wishes. Alan Cook. P.S if Peter changed it I would willingly contribute money.'

A short one came from far away responding on the last issue and the subject Georgie Fame again. In the last issue it was Andy Archer who told that he met Georgie Fame who told him about the Gunell connections. Colin Nichol, also a former Caroline deejay, wrote from Australia: ‘Hi Hans, I meant to mention this earlier - with regard to the management of Georgie Fame, Ruby Bard had a close connection as well. Too much time has passed now to remember all, but she was very active - as I recall - with the Gunnell Agency - and was largely responsible for Georgie. I knew her well at the time. Colin Nichol.'

From Colin we go to Eric Wiltsher who wants to have his saying about L.A. too!

Peter Moore wrote in last issue: ‘So for L.A. you can also use the term 'Goodwill'. People who show goodwill to Radio Caroline get treated very well and respectfully by me. You could say then that some people generate L.A. and some do not. Peter Moore.’ Eric writes: ‘I'm so pleased you ran that piece from Peter Moore. It's been a long time coming! I hope now some will get the message that it was a great marketing strap-line when it was first introduced by said Irish man. However, today it has outgrown its sell by date. In fact I would go so far as to say that it could be damaging to Radio Caroline. The need for younger supporters is very important. Younger people have newer ideas and often laugh at old marketing campaigns. So it could be argued that retaining the L.A. line could seriously damage the future of the station. Where as saying "We're a Goodwill station" would actually be of greater benefit. I am sure some will be going pale at the thought of ditching the L.A. strap line, but life has moved on 30 years. When we get correspondence about Radio Caroline, and we do, one of the most frequent questions is 'what was the band your Caroline station.....'. Not once have I seen a letter asking about L.A.. We did get a couple of callers ask about L.A., when we aired the special in August on RTI, but to be honest there were more positive comments about the documentary Pandora made with Ivan at the Slovak studios of RTI about TV on Radio than comments about L.A.. In fact if the listeners to Radio Caroline, via RTI are anything to go by then L.A. has no interest - what does produce interest is the content.’ Eric Wiltsher.

Then news from the Ofcom in Londen: A big raid took place during the last weekend of October when 18 officers from Ofcom, the regularly organisation responsible for the ‘airwaves’ in Great Britain worked, in conjunction with the Metropolitan Police which put 32 people on this project, very hard to clean up the airwaves form illegal broadcasters operating in the Greater London area. On November 3rd an official press conference was held, in which the results were announced. The operation began on the morning of Saturday October 29 th. to deal with the large number of London pirate radio stations that illegally broadcast over the FM radio band without a licence under Section 1 of the British Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949. Ofcom has a duty under Section 3 of the Communications Act 2003 to secure optimal use for wireless telegraphy of the electro-magnetic spectrum in Great Britain. The operation has led to at total of 53 illegal broadcasters' radio transmitters seized. Also 17 transmitters and aerials were disabled. Furthermore 43 mobile and land line telephone numbers linked to illegal broadcasting operations were gathered for further Ofcom investigation to trace the subscribers. Finally nine letters of warning were sent to night clubs that have advertised events on illegal radio stations, as this is also forbidden by the above mentioned law. 

Like in every other country illegal broadcasting causes interference to the radios used by critical safety of life services such as the London Fire Brigade and the National Air Traffic Services (NATS). The problem is most acute in London which accounts for more than 50% of the estimated 150 illegal broadcasters operating in the whole UK. Ofcom researchers think that there is a direct link between some illegal broadcasters and serious crime. Ofcom raids on the studios of illegal broadcasters have also uncovered drugs and weapons, including firearms. In some cases the cash raised through advertising events at nightclubs is used to finance the purchase of drugs for sale at these events. Ofcom also stated that the illegal broadcasting also causes interference to legitimate radio stations, denying hundreds of thousands of listeners the opportunity to hear their favourite programmes. The Ofcom operation has resulted in 44 London illegal broadcasters going off air since the start of the operation. But the serious observation took earlier place in the Ofcom Headquarters as between October 25th and November 1st Ofcom's unmanned monitoring station in London recorded a 57% drop in the number of illegal broadcasts being made. People at the official radio stations in London must be very happy that so many illegal radio stations have been closed down and that, as an effect on these raids, other illegal radio stations made lesser appearances than before. Paul Brown, Chief Executive of the Commercial Radio Companies Association, said: "Commercial Radio provides properly regulated, socially responsible content to its 31 million listeners. Pirate radio broadcasters pay no copyright or licence fees yet they take revenue from commercial radio stations all of whom fulfil the terms of detailed licence conditions and who generate jobs and revenue in their transmission areas. CRCA therefore welcomes today's announcement of Ofcom's London initiative."

And so while going ‘dialling’ the FM band in London it’s a lesser variety of radio stations but easier to find the one you were looking for. Of course, in time to come, station by station will be heard once in a while, whereby Ofcom surely act again.

Earlier this year I mentioned that it’s this year 40 year ago that the very first Top 40 was broadcasted on Radio Veronica in Holland. Through the years the list has been transmitted weekly by several radio stations and in 2005 a lot of attention to this ‘4 decades of Top 40’ has been paid, for instant on Radio 538. Next it’s time for Radio 10Gold to pay attention and they will do it from December 6th up till 25th with the longest hit parade ever transmitted with 4000 songs will be aired. Of course very good news for my readers in Great Britain as the signal of Radio10 Gold is not only heard by internet around the world and cable networks in Holland but also on 1008 kHz AM. 

Memory time again and this time from Henk in Dokkum writing about the school trips which were made in the seventies on a yearly base. He wrote: ‘I remember we went with our class for a one day trip to visit Amsterdam and Schiphol airport. This was done by using a Touring Car and the buss driver had ‘220’ on his dial. The trip took a few hours and one of the songs played a lot in those days was ‘The Inkpot’ from Shocking Blue. I don’t know if it was that’s week ‘Treiterschijf’ but it was played a lot and many of my school class mates were singing together on the songs played, like also ‘Ella Ella’ by Axis. When, after visiting the whole day Amsterdam and Schiphol, it was off for the way back home and some of my class mates had already complained that they wanted to hear the sound of Radio Veronica. And halfway home indeed the buss driver turned the radio on ‘538’ so the Veronica friends could enjoy their station. It was like the battle between Beatles and Stones fans, in those days you were a fan of Veronica or RNI. Although I must say that it was good listening to the Rob Out Show on Veronica too.


In last issue I had the ‘Veronica’s Beatles Day’ question from a reader in England. Several people wrote in to help Rod Davis and thanks to one of them he’s the complete day now almost every hour on Studio Quality. It was also reason to write in for Ad Tervoort to help Rod but he also wrote that he presents already for 11 years a Beatles show on his local radio station, which also is on internet: www.radioheemskerk.nl

Just have a look there!

The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame has been updated early November. Jon Myers wrote in: ‘Radio Scotland's Stuart Henry died on 24th November 1995. We mark the tenth anniversary of his death with a page of photos. Mark Hammerton dips into his tape collection again and provides a selection of Radio 390 theme tunes; there is more information about Radio London's car racing team; we have photos from the recent Amsterdam Radio Day; and more DJ names from the sixties have been added to the roll of honour. all this and a whole lot more can be found at www.offshoreradio.co.uk. Next month: we celebrate Radio Scotland's fortieth anniversary

During the last months we wrote about the singer songwriter Nick Barnes and some problems between him and Radio Caroline. In the end Nick is happy as he wrote in: ‘Hi Hans thanks for the report, always enjoy reading it. I never thought my songs would stir up so much hassle still lots of publicity. I start a UK tour next Tuesday and I’m playing as a support act to a blues singer guitarist. Take are Hans, Nick and God bless! 

Hi Hans, Thanks for another great report. Maybe you can tell me, or ask Andy Archer himself, why he never came here to work for the VOP? It seems strange to me, that a man such as he, never came to a Peace station. As such people as Tony Allan , Howard Rose and Kenny Page etc etc did, I can’t understand why Andy didn’t follow in their footsteps. Can you ask him this question please, and also, today, looking back, does he regret NOT working for the VOP. I appreciate your help. Thanks, Mike Brand from Tel Aviv.

Well I’ve forwarded the question to Andy and let’s see what he answers. Sometimes suddenly a name of a person reappears after a long time. This happened also on November 3rd, as the next mail came in from the Isle of Sylt in Northern Germany. It’s Manfred Steinkrauss, who is an adapted follower of the offshore radio scene since decades: ‘My Dear Hans! Months after Month you enjoy us with your International Report. I must say something about that.

It is not so easy to bring all announcements and news on a sheet of paper with so much informative and constructive engagement and that in the right position. However you’re writing so heart moving, in reality and with all Offshore Comprehension! That’s is, in my eyes, - a good work for all of us. I mean it must be told about your reports - you are the greatest and this I mean also in earnest! I found also for you’re an Offshore DJ nicknames a new one: Keith `The Monarch `King.

Also for your Offshore Radio programme names a new one for Radio Caroline brought in January 29th, 1984 by Carl Kingston it was called: Album Top 30 Show. And finally some new programmes from Radio Nord

1. Den sista dagen De 10 o Record shop
2. Allsa°ng fran mässen
3. 20 topplatar 60-talet
4. Musicaly Mad-Mum for Men
5. Det basta med sjön-Topp Tips
6. Mum for Men - Matlagn,och Militär

So I hope I was of some help. These Radio Nord Programmes are still there in my archive!’ Manfred. 

Well Manfred thanks a lot for the update as well as for you very nice words, most appreciated and do enjoy the reports in the years to come. But Manfred had a request too for getting a plug in the report:

Sound Studio Sylt 
Manfred Steinkrauss 
Deichweg 13 
D-25980 Tinnum/Sylt/Ost - Germany
will swop any offshore recording from the good old 60´s till the 90`s!

Also RNI Recordings from 1970-74 special with “Daffy” Don Allan,Stevie Merike, Alan West, Roger Day + Andy Archer, Steve King, Bob Menkie + specially Larry Tremaine = The Geeter!!! Also from Dennis King, Mick Luvzit, Mike Aherne, Keith Hampshire= Keefers, Dave Lee Travis, Johnnie Walker, 
Do not forget the Big STEVE ENGLAND from Radio Atlantis + Caroline!!!
I have a big List from all "Pirates" to swop and wish to exchange recordings on CD or DVD ; also in MP3!!! 

Please contact me: soundstudiosyltmsteinkrauss@web.de

Then we go to Colin from Leeds, a regular visitor to the Radio Days in Holland:

‘Once again many thanks for your November report, on page 9 you say that you have problems opening Three Counties audio, I find this a problem also, the reception is much better if you go to www.bbc.co.uk/radionorfolk

it does go off at times but I find this much better than the 3 Counties site. As for Radio Caroline....this used to be my favourite station, but its the rock music, it’s not my taste of music, Tuesday Nights is the 60's and 70's night, but once again its the same people being mentioned every week, the same songs been played as well, the songs we have heard a 1000' times. As I mentioned to you before, the local radio in this area is so bad I listen to radio via the internet and a oldies station in Chicago is just brilliant, its www.realoldies1690.com playing songs you won't have heard in quite some time. Also on Sunday mornings, a station that seems to be only on air on a Sunday, from 9.30am UK time, they play all offshore radio themes and songs related to the 60's stations , from 10am they play 60's rarities, similar to realoldies1690... Some songs I haven't even heard from before. The station is www.radiopoplar.co.uk
Colin. ‘

Well thanks Colin for your advices and yes the 1690 is a nice station to listen to.

David Roberts next: ‘Thanks for including my website link in your report, Hans.
I have once again visited the Maunsell towers at Red Sands and Shivering Sands (on 2nd October 2005) on a fine sunny day and added two pages each for Red Sands and Shivering Sands www.gulbekian.plus.com). These can be accessed via a site map links page:- www.gulbekian.plus.com/sitemaplinks.html
or each page individually:-
www.gulbekian.plus.com/forts7.html RED SANDS
www.gulbekian.plus.com/forts8.html " "
www.gulbekian.plus.com/forts9.html SHIVERING SANDS
www.gulbekian.plus.com/forts10.html " "

I seem to be making my web site an annual photographic record of these continually fascinating structures. It seems that they could well be
removed/dismantled within two years according to Frank Turner (a specialist on the Maunsell sea Forts and partner in Project Redsands which hopes to preserve some towers or one tower for posterity) ! So I am doing my little bit to preserve them on the web. Thanks for a continuingly interesting and comprehensive report. I thank you in advance if you update my link on your website. Best regards for the remaining part of 2005 and a good 2006!

Thanks for the update and you are the first to wish me a good 2006!

On November 3rd direct from the SIBC on the Shetland Islands, the next report came in from Ian Anderson: MV Communicator could be beached to prevent sinking. The MV Communicator - the former home to the Superstation Orkney radio station - may have to be beached in South Ronaldsay to prevent her sinking. Kirkwall Sergeant Eddie Graham said: "The ship was taking on water last night (Wednesday). The Fire Brigade and police attended and pumped her out. The pumping out continues, but the intention is to beach her if that proves unsuccessful." The 477-tonne ship, which was built in 1954, poses no pollution risk. The ship started as a radio ship in 1984 as Laser 558.

Almost every month some people find each other back as a result of writing to me in search for an old radio friend. This time we say Hi to Stuart and Stuart:

First this came in from Stuart Aiken: ‘Hi Hans, If you have the time, could you please send my e-mail address to Stuart Cocker? I lost his contact when my computer crashed a couple of years ago and would like to re-establish contact. Many thanks’. 

Some days later the next one came in: ‘Hi, Hans. Success yet again. I've spoken to Stuart Aiken this morning, and will update ourselves later on. Thanks very much for your help. Stuart Cocker.’

Another nice one during the past weeks was an e mail from Nico Steenbergen, former RNI presenter in the seventies who did put on internet for a couple of days a short extract of one of his favourite American deejays in the sixties, Bud Ballou on Radio Caroline. Nico had recorded it in Amsterdam way back in 1967. What Nico probably did not know, is that Bud is also a reader of the International Knot Radio Report. So I did sent the file to Bud too. Here’s what he responded: ‘Thank you very much for the link to the "Bud Ballou" mp3 file. That's one I hadn't heard before and it contains some of the "new" jingles that I had put together from tapes friends had sent me from the States. As is the case when I hear the old air-checks, I wish I had slowed down my delivery as Bud Ballou as the fast-talking American style wasn't what the audience was used to hearing. Still, it's always fun to hear it anyway. Thanks again. I hope to make it back over to Europe sometime next year. Howie Castle (Bud Ballou)’. 

Bud enjoying a beer in London a couple of years ago (photo Martin van der Ven).

On November 9th an answer came in from Andy Archer on the earlier mentioned question from Mike Brand from Tel Aviv: ‘Hi Mike and thank you for your email. I'm sorry for not replying to your question which you said you sent to the website. We've had a few problems receiving mail from that address. Why didn’t I go to the Peace Ship? Well, when I left Caroline in 1974 I was looking for something a bit more permanent and joined one of the commercial radio stations in England. I have to say that I think, from what Tony Allan told me, I would have enjoyed working on the Peace Ship. With best wishes, Andy Archer.’

For anyone having memories, photographs, other goodies or questions here is the address to write to: Hknot@home.nl

Some new nicknames came in which we did not mention before. Radio Mi Amigo ‘Bolletje’ Bart van Leeuwen. Also Mi Amigo Frank van der Mast ‘gevallen’ (fallen from the mast). On Radio London deejay Lorne King sometime announced: ‘Lorne here, Mrs. King’s favorite son. Next it’s Caroline in the eighties presenter Nigel ‘Bagwhan’ Roberts, followed by Tom ‘Caroline’s Ghostbuster’ Lodge. The last one for this time is Radio Syd owner Britt ‘The Viking Lady’ Wadner.

Nigel Roberts 1987 (Photo Hans Knot)

The complete list of nicknames, so far, can be found at www.hansknot.com

Through the years much has been written about the enormous listening figures the offshore radio stations had. Research was done by several sources and always millions of listeners were claimed. For instant in May 1966 the figure mentioned for Caroline (north and south) in the month of May was 8.818.000 adults, while the same poll mentioned 8.140.000 adults for Radio London.

Four decades later at the postal address of the International Knot Radio Report and envelope came in from Rob Chapman from Manchester, who I mentioned a couple of issues ago remembering his very good publication ‘Selling the sixties’. In the envelope several photocopies including one ‘Strictly confidential’ internal Caroline memo from Barry Ainley, dated July 30th 1965. In this memo he mentioned that an analyses of weekday listening in the Anglia area, where the signal was equal for BBC, Caroline and Radio London. It pointed out to the fantastic lose of audience Caroline South had suffered, not only to Radio London but to other stations and to other interests. Ainley had the reasons for the lost:

· The lost emotional appeal with the listener
· The arrival of Radio London
· London’s better position on the dial
· Audience lost with the poor signal
· The Light programme coming back
· The programming of Caroline herself
· The low standard of commercials which preached Ireland, Ognib, Nylons, Agents etc. must have contributed to part of the switch over.
· Obvious effect of mediocre ‘payola’ records being over repeated on the station. 

Ainley also complained in his long internal memo about the lower moral within the Caroline staff and brought reasons too:

· New faces permanently being introduced
· The general feeling of dishonesty connected with Caroline House (after all at least three members of the staff have criminal records) and the number of side deals.
· Insecurity from not only the very nature of the job but the problem of the split management that has made little or no attempt to understand what the agency business is about. I have always stated that the second hand car salesmen are not the answer to the agency business.
· A management that was invariably failed to recognise those who have been truly royal and have made a positive contribution to Caroline.
· Near complete inability of management or for that matter the management committee to communicate decisions or discuss items prior to decision. 

He also came to the thought that Caroline still had a completely pirate image to many outsiders which in their view was the result of:

· The employment of young, unqualified people.
· The get-rich-quick philosophy for personal pockets at the expense of the gullable public.
· Highly questionable business ethics
· Amateurism.
· Evasiveness.

Ainley enclosed in his internal memo a lot of other reasons why the station wasn’t successful at all, although it was mentioned to be very popular in the newspapers. He included for instant a couple of letters of very disappointed listeners. But the most interesting thing was the enclosure of a figure about a weekly listening in Region 4, which stood in those days for Anglia. 

A lot to think about in those days for the Caroline people and you the reader 40 years later in 2005!

More about this subject in the forthcoming book written by Andy Archer. When it will be on release you will hear it first in the Knot International Radio Report!

Your comments are always very welcome at Hknot@home.nl

A very interesting show on Radio 227 was ‘Laissez Faire’ in which Look Boden looked back, together with former colleagues on his days in offshore radio in the sixties as well to the complete history as well. Now Radio 227 is looking for someone who wants to make a follow up program for the station about Offshore Radio. The idea is to have a regular show were lots of air-checks and stories are told. However it’s not the idea to bring a lot about Caroline, Veronica and Mi Amigo, as these stations gets a lot of attention in other programs. So if you have a good radio voice, nice ideas for a new program as well as air-checks to give to program a nice colour and would like to do such a program, make contact with the station by e-mailing l.boden@radio227.nl 

Radio 227, the station leaded by former Dolfijn and 227 offshore deejay Look Boden, will feature with Christmas a special 227 chart. In this the 227 most requested songs by their ‘easy listening’ listeners. Everyone can sent in their own favorite Top 5 and can win prizes. Sent it to studio@radio227.nl
and of course the program can be heard on internet too!

Just a message one of my readers forwarded me and comes from a newsgroup:

Hi, Paul Francis here. Just to let you know, we are going on 1386khz between 10.00pm to 03.00am. Our first fulltime programmes will be on Christmas Eve, but before then, we will be doing a 15 min test on 1386khz on a Wednesday night which l will let you know the date in the next few days.’ And we is the people behind the new Radio 390. If there’s more to mention I will do in next report.

Also a message from Eric Wiltsher: Whilst I hate tempting a 'Murray' to come along a bite me, the RTI web cam has now been running on test for a week and now live all day. So fingers crossed you can now see the studio www.rti.fm It is movement sensitive so unless the moderator(s) move it doesn't do a 
lot, but hey it's there. Eric’.

November 15th an email arrived from one of my longtime radio friends in Canada, Ron C Jones who has news from his country: ‘Canada's media industry is bracing for a possible sale of broadcaster CHUM Ltd. Fuelled by speculation that founder and controlling shareholder Allan Waters is in poor health, and his shares, and others controlled by his family might soon be available for sale. CHUM's properties include 12 local TV stations and 33 radio stations across Canada. Waters ties to CHUM date to 1954, when he bought 1050 CHUM Toronto and transformed it into Canada's first 24-hour rock radio station three years later. An industry executive said a sale price for CHUM would probably eclipse $1 billion dollars’. 

By the way CHUM was the very first Canadian station from which I had a recording in the sixties, a long time ago but is was very hot in those days! Thanks Ron and keep us informed. 

In a couple of issues in the late summer of this year I published several photos taken from the mast of the Ross Revenge, which gave us an impressive look on the deck. Some were taken by former Laser and Caroline deejay Dennis Jason.

Dennis was very kind to sent a lot of photographs for exclusive use to Chris Edwards of OEM as well to me. I’ve decided to give them a special place and they now can be found, with thanks to Martin, on http://www.hansknot.com/dj/djason-ross.htm

Just before sending the report to the reader next came in from the ‘crew’ of Radio Rainbow International. A station claiming it can mention herself The Voice of Peace. Well there is only one Voice of Peace in radio’s history and claiming a name like this in 2005. is in my opinion a very bad choice. Anyway people behind Radio Rainbow International are now, irregularly, for 21 months on the air during weekends, They can be find in the 48 metres band and say they’re using a radio ship (which is moving). Best thing is to check now and then the 6265 khz and 3935 khz.

Well that ends up this edition for the report. Will be back with another report in December. All the best from beautiful Groningen in the Netherlands

Hans Knot


Offshore Deejays' Nicknames


Female Offshore Radio Deejays


Read Hans Knot's former report