Hans Knot's International Radio Report - September 2005 (1) 


Welcome to the first issue for the month of September 2005 of the International Knot Radio Report. Again a lot of e mails coming in from which I took a choice. Some bits and pieces of programs made by radio station paying attention to August 31st as well as your memories and goodies

On Sunday 28th August the Dutch internet station Hitradio Enterprise 103 was celebrating the era of offshore radio, both in the Dutch and English language. In a special programme, from 1 to 5pm BST, they played the tunes, jingles and commercials from the glory days of Radio London, Britain Radio, Radio England, Radio Noordzee, RNI, Radio Veronica, Radio Caroline and Radio Mi Amigo.

Ian Smith wrote in after a visit to the Ross Revenge: ‘Dear Hans, on Thursday August 4th I had a really pleasant surprise when driving by the freight sheds in Tilbury docks. There she was, berthed at the quay side, but all alone! I thought I might be able to talk to someone working on her, but no, the Old Lady was closed up and quiet. Of course I could not dare to go aboard, but I asked some dock stevedores, working nearby, who said ‘She’ was moving to the Landing Stage in a couple of days to allow visitors to go on-board. Well I felt better for that information. I was very unhappy that I did not have a camera with me or I would send you some photos. However ‘She’ looked strong and sturdy and ready to set sail for the Knock Deep again. I have much respect for those who keep her afloat. With Kindest Regards, Ian Smith. ‘Thanks Steve and next time more luck!’, I wrote back to him and on August 26th a second report from Ian came in:

‘However I have looked again in Tilbury Docks and find that the Ross Revenge is still at the same berth and again nobody on board. Though the Dock Police did politely ask why I was standing looking at her for so long. As on the 4th of August a British Customs and Excise ship is still berthed behind the Ross Revenge and I guess it was somebody on board that ship that bought the Police to ask my intentions. Please understand: I looked…I did not touch. But its nice to know she has some attention from the dock people when those that care for her are at their day-time work. I do have a legal reason to be inside the dock area. I’ll visit again and maybe meet someone on board. Or even better for me to take a day job near Tilbury and be a volunteer worker for her. Its possible! With Kindest Regards, Ian Smith. 

Maybe Ian our Caroline man Peter Moore can tell us more on the possibility to work as a volunteer and what the plans are for moving the ship. 

Chris Edwards is responding to a piece of the August 2nd report in which Professor Robert Nash asked why we had to go on with being negative about some aspects of Radio Caroline past and present. Here is Chris again: ‘Reading through your report, I notice someone is complaining about what he feels are ‘negative’ and very inconsequential comments about Ronan and Caroline. As I wrote some of that I will put my philosophers hat on and wonder why if it is all of so little importance what happened, why he has even bothered to write and complain. Far from being negative, I was being truthful (perhaps that hurts?). Being positive, Ronan and Caroline have given us a whole lot of inspiration, laughs - and some sadness, and if it wasn't for them we wouldn't all be friends and know each other now. The term ‘lovable rogue’ comes to mind for Ronan. As to Ronan and the present day ‘Caroline’, I'll leave that for others to examine that spin doctors fragile bubble.'

Graham Hayes has something with television which is really good to mention: ‘I have a nostalgia television-related website now: 
www.cherishedtelevision.co.uk perhaps you would like to check it out - it's not quite finished yet, but there are some articles and other items you may find interesting? There is an article about 'Caroline Television' which has just been up-loaded. Regards. Graham Hayes.’

Clive has a question for those interested in transmitter towers: ‘I am looking for anyone who can tell me the location of the new set of pictures of a Belgian 300 metre tower, I just put on my 'images' area of the website. It is a rigging job from the early 80's. Clive’ www.citiria.com/citipub

This year's Radio Day on Saturday October 2005 is approaching very fast. You can look forward to interesting guests, exclusive video footage (especially from RNI in 1970) and nice chats with many (mostly offshore) radio enthusiast mostly from the Netherlands, England, Belgium, Scotland and Germany. The current line-up plus details how to reach the event can be found at http://www.offshore-radio.de/radioday. Hans Knot will present his brand new book on Radio Mi Amigo 272 from the MV Magdalena, and you can purchas new mp3-CDs containing many hours of offshore recordings from i.e. John Peel, Kenny Everett, Carl Mitchell and Tommy Vance. So make sure to attend Europe's major radio event in Amsterdam!

Next we go down yonder to see which former Caroline deejay is writing in: ‘Hi Hans, Graham "Spider" Webb here. Living in Paradise, the Sunshine Coast of Queensland Australia in the shadow of Mount Coolum. (Check Google Earth, they have a close-up and I'm on the North side). I must say I admire your great dedication to the memory of Pirate Radio History, each and every one of you. I've enclosed a couple of recent stories in our local Press explaining what I'm doing these days as I approach my 70th Birthday. Yes, I'm still doing it......................Luv' WEBBY! Thanks Graham and happy birthday from all of us! 

'Hi Hans, thanks for the latest report which was a good read as always. Regarding Peter Haze (think that was the spelling), he was known as ‘the Cheshire Flyer’ and was referred to as such by Tony Allan. He certainly was a soul music fan as can be verified by the recording I have of his programme from 2100 - 0000 on August 31st 1974. I am pretty sure that he was lined up to join the Voice of Peace and can recall that being mentioned one night by one of the jocks on Caroline. There is a photos read in issue 14 of Script magazine (November 1974) that shows the Caroline team, including Pete, on the Peace ship in Marseilles. I think the ship was due to leave around that time, but as we know she remained there until May 28th 1975. Maybe Pete didn't wait around for the trip?’

Thanks Ian and maybe you can sent a scan of the above mentioned photo from the Script Magazine as I don’t have that edition in my archive.

But Ian has more: ‘Good to see Ian Anderson mentioned too. He was actually the first voice that I heard on RNI back in 1973! In later years he was head of music on Radio Forth in Edinburgh and brought Tony Allan there for a stint. Ian has always had a great feel for good music radio and never was one to conform to the safe style of programming that blights ILR in the UK. I got to know him pretty well in the 80's when he first started making plans for a station on Shetland. Both myself and my wife Grainne were due to join the team, but unfortunately the then Tory government put the boot into the Community radio experiment. We moved on, but Ian soldiered on and got SIBC on the air and from what I can tell it has been hard work but rewarding. I still keep sporadic contact with him and really should make the trip to meet him one day. Definitely one of the good guys in radio. Hans, keep up the good work, Ian (Biggar)

Ian Anderson (Freewave Archive)

Then we go to Beckenham in Kent: ‘Many thanks for including me on your E Mail distribution list for your fascinating reports. Yes, 35 years today since the RNI threats to cut the anchor chain. I recall it so well as I was with two good friends on that Saturday afternoon working on our cars and listening to RNI when the trouble started and ‘maydays’ broadcast. We did little more to ours cars that afternoon! Incidentally, the photos of the Ross Revenge from the 300 foot mast were amazing. Keep up the good work, every good wish John Allen, Beckenham, Kent

Talking about the Kees Manders affair with Meister and Bollier, someone who was on the MEBO II that August day in 1970 is responding from the USA: ‘Hans, just read the report and relived the day. WOW it was 35 years ago today and hard to believe. I remember it well. What a crazy fun time. We were young and didn't know that crazy things could have happened at any minute when Meister and I went out to the ship that morning. I will never forget Carol (my wife) calling me and saying something is wrong out there. She was listening from London and felt that something sounded funny and it turned out she was right and everybody jumped into action. We called our shipping agent and I think he came out with us and Captain Tom Van der Linden took us through the fog to see this site that could have gotten us killed by Manders and his gang, but they realized that something was coming and they better move on. I was only 27 years old, now just turned 62 and I feel like 20 today!
Love to you all, Larry Tremaine.’

Larry and his wife Caroll (Photo SMC)

Thanks Larry and good to be in contact with you already a couple of years. Hope to see you and your wife one day here in Groningen to relive the good old days!

A learning project for children to get them enthusiastic for radio and peace is alive and kicking: ‘The PIRATES FOR PEACE are still alive and kicking! We are now based in Kilkeel, Northern Ireland. Our website is currently being redesigned. However here are just a few photos. Also read the story of the voyage from Southampton to Kilkeel.’ http://www.piratesforpeace.com

Another internet address is interesting: http://rockradioscrapbook.ca/ck-mar13.html  A recording from November 1965 and the late great Tommy Vance. I had the pleasure meeting Tommy several times and was invited by him to be at the opening of Virgin Radio in the early nineties, where he was the first of many program directors. 

Peter Messingfeld has made some radio travels this years and therefore he has updates his beautiful site. http://www.travelseries.de/trav2005/trav2005.htm
and on one of the photos you could see the grass grow. In the seventies teams from Veronica and RNI did play a few times against each other and on the international service there ware a ‘joke promo’ about the Atlantis football team playing on the deck of the MV Jeanine. It seems soon a real game will be played on the deck of the MV Ross Revenge. 

31 August, it was the 31st anniversary of the end of Dutch offshore radio. In commemoration of the event, there was a special transmission called ‘The Day the Music Died’, jointly organised by Laserradio, Stichting Norderney, Mixers and Quality Radio Frequencies used were medium wave 1557 and 1584 kHz at 0700-1800 UTC, and the programme were also relayed on 1395 kHz by Big L Radio London at 1200-1600 UTC. The broadcast was also be streamed worldwide on the Internet at http://www.laserradio.nl and http://www.veronica192.nl

The programme was broadcast live from the Laserradio studios in Zeewolde. One of the founders of Radio Veronica, Bull Verweij, was also featured on the programme. Former Veronica people like Jan van Veen, Juul Geleick, Ad Bouman, Eddy Becker and some crewmembers also took part in the show, which was partly presented in English and Dutch. Douwe Dijkstra was so kind to sent in some photo’s from which I chose the next one for this report. 

Juul Geleick and Ad Bouman still going strong

There we go again. It seems that the topic ‘mast on the Ross Revenge’ is very interesting for many readers. This time an e mail from the USA: ‘Hi Hans, I went through my old photo stacks, and here is a copy of one of the pictures Fergie Mc Neal shot with my photo wheel camera. From the colour of the shoe, it’s obvious that there were at least two cameras up the mast that day. Thanks for a great news letter. Best Wishes, John Ford

And there was another monthly update to The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame. In this issue some very interesting things as they celebrate the memory of Radio 390, forty years old this month, with a page of audio and memorabilia; in 1968 two offshore fans paid a visit to Radio London's former ship, the Galaxy, then lying in Hamburg harbour. The Pirate Hall of fame has their story, photos and some fascinating recordings they rescued, including one of Ed Stewart interviewing a Beach Boy. So time to go to the wonderful site again: www.offshoreradio.co.uk

Again we go to the USA with next e mail: ‘I continue to enjoy your updates and look forward to more. I am attaching a photo I obtained off a Dutch website 2 or 3 years ago that shows an artists view of what was then the Olga Patricia, or Laissez Faire, or what you will likely recognize as the home of Swinging Radio England and Britain Radio in 1966. I am curious if you recognize the painting and know of anyway of obtaining a colour version of it, and anything you might know about it. As one of the first American DJs to broadcast from this ship, it struck me deeply that someone thought to put it on canvas, and I'd like to get a copy suitable for framing if possible. Rick Randall (Richard Crandall, Indian Rocks Beach, Florida, USA) – americandad@usa.com

I answered back to Rick Randell that this photo is a part of many sets of photos released by the FRA (Free Radio Campaign) in the late sixties. There is also a drawing of the Fredericia and the Oceaan 7 in these sets. Most of the photos are taken by Martin Stevens. Anyone knowing who made the drawings please let us know at Hknot@home.nl

Rick came with a second e mail: ‘On another matter, I heard from Roger ‘Twiggy’ Day awhile back that Johnny Walker had been ill. If there is any current word about his condition and whether or not he is still involved in BBC programming, it would be nice to hear about an old friend. If you have any contact with either of these two blokes, please pass along my fond regards.’ Well Johnny is back on BBC Radio 2 and alive and kicking Rick and I’ve forwarded your mail to Roger too.

Rick went on with: ‘From an American point of view, and as one who was involved in the pirate radio events of the mid-60s in your country, it is quite unexpected indeed to find there is still interest in our adventures back then, and to learn how radio and broadcasting has evolved since. Nothing like the pirate era has ever occurred in the US, and few Americans are even aware such a thing ever happened. I've had a fairly modest broadcast career in the years since, now working in television, though no longer on-the-air as what you call a ‘presenter’. But I have always regarded my few months in the North Sea as unique and unforgettable. It was a privilege to have been a part of it, and I'm looking forward with great anticipation to a return to London next year to see how things have changed. Thanks again for all you do in keeping us all informed about the off shore phenomenon. Rick’

Well Rick hope to see you to next year somewhere either in England or Holland, which my home country is. Regarding the USA I can tell you that there were a few offshore projects in your country too: Radio Free America in 1973, and in the eighties RNI - which stood for Radio New York International - and another little one which never came on the air.‘

Via Vincent van Schriel I got an email in which another former offshore deejay was found back. Guy Broekhove asked Vincent for more information on the Radio Day as he heard that such a regular thing was organised every year in Holland. Of course Vincent forwarded it to us, as organisers. Guy worked on Radio Atlantis as Theo van der Velde and will try to travel to Amsterdam too on October 22nd. 

Theo van der Velde

September 2nd brought me an enormous amount of e mails, phone calls as well as normal mail due to the fact it was my birthday. I want to thank everyone for this. Really much appreciated. Even on www.vandaaginmuziek.nl , which is run by Tom Blomberg and Ton van Draanen, my name was mentioned in the list of artists and radio people who had their birthday. This was reason for the people at Radio Tien Gold to pay attention too.

Next time for Patrick Ambergen, who has been on holiday to the Costa Brava. ‘Of course I made a little trip to Playa de Aro, once the village where the Mi Amigo studio’s were. Always thought it was very small but there I made the mistake as it was much wider. You could still see a lot of damage on the mountain Maz Nou from last year fire. I asked myself if Mi Amigo people are still living in that area. Could listen in Spain a lot to 1395 AM, especially after midnight it came in loud and clear and so far much better than in Groningen (North Netherlands) where I live.’ 

Thanks Patrick and your question about the Mi Amigo people can be answered with ‘no’ as the last two ones, who stayed in Spain, Haike Debois and Maurice Bokkenbroek left in the mid nineties. Haike died a couple of years ago and Maurice is working and living in Belgium.

Peter Timmerman is working for a local station and wants to do a special on one of his favorite deejays, which is Ellen Kraal, aka Samantha Dubois. He asked if anyone knows on which date she died. This, as he wants to transmit this special on that day. Anyone who knows it please contact me at HKnot@home.nl

‘Dear Hans, recently I found a photo of you ‘Grey Eminence’ on a site which showed the presentation of the CD ‘The Radio’s on’ which was done in Scheveningen in August 2002 and yes, I thought ‘the grey eminence’ is the one who must be there on such an occasion. The item about Peter Haze in the August Report interested me. I remember that, way back in 1974 there was a deejay with the name Peter Pan on Caroline as well as a Peter van Dyken. Mi Amigo had a lot of repeats of old tapes during September 1974. The fact that in those early days off the British coast was a problem and that the taped programs had to be recorded on another location brought the problems. I do remember that one Saturday afternoon a soul program was presented by Peter Pann, live from the Mi Amigo, which was in the Dutch language. I think he did it twice on Saturdays. From September 1974 up till January 1975 the presentation of the Top 40 on Saturday afternoons was done by Frans van der Drift. However due to the bad tendering it wasn’t transmitted on a weekly base. Every year around the 31st August memories are coming back related to the closedown of most of the Dutch offshore stations. I was 21 in 1974 and I know Bull Verwey admitted at a later stage they did it all for the money and I do recall that it was Juul Geleick who told in one of the reunion programs in 1999 that, of course, there was sometimes trouble at the Veronica studios. Meister and Bollier of course were not the nice guys they seemed to be. But to all those who brought us nice music and entertainment in those days: thank you so much!’ Willem de Bruyn

Thank you Willem and I can assure you that Peter Haze is another person than Peter Pann. And once again the name of Frans van der Drift appears and we still asking: what has happened to him as we cannot find him.

Congratulations to Martin van der Ven who succeeded to bring together on his links pages more than 1000 different sites on internet relating to Offshore Radio: www.offshore-radio.de

Early September I’ve sent out an e mail to several people who have worked either for Abe Nathan and/or the Voice of Peace between 1967 and 1993 and told them there will be a reunion on the Radio Day next year, possible on November 4th 2006. Also did sent them a draft of the first chapter for a book I want together with those who have worked for the station. If there’s any one related to the VOP who didn’t get this e mail, please let me know so I can sent you the info about the first chapter and plans for the book. One of the first people reflecting was John Thompson from Canada who wrote: ‘Hans, et al, I am already making plans to attend in 2006. I would be interested in corresponding with any of the original crew especially anyone in Canada or US. There were also a lot of (then) young volunteers in New Jersey area that helped out with the outfitting and support before Peace sailed, anyone have connections there?’ 

I know there is one in New York who was Abe’s right hand and is a regular reader of the report John. I will forward the e mail to him and ask him to take contact. Anyone more please let me know at: hknot@home.nl

In the meantime some 20 people from all around the world have already written back to come to Amsterdam next year November.

On September 10th a boat trip was organised by the Foundation for Media Communication to the platform which once housed in 1964 the very first television station which aimed commercial programs to the Dutch viewers as well as a radio signal working under the name RTV Noordzee. The platform was used in later year by a Dutch Governmental Organisation called ‘ Rijkswaterstaat’. However there are now plans to take away the platform as it’s to expensive in maintenance. Some 130 people joined us and during the trip to the artificial island the weather was really heavy with thunder and storm for almost an hour. Pictures of the trip can be found at the two following internet sites: www.offshore-radio.de and www.mediapages.nl

The Power is Brass and ideas in station images. The same day as the trip to the former REM Island I received a review copy of the new CD from the Foundation for Jingles and Tunes. I can assure you that the Power went into my ears again by listening to this wonderful CD which brings TM’s Power package as produced by TM for Veronica and other stations. A very functional package composed and produced by the people of TM in de mid seventies. A package that sounds so good that, as a listener it’s far easier to stay tuned to the same station instead of searching for another sound. In the years before 1977 some other Dutch broadcasters had gone to the USA to buy themselves a sparkling jingle package. But it was sometimes very difficult to pronounce the Dutch words into a package by the American singers. Of course supporting the production of a package by the broadcaster is very important, something the NCRV for instant had done wrongly in 1975 when they ordered a package from PAMS in Dallas. Result was jingles that didn’t belong on the radio do to mispronunciation. 

On this new CD however a pleasure to listen for 75 minutes to the complete Veronica TM Power Package as produced by TM in 1977 and 1978. Next an 11 minutes long part, with instrumental fillers, as used by Veronica. Also several resigns and in house productions from Veronica are on this unique CD. Some of the jingles have never been used on the radio. I really had the feeling several times to sing along when listening to this CD. The Power is really a CD of great value to have in your collection. www.jingleweb.com

Alan Beech working on the transmitter (
Photo: Peter Timmerman)

Finally I like to mention that Radio Waddenzee, the brainchild of former Caroline Holland man Sietse Brouwer, has gone up in power from 100 up till 1000 Watt. With that they can reach their target. The installation of the new transmitter was done by Alan Beech in the weekend from September 10th.

I hope you did enjoy this report and till the next time all the very best
Hans Knot


Offshore Deejays' Nicknames


Female Offshore Radio Deejays


Read Hans Knot's former report