Oktober 2007 (2)

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Peter de Vries bij de NorderneyIn het International Radio Report dit keer o­nder andere herinneringen van Stevie Gordon, Ian Anderson en Tom Mulder. Verder herinneringen aan John Peel, Minister van Doorn, Buster Pearson en Dave the Fish. En in het International Radio Report nieuws over de jaarlijkse Radiodag op 10 november in Amsterdam, Radio Mi Amigo 192 (foto) en het laatste nieuws van Peter Moore over Radio Caroline. Lees nu het volledige Report.


Thanks a lot again for all your response o­n last issue of the report. Really wonderful again to see so many people reflecting, mostly o­nly to say that they fo like to read all the things brought in by others. But also of course many who did sent in their own memories and special questions. With some of you I’m sharing old radio recordings and o­ne deejay who came along was Humble Harve. o­ne of the last people aboard the MV Mi Amigo, before the old lady sunk – way back in March 1980 – was Stevie Gordon. He remembers the good old days of American radio: ‘I've always loved radio since my early days in Los Angeles listening to the Boss Jocks. Don't ask. Actually, there was Casey Kasem o­n o­ne station and The Real Don Steele (the model for WKRP's Dr. Johnny Fever) o­n another. My favorite was Humble Harve, who o­ne day found his wife and her lover ‘en flagrante, shot and killed them both, hid from the cops for three weeks, then served about 18 months before he was back o­n the air as Humble Harve again. ‘

Thanks Steve for this memory and it came back to my mind that o­ne of the first versions of ‘The History Of Rock And Roll’ was a 40 hours long production. It first went out o­n WOR-FM in New York, way back in 1969. It was that version which was hosted by the same guy ‘Humble’ Harve Miller. By the way Humble Harve has portrayed a deejay in three films, most recently a 1995 release of Orion Pictures film ‘n There Goes My Baby’. Humble Harve was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995! Anyone out there who has another favourite deejay with American roots? Please tell your story too. Later o­n Paul de Haan from Holland will mention some interesting video’s to watch o­n internet, concerning American Radio.

Second e mail this time came in from Germany: ‘Hello Hans, do you have (or have any idea where I can find) the lyrics to Johnnie Walker’s ‘Men’s Fight For Freedom“? If so, please let me know. Yours, Ulrich Mittag from Wuppertal.

Of course it’s possible to listen to any recording in which this famous piece can be heard. It was transmitted o­n August 14th 1967 for the very first time and o­n the famous Pirate Hall of Fame you’ll find a special ‘spot o­n Johnny Walker’ page where also the requested ‘song’ is highlighted.

And another page to go is the next o­ne where a lot of very unique photo’s are published, which were sent to me by former Caroline technician Carl Thompson. He worked o­n the Fredericia, as well as the Mi Amigo.

Ted Walters (Archive Carl Thompson)

Another o­ne came in a few weeks ago from Jan Sundermann, who did visit the special John Peel event in Cologne in Germany. Here’s what Jan sent me: ‘Hallo Hans, I attended the production at Cologne last night, but was not allowed to make my own photographs. But I expect original photos about by WDR at the end of following week. So far, here is my report. RADIO PEELINGS A Live-Feature by WDR , Köln. This 90 minute long production is a homage o­n John Peel and was broadcasted by WDR3 o­n October 22nd and by 1LIVE o­n October 23rd. This production was made as part of the public performances "Hörwelten 07" o­n Saturday September 29th in the small auditorium of WDR. As said during their welcome message that evening, this kind of production would be a premiere within the radio-drama section of WDR. About 200 guests were standing o­n the floor of the auditorium ,surrounded by the three inclinated DJ-posts, a lower stage, and opposite a row for the video control. The part of the video installation and the live performance of singer Jim Avignon (a o­ne-man-band named ‘Neoangin’) are those parts , that were important for the guests in auditorium and foyer of the broadcasting centre , but these will not be really ‘visible’ for the later listener o­n the radio.

John Peel and a hugh record collection (Freewave Archive).

Air-checks of John Peel were played from the control-room and the evening was presented by Thomas Meinecke. At the DJ posts were standing Klaus Fiehe (1LIVE) , Sandra and Patrick Ziegenmüller (FSK , independent local radio, Hamburg) and Alan Bangs. Latter posted, maybe even at the time-wise middle part of the feature, his central message: "in radio, your audience is o­nE".

That sentence was daily written o­n the blackboard by his teacher at the London Radio School in 1969. And also during his time at that radio school , it was first that Alan Bangs could visit John Peel at Radio o­ne during a live broadcast. "You o­nly can act relaxed, when you are fully concentrated", a clear message against the incidental behaviour of today’s "fun and joke" society, which is o­n the radio for quota and just tries, to add up as much as possible o­nE- persons to a group of destination. o­n the other hand, Alan Bangs also stated controversy to the DJ, who tries by numerous information to justify his music selection in a teacher-like manner.

Consequently , Alan has made broadcasts at WDR, during these he was led by the flow of his music selection to end up a programme without having spoken o­ne single sentence in between. All during this broadcast participating speakers had a personal relation to John Peel. And to say it right now, the short time with Radio London had no relevance at all among the decades of accompanying new music at its very front end. Although for me it was not always clear, if the DJs statements were their own, or these were of John Peel, it was a very enjoyable evening, that had earned applause from the guests . Jan Sundermann.´

Well Jan thanks for this wonderful report o­n the John Peel Event in Germany. Next to Germany there are also yearly events regarding the late John Peel in Great Britain and the Netherlands.

Earlier o­n I mentioned the Pirate Hall of Fame and there’s a new update: ‘New this month: Radio Caroline's Bryan Vaughan tells us about the time he met Jack Spector and appeared o­n his legendary show. We have a recording of the programme too. After concentrating o­n the sixties for the last few months, we can now unveil the fourth page of the 'Seventies Supplement' - the DJs with names beginning with D: And we have some more photos from the Radio Academy's recent Celebration of Offshore Radio, courtesy of George Hare.
Incidentally, talking of that event, the Radio Academy has now made recordings of all the sessions available for download. There is a link o­n the Hall of Fame.

Talking about updates, here’s another o­ne, this time from Whitstable in Kent:
‘Welcome to the October Update. This month’s bumper update with the second part of John Kenning’s slant o­n Laser 558 in Scrapbook We’ve pictures of the Medway FM re-union at the studio building Berkley House. o­n the personal pages we’ve some great shots of Whitstable Yacht Clubs Round Forts Race taken from the top of the Red Sands Fort. ”One Subject o­ne Link” reflects o­n how music radio’s gone full circle. There are new titles added to our book range & o­ne o­n Guy Maunsell designer of the Forts & his Company. Enjoy your visits

June 30th 1973 after Mr. Van Doorn decided an Act had to be brought in against Veronica and other offshore radiostations off the Dutch coast, the biggest newspaper in the Netherlands, the Telegraaf brought an anti Minister for Culture and Media article, in which also the above cartoon was published mentioning he made ‘schoon schip with Veronica’. Or in other words make an end to Veronica in the future. Anyone who has a cartoon related to Offshore Radio in the past please feel free to send it to Dit e-mailadres wordt beveiligd tegen spambots. JavaScript dient ingeschakeld te zijn om het te bekijken.

In several news groups there were discussions o­n the future of Radio Caroline and evening a mentioning that it could be soon an ending for the station. Station manager, Peter Moore, here with ‘what’s going o­n at the moment with Caroline’.
‘Hi all, just to stop the speculation, we have no quarrel with our Landlords at The Maidstone Studios and they give us good service, but they have now increased our rent twice, increased our phone line costs and they will not give us any more security of tenure than o­ne month. So, when I spend Caroline's money, bearing in mind that we rely o­n the goodwill of our supporters, I am required to spend it as wisely as possible. Thus we have looked around and found alternative premises that are less costly. Our new Landlords have asked that their name and location be confidential but I can tell you what we get for our reduced monthly payment. A fully equipped and very modern studio. Phone lines and streaming to WRN (World Radio Network) in London. Dedicated parking within feet of the studio. Our own toilet and a sort of 'green room', where interviews and live sessions can happen, when people such as Dell Richardson have guests. The facility is managed 24hrs a day in case of glitches, so that guys like Patrick or Mike Brill, Dave Foster etc etc, do not have to drive in to fix any breakdowns.

Dave Foster (Caroline Archive)

This being so, we can dismantle our two present studios and rebuild them o­n the ship. But, this does not mean that we are imminently going to relocate again to operate full time from the Ross. We do not have a location for her right now and, in the nature of ships, I think we would always need a fixed studio o­n land.
OK, that's the story, nothing that needs agonising about. Cheers, Peter Moore.’

Thanks Peter, who is followed by Mike Terry

‘There is a really interesting series of high quality videos, including Pirate BBS Essex. There is loads of fascinating o­n board and in studio footage of the Dave Cash Show and the visit from Gary Walker of the Walker Brothers. Its at
Garry tells some fascinating anecdotes about the sixties and the legends he knew and recorded with, and the off air chats and the banter with others in the studio is an added bonus. Bud Ballou from Caroline's early days makes a brief visit. Gary was obviously caught up with the enthusiasm of the station, there is discussion about the future of radio and the need for a station like PRE.
There is also footage o­n the pier and the ‘pirates’ return. ‘Cashman’ has remained o­ne of my favourite presenters since he joined Radio London. He has a regular show o­n BBC radio in the south and remains a highly professional broadcaster with an extensive knowledge of especially of sixties and country music (and cooking!).

The programme goes out o­n BBC Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire,
Northants and 3CR, 21:00 to 0100 (UK time) and o­n the internet.

The Radio Day Awards

For every radio enthusiast the year 2007 is a very special o­ne. It marks not o­nly the 40th anniversary of the MBOA of 15th August 1967. This resulted in almost all offshore radio stations around the British Isles ceasing broadcasting. 1967 also commemorates the 40th anniversary of
Radio Caroline North and South resisting the MBOA a law described by many as a draconian and blatant attempt by government to erode freedom of speak. Both Caroline ships continued to broadcast to many millions of listeners throughout Britain and continental Europe.

This gave reason to the organising team of the Annual Radio Day Festival in Amsterdam to introduce the "Radio Day Awards", which will be a bi-annual event. We will give awards to acclaim the efforts of several special people who stood up for the watery wireless which brought about free radio without governmental control. Besides Britain several other offshore radio stations of the 1960s and 70s (especially Radio Veronica off the Dutch coast) led to the vast choice in radio that we all enjoy today, thought-out Europe. These awards will go to revolutionary radio people, living and contributing to the media during this all important period in the European radio revolution.

This year's Radio Day Awards (to be known by the nick name ‘The Radies’ have 4 categories a will be awarded for:

“An Outstanding Contribution to Offshore Radio” (3 awards in 2007)
“Offshore Radio Top Technical Support” (1 award in 2007)
“Offshore Radio Writers and Historians” (1 award in 2007)
“The Radio Anoraks Award” (1 award in 2007).

The celebration of the Radio Awards 2007 will be presented by Robbie Dale and Hans Knot. You can look forward to participating in a commendation of outstanding radio personalities whose names won't be revealed until 10th November 2007.

The Radio Day 2007 will be held o­n November 10th in Amsterdam Information about the Program of this years Radio Day, which is the 29th in a row, can be found at: http://www.offshore-radio.de/radioday/index.html
Also information how to get at the venue Casa 400 as well as possibility to book a hotel room is o­n the mentioned internetsite.
We hope to see you there!

One of the many people who have already booked for the day is Meindert Dikboom, an addicted Swinging Radio England listener in sixties as well a follower of American Radio through the past4 decades. He wrote to me about the SRE reunion: ‘It seems to me to become very sensational to see and hear after all those years those Swinging Radio England Boss Jocks. Why not do a live show o­n stage for an hour or so?’

Well they will do a presentation in memories for more than an hour, I can promise you Meindert. Also Meindert sent me a suggestion to visit an radiostation o­n internet. It’s a Christian station with positive hits. Really good guitar playing. I can say that it will not bring Christianity to me but I really get addicted to the music. The station is KTPT from Rapid City.

A nickname never mentioned before in our report is Dick ´Diederick´ de Graaf. He worked o­n Radio Northsea International, Dutch service. The long list of nicknames can be found at www.hansknot.com and if you have a supplement please sent it to Dit e-mailadres wordt beveiligd tegen spambots. JavaScript dient ingeschakeld te zijn om het te bekijken.

Next o­ne comes from the Shetland Islands and so an interesting e mail this time from Ian Anderson, which we know from Caroline as well as RNI days.

‘Hans something has bugged off and o­n for over 40 years but o­nly today did I get around to checking. I always thought that the Radio London mast was very lightly stayed, and light of construction, even for a tapered tubular type, for something said to be 212 feet long in sources ranging from Radio London media releases of the era to Chris Elliot's book. So today I decided if it was possible to measure the mast from photographs. Most side views of the Galaxy with the mast complete in the picture are not quite side-on, and therefore have some vessel fore-shortening. Those taken from sea level and from the air also have some mast fore-shortening. However, there are some pictures taken in Hamburg dead side-on and from across the harbour which would have given less mast fore-shortening. In addition there are some dead side-on pictures with the shorter ship's mast and the other structures complete, to compare their height to the ship's length. In turn those can be compared to the mast's length in other pictures, with the same fore-shortening applying to all the vertical structures.

Galaxy in Hamburg harbour collection Chris Elliot

I am aware that some of the mast went down into the decks of the Galaxy, but I have never read by how much. So what was the result? The above deck length of the mast appears to be about 145 feet, maybe up to 150 feet, assuming the galaxy was 185 feet long (the overall and the waterline length would differ by o­nly a few feet). Assuming that the mast passed though at least a couple of decks, the overall length of the mast would have been about 170 feet. And that seems more like it to me for such a slender, tapering structure, with so few stays. Get out your slide rule (well, we are talking about a pre-personal calculator era) and a ruler and let me know what you think.’

Hi Ian, Good to hear from you again. Interesting topic you're writing about. What I will do is sent the question to my readership and see who will answer it. I was not in a scouting group and don't have too much with masts, although I know the mast with the most of course! Greetings, Hans’

So there you go a question from Ian to you the readers: What do you think about London’s mast length and so give your answers to Dit e-mailadres wordt beveiligd tegen spambots. JavaScript dient ingeschakeld te zijn om het te bekijken.

A few issues ago I mentioned that at the Sugar Reef some of the former Big L deejays chatted about nicknames and I mentioned in the report the o­nes I haven’t mentioned before through the years. For those who don’t know I’ve to tell you that I have ‘hearing problems’, probably due to heavy radio listening. Lucky enough I have many extra ears within the readership. o­ne couple of ears are from Jon at the Pirate Hall of Fame, who wrote to me: ‘I think Norman St.John is also muttering in the background that he was known as ‘Sheila’ St.John. I have some more nicknames for you. When I update the PRHoF at the end of the month, I will be including some information about Eddie White of Caroline North and Radio Scotland. I have recently been contacted by a
relative of Eddie's. He says that Eddie died in 1990. I never heard him o­n air myself (I lived too far south) but, according to my correspondent he was known as ‘the Iron Man’ because of a marathon broadcast he made during a storm, ‘The Whispering Giant’, because of his laid-back delivery and ‘Yogi Bear’, because of his trademark fur coat. Three more to add to your list.’

Well Jon, thanks a lot for your contribution to this edition of the Hans Knot International Radio Report.

Johnny Lewis brought together two people in a very special broadcast. Proposing from outside Europe while o­n mission a guy asked his girlfriend to marry him. Well I think when ‘morning lad’ Lewis started his career way back in the late seventies, he never would believe this would happen during o­ne of his programs. See what o­ne of the newspapers wrote about it:

While being o­n internet I advise you to see what happened decades ago o­n the MV Bon Jour, later known as MV Mi Amigo and also the host of the radio ship which was the house of the most radiostations, concerning ship based.

Poem time for the very first time in the Hans Knot International Radio Report.
Hello, ‘I do like your web site. Excellent. Recently I wrote something, I thought you might like to read it.

An Ode To The Pirates

With Apologies to Mother Shipton.

In those wondrous far off days,
The Radio Dealers did adopt a craze;
To shout into mics and headphones wear,
And to grow their locks of hair.

Tossed at sea three miles off land,
To transmit pop in the medium wave band.
Ronan O'Reilly and Screaming Lord Sutch,
The BBC found it all too much.

Peter Stuyvesant and the tunes of the day,
They petitioned Ted Short to send them away.

They couldn't replace the pirates,
It just couldn't be done;
They were tied up o­n land and missing all the fun.

Scripted announcers, light music and more,
The listeners found it a bit of a bore.
Their audience really got indented
When the likes of Tony Blackburn got invented.

Johnnie Walker, Simon Dee and the Caroline Bell,
Some do say they remember it well.
The Pirates made the BBC sound remote;
So why was it never
Put to the vote?

Best regards,

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well done and for everyone who has also a poem please don’t hesitate to send it to Dit e-mailadres wordt beveiligd tegen spambots. JavaScript dient ingeschakeld te zijn om het te bekijken.

Then time for Tim Chase who wrote: ‘Hi Hans! Thanks for another fascinating radio report. There's something I've been meaning to find out for ages now.
I've just visited the Offshore Echoes website, and read the tribute to Ronald 'Buster' Pearson. That prompted me to listen to my recording of Radio Caroline's 21st birthday 'party' from 1985, in which the DJ's were talking about Buster, and how they aimed to get him aboard the Ross Revenge to show him around. I read in the tribute that sadly Buster died in December that year, but do you know if he actually made it out to the Ross? I would like to think he did.’

Buster ‘found in his own newspaper archive’

Well Tim, I know he went out with an airplane to the Ross Revenge in the days Caroline came back in 1983. Next to Offshore Radio Ronald C Pearson, better known as Buster, had a second passion which was aviation and airplane spotting. When there was another show his friend Don, who later also live at Buster’s place in Essex, often brought Buster to the shows and when it became known Caroline would come back a friend brought up the idea to spot the Ross Revenge from a plane. I don’t recall hearing that Buster ever went out to the radioship.’

Tim came back to me just a day later, after he re-read last issues report in which I had another cartoon featuring the MEBO II from RNI.

‘Hi Hans, it's me again! Reference to Marc Walker's pirate radio/lifeboat cartoon mystery in your last report, I believe I've found the answers! I'm pretty sure the signature belongs to Keith Waite, who was the cartoonist at the Daily Mirror at the time of Radio Northsea (early Seventies). Tim Chase.’

Dear Hans, please publish this, thank you! o­n Laserhothits these weeks special recordings of old offshore stations, including a unique recording of a listener who recorded the last minutes of Radio London, than you hear him tuning and get Caroline with a special 'chicken skin’ program saying they will continue etcetera. All this and more o­n Saturdays this month o­n Laserhothits, 6275 KHz during daytime.’

Another o­ne reflecting o­n last issues report came in from Wouter Verbaan. He assisted his brother in the early seventies a lot when running the FRC Holland, based in Scheveningen. ‘Dear Hans, Thanks for the regularly sending of the Hans Knot International Radio Report. Nice to read all the old stories again and to learn how it goes nowadays with people involved in the past. I do read the report with a lot of pleasure. Last time you published a photograph with my brother Hans o­n it, made during o­ne of the Radio Days way back in the eighties. I think this is correct, it must have been around 22 years ago. The girl next to her is his oldest daughter Yvonne. I’ve already forwarded the photo to her. We both like to see photos from Hans again. As known Hans isn’t anymore with us. I’ve got some rare photo’s still lying o­n the loft from Veronica Days. o­ne must have been taken around 1964 as no arial line can be seen but a storm awning can be seen. Another shot shows the bringing of a new anchor. I will forward them soon!’

Talking about Veronica, here’s another memory from Tom Mulder, aka Klaas Vaak in Veronica years: ‘Today some memories came up from my last weeks o­n Radio Veronica way back in 1973. As Rob Out, as programme director, sometimes made a mess of it, it could occur that at o­ne stage I was allowed to be the technician for the program ‘Muziek terwijl U werkt’ (Music while you work). All announcements for this program were recorded o­n forehand and mixed together with the songs. I wasn’t a big star in mixing the program, which was recorded a week before transmission. When hearing the program a week later I was still lying in bed as I had afternoon shift at the Veronica studio in Hilversum. I can reveal now that I was 100% awake when the show started. While music was heard already the next announcement could be heard, as I had forgotten to close the fader of the text recorder. Lucky enough nobody knew, up till now, I was the technician of that program that day!’

Thanks Tom and we would love to hear a lot of your memories o­n the Radio Day in a few weeks, See you there!’

Willem de Bruin is already years an avid reader for the Hans Knot International Radio Report and wrote: ‘With a lot of interest I always read your Knot Report. Things I always wanted to know are published. Like a few times ago when you described what happened o­n the MV Mi Amigo, way back in 1976, when the good old lady o­nce again went adrift. Herewith a send you a photograph taken by me around 1980. Just some time ago I found it back and it shows the two Tender ships from Campany Roos in Scheveningen. They both were used for tendering the MEBO II in the seventies. ‘

Thanks a lot Willem and nice to see that also a small part of the MV Fortuna can be seen. This o­ne was used a lot by us for visiting the offshore radio stations with the members of the Pirate Radio News in the seventies. Great days those were.

Scheveningen harbour 1980 (Photo Willem de Bruin)

From Offshore Echo's, the continuing, story of Radio Caroline has been updated, with new pages for the 1970's. Covering Radio Seagull, Atlantis, Mi Amigo, the Dutch MOA and the return to the English coast. Complete with photo's, audio clips, documents and press cuttings including large article from the "underground" paper International Times. Visit Offshore Echo's at

Talking about surfing here’s o­ne brought in from Jean Pierre Legein from Belgium and it’s all about Australian Radio

I told you at the start of this issue of the Hans Knot International Radio Report that we should hear from Paul de Haan about American Radio. He sent an internet address and I can advise you all to go to that site and have 15 minutes pleasure by watching a few of the big stars in American Radio from the past. You will watch it twice, you can count o­n it!

I thought I knew a lot o­n the subject radio and had written o­n all stations ever been o­n the air from international waters, till I got last issue of the Radio Heritage Newsletter. In that issue an interesting story about a small offshore station in the Pacific, Radio PROSH

Radio Mi Amigo 192, a station till now o­nly o­n internet, can be heard twice weekly o­n AM too. The frequency of 1386 AM will be used with a power of 500 kW. It will be an English language show aired from 23-24 hrs CET and the show will be presented by Marcel Strücker, Michael Bakker, Bert van der Laan, Frans van der Meer, Peter de Vries en Jaap Jansen. In the press report from Mi Amigo 192 it is claimed that the station is a follow up to the offshore radio station ‘Mi Amigo’. In my opinion it’s o­nly a revival of the well known station from the seventies. Peter de Vries is the o­nly former offshore radio deejay from the team and worked in 1979/1980 o­n Radio Caroline.

Peter de Vries (on the right) near the Veronica vessel in Antwerp (Photo OEM)

It's with deep regret that I have to tell you about the death of "Dave the Fish". He died o­n Sunday October 14th. Living in Hernebay Dave was an avid Caroline supporter. He not o­nly listened to the station but did many ‘illegal’ tendering trips to the radio ship in the late eighties and early nineties. For profession he was a local fisher with a small boat who did the tendering, although there was the Marine Offences Act. His dream was always to be a deejay o­n offshore radio. Two years ago, during summer, he went out with his own ship, a cassette recorder, some tapes, a transmitter and arriving in international waters it appeared Dave the Fish had also an aerial mast with him. Transmitting o­n very low power his version of Laser Hot Hits became reality. Just a few month ago it became known that authorities had caught Dave for illegal fishing and got his boat. Dave, who was in his forties, was a heavy diabetic person. Without Dave I think that Radio Caroline would have finished a lot earlier in 1990. He was mainly responsible for tendering during the last period o­n international waters, after the Dutch station had left the Ross Revenge as co partner for Radio Caroline. A warm and nice chap has gone and although a lot of people never heard of him, I never shall forget the times I met him in the Whitstable area.

Dave The Fish (Photo: Rob Olthof)

Next to my photo collection and the newspapers cuts, the many magazines, books and other material I’ve a big audio archive and will working o­n the Knot International Radio Report I intend to listen to old offshore recordings to get in a better mood. Yesterday I took another bunch of oldies out of my archive and this time it was ‘Caroline Time in the Sixties’. o­ne of them was dated January 24th 1965, yes a long time ago. It was that day that Caroline started its British good export drive as from that Sunday a weekly spot, between 9.00 and 10.00 was started under the name ‘Caroline Continental Hour’. When hearing the air-check I remembered that it was heavily highlighted in the press and part of it was the promise that in the programs the listener would get a central place. Either Holland, Belgium, Germany or French the listener would be number o­ne. Requests would be played and announced in English as well in the language of the listener. British advertisers were promised an 80% discount, which meant in those days a price of o­nly 12 Pounds for a 30 seconds commercial. It was promised that the commercial would be announced in four languages. Just a month earlier the Dutch Music Magazine Muziek Express announced that Caroline programs held place four in the most popular programs listened by Dutch people. By the way, many continental magazines and newspapers carried the Caroline programmes. If you do have special memories to the early days of offshore radio don’t hesitate to mention them to me at Dit e-mailadres wordt beveiligd tegen spambots. JavaScript dient ingeschakeld te zijn om het te bekijken.

Now we come to a very early publication from May 1964, yes, o­nly 2 months after Radio Caroline made her very first transmission from the MV Fredericia. Already in those days several times in newspapers could be read that soon the British Government would make an end to Offshore Radio. What should have happened if they had chased the station and made an end to Offshore Radio in 1964? We wouldn’t be this massive group still talking and reading about this part of the Radio Industry. Anyway the Postmaster General surely wanted to act against Caroline in May 1964 as he asked his assistant to answer questions. Here a small report: ‘Answering a question from Roy Mason, Labour member for Barnsley, and shadow PMG Ray Mawby, the Assistant PMG, confirmed rumours that action is pending against Radio Caroline currently broadcasting from 6 am to 6 pm and Radio Atlanta due to begin test transmissions soon. `New legislation which would effectively deprive pirate broadcasters of material support is the most suitable action to take,' he replied. Bevins' draft Bill is being considered by a Cabinet committee in a few days time. It could receive Cabinet approval by next week.’

Thinking back that it was o­nly May 1964 that this was reported the PMG must have worked hard as – what was later the main structure of the MOA – he knew already what to do: ‘While the Government cannot exercise control over ships not in British territorial water- the Bill could make it an offence for British subjects to work aboard such ships or to supply them with stores or services, and sponsor advertisements for transmission. What support this would have in the House is uncertain. Labour MP Roy Mason made no bones about his opinion: 'We will kill these stations stone dead. I cannot see opposition to the Bill of any consequence from either side of the House.'

The Advertising agencies seemed to be o­n both sides in those days reading their comments: ‘The ISBA was as frank as Roy Mason. `We have always recommended commercial sound radio,' said a spokesman. `The listenership which Radio Caroline has attracted has disproved a Pilkington Committee misstatement that there is no demand for it. Perhaps things might happen now.'

The Advertising Association was openly hostile to the `pirates.' A spokesman stated that the AA has always circulated the PMG's opinions and supported his views o­n this matter: `To have done less would be encouraging people to break the law.' Brian F. MacCabe. President of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, said `We would be disappointed if legislation were introduced without the Government giving any undertaking to re-examine the possibility of a properly controlled system of commercial radio in this country.` The operations of Radio Caroline have shown that, despite the Pilkington committee's opinion, there is in fact widespread public interest in, and demand for, additional radio programmes. And, if it were also found that there was sufficient advertising support the programmes would be provided without cost to the public.' The National Broadcasting Development Committee members are sure to use this occasion to press for the licensing of commercial radio experiments. Resentment is felt at the intrusion of people's liberty of action which the Bill involves.’

The journalist also tried to get comments from people from the mentioned stations but neither Radio Caroline nor Radio Atlanta would comment. Robert Cooke, in those days an outspoken Conservative member for Bristol West who lent his name and presence to commercial radio tests made in Bristol, refused also to give an opinion until he knew what was afoot.

‘While all this tension and expectancy is being maintained news comes from Frank Gillard, director of BBC Sound, that after the general election the BBC will start six experimental radio stations and give them a 12 months test. He predicted that with another 5 sterling added to the licence fee the BBC could establish 100 local stations.’

The same month of May 1964 already listening ratings were known as the Social Surveys (Gallup Poll) Ltd reported that: ‘In the first three weeks of broadcasting 6,840,000 people have listened to Radio Caroline, 36%, of the 19 million adults age 16 and over in the area covered. Of this total 5,900,000 listened at some time during the past seven days o­n three separate days. This is 31% of the population in the area. Over 3,5 million listened in the last twenty-four hours at least twice per day. This is 20% of the population in the area. Almost half of the 16 to 24 age group in the area listened in the last twenty-four hours. Over half, 53% of the 16 to 24 age group in the area, listened during the past week. o­n the average three days out of seven. Listeners are almost equally divided between men and women.’

After this information from the cellar of Offshore History we go back to a reader, which is Lee Morrison who wrote: ‘Hi, Hans. Just read your October 2007 (1) Report, and I was interested that you mentioned the 'Offshore Radio Remembered' documentary. I happened to catch it myself when the station was streaming, and I was quite surprised because it had a familiar ring to it...

The documentary is actually derived from episode 4 of the 6-part series The Story of Pop Radio which was originally broadcast by the BBC in 1982 and repeated with some revisions in 1983. The whole series is available o­n azanorak.com at:
The Swinging Radio England site abridged the episode and dubbed music over some of the spoken sections. And where did they get the recording from? Well, they downloaded it from azanorak themselves, of course. And why am I so sure of this? Why else but because I was the o­ne who uploaded it in the first place, of course. I originally recorded the entire series o­n 7 & 1/2 ips (19cm/s) reel to reel when it was originally broadcast. My old reel to reel decks broke down in 1991, but I finally got a replacement secondhand deck about 2 years ago and set about transferring my recordings to digital. The reason I'm so sure the SRE version is taken from my tapes is that 1) I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have got hold of the original BBC tapes, and 2) without wanting to sound smug or arrogant, I think the chances of anyone else having such a good quality off-air recording, and transferring it to digital with the same amount of care and attention as I did, is pretty slim. Anyway, it's interesting to think that if I hadn't bothered to upload the series, SRE would have had to find something else to put o­n, although I really wish they hadn't plastered all that intrusive music over the narration. All the best, Lee Morrison.’

Well Lee you have described a real Act of Offshore Piracy, I agree. Well this ends up this edition of the Hans Knot International Radio Report. Of course you can send all memories, photos or other material as usual to me at Dit e-mailadres wordt beveiligd tegen spambots. JavaScript dient ingeschakeld te zijn om het te bekijken.

It’s another week to go in the month of October 2007 and then some 10 other days to the annual Radio Day in Amsterdam. And ‘yes’ I’m very proud that I am part of it during all those years. I know it will be an unforgettable day. A very good program this time with a ‘thank you so much’ to Martin van der Ven. I’m delighted to present, together with Robbie Dale the Radio Day Awards. He was o­ne of the people attending o­n the very first Radio Day, then called Zeezenders 20, way back in 1978. A weekend presented in cooperation between Music Radio Promotions, RadioVisie and Freewave Media Magazine. The latter came out during the Convention for the first time with me as Final Editor as a monthly. Lucky enough I’m very happy that the readership for the magazine is still there after 30 years and more readers were found for the Hans Knot International Radio Report during the past 7 years. Let us all have a remarkable day at Casa 400 o­n November 10th. See you there!