Hans Knot's International Radio Report - September 2004 (Part 2)


A warm welcome to another edition of the radio report, with many e mails and interesting news as well as a very historic flashback to the thirties of last century

Dave Wants wrote in: Hi Hans, Well I guess I am one of the silent ones. I receive your newsletter every month and am overwhelmed by the contacts you have and the information you pass on to all through this medium. Whatever anyone may think or say, the radio movement from those early days are like one big family. I could have said one big happy family, but we all of us know that whatever family one belongs to there are always the odd disagreement or row, but the bottom line is everyone is entitled to their own thoughts and opinions.........its then to others to voice theirs and so the cycle goes on and on and on. Just a few of my thoughts at a very early hour in the morning in my studio in Essex. Peaceful with the slight buzzing sound of the hard drive spinning in my pc as I read your newsletter. The loss of Tony Allan was so tragic and yet another voice of radio has left us, as one myself, who also battled cancer last year (and hopefully is now in remission) I probably understand more about how illnesses can affect ones outlook on life and more importantly, those around you.. I know I have gone on a bit, but I seldom put pen to paper or finger to keyboard in this case, but thought I would on this occasion. Oh by the way Hans, in your vast archive of air checks and recordings, do you happen to have a copy of all the Dawn Valley adds aired on Radio Caroline. I am one of the few who actually enjoyed them and would like to have a copy if you have them. Keep up the good work Hans, David . 

Thank you Dave, that was one out of the heart, you can say. Hope life will be a good one for the future. Anyone who can help Dave Want with the Dawn Valley Spots (I don t have them) can write to Dave at: dl558@f2s.com

We go over to Paul Billingham: Thanks again for another radio report which is eagerly read here in Ipswich. It has been fantastic listening to so many special broadcasts this summer especially Radio Veronica and Radio Caroline, whose signal I could hear right into darkest Norfolk. The Veronica broadcasts took me right back to the early 1970's as my father usually had Veronica tuned in on our ancient radio in our equally ancient Volvo. The voice of Lex Harding especially reminded me of the Lois Jeans commercials which were always for girls and boys . and had a horribly catchy tune to accompany them. I wondered if you could mention our Radio Sutch RSL which we hope will be on air this time next year. I have canvassed one or two people who knew Screaming Lord Sutch, and one chap who actually helped with transmissions from the Shivering Sands army fort in 1964. But we need more enthusiastic folks to join in!. We will be discussing this event at the Official Monster Raving Loony Party conference which is being held on the 1st to the 3rd of October at the Dog and Partridge pub at Yately Hampshire. We have kindly been given permission to broadcast from the Red Sands Fort complex by Project Red sands, who have just had these forts surveyed. They have a lot of work to do to make access to these forts safe and practicable, but huge heavy equipment is not needed these days anyway. We would welcome aboard anyone who has an interest in early offshore broadcasting whether they can man turntables, fuel a generator, rig an arial or are interested in any way. We want this broadcast to be a tribute to David Sutch, as well as a lot of fun for the listeners and those involved in making it work. We hope to transmit on AM, which given a good antenna and the almost perfect transmitter site on the control tower should reach a wide area as well as much of London. We intend to play a lot of Rock and Roll, have readings from filthy novels, and include speciality acts such as jugglers, ventriloquists and possibly cookery programmes as well (we are monster raving loonies outside of elections as well) Any interested parties can reach me at melaniespar@aol.com, or phone me on 07766164976.

Thanks Paul and keep us informed about the project with Radio Sutch. Hopefully some people will be in contact with you soon. 

From Belgium it is Herman Content who wants to share a internet address with the readers. On the next link you can find many radio station who are on internet too! http://www.radiotower.com

Then from the Netherlands a response from Mattie van der Valk: Thanks for sending the report. It s marvellous to read every time through the years news about Radio Caroline. A pity we couldn t receive the transmissions on 1278 kHz. I m listening to the station since the mid sixties and still have an QSL card from Caroline North, which came in with the post in 1966 or 1967. Also I got from the former technician mister Daub a number plate from a car registrated on the Isle of Mann. As most of you know the MV Fredericia was anchored near the Isle of Mann in the sixties. Yes, my other hobbies next to offshore radio are collecting number plates and DX ing. 

Thanks Mattie and good to see that someone has another special hobby next to radio. Trams, trains and busses were known for ages but sharing offshore radio as a hobby together with collecting number plates is a rare one.

Last time I promised to come back with some of the memories from Don Stevens during his period on the Voice of Peace, which many people say were the best years for the station way back in the seventies.

After a long search, many years in fact, I have finally established contact with one of the original Golden Age of The Voice of Peace broadcasters, one of the Australian Super jocks who made 1540 the hottest station on medium wave anywhere in the world. The exceptions to this sweeping statement would be Veronica and Big L, WABC and maybe 2UE, no others sounded as tight, slick, fast paced and professional as 1540 from 1975 through to April 1976. The super jock I refer to is good ole " G'day Dicko" Ken Dickin, who along with Phil Brice, Keith Ashton and a bunch of other Aussie guys whose names I will send you once Ken sends me his stuff will amaze you Hans. These men, in the mould of Tony Windsor, Graham Gill and Alan Freeman lived and breathed Top 40 Radio, Abe gave them a free hand, in return, they gave him advertising revenues running into $10,000 to $15,000 per day, Keith Ashton, who also ran the advertising reckoned he was selling in half that per day himself, he was also in charge of Abe's sales and marketing and worked closely with a well known, very progressive advertising agency.

Another early photograph of the MV Cito, which became the MV Peace in 1969

Anyway, Ken and I are finally in contact, we are mutually very pleased and he is keen to provide photos and factual stories for my forthcoming website, probably even some audio as well. He was unaware of the interest in the Peace Ship, being from Australia, and he is very keen to set the record straight and open up the real history of 1540. I hear he will bring in details from the other Aussie super jocks we had, he also sends greeting to the English member of that super team, Stevie Gordon, who will be pleased that 'Dicko' has been located. I was the Irish member of that fantastic crew, and that is why Abe kept me on ship so long. I kept the breakfast show in the old format up until November 1976 with Abe's blessing as it was still the only 4 breaks an hour, 4 commercials per break show left on the station after the Aussie's left and Abe began to implement English style programming, handing Reshet Gimel its audience on May 1st when 1540 went MOR.

Needless to say, 1540 only got heavy commercial loads on Shabbat and on Breakfast through the week. From May 1976 the Voice of Peace never had the audience or the impact which it enjoyed in those months of 1975 to early 1976, just on sales alone Hans, it probably made more revenue for good causes in its Golden Age than it made in 6 years after, and it was the only pop music station. Kol Israel had nothing to compete with it, and we on the ship regarded Radio Monte Carlo and BFBS both out of Cyprus as our real threat. Wherever you went in Tel Aviv, you heard 1540 from shop to shop, no break, it was like having your own portable radio without the hassle of carrying one, not bad eh.

Anyway, all information Hans from the Australian side of the Peace Ship family will be available to you for onward distribution and for your files, including photos and factual stories, very important to promote the real history of the station. You will be fascinated by the stories. Further, I've just found a high quality on air recording of Tony Allan playing his favourite songs on the mid-morning show from WLS Galway September 1986 a Don Stevens/Keith York Goldstar Air Marketing owned and operated radio station It sounds superb, plus, a tape of Tony Allan running the WLS News broadcasts, they sound too fabulous to describe, God he was a class act. I'll pass a copy of these items on to Elja, Also, I have found some air-checks, high quality of Tony commercials on my Breakfast Show from Radio Nova Summer 1985 including a charity voice over for cancer research...phew. .that made me shiver. Peace and Long Life, Don.

Thanks a lot Don for an insight once again. Wonderful times and most of my VOP recordings date from the same period. Keep the memories coming. And to all readers, memories can be sent to Hknot@home.nl

Time for mentioning another Internet address. It s the one from Paul van Gelder who does programs on a few stations in Holland as well as running his own radio station. Paul is known from the sixties as Mayor Harky on Radio 227. Paul brings unequalled Americana/Roots/Oldies programming and has an unique presentation through radio cartoons. www.paulvangelder.com

Last time we asked for a Rolling Stone recording and Oeds, the one who requested for it, forwarded the report to some Stones Anoraks. Here s an answer from Mick: Many thanks for the radio report page. It made for very interesting reading. Nice to see there's something like this available for people to share their news and interests. I saw your question. Wouldn't it be great if someone out there had a complete tape of that DLT show. Though I bet you'll get lots of replies telling you that the 1971 BBC Stones concert broadcast is available on bootleg CD, and that it was recorded at Leeds! You and I both know that, within a few minutes of listening to the DLT recording, it is clear that this is not the Leeds tape. Do you know there was a vinyl Stones boot released in the early 1970s called 'Radio Caroline'? Nothing special as far as the material used goes (mainly Beautiful Delilah' cuts), but what was interesting about it was that the album featured Radio Caroline jingles between tracks. Unfortunately, although I have 200 or so vinyl boots, I don't own this one. It's rather obscure, issued in a very limited edition. Might be one for you to go on the hunt for? I'm sure some fans probably still have copies stored away in their lofts. 

Thanks Mike and the story about the special Caroline Stone bootleg brings another mysterious question to the many our readers have. Anyone ever heard about this Caroline Stones bootleg please tell us more at: HKnot@home.nl

Last time I brought you the message about an internet site where you can find several on line stations. This time a British site on which stations are mentioned in the UK which are receivable on air as well as on the web: www.radiofeeds.co.uk

Next an news reader since some months from Wootton in Bedfordshire: Hello Hans, May I say how much I enjoy your international radio report. I have become an avid reader since finding it early this year. It is especially good to read about the DK's from 'Big L' and Caroline. I wonder if you could give some more information on a 'Big l' CD produced by Ray Anderson that you mentioned in the September report. Also are there anymore CDs or tapes which feature Caroline of London jingles or DJ's signature tunes. Keep up the good work Best Wishes Dave Peters . 

Dear Dave, thanks for responding. I'm writing about radio since 1969 and have that way a lot of contacts around the world and at one stage, about 10 years ago, I decided to start the report as more and more questions came in from people. In answering them and sending away it in a report I got more time for research and writing. I advice go to the next sites for more info about cd's etc: www.offshoreechos.com/Main%20Page.html and www.mediacommunicatie.nl

From Scandinavia an avid anorak of Swinging Radio England and Britain Radio did sent many questions and maybe someone out there can answer on or more of them. Let s go to Svenn: May I draw your attention to my essay: "Pickin up Boss Vibrations" on the net at: http://www.northernstar.no/sre.htm

I hope anyone interested will be able to assist me in answering some questions I have. 
1. Does anyone recall who a Jim Henry with a brief appearance on SRE was which has been mentioned to me from one source. 2. Does anyone have any notes of the last week of SRE from Nov 6th up until November 13th, such as the program schedule? I am especially seeking one morning or more where Gordon Bennett(Garry Kemp of Caroline South, also John Wall of Britain Radio???) did the breakfast show(from 0500?) instead of Bill Berry and was followed by Boom Boom Brannigan (Bob Klingeman) from 9am-2pm. Boom Boom started his show with Rain on the Roof by the Lovin Spoonful. In my log there are no notes of a "BB Spree" this morning, but I have noted Klingeman(Boom Boom) referred to "Boomer's Broadcasting Company."

Jon Myer on his excellent page mentions Bennett/Kemp leaving the Laissez Faire each Monday for a BBC assignment. From Monday 7th November a recording of Roger Day is preserved from 2200-2300 close down with a very, very interesting sign off announcement with these on-air people: 0500 Bill Berry, 0900? Boom Boom Brannigan 1400? Tom Cooper and 1800? Roger Day. And, on which date did Gordon Bennett leave the Laissez Faire? I have noted he was on tape approx.2310 hours on November 13th in SRE s farewell programme hosted by Mark Stevens.
3. Does anyone have notes of the last Boss Fun 50 of November 5th, 1966? 
4. The late Tom Cooper (Hatala) is also remembered vividly. He also seems to have been Greg Warren on Britain Radio? 
5. And then there was Mark Stevens/Ted Delaney(also Ron Rose?) who was in charge on the final SRE show on November 13th 2300-2330. He said then he had come from California. 
6. Does anyone remember if Canadian(?) Jerry King (formerly of ZBM Hamilton, Bermuda) and later on Caroline North had an appearance on the Laissez Faire? One source with a ZBM background indicated this. 
7. Does anyone remember if Bill Vick ever did broadcast? 
8. I also have one Mike Clark in my log from SRE, and another source maintains Mike Barron of later Radio 270 also being on the Laissez Faire. Can anyone confirm?
9. Can anyone help me with the correct text of the great SRE "Magnificent Seven" "SRE Country" promo? It seems to be spoken by Bill Berry.
10. Does anyone know if it actually was considered in October 1966 to change SRE into country music? 
11. Does anyone know if it actually was considered in October 1966 to broadcast SRE in English from Midnight till morning after a Swinging Radio Holland had closed for the day? 
Thanks so much for your time and help! best regards Svenn Martinsen

So anyone who can help Sven with answers, please help him and sent the answers to the e mail address above. I hope Sven will forward the answers to me, so I can publish them too. I heard Bill Vick one time on the transmitters used by the several stations aboard the Olga Patricia aka Laissez Faire and that was when the press conference was held with the Opening of the new Radio Dolfijn in November 1966.

Keith King mentioned us that the website he s running has a new address. I advice you to have a look out there: www.wirelesswaffle.co.uk

A long time since we heard something from Larry Tremaine, once program director of RNI in 1970: Hans, a great report as always. Glad to hear that Roger Twiggy Day had a great show and is feeling his oats. We had a great reunion in Los Angeles. Sorry we did not have the time to go out to dinner. Seems I should get over the pond and do one of the shows to recreate those days of yesteryears. I do an interview on radio or TV now and again, but have not done a show for years. So how do I sign up for a one week revival. Hold on to your hats show? All my very best to all the guys and as this is the Jewish New Year Happy New Year to all that celebrate as I do. Larry Tremaine.

Happy New Year to you too Larry, although it s already some weeks ago. The question, how to sign in to an RSL is very simple. This report is read by many who are involved with RSL s in past and present. Also a lot of Caroline people are reading it. So maybe the take contact with you to do some great shows again after more than 34 years. The Gitour with the heater gives us some good memories. So hope one will contact you soon. Keep me informed. And for those who want to contact Larry he can be reached at: larry@art90210.com

I m very thrilled after watching a beautiful series of photographs in black and white. They re from the period 1972/1973 when the MV Mi Amigo came back off the Dutch coast and also from the period that a part of the crew and captain van der Kamp started a mutiny. Photos are taken by one of the then deejays, Lion Keezer. Also on the site exclusive pictures from the last days on RNI onboard the MEBO II, Veronica on the Beach in April 1973 and from November 1970 the MV King David from Capital Radio at Noordwijk beach. Last mentioning of this most exclusive site is the VOP slides.: www.keezer.tv/radio

Also interesting is the mentioning by Graeme from Scotland that the BBC has opens special pages with biographies of former leaders of Auntie. They can be found at: www.bbc.co.uk/heritage/story/dgs.shtml

It s really pretty we can tune now in to several BBC Local radio stations through internet and by that way it was possible for instant to listening to BBC Eastern Counties Radio, to hear after each other Andy Archer and Keith Skues. Both wonderful presenters who have grown through the decades and I still enjoy very much. A pity that Andy only is a relief presenter at the time: http://www.bbc.co.uk/england/threecounties

Time to dive in my massive archive and see what I did found? Interesting material about early offshore broadcasts, yes 13 years before I was born. The first article, from a Magazine called Broadcast came from 1936 and opened with the message that there s is now in Australian Waters and on Australian service the first vessel in the British Mercantile Marine to carry on board a radio station. The station operated on the ship to shore band and transmitted, following the words of the journalist, a so called sea to shore program . Surprisingly I found out years ago that they used a ship which was brand new and came over from Belfast to Sydney a week before transmissions began. A call sign 9MI was used for the broadcasts, with speech and music. 

The MV Kanimbla was for those days a most modern ship equipped with a 1,5 kW valve transmitter and special studios. The transmitter was crystal controlled, and was designed to operate on any wavelength between 20 and 50 metres. Mostly the signals went out on 25.54 and 49.47 metres. It was possible to maintain in contact with the Australian listeners during the voyage along the coasts of Australia as well as over considerable ranges during any voyages overseas . For this last purpose the ship was also equipped with a short wave transmitter. Another newspaper mentioned that this apparatus which in her run from Belfast to Sydney enabled the owners to keep in touch daily with the commander of the vessel. Also during the maiden voyage the chairman of the Amalgamated Wireless, mr Fisk, who s company manufactured the apparatus at the MV Kanimbla, had almost a constant contact versus short-wave with the commander on the ship. 

The special studios on the ship were replicas of the most modern ones overseas and the chief announcer was Eileen Foley from Sidney in Australia. During the ship is at sea the programmes were also available for the people on the ship by a wide range of loud speakers and all the programs were made live on the Kanimbla. Even three different programs could be heard at the same time at the system. Some loudspeakers carried sport results which were picked up from land stations. Also artists were engaged for a certain trip to entertain the passengers as well as the listeners of the radio programs. 

QSL Card

Another piece on the station could be found back in the proceedings of the World Radio Conference, which was held in Sydney in April 1938. On the evening o f 9MI s inaugural broadcast on May 28, during her maiden voyage to Australia, we were about 1000 miles from Sydney. Excitement was running high on board pending the success of the broadcast, and the possible temper of atmospherics. The program was relayed throughout the national stations of Australia at 8 pm. At 20 minutes to 8 atmospherics were very bad, and the possible success of this pioneer effort hung in the balance. However, optimism won the day the elements cleared and the broadcast was considered very successful. Although the Kanimbla had not yet, at that stage, had bad weather, there have been times when she has given a heavy roll during a broadcast. Things have gone flying over the table. 

Eileen Foley commented on the rolling of the sea to her listeners: I have then asked my listeners to please stand by, while I have freed myself from the studio furniture and the chosen records. So you see one needs a sense of balance and well, the show must go on. On these occasions, I recall to mind the optimist who fell from the ten store building, and at each window shouted to his friends: All is well, so far . 

She had more to tell about the programming and artists: In addition to compiling programmes from the large record library, the Kanimbla Quartette of girls, and often talented artists traveling with us, take part in the broadcasts. Many distinguished speakers have broadcast from 9MI, including Sir Ernest Fisk, who s manner at the microphone is incomparable and who has the fine sense of humor which makes his talks a delight to listen to. Among other well known personalities, I recall Sir Edward Cunningham, Sir Wallace Bruce, ex Lord Mayor of Adelaide, Professor Charteris from Sydney University and many others. Amongst world famed artists I recall Richard Crooks who gave an interesting interview when traveling with his family on the ship from Sydney to Melbourne. Richard Crooks was specially fascinated with our floating broadcasting station, and I thought at the time that, with a little persuasion, he would sing. However, I remembered perhaps in time, that he was on holidays, so curbed my desire to hear that great voice. 

Eileen Foley

There were other artist who chose to travel with the ship as Foley recalled: It is interesting to see that a number of radio artists have purposely chosen the Kanimbla for their holidays. It would seem that the microphone they have left behind is still with them, as it were and they, as busmen, apparently want to spent their holidays close to their work! Those passengers are very welcome in our studios. Passengers traveling on the Kanimbla have a unique opportunity of trying themselves out over the mike . Each trip we organize is amplified through our public address equipment to the various speakers on board. This innovation creates interest, and often good talent is discovered. Recently one of our entrants in the Nautical Parade was offered a shore job by a manager of a station, traveling with us, who at once spotted a pleasing quality in the voice. 

But Eileen Foley was not the only one presenting on the station. Also Captain Smith was a regular voice to be heard as he was always keeping his weather eye open for interesting things to tell to the listeners. Of course in those days less people had their own receiver but those who had one and picked up the signals of the station were truly not unhappy. Hundreds of letters from the listeners came in stating excellent reception from 9MI, both direct, on short-wave, and via the national stations. During the voyage out, while the MV Kanimbla was off the west east coast of Africa, the test programs were heard in a good volume in Australia, Great Britain and other parts of Europe. Reception reports were answered with a QSL card. 

Used publications:

The Australian Radio World July 1936
The Broadcaster Australia 1936
Proceedings of the World Radio Convention, Sydney, April 1938
Knot, Hans: History on Offshore Radio 1907-1973, Foundation for Media Communication, Amsterdam, 1993.

Finally we re just a few days away from the Radio Day and so the latest update can be read now on: http://www.offshore-radio.de

During the past weeks we had some questions if there is an account in Holland for people outside Holland to order the new Caroline Book. 

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

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

For ordering from outside Holland you can also sent money in cash to Foundation for Media Communication, P O Box 53121 1007 RC Amsterdam Holland. Please don t sent any bank cheques as the exchange costs are too high.

Hope you had all fun again with reading the report and I hope to get a lot of memories and news from you the reader in the weeks to come at Hknot@home.nl

Hans Knot


Offshore Deejays' Nicknames


Female Offshore Radio Deejays


Read Hans Knot's former report