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


Welcome back to the Knot Report and thanks for all the mail.

Remember the question in last issue about Caroline in 1968 and the letters which I found in the Carl Mitchell Archive about renting flats in Spain? Well I mentioned that probably the guy called Jim could be Jimmy Houlihan. And I was right as Andy Archer came with the next: "I think you are right about Jim being Houlihan, although he was known as "Jimmy" so it could be someone else but most likely to be Houlihan. I can't think of any other Jims in the Caroline organisation at the time. I know Jimmy was involved in the property business. For a while he was the minder for a guy called Peter Rachman who was a notorious London landowner. Rachman had hundreds of flats which he used to let out mostly to immigrants: Jimmy had connections in Spain, in fact he retired there a few years ago where he still lives. You must remember back in 1968, Caroline was desperate for money and they were prepared to try anything to get more money coming in. The revenue from the "plug" records didn't amount to very much money and none of the advertising on the station was being paid for. I didn't know about the Spanish flats, or possibly can't remember such a project. Nan Richardson was a very nice person. I should imagine that both she and Don (The Chief engineer on the Mi Amigo) are both dead. I saw Don very briefly in 1969 on the island of Guernsey, he was working in an amusement arcade looking after the gambling machines. I've been searching death records, but no luck as yet. Hope I have been of some help, Best as ever, Andy." After reading Andy’s answer I asked him if it was true that Jimmy was working for Rachman, as this person died already in 1962 and if Jimmy was also working on the Mi Amigo in 1973? Here’s what Andy wrote: ‘Jimmy was in London from the late 1950s. He worked for Rachman for a year or two. He was on the Mi Amigo really keeping an eye on things for Ronan. Ronan didn’t trust Gerard van Dam so he wanted to know what was going on. Jimmy enjoyed being on the ship. He did a lot of work out there including helping to fit the new mast. Jimmy was also David McWilliam's manager, hence all of the advertisements for the film Gold which included some of McWilliams's music.

Jimmy Houlihan (Archive Hans Knot)

Another answer to the question came in from Berlin and Dennis King: ‘Hi Hans, how are you? I read your report and saw your question regarding Jim Houlihan. Jim was some kind of business-associate of Ronan, he was managing the Irish singer-songwriter David McWilliams (‘Gold’) and also is said to be connected to the ‘Who’ in some way. A very nice guy, even though he was very big and impressive. He came to the ship to help after the mutiny-business. Jim was a very helpful person with incredible connections, when I was involved with a Danish teeny-band in the late seventies he set up photo-shoots with magazines in London, helped us with promo-concerts etc. etc. So most definitely not the ‘heavy’ or bodyguard many people suspect. I hope you and the wife are OK, I am fine! Dennis.’ Scanning the photograph with Jimmy Houlihan on it, I found another one which gave some questions. Who were next to Alan Clark, Paul Dubois, Andy Archer, Graham Gill and Captain van der Kamp the others featured on this photo taken February 1973?

I sent Andy the photo by e mail and within 5 minutes the question was answered: ‘Alan Clark, AA, Mike Storm, Leon Keezer, Graham Gill, Paul Dubois, I can't remember the girls name, she worked in the office, Henk (an engineer), Henk's wife and van der Kamp. The two people at the back are a strange couple called Koller and Otten.’

Thanks Andy, yes Koller and Otten were known for several businesses in that period. For a period they ran the Europop Magazine as well as the Europop discotheque and RNI Mobiele Discotheek, But they had not asked permission to use the name and made some money out of it.

Sticker RNI Discotheque which was organised by Koller and Otten for a small period (Archive Hans Knot)

They tried to interfere with Caroline too and had an illegal landbased pirate station on 270 metres, I think on April 30th 1973. Also the ran a small hotel in Amsterdam. The photo was also sent to Leendert Vingerling, the tender king in Offshore Radio World in the eighties and working for Radio Delmare in the seventies. He is one of the less people still in contact with Gerard van Dam and sent him the photo too. Gerard came back to the persons Koller and Otten: ‘I know Koller had the plans to buy the rights to organise the Caroline Road show early 1973. I thought that when he was willing to do this he first had to go out and getting an idea what Radio Caroline was and also how the atmosphere was on the radio ship. The girl on the right doesn’t ring a bell. I’m not too good in names. Of course I recall Andy Archer and that mainly as he worked on the MEBO II. Also I recognise captain Van der Kamp. He’s the one who went out to the Mi Amigo late 1972 with a couple of other guys to do the mutiny. He had a riffle with him and did tow the Mi Amigo into harbour of IJmuiden. He was, following his words, promised 50.000 guilders by Meister and Bollier (RNI) if he succeeded. As the ship had not entered official the harbour and no papers were signed, it was also easy to leave again and go for anchor off Noordwijk a few days later.

Leen himself met Koller (who once told he had been a deejay and another time a technician aboard the MV Mi Amigo) on the MV Mi Amigo when they both went out with a trip organised in 1973 by Rob Olthof (Foundation for Media Communication).

Chicago and Koller (Photo: Leen Vingerling)

It was the same day I shared some e mails with Hans Hoogendoorn (Hans ten Hoge on RNI) and asked what he remembered mentioning the names ‘Koller and Otten’. Hans came back with ‘I wasn’t on land so much and so the names doesn’t ring a bell but I will forward your question to Pieter Damave, who was a technician at the Naarden studio’s of Radio Noordzee (The Dutch RNI). Pieter is reading the Knot International Radio Report too and answered the next day: ‘Those two, Koller and Otten, tried to show if they were part of the RNI team using the name ‘RNI’ falsely. By the way I heard you were looking for Dick de Graaf. Well he’s living in Spain and trading from there.’

Dick de Graaf was newsreader as well part of the live deejay team on the MEBO II in the seventies. Later he lived in Delft and I had a regular contact with him in the eighties and early nineties. At one stage he told me to leave Holland for a job at one of the Dutch Caribbean isles. We lost contact then.

Also I took a dive into my archive to find back the old issues of the Pirate Radio News, which I published together with Jacob Kokje in the seventies and in an edition of 1973 we wrote: ‘Again there are rumours that 3 new radio stations will come on the air from a ship. First of all there is Radio Europop. We think this is again a story of Mr. Otten and Koller, which consists only of lies. They told that they will start with a new station around May the first 1973. Also they say they have chartered twenty different industries to finance the whole thing. They needed an amount of 5 million Dutch guilders to start the station. The costs of advertising, they say, will be very low. They had already contacts with Radio Caroline. Otten told us that they offered the Caroline organisation 2,5 million guilders to take the whole organisation from the current running team. But, what must we believe from those two guys.’

That was from 1973 and it was already in those days we didn’t believe a thing what Koller and Otten told to us or any other journalist in Holland. For instant in 1973 Otten told a journalist in Holland he worked for Caroline in the sixties and that his cover name was ‘Tommy Vance’. Well we all know now they were lunatics.

The last part, the story in the Pirate Radio News in 1973, I also e mailed to Andy who wrote back: ‘They were certainly a very strange couple. I do remember that they came along and offered money to take over the Caroline organisation. Ronan was of course interested in anyone who had money! What happened next I don't know. I assume that they were all talking with no money otherwise Ronan would have certainly got his hands on it - there was no one better at extracting money out of people than Ronan! Andy’.

I also recalled an edition of their Magazine is on internet and you can find it at: www.mediapages.nl/index.php?module=photoshare&func=showimages&fid=50

So, if anyone else do remember more on that infamous couple Koller and Otten, please let us know at Hknot@home.nl

In last issue I showed a letter written by a certain Peter to Carl Mitchell, mainly about his trip back from Holland to England as well as some information about equipment to repair. I thought it must have been Peter Chicago, who went out to the MEBO II for the first time in summer 1970. And it’s Andy Archer again telling me: ‘Hans, Peter Chicago lived in Thornton Heath. It must have been him. Even remember his handwriting.’ Robb Eden wrote in and told: ‘No doubt you've had a million e-mails about this. Your mystery person has got to be Chicago - coming from Thornton Heath & talking about Ampex. Sincere thanks, as usual, for the Report.’

From a long time reader this answer: ‘I am almost certain that the writer would have been Peter ‘Chicago’ Murtha as he lived in Thornton Heath at the time. Lindsay Reid (aka Michael Lindsay)’ Well good to see you in the mailbox too Michael and feel free to share your own memories too. Michael worked on RNI in 1970 too.

Paul Rusling, known from Caroline in 1973, Laser and many other projects wrote in too: ‘I recognise the address (TORRIDGE ROAD in Thornton Heath) as being Chicago's (or his parents I think). That would fit the text of course. Many thanks for mentioning the programme on Offshore Music Radio. There is a lot of Dutch music on the programme. Also a confession that I wrote to Mariska Veres many times in 1969 and visited her parents home - her father was very kind to that crazy young English boy!’

Thanks Paul and I also remember you met her at a later stage again? Well she was it worth looking and dreaming of in those days!

Peter Chicago is reading the International Report too, but a pity he never reflects on the report. Maybe Peter you can come in this time with an email telling us about your first time going aboard a radio ship and your experiences. As always all information, memories and news can be sent to: Hknot@home.nl

Peter Chicago on the MEBO II 1970 (Archive Freewave Media Magazine)

August 23rd this e mail came in: ‘After 12 years of successful broadcasting to Europe, we have reluctantly been forced to shutdown our shortwave transmissions. This is due to action from the radio authorities. In the meantime, we shall keep the Destiny stream and shows on our website available so listeners can continue to hear our programmes. Please keep checking this website for more updates over the coming weeks. Thanks to all the shortwave listeners who have supported us over the years. http://www.laserhothits.co.uk

The very unique SRE 2006 t-shirt, which was early August shown on a photo featuring yours truly and in last issue Jack Curtiss from Australia. has another person in that part of the world wearing it: ‘Hello Hans - yes, I did receive that T-shirt from Rick Randall / Crandall and very happy to get it, too. My family is a bit bemused by it all, they don't quite understand what it means to me! Many thanks again to Rick. Colin Nichol.’

Next Jon from the Pirate Hall of Fame: ‘Hi Hans, Thanks for the latest radio report. Very interesting, as ever, and thanks too for the very nice plug for The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame. The next site update should interest you. There will be a report (with photos) of the conversion of the Comet from being a retired lightship to Radio Scotland in St.Peter Port harbour, Guernsey, in 1965. It should all be up on the web-site by this time next week. (end of August). I was surprised to see Alan Milewczyk comment about Kilroy ‘leaving the Mi Amigo’ on 14th August 1967. I don't think Kilroy was ever on the ship. My research (see http://www.offshoreradio.co.uk/djsk.htm#kilroy) shows that his programmes were recorded on land.’

I have another question: what followed Johnnie Walker and Robbie Dale's famous show in the early hours of 15th August? A correspondent to my web-site wrote: ’I’ve a tape of RWB opening Caroline on 15/8/67 during which he thanks a Chris Anthony for playing the previous pre-recorded music’. Would that be Spangles Muldoon by another name? all the best, Jon www.offshoreradio.co.uk

Thanks Jon and indeed I recalls the thank you to Chris Anthony too. Who knows more to fill in into the schedule?

On the same subject it’s Ian who wrote: ‘Regarding the schedule on Caroline South into August 15th, from what I have been told and listening to recordings, Walker and Dale continued until around 0200 when there was non stop music. Ross Brown took over at 0600 and thanked Chris Anthony for the last hours. Assume this was Chris Cary spinning his first programmes? As far as I know the day then went: 0900 Robbie Dale 1200 Johnnie Walker 1500 Ross Brown 1800 Robbie Dale 2100 Johnnie Walker 0000 Chris Anthony or was he now Spangles Muldoon?’

Thanks Ian and maybe Spangles, or Chris Cary which is his name, can answer himself if he was the same as Chris Anthony and why he changed names so quickly. Spangles is a regular reader of this report too.

Back to Ian: ‘If anybody is interested in the Caroline North schedules around this time then Paul Graham has quite a comprehensive log of these. I know he is a reader so he might like to fill in the gaps.’ Well Ian hope Graham find the time to fill the gaps’.

Ian has more: ‘I was happy to help Robert at Guernsey with his recordings. I am a great believer that recordings should be shared and enjoyed and not hoarded by some elitists who like to tell people " oh yes I have a recording of that but I don't do copies". The Offshore Download Club is great in this respect and Chris Visser and Harm Koenders are doing a brilliant job. Just to clarify Robert's note that I did indeed work with the great Daffy Don in Ireland, but not so together with Tony Allan. When I worked on Radio ERI in Cork Tony was on the rival South Coast Radio, but we all used to meet up for a few jars. So I did know Tony socially. Finally I am interested to know which were the planned stations for the radioship Nannell or Mia Amigo in 1989. Walter Zwart in his excellent memoirs stated that Radio 819 planned to jump ship, however Germain Boi in an OEM interview suggests that Radio Mi Amigo was to return. Can anybody clarify? Cheers,` Ian.’

Thanks Ian for your contribution, hope any one can help with the answer on your Nannell question. Here a photograph from the ill fated project.

Photo: Tom de Munck

Regular writer to the Hans Knot International Radio Report is Colin Wilkins from Leeds who wrote this time: ‘Hi Hans, Many thanks for another very interesting report for August. Well the 14th August 2006 has been and gone, I did record Keith Skues programme for the 14th August. Regarding the BBC Radio York programme of Radio 270, I recorded most of the day, but was rather disappointed in the music that they played. I would have thought if they were remembering Radio 270, they should have played the music that was played on the station, but they failed to do this. They were playing today’s music, they even played a track by Wil Young. Very disappointed. On Sunday the 13th August I listened to the Internet radio station Radio Poplar Int, from 10 till 12 noon. They played all the rare 60's songs that were played on Radio London/Caroline North and Radio 270. They also put together a special show including the close downs of Radio London. Also the air-check where Robbie Dale said he had just listened to the close down of Radio London and to have one minutes silence. The programme continued to hear the close down of Radio 270, and at midnight on Radio Caroline South and Johnnie Walkers Fight For Freedom Speech including the music played. It was most enjoyable to hear it all once again. And at 12 Noon they did a Country Show dedicated to Don Allen, playing the songs that Daffy Don played on Caroline North. I have in my collection the full day of Radio Caroline North on the 14thAugust 1967 but only up till 6.40pm with Dee Harrison, I would be interested to know if any one has recordings after this time also Caroline North at midnight with Don Allen. Colin.’

So who has the recordings from Caroline North after 6.40 pm on August 14th 1967 and can help Colin. You can sent in the answer to my regular e mail address

In last issue we mentioned the special programs from the North Sea on Mi Amigo, the internet radio station. They have a second, non stop music station, which can be heard at http://www.miamigo-radio.nl

On our on line journal for media and music culture www.soundscapes.info also a lot of interesting stories on the media history can be read. This including a lot on the history of RNI. I’m proud to announce that Anita Pospiechil, publisher of the German Radio Journal has decided to open the serie on RNI in German on her internet version of the Radio Journal, which can be found at www.radiojournal.de


Euroradio 2006 – The Offshore Radio event

Euroradio 2006 – the Offshore Echo’s / France Radio Club annual event - takes place in Calais, France on Saturday 9 September, at the Hotel Georges V in the centre of Calais.

Commemorating the best of offshore radio with video presentations and special guests, who include: Peter Philips known on Radio Caroline during the 1980’s, where his well educated and BBC sounding voice earned him the nickname of World Service; Dave Rogers who broadcast on a multi-coloured radio ship better known as Radio Northsea International and later went on to join another well remembered offshore station – Radio Atlantis; Kevin Turner whose long and varied career in radio, has included Caroline in the 1980’s, as well as Radio Sovereign in the UK & Italy, Blue Danube Radio and Irish commercial radio.

In the evening, there will be a small reception, with aperitifs, - where you can meet our guests and friends informally, before the special Euroradio dinner. This takes place in a private dining room in the Georges V hotel, with fine French cuisine including wine, which seals the hotels reputation. For further information and bookings visit:



Remember we were talking about animals on the radio ships? I mentioned I once heard that on the MV Fredericia was a captain who had his own chickens aboard but didn’t know if that was true! Well at the end of August an e mail came in from someone who worked on the ship and has the answer: ‘Hi Hans, Just a note to say that your correspondent was correct about there being chickens aboard the Caroline North ship. They lived in a waterproofed timber and wire mesh cage in a sheltered area at the stern of the ship. I am not sure if they enjoyed the rough weather, or if it interfered with them laying fresh eggs for the captain's breakfast table. Andy Cadier. (Martin Kayne)’

Really nice to know those little aspects. The most famous animal of course is the bird in Rosco’s show on Caroline but who does remember other animals on radio ships. Here’s a photo from the early sixties which was given to me by someone about 15 years ago showing the studio aboard the first radio ship from Veronica, the MV Borkum Riff. Indeed showing a little cat!

The quality of the photo is not too good but you can see a poster at the background showing Chubby Checker, so I think it must have been taken either in 1963 or 1964. The technician by the way is Hans van Velzen. (Archive Hans Knot)

Next we go to the other side of the world and an e mail from a former Caroline technician on the MV Mi Amigo in 1967, Sheridon Street: ‘Dear Hans, I have been sitting on a message received from a Radio Caroline listener, rather than dump the message I thought that you may have a place somewhere in your archives for it.’

Thanks for that Sheridon and here is the message received by Sheridan after someone saw his internet pages: ‘Hi Sheridan. My name is Tony Magon VK2IC and am originally from Invercargill, New Zealand. I have been a ham operator since 1966 - nearly 40 years. Have been interested in Long Distance medium wave DX’ing since 1963 - Thought I would let you know that I heard Radio Caroline North on 1520 kHz I think around September/October 1966 at from about 1700utc until about 1730utc in Invercargill. I did not get any direct ID from them, but they played Beatles tracks the whole time I heard them. Problem was that the audio from the tracks were ok, but the audio for the adverts and DJ announcements were not up to the same level. I sent a report to Box 3, Ramsay, and got a QSL back a number of months later after I joined the RNZN. Was a radio operator in the RNZN then worked in ZL marine coast stations, then came to Sydney and worked at Sydney Radio, then changed over to a tech. Now working in the security industry, as I am now nearly 56 and finding it harder to get a job. Have been made redundant twice. Not so active these days in regards to ham radio. ZL call was ZL4DE and also was on the Chatham Islands in 1976, 83 and 86 as ZL3LN/C, ZL4DE/C and ZL7DE respectively. If I had lived in the UK I probably have gone into the merchant navy as an R/O, or may have even managed to work on one of the pirates. Also heard the BBC on 1052 back in 66 at around 1800ut with the football scores and again in around 1986 heard Manx Radio on 1386 at around 1700ut, and BBC on 693, 909, 1053 and 1089 at around 0500ut, from a good DX site just out of Invercargill. I am on Skype - User name Tony Magon.’

Well Tony and Sheridan what a good memory and Tony must have kept his logs at the right place that they reappear after so many years. It perfectly clicks with one of the subjects we were talking about in one of the earlier issues of the Knot International Radio Report, which was ‘far away listeners’. Thanks a lot for sharing this memory and Sheridan has more: ‘Your news letters are certainly full of information and always stir up pleasant memories, forcing the old grey matter to focus on years gone by. Your readers respond well to your questions for information. I write with a quest if you can ask if anyone has a sound recording of any of my shows I did as a stand in whilst on Caroline South, during the last few months before it became illegal to operate. I left on the last grew change where I had the decision to return or not. Had I done so would have been illegal myself. If you backtrack a few weeks from that date possibly someone may have a recording which I would very much like to obtain. My radio name was Keith and my signature tune was Sherry Baby, I did one stand in for Johnny Walker and ran the Frinton car light show. Other stands in shows were around midnight onward. That period I recall everyone was filling in for everyone else.

Hope any one can help Sheridan. Being in collecting and sharing recordings since early seventies I doubt it will appear but let’s hope someone has something on tape for you. If so, please answer Keith question to: g3vfu@hotmail.com

Sheridan has also another question which maybe can be answered by a few of the former colleagues he worked with. I now Sheridan that Roger Day, Johnny Walker, Tom Edwards, Robbie Dale, Mike Ahearn as well as Ian McRae are all readers of the Knot International report.

Keith in Mi Amigo studio 1967 (Archive Sharidon Street)

So here’s the question: ‘My web site http://www.hs0zee.com is due for an overhaul in particular correcting name associated with my Radio Caroline picture gallery. I have been made aware that several pictures are incorrectly titled. I would like to correct this injustice to anyone, which is due to a laps of memory over the many years and request that you review the names of people in the pictures. I am sure that you will, or can obtain the correct names. Best regards Sheridon Street.’

It’s September and indeed the Radio Day will take place in Amsterdam within less then two months from now on November 4th and I hope to see a lot of our readers in Amsterdam. For all the latest info, you can go to a special site: www.offshore-radio.de/radioday

Of course the VOP reunion will take place on that day too. On the above mentioned site also can be seen who of the deejays have mentioned on forehand to come over to Holland. So talking about the VOP I got an e mail from New York: ‘Greetings Hans, I was cleaning out the garage today and came across this photo. It was taken by my brother moments before the Peace Ship sailed from NYC in March or 1973. Notice the people on the dock to bid farewell to the ship. That’s the Norwegian captain on the bridge. I have a few others if you would like to see them. Cheers, Ed Simeone original VOP crew member 1973.’

It’s so nice so many memories and photos are coming in from all those readers world wide. Thanks a lot Ed, a photo from 33,5 years ago!

‘Hi Hans, we're looking at making a short series of programmes on the pirate radio scene in English and Dutch. Would you be able to help us with contacts and perhaps an interview? Have a look at our station by clicking the banner at the top of this email or visiting: www.expatsradio.com where we have a variety of programmes aimed at the worldwide expat network as well as 'Baby Boomers' like me! Best wishes, Peter Richards, Station Manager.’ I’ve answered Peter that due to an overload of work I can’t help. Anyone interested can response to Peter at: peter@expatsradio.com

Another new web radiostation ‘on air’ claiming an old name ‘in the mix’ of an offshore station: ‘Welcome to the all new web site of Wonderful London Radio, serving the listeners online in the UK and around the World 24/7. WLR is everything you want on a online radio, we strive to be an accessible, responsible, and responsive radio alternative. On Test with our friends in New York at 1290 GLI. wlr.net.ms wlr@london.com

Going back to the MV Mi Amigo on the photos on Sheridan’s site there is a photo showing probably the first black deejay in offshore radio, Ray Cooper. I forwarded to Jon from the Pirate Hall of Fame to see if he can add him to the deejay index on his site and he came back with: ‘Hi Hans, Thanks for the email. I actually spotted that picture when Sheridon first posted his collection on the internet. (He also very kindly sent me a set of them on CD). What I don't know - and maybe you can answer - is why Ray Cooper was on the Mi Amigo before the MOA. If my memory is correct, he wasn't heard on Caroline until some time after 15th August. Unless I am wrong, which is quite possible. I have asked Sheridon, Robbie Dale and Roger Day (also in that photo) and they can't remember why he was there. And - one last question - where is Ray now? All the best, Jon. ‘

So who can help us with more information on Ray Cooper as asked in the above questions from the PhoF.

Tony James, former Caroline deejay in the late eighties is going to feature Offshore stuff on his shows on internet. The Tony James Goldmine Radio Show via www.tonyjamesradio.co.uk

In my Post box I found the new CD single from Nick Barnes. Like often he was inspired by things happening on sea. This time the song about the seagull which was a pleasure to listen too. He was accompanied, when recording this soft MOR song, by Tommy Mandel on keyboards. I wonder if Caroline or any other station wants to give it a plug. See www.nickbarnes.does.it for more information. Next to that in the weeks to come a new CD Album will be released!

What about a few nicknames? David ‘Steaming Lord Crutch’ Sutch and Jimmy Mack ‘Site’. The long list of nicknames can be found at www.hansknot.com

Three more to mention all from the period 1966/1967 on Radio Caroline South: Robbie ‘D our Dale good friend’ Dale, David Wynn ‘he’s so fine’ and ‘Uncle’ Bill Hearne.

There will be a special show on the 22nd of September at 12 midday GMT on the internet radiostation Northsea Gold with Paul Graham, this time remembering Radio Caroline from the first day of transmission in March 1964 till the last day on November 5th 1990. This is a two part special show with lots of recordings. http://www.radionorthseagold.com

Any addition, memory, news and so on are always welcome at HKnot@home.nl

Till next time with all good greetings from Groningen in the Netherlands.

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