Editor :- Roland C. Pearson. Editorial Office :-
Sub-Editor :- Ineke Jager. 31, Avondale Road,
Technical Adviser :- Don Scott. Benfleet,
Circulation Officer :- Diane Foale. Essex SS7 1FH,
Issue Number 3. Price 10p (Overseas 16 ½ p). Post free.
EDITORTIAL. With so much activity on the current free radio scene it has been very difficult to decide the best time to bring out "Monitor" No. 3, eventually the decision was made to delay publication until Caroline had started regular broadcasts. As the station is now operational 24 hours a day we feel that this is as good a time as any to publish. To mark their return to the 259 metre airwaves we are making this a special radio Caroline edition. This issue also contains the second and last part of the R.N.I. Story, together with all the latest information about that station, plus an article concerning Radio Veronica's change of wavelength. Finally, to forestall any questions, all readers who have received "Monitor" through the post are on our automatic mailing-list, but please do not send any money in advance for the next issue - just in case there is not another one; Happy listening in 1973.
RADIO CAROLINE RETURNS
Soon after the last edition of "Monitor" had gone to press news reached us that the "Mi Amigo" had been saved from the breakers yard, and was going to be turned into some kind of free radio museum. This, as we now know, was merely a smokescreen to cover the refitting of the vessel whilst she was moored at a quayside in Zaandam. Here then, in chronological order, are some of the events leading up to opening day, At 05.20 BST on September 3rd, listeners to RNI's "Skyline" programme were excited to hear Tony Allan play "Caroline" by The Fortunes for the "Mi Amigo", which, Tony said, had just sailed out and anchored nearby. On the same day Radio Veronica's midday news broadcast mentioned the "Mi Amigo"s arrival, and that evening we heard Terry Davis announce on the 20.00 BST RNI news that the Radio Caroline ship had come out and anchored one mile from the "Mebo II"'. Aboard the "Mi Amigo" at this time was ex-RNI engineer Chicago Pete, and in the weeks that followed he worked ceaselessly to make their 10 kW Continental Electronics transmitter operative.
The story broke in the British Press on September 5th, with brief accounts on the front pages of both the "Times" and "Daily Telegraph". Things remained quiet until the night of September 18th when Spangles Maldoon, who was hosting the "Kent Request Houv" on RNI, suddenly announced his resignation over the air, he intimated that he was going 'over the road'; later on in the show, just before he made his farewells, he said that if anyone wanted to know what he would be doing they should 'add 39 to 220 metres': The following day he joined Radio Caroline. The first test transmission that was reported to our Editorial Office came from Dave Brown, who is the F.R.C. Area Organiser for Colchester, he picked up the station at 23.45 BST on September 29th, and continued listening until he fell asleep at 03.30 BST. The wavelength was, of course, 259 metres (1187 kHz) and the programme content consisted of non-stop music. Saturday September 30th was memorable not only for the Radio Veronica frequency change, but also for the first widely heard test broadcast from Caroline. At 12.30 BST, just as RNI-2 was opening up on Veronica's old 192 metre wavelength, a loud tuning whistle appeared on 259 metres - this went on till approximately 12.45 BST when the transmission of music started. The first item played was a complete Ray Conniff LP. Records were then played without interruption until 03.05 BST the following morning. Listeners who heard this broadcast were most favourably impressed by the high quality of its modulation. The actual power output on this occasion was 7 kW. Slight to moderate interference was encountered on the channel after darkness, this came from a 135 kW transmitter located at Szolnok in Hungary.
The eventful date of September 30th was also notable for the arrival of Andy Archer aboard the "Mi Amigo". Crispian St,_John informs me that he arrived on the boat the day- before - it can thus be seen that the DJ team was slowly building -up in strength. On Sunday, October 1st, Robbie Dale paid a brief visit to Caroline, and on the next afternoon, during his weekly record show on Hilversum III, he dedicated a disc to the following people- Spangles, Andy, Chicago, Crispian St. John & R.O.R. (Roman O’Rahilly) whom he hinted he had met somewhere the previous day, he added that we would be hearing a lot about them in near future! The offending Hungarian station ends its broadcasting day at 23.15 GMT and this fact was made use of by Caroline when conducting some of their late night tests, for instance, a major test transmission started at 23.10 GMT on October 31st, at first only the carrier was heard, then at
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23.38 GMT music came on and lasted until the test terminated at 23.50 GMT. After only a short break the transmitter returned to the air and continuous music was played, with an occasional intermission, all that night. This turned out to be the longest test broadcast they had yet made; it continued throughout the following day (Wednesday November 1st) and did not finish until 21.44 GMT. A wide variety of records were played and, as usual, no station idents or voice announcements were made. That night the "Evening Standard" carried an article with the headline "Radio Caroline on air again", and a small item mentioning these tests appeared in the November 2nd issue of the "Daily Mirror".
Further tests were conducted on the evening of November 7th; and in the afternoon and evening of the 8th. The transmitter was on all day on Thursday, November 9th and it was at 13.05 GMT on this day that the honour of being the first voice on the air went to Spangles Maldoon, he was clearly recognizable when he said, speaking over the music. "This is a test transmission - testing for microphone hum". At 17.53 GMT, on the same day, Andy Archer was heard giving a time-check in Dutch and English, then introducing a Ray Conniff record, after which he gave a final bilingual time-check, and the programme reverted once again to segway. For the technically minded the power output for this particular test was between 7-9 kW. Listeners who tuned in the next morning heard a loop-tape comprising of the first few bars of the Ray Conniff evergreen "People Will Say We're In Love", this was played from at least 07.45 GMT up until 09.15 GMT when the transmitter cut off rather suddenly.
A Force Eleven wind is a rare occurrence in this part of Europe, it has a volocity of 64-75 m.p.h. ; but in the early hours of November 13th a storm of this intensity struck the 470 ton "Mi Amigo" and a disaster was narrowly averted. Not only did three quarters of the antenna come crashing down, but the anchor chain broke under the strain and she drifted helplessly for some three miles before the Dutch crew were able to put down a couple of emergency anchors - these miraculously arrested the drifting, and ,undoubtedly saved the ship from total destruction. Incidentally, this was the worst storm experienced in Holland since the year 1921, one third of all the country's
trees were blown down! The following weekend a fresh anchor was installed and the "Mi Amigo" was towed from where she had drifted to a new position 500 yards from the "Mebo II". At this point frustrating delays were caused by a further spell of bad weather - repairs to the antenna should have been well under way, but rough seas and gale force winds made working conditions impossible.
About this time DJ's Tony Allan and Graham Gill joined the station, and Alan Clark, went out to Holland on November 26th to complete the team. Testing was resumed on the evening of November 30th, proving that temporary repairs to the- aerial had been effected, At first, these consisted of just the unmodulated carrier, or tuning tones, then at 23.45 GMT music appeared; this continued without interruption until 00.56 GMT when Spangles made the following announcement:- "You are listening to a test broadcast on 1187 kHz. If you like to send us a reception report for this broadcast, then we would like to hear from you. Please, when writing, give us: details of your location; the time at which you're listening and, of course, the quality of our broadcast. Please send your reception reports now to this address: P.O. Box 2448, The Hague, in Holland". This announcement was repeated at fifteen minute intervals until the termination of the transmission at 02.30 GMT. At no time was the station name divulged, but as they signed off the familiar Caroline bell was rung and a version of "Sweet Caroline" sung in Spanish was played!
Anyone who took the trouble to check 259 metres at breakfast time on December 1st would have found yet another test broadcast in progress, this one commenced at some time prior to 06.15 GMT and did not stop until 18.45 GMT. Reception reports were again requested by Spangles, and also C.S.J. - the only two English disc-jockeys aboard the "Mi Amigo". Andy, Alan, Tony & Graham were all in Scheveningen stranded by the worsening weather situation, which made even a short tender journey far too hazardous to attempt By 14.00 GMT Spangles had had enough of playing unannounced music, and for the next hour he gave one of the finest record shows that I have ever heard from him. At 15.00 GMT C.S.J. took over and presented a programme of an equally high standard. I remember thinking to myself that if this was a foretaste of what was to come then R.N.I. would have to look to their laurels! 16.00 GMT saw Jan Troost, one of the Dutch crew members, behind the microphone, and he too was on for sixty minutes. Between 17 00-17.30 GMT C.S.J. returned, to be replaced by Spangles on the half hour. None of the DJ's identified the station, or themselves, however, name-checks were given to various VIP's such as Angelique, Kate, Andy (twice!), Gerard, 'The Admiral', Mark Stuart, and "Don, Brian & Mike across the road"!
The response to the request for reception reports was most gratifying and brought in some 1000 letters to the Caroline office, they came from as far afield as Belgium, Britain, Germany, Holland and Scandinavia. Their 10 kW transmitter was not used again until December 17th, when at 22.00 GMT it appeared on a new wavelength, 199 metres (1520 kHz, it was, however, not audible here in South Benfleet before 00.20 GMT on the 18th, and. only then as a heterodyne whistle; but by 01.00 GMT the signal had picked up
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and was coming in reasonably well. At 02:30 GMT, between the non-stop music, came the first advertisement, it was for the film "Gold" currently showing at the Classic Cinema in London's Piccadilly Circus. The test transmission continued throughout the night. I next checked the channel at 08.45 GMT and heard Crispian St. John in the midst of a proper record show, which included jingles & appeals for further reception reports to be sent to P.O. Box 2448, Crispian identified the station as Radio 199, and his particular programme lasted until 11.10 GMT when some technical trouble developed putting the station off the air. It reappeared at 14.13 GMT with again C.S.J. mikeside, and during the next three-quarters of an hour he let us into quite a few secrets, for instance, he confirmed that Radio 199 was broadcasting from the "Mi Amigo" and he revealed the names of some of the Dutch DJ's who together with Andy Archer and himself were going to operate the station, they were: Paul Dubois, Mike Storm & Gerard van der Zee. At 15.00 GMT we had a chance to listen to an hour of Mike Storm; then at 16.00 GMT Gerard van der Zee took over for forty-five minutes; between 16.45-17.00 GMT we heard Mike Storm again; and from 17.00 till at least 17.30 GMT it was Jan Troost. At this point reception deteriorated rapidly making further listening impossible.
For the next three days Radio 199 continued its testing; but unfortunately for listeners in England there was severe interference after dark from other stations on the 1520 kHz channel, these stations are two 30 kW transmitters synchronized to carry Programme 2 of the Czech State Radio, their broadcasting day ends at 01,05 GMT leaving the frequency clear for Radio 199. A noteworthy occurrence during this time was a record show presented in the early hours of December 21st by engineer Dick Palmer, who at one time worked for Radio Essex. The original intention was that Radio 199 was to have been the "Mi Amigo's" Dutch language station, whilst Radio Caroline broadcast programmes on 259 metres in English; but owing to unforeseen delays in replacing the storm-damaged 259 metre aerial mast it was decided to temporarily combine the Dutch and English Services and open up in time for Christmas on 199 metres - and so at 05.00 GMT on December 22nd Radio Caroline was officially inaugurated.
The first nine days of Caroline's existance can best be summarized by quoting their actual programme schedules:- (All times in GMT).
December 22nd. 05.00-06,00 Non-stop music; 06.00-09.00 Crispian St. John (This programme should have been done by Andy Archer, but he had been smitten with influenza); 09.00-11.00 Leon Keizer; 11.00-13.00 Jeremy Bender; 13.00-15.00 Paul Dubois; 15.00-17.00 Andy Archer (It should have been C.S.J., but Andy was well enough by this time to present a show); 17.00-01.00 (No details available due to inaudibility of. the station).
December 23rd. 06,00-09.00 Andy Archer; 09.00-11.00 Leon Keizer; 11.00-14.00 Mike Storm; 14.00-17.00 Jeremy Bender; 17.00-18.00 Gerard van der Zee; 18.00-20.00 C.S.J.; 20.0022.00 Andy Archer; 22.00-01.00 Chicago.
December 24th. 01,00-04,00 Mike Storm; 04.00-06.00 Theo; 06.00-08.00 C.S.J.; 08.0010.00 Andy Archer; 10.00-13.00 Gerard van der Zee; 13.00-16.00 Mike Storm; 16.00-19.00 Andy Archer; 19.00-22.00 C.S.J.; 22.00-23.00 Gerard van der Zee; 23.00-23.30 Xmas Party with Andy & C.S.J.; 23.30-24.00 Mike Storm.
Christmas Day. 00.00-05.00 Andy, C.S.J. & Chicago (Between approximately 02.00-03.00 the now famous link-up with the "Mebo II" took place, in which Andy and Rob Eden exchanged some sparkling repartee:); 05.00-07.00 Non-stop music; 07.00-08,00 ?; 08,0010.00 C,S.J.; 10,00-12.00 Gerard van der Zee; 12.00-14.00 Mike Storm; 14.00-16,00 Andy Archer; 16.00-18.00 Gerard van der Zee; 18.00-20.00 Mike Storm; 20.00-22.00 Chicago; 22.00-23.00 Gerard van der Zee; 23.00-02.00 Andy Archer.
Boxing Day. 02.00-03.00 Chicago. Then a two hour close-down. 05.00-08,00 Non-stop music; 08,00-10.00 C.S.J.; 10.00-12.00 Gerard van der Zee; 12.00-14.00 Mike Storm; 14.00-16.00 Andy Archer (During this programme Andy apologised for any banging that could be heard in the background, he explained that the new aerial mast was being erected); 16.00-18,00 Gerard van der Zee; 18.00-20.00 Mike Storm; 20.00-22.00 C.S.J.; 22.00-23.00 Gerard van der Zee.
December 27th. 05.00-08,00 ?; 08,00-10.00 Gerard van der Zee; 10.00-:13.00 Mike Storm; 13.00-16,00 Andy Archer; 16.00-17.00 Gerard van der Zee; 17.00-19.00 Mike Storm; 19.0022.00 ?; 22.00-22.56 (off-the air due to a generator breakdown); 23.00-24.00 ?
December 28th. 00.00-02.00 (or later) C.S.J.; ??.??-09.00 Andy Archer; 09.00-13.00 Paul Dubois; 13.00-14.52 Andy Archer (his show should have run till 16.00); After a two hour interruption broadcasting was resumed at 16.52, from then until 24.00 all programmes appeared to be in the Dutch language,
December 29th. 00.00-03.00 Andy Archer; 07.00-10.00 Leon Keizer; 10.00-13.00 Gerard van der Zee; 13.00-16.00 Andy Archer; 16.00-18.00 Gerard van der Zee; 18,00-21.00 Leon Keizer; 21.00-23.00 Andy Archer (At 21.02 Andy let Hans Verbaan of ERC Holland send a greeting over the air to Roy Brooker and myself. During this show it was announced that Caroline would, in two days time, be changing its wavelength back to 259 metres. The same tender that brought Hans out to the "Mi Amigo" also brought out a new Dutch DJ called lion Dolman); 23.00-24.00 Gerard van der Zee.
December 30th. 00.00-01.00 Andy Archer; 01.00-02.00 Ron Dolman, assisted by Andy and
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Chicago. (The station closed down quite normally at 02.00 after a final announcement about the wavelength change, and concluded with the playing of the "Caroline" record). The return of Radio Caroline was reported in only one of the British daily paper this was the "Evening Standard" for December 22nd - what a far cry this was from coverage of the 'incident' that occurred aboard the "Mi Amigo" on December 28th.' It was during Andy Archer's programme on the afternoon of this particular day that the trouble began, at precisely 14.41 GMT Andy announced "We've got guests and I'm going up on deck to see who they are", a record was played and then Andy returned and said "Some events are happening outside, there's a Dutch destroyer, the D-814 parked about 200 yards away from us, and also a small launch from this destroyer has come alongside us; we don't know what's happening, there seems to be a slight problem, but we're talking with the crew of the small launch, and standing back away is a ship called the "Seamews" along with certain personel from Radio Caroline. So to our office in Scheveningen - everything is alright at the moment, as soon as we have any news we'll, of course, come on and tell you about it". Another record was then played, after which Andy added "We're having a lot of trouble out here, there's a fight starting on the deck over something... so we may have to ED off the air, we'll continue music until then". At 14.52 GMT, halfway through the next record, the transmitter cut off. That nigh: accounts of the incident were printed in late editions of the "Evening Standard" "Evening News"; also mention was made of the event on BBC news broadcasts on Radio's 4, 1 & 2 between 18.00 and 01.00 GMT. By the following morning (December 29th) it was big news, and most of the national papers were carrying the story, to wit:- "Times", "Guardian", "Sun", "Daily Express", "Daily Mail", "Daily Mirror", "Daily Telegraph", and also the provincial "Wolverhampton Express & Star" .... but the "Daily Mail" outshone all its competitors in having a two-page centre spread of pictures taken by ace free radio photographer Martin Stevens. Again that evening the "Evening Standard" included a relevant item.
It was within an hour after close-down on December 30th that Capt. van der Kamp arrived on the scene with the tug "Eurotrip!', and accompanied by the troublesome crew, whom Ronan had sacked earlier in the week. They quickly gained control of the "Mi Amigo" and the captured radio-ship was soon under tow and making for Ijmuiden harbour, where entry was refused them because there was no berth available -''they then headed for Amsterdam where they were permitted to stay. (This period of events is described in-greater detail in the following article written by our girl-on-the-spot Ineke Jager).
Tuesday, January 2nd will be a day long remembered by free radio supporters. The BBC morning news broadcasts, and late editions of the "Daily Telegraph" & "Daily Mirror" had all reported, the depressing news that Radio Caroline had been seized by the Dutch authorities, after its sacked Dutch crew had obtained a court injunction in Haarlem. What we did not know was that behind the scenes Ronan 0’Rahilly had been frantically searching for fresh capital to save the situation., and he was eventually successful in raising enough money to pay off the debt of £4,000, the amount the crew claimed was-owing to them. The settlement of this debt meant that the authorities no longer had grounds for impounding the vessel, and so she was allowed to be towed out to sea again. On the BBC's Radio 4 news at 13.00 GMT mention was made that Caroline's debt had been settled, and that the restrictions placed on the ship earlier had now been withdrawn. It was out of curiosity rather than the hope of hearing anything that I checked 259 metres at 13.58 GMT, and I could hardly believe my ears when I heard their carrier being transmitted! At 14.08 GMT the "Caroline" record was played and, programmes commenced, initially in the Dutch language. That night the "Evening. _ Standard" and the Southend "Evening Echo" both carried items about the recent events surrounding the "Mi Amigo"; and on BBC-1 the 21.00 GMT TV news included film of Ronan O'Rahilly climbing aboard the "Mi Amigo", and Andy Archer at work in the ship's studio. Meanwhile, back on Caroline, twenty-four hours per day broadcasting had started. For those who were unable to receive the station I am giving details of the first 24 hours, after their return to the air. (Note the two new English DJ's);- 14.08-15.00 Gerard van der Zee; 15.00-17.00 Tony Allan; 17.00-19.00 Ron Dolman; 19.00-22.00 C.S.J.;-22r0023,00 Gerard van der Zee; 23.00-24.00 Tony Allan; 00.00-02.00 Andy Archer (With a surprise guest appearance from Rob Eden!); 02.00-04.00 Norman Barrington (now known as, Norman Barrington-Smythe); 04.00-06.00 Steve England; 06.00-08.00 Tony Allan; 08.0010.00 Gerard van der Zee; 10.00-12.00 Ron Dolman; & 12.00-14.00 Gerard van der Zee.
A small office for administration purposes has been set up in The Hague which is run by Spangles Maldoon and his attractive wife Kate. On January 6th it was announced that the Caroline Club had been revived and that one can join for 10 guilders (or the equivalent in your own currency). Members are promised - photographs of the "Mi Amigo", DJ's and Offices; an illustrated book with the entire history of Radio Caroline; a Membership Card and Club Badge-, plus Dedication Forms. At the time of going to press, the Dutch programmes are being broadcast between 05.00-17.00 GMT with news broadcasts on the half hour, these were introduced on January 7th, and they are read by two Dutch news-readers Bill Stones & Dick From. The English Service operates from 17.00-05.00 GMT, news broadcasts were started on January 8th, they too are given out on the half
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hour, but unlike the Dutch Service the English DJ's have to read their own. Finally, the well-known Caroline bell emblem has given way to a completely new design, this depicts an outline of a little girl with the index finger of the right hand in her mouth. Long may she symbolize the spirit of freedom!
Roland C. Pearson. Editor.
I SAW THREE SHIPS GO SAILING BY.....
On the evening of the 22nd of December 1972, upon my arrival in Holland, the first thing I was told was that Radio Caroline had come on the air that day using its proper name for the very first time. On the 2nd of January 1973 the last thing I heard before I left Holland was that the "Mi Amigo" hadn't succeeded in escaping the Dutch authorities, and had been impounded for debts. In between these two messages twelve days had passed and a lot had happened. Over Christmas Radio Caroline provided us with lots of good music and its image rose. Everybody listened in; reception on 199 metres Medium Wave was perfect, and all my Dutch friends were absolutely delighted about having Caroline back after nearly five years. Records that got stuck and Dutch DJ's who had trouble with pronouncing English names got forgiven right away, as everyone knows by now that the start of a new radio station has problems which will disappear as soon as the people concerned have acquired the know how of running a pirate station,
On Wednesday the 27th I saw the first two enormous sections of the big new aerial that were to be connected to the, base that had already been prepared on the "Mi Amigo"s deck, The aerial was to improve and extend the reception area. The two pieces were supposed to be taken out to the "Mi Amigo" that afternoon, but they did not reach the boat. Neither did I, or any of the others who were waiting with me at the quay side. No tender went out that day, so we all went home, and the pieces of the aerial remained another night on Scheveningen harbour quay. On Thursday the 28th, oblivious of what was going on aboard the ship - back home we were listening to Andy Archer's show while, playing a game of cards. I was just saying to my sister how nice it was of Andy to say hello to the naval destroyers that were passing by, when he announced fights were going on on the decks of the "Mi Amigo". Before one could say Norman Barrington-Smythe the station went off the air, and I lost my game of cards! We kept the radio tuned in on 199 metres, but nothing happened. Caroline didn't come back. We were all very much afraid that a third pirate-station off the Dutch Coast had proved too much for the Dutch Government after all, and that the Dutch navy had come aboard the "Mi Amigo" to close the station down. For another ninety minutes we were guessing and hoping we were wrong. Then the evening paper arrived with a small article. "Navy Investigates Mutiny Caroline. The Captain of the ship, Wil van der Kamp, was thought to have asked for assistance after having been threatened by a mutinous crew that was armed as well. The naval destroyer 'H.M. Limburg' went up to the "Mi Amigo" to see whether the Captain needed-their protection". (Haagsche Courant, December 28th 1972).
NOS-news on television gave a short report at seven o'clock that night, and a longer one at eleven-thirty. The reports were all quite confusing though. Nobody seemed to know what exactly had happened. There had been a mutiny aboard the ship, but the who, why and how seemed to be things nobody really knew. Various different interpretations of the story were given in the Dutch papers the next day. "According to Captain van der Kamp, there was a mutiny by the two English DJ's and the English technician. The trouble started last night when six Dutch members of the crew, and the Dutch representative for the management, Gerard van Dam, all left on a fishingboat and went ashore. The crew refused to work any longer because the owner of the ship, Ronan O'Rahilly, had been dawdling overpaying their salaries for months. When the six and van Dam had left the boat I stayed behind as the only Dutchman, an atmosphere then arose which I can only describe as threatening. There were signs that the three young Englishmen wanted to take over. Andy Archer and Chicago Pete, who were still aboard after the 'mutiny' were claiming that they did not threaten the Captain. There has been a quarrel between us and the Dutch. This was because a Dutch engineer tampered with the oil-pipes to the generator last night, which meant that the transmitter did not get enough power and the navigation lights at the stern of the ship went out. According to the Captain, there was 'a scuffle'; according to the the DJ's there was 'some quarreling', and their agent, Gerard van Dam, did not want to say anything at all".(De Telegraaf, December 29th 1972).
"Mutiny, Non-payment and Sabotage, Fn atmosphere one could cut with a knife. That was proved on Wednesday, around midnight, when the six Dutch members of the crew, with the exception of the disc-jockeys, half of Caroline's staff, unanimously left the boat for Scheveningen, They walked off' said Captain van der Kamp, a former Captain of the "Mebo II" and now Captain of the "Mi Amigo" for eight weeks, in protest. What did they really want? They hadn't had any money for some months, and with families to support that just won't do. Around Christmas they were already fed-up. Although van der Kamp hasn't had a penny for a month either, he is proudly standing on the bridge as the water swirles behind the propellor of the boat departing with his disloyal crew, as a Captain should he stays behind with the two English DJ's
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Andy Archer and Crispian St. John, and English technician Chicago Pete. Their loyalty to (Caroline is sea-miles greater than that of the angry dock sweepers and engineers". (Haagsche Courant, December 29th 1972).
The Captain kept insisting on the English being mutinous, while the English are claiming that they were just angry over the Dutch sabotage. Most people thought that the truth lay somewhere between these two extremes. Although NOS-news on television gave two further accounts of the Caroline affair on the Friday, the whole event stayed hidden in a mist of secrecy. Which, as far as I was concerned, was where it should stay. Because by Friday the situation' on the boat seemed perfectly normal again, and everybody aboard seemed very cheerful as Caroline's future seemed bright once more. Unfortunately, after the station closed down that night, Captain van der Kamp's highly praised loyalty to Caroline proved to be not as great as the newspapers had suggested some eight hours earlier. He had left the boat that night and returned at one o'clock with eight men in a sloop. "Arriving there, he waited away from the ship. Around about two-thirty in the morning the 'Eurotrip' set sail for the "Mi Amigo". As the 'Eurotrip" approached, Captain van der Kamp and his men boarded the "Mi Amigo", they cut the anchor chain which disappeared beneath the waves, then hawsers were thrown onto the "Mi Amigo". Within minutes the 'Eurotrip' had the ship in tow and was heading in the direction of Ijmuiden. The time for the take-over had been carefully chosen, they waited till the end of the last broadcast, and for the switching out of the lights, aboard the "Mi Amigo". They then took the crew by surprise. Aboard the "Mi Amigo" a small drama took place, technician Chicago Pete, got so upset about what had happened that he wanted to jump overboard, loudly screaming for help". (Haagsche Courant, December 30th 1972).
All of this event was to be seen on television in the NOS-news on Saturday evening. The Press and television must have been tipped-off for television was able to give us a full filmed report of the capture of the "Mi Amigo". We also saw the ship enter Ijmuiden harbour, where a small crowd was watching the Caroline DJ's who were just walking around the decks kicking up dust. We were told the ship had gone on to Amsterdam harbour, and after that a complete silence fell over Radio Caroline for the next two and a half days. Although nobody liked this new developement, we were not without hope that everything would turn out all right in the end, as the Dutch Government was unable to take any action against Radio Caroline. The transmitter could not be operated in the state it was in when the "Mi Amigo" entered the three mile limit , so legally the ship could leave Amsterdam harbour any time with the authorities, undoubtedly grinding their teeth on the quay, at not being able to stop her. So they tried to stop the "Mi Amigo" in another way. They had the Scheepvaartinspectie (Shipping-Inspection) investigate the seaworthiness of the ship, and it was decided that the "Mi Amigo" was a wreck which could only be allowed to leave after major repairs had taken place. Some of these were done, and on New Year's Day around five o'clock in the afternoon the "Mi,Amigo" quietly slipped out of Amsterdam harbour; but on its way to the open sea it was stopped by the Ijmuiden harbour authorities who had the Shipping-Inspection people investigate the ship once more.. One more repair was deemed necessary, there was a leak in the engine-room,. which could be repaired by welding a steel plate on the place where the leak was. The authorities gave the Caroline's crew two hours to complete the job. The repair was a race against time, not only to comply with the ultimatum of the authorities, but also the renewed danger of being impounded again for debts, which was supposed to be over after Ronan O'Rahilly's money-raising night in Amsterdam. While the last repairs to the "Mi Amigo" were being done, the news came that a shipping from Scheveningen wanted the ship impounded for a debt to towing-company Trip. They were too late, TOO LATE!! The "Mi Amigo" was off-shore and on its way to its former anchorage.
All this happened a few hours before I left Holland, and by some mixing up of the news someone told me the wrong-story, and I left with no knowledge that the "Mi Amigo" had succeeded in reaching the open sea in time. This is it, I thought, it is finished! Twelve days ago it was 'Welcome Caroline', today it is 'Goodbye Caroline forever! Never in my life have I been so pleased at finding out I was wrong, when on the next day someone in London told me that Caroline had been back on the air since eight minutes past two G.M.T on the afternoon of the 2nd of January. I was expecting to have to write an article about a dead pirate, but I didn't have to. As I am writing these words Caroline is more alive (and well) than ever. Programmes are getting better and better, commercials and coming in more and more. They have started news-broadcasts., and already a Caroline Club has been founded. I have no doubt it will get thousands of members. The black days are over, and may they never, never, come back!!!
Ineke Jager, Sub-Editor.
Monitor No.1 Add Gordon Swan to the list of Radio City DJ's printed on page 8.
Monitor No.2 The previous stations which Larry Tremaine served with (see Check List of RNI DJ's on page 10), were:- KRLA, KBLA, KDAY, KABC-TV, KTTV-TV, KCET (Education TV).
MONITOR NEW YEAR ISSUE 1973 - Page Seven.-
V E R 0 N I C A 5 3 8.
On Saturday, September 30th, rather swamped by other happenings, took place what was originally to be the main event of the day, namely Veronica's frequency change. For the last twelve years Veronica has broadcast on 1562 kHz (192 metres) with a power of 10 kW: they have now changed frequency to 557 kHz (538 metres) and have increased power to, it is believed, 20 kW (some increase of power was essential to combat lower aerial efficiency). The probable reason for the change was twofold, partially because of night time interference from the 150 kW Swiss station at Beromunster, and partly due to the fact that reception in many parts of Holland was inadequate, even during the day. How will the change effect reception? In general the goodness of any frequency depends on two things:- 1. How well that frequency will travel, and 2. What interference there is. Taking 1, in Veronica's case the frequency change is large (from one end of the M.W. band to the other) and considerable differences can be expected. Higher radio frequencies (e.g. Veronica's old frequency 1562 kHz) travel well over sea water, but much less over land. This explains the apparent anomaly that reception was difficult in parts of Holland, and yet was good on the east coast of Scotland, even as far north as the Shetland Isles! At lower radio frequencies (new frequency 557 kHz) the radio waves travel better (though still nothing like as well as over sea water) and reception is much better in Holland. (More competition for R.N.I.).
2. Interference. Listeners in the S.E. area of England may suffer interference from a NDB (Non-Directional Beacon). This is located in France at St. Ingelvert near Calais, it is an aeronautical radio beacon used for navigational purposes by aircraft flying into France via Airway Blue 3. Normally the beacon radiates a carrier, (i.e. it is just a transmitter with no tones) but every 15 seconds the transmitter is interrupted to send out its call-sign in morse code, this is ING ( .. - . - - . ).
This beacon is not exactly on Veronica's frequency, but on 561•_5 kHz (535 metres). A good receiver will be able to reject the beacon, but a domestic receiver may not. In any event this should only be a problem in the S.E. (area nearest Calais. In other areas Veronica's signal will be strong enough to overide this interference.
At night there is interference from an East German station at Greifswald. The interference is not as bad as used to be received on their old frequency from Beromunster, but is still enough to render the station virtually unlistenable in most areas. Unfortunately Greifswald does not close at midnight as did Beromunster, but continues throughout the night. It is interesting to note that another Swiss station, Monte Ceneri, is also on this frequency as well as a Finnish station (Helsinki); but neither of them cause interference at present. The change over itself was carried out smoothly. For about a week beforehand Veronica announced that the change would take place on Saturday 30th September, transmissions on 1562 kHz (192metres) would cease at 12.30 BST and resume on 557 kHz (538 metres) at 13.00 BST. Jingles and songs announcing the new frequency were played ad-nauseum throughout the week, 192 jingles were conspicious by their absence. A special programme giving the history of Veronica was played for the final hour. A last 192 jingle went out at 12.30 then 1562 kHz was silent. As is now well known, the "Mebo 2" promptly appeared on the channel, but this is reported elsewhere. Ten minutes later Veronica was back on 557 kHz with music and jingles till 1 o'clock when the new-programmes-commenced (the first five minutes were also relayed by R.N.I.) During the next day Veronica was-also sending out a low power announcement on 1562 kHz (192 metres) informing their listeners of the change. The signal was extremely weak in England, the power was certainly less than 1 kW, probably only a few hundred watts. The announcement, on a continuous tape, was varied from day to day, and was last heard on the 26th October. All in all this was a very professionally handled change over which lost few, if any, listeners, in fact the better reception in Holland has probably gained listeners. If only others stations could... have the same outlook towards their audience.
Don Scott.Monitor's Technical Adviser.
SDFRC "Info-sheet" No.6. (Forerunner of "Monitor") Includes an article about Radio Veronica written by Andy Archer; an account of the gale drama involving the "Mebo 2" in November 1971; plus sundry news items. Price 71p including postage (or 2 IRC's). _Monitor No.1. The Radio City Souvenir Edition. Contains contributions from Mrs. Dorothy Calvert, Alan Clark, Alex Dee, Ian Macrae, Rick Michaels & Phil Perkins. Very few left. Price 7½p inc. postage (or 2 IRC's).
Monitor No.2. This issue has the first part of the RNI Story, which includes accounts from Alan West, Andy Archer, & Rob Eden. Also Part I of Rick Michaels Thesis on Offshore Radio; plus a check-list of the 1970 RNI DJ's, & hitherto unpublished details about the "jamming" of Radio Northsea. Price 10p inc. postage (or 3 IRC's). The above publications are all obtainable from the Editorial address.
MONITOR NEW YEAR ISSUE 1973 - Page Eight –
RADIO NORTHSEA 2
The long awaited all-day English Service of Radio Northsea came, and went, on Saturday the 30th September 1972. At exactly 12.30 BST, within seconds of Radio Veronica vacating their old 192 metre wavelength listeners were amazed to hear RNI'' familiar "Man of Action" signature tune being played. A brief announcement was made in Dutch over the music, and an English translation was read out immediately afterwards by Tony Allan, it ran as follows:- "Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, this is the start of test broadcasts from Radio Northsea International 2, we are transmitting on 192 metres in the Medium Wave Band, 1562 kHz. Radio Veronica will be resuming their broadcasts at 1 o'clock Central European Time on 538 metres Medium Wave Band, that's 557 kHz. The management and staff of the Radio Northsea Network throughout Europe would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our friends over at Radio Veronica best of luck in the years to come. In order not to interfere with other transmitters on the frequency, we shall be closing down our test transmissions at 7 o'clock in the evening". Tony then continued to do one of his normal record shows, during, which he announced that RNI-2 was being broadcast in parallel on 6205 kHz in the 49 Metre Band. We were also informed that there was going to be a live link-up with Radio Veronica at 13.00 BST, so that we could hear part of their opening programme on 538 metres.
To me, listening in South Benfleet, I thought that RNI-2's signal was fractionally stronger than Radio Veronica's had been when they operated on this wavelength, but the quality was not as good, and they suffered from "breakthrough" from the Dutch Service on 220 metres. Then, just before 1 o'clock, Tony said: "This is Radio Northsea International 2 broadcasting on 192 metres in the Medium Wave Band, 1562 kHz. It's three-quarters of a minute to 1 o'clock, and we're now going live to the good ship Norderney here in the North Sea. Our neighbour, Radio Veronica-comes to you on five-three-eight via one-nine-two". The relay lasted for only four minutes, but those of us who were lucky enough to have heard it had witnessed an unforgettable piece of free radio history. We were then given the programme line-up for the rest of the day, which I will quote in full. 12.30-14.00 BST Tony Allan; 14.00-16.00 BST Brian McKenzie; 16.00-18.00 BST Arnold Layne; & 18.00-19.00 BST Terry Davis.
To sum up, the appearence of RNI on 192 metres was the best kept free radio secret of 1972 and took everyone completely by surprise. Looking back to earlier that week, on the Wednesday (27th September) I was making a tape-recording of Radio Veronica from 14.00 BST onwards on 192 metres, when at about 15.00 BST a heavy carrier suddenly "netted" on them and obliterated their signal for a couple of minutes. I remember thinking at the time that it must have been caused by a local land-based pirate! However, in the light of later events it seems more probable that it was RNI-2 being tuned-up. But to return to our story, the following day (Sunday the 1st October and again on the 2nd, RNI's 192 metre transmitter was logged testing prior to 10 a.m. in the mornings, on both occasions it.-was re-broadcasting the Dutch programmes from 220 metres. Since then nothing has been heard on this wavelength, and the chances of anything being heard again from RNI-2 on 192-metres are exceedingly remote.
"NORTHSEA GOES DX" NOW BROADCAST WEEKLY
This, the only minority-interest programme broadcast by Radio Northsea, remains
a firm favourite with free radio fans. It can now be listened to every Sunday morning between 09.00-10.00 GMT on 6205 kHz. As from November 12th it became an integral part of the reconstituted World Service, which should mean that in future it will be heard with a greater degree of reliability. Noteworthy features since the last issue of "Monitor" have been the third and final part of the RNI Story on July 9th; then on July 30th we heard "Stations of the Sea", which highlighted the history of offshore radio around the world. No programme was transmitted during the month of August, but on September 3rd Manx Radio was the featured station. The broadcast of September-24th repeated the previously told story of Radio Hauraki, and Albert J. Beirens made the surprise announcement that his programme would henceforth be transmitted each week. Since then the shows have gone out more or less regularly, although there have been a couple of late starts, and on two occasions (October 1st & 22nd) the programmes were not broadcast due to technical break-downs in the transmitting equipment. The postal address for those of you who wish to write to the programme is:- "Northsea Goes DX", P.O. Box 113, CH-6047 Zurich, Switzerland.
*** *** ADVERTISEMENTS *** ***
ALAN WEST wants a tape-recorder urgently! An old 2-track 7~ ips in working order. All offers considered. State your price. Please get in touch via "Monitor". Many thanks.
MONITOR NEW YEAR ISSUE 1973 - Page Nine –
FREE RADIO CAMPAIGN HOLLAND are arranging a trip to the radio-ships in July, for further particulars contact:- Hans Verbaan, P.O. Box 9460, The Hague 2040, Holland enclosing one International Reply Coupon.
FREE RADIO NEWS. The magazine of the FRC Germany. Latest news in German. 20 pagers in offset print. Latest issue (4/72) with many photos. Send 3 IRC's to:
FRC Germany, P.O. Box 461, 76 Offenburg, West Germany.
HAVE YOU EVER? Ever seen photos of RNI, in full, lovely COLOUR? We're pretty sure you've never. Never seen RNI photos as good as these, for example: Dutch DJ Joost Verhoeven and "King Kong": The Bollier Family: The Medium Wave Antenna: Fun in the North Sea: Alan West's Wedding! & lots more, and all in glorious Kodacolor (R). But they are probably the cheapest RNI photos you'll ever buy! No pound-a-piece, but each set at only 80p! Write now for details to:- Box MP, c/o "Monitor",
31, Avondale Road, Benfleet, Essex. Please enclose a stamped-addressed envelope. We look forward to hearing from you. (The Editor has inspected a selection of these pictures and he can recommend them, but do_not send money to the Editorial address).
NEFRC CHRISTMAS NEWSLETTER. Order your copy of this indispensable annual publication direct from the N.E.F.R.C., 12 Queens load, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE2 2PP. The price is 25p including postage & packing. Bulk orders at reduced rates - details sent upon receipt of an SAE.
SOUNDS OF LONDONDISCOTHEQUES. Ideal for any function, socials, dances, etc. With lights,-two DJ's. Wide selection of music. Write or ring :- 5, Russell House, Saracen Street, London E14 6HJ. Telephone No. 01-987-3133.
A number of new DJ's have recently been heard on RNI's Dutch Service. Their names, together with the dates of their first programmes are as follows:- Hans Molenaar 7--10-72: Mark van Amstel 21-10-72: Henny Spijker 22-10-72: Dick de Graaf 26-10-72: Piet Romer 7-1-73.
Have you noticed the big improvement in the signal of RNI's 220 metre transmitter? This is thanks to the skill of their new American transmission-engineer Steve Berry, who hails from Southern California.
With the resumption on the 3rd November of the English Service came a new Programme Controller, Don Allen, who until recently had been senior DJ with Manx Radio. Don is renowned for his knowledge of Country & Western music, and one of his first acts once aboard the Mebo 2 was to introduce a regular weekly show devoted to this type of music celled the "Country & Western Jamberee" it is broadcast every Saturday night from 23.00-01.00 GMT.
Brian McKenzie's "Rock 'n Roll Special" has moved from Tuesday to Friday nights, and can now be heard between 23.00-01.00 GMT. This is easily RNI's most popular programme, and to Brian must go much of the credit for the current resurgence of interest in Great Britain of Rock 'n Roll music.
How good it was to hear Rob Eden on the air again. Twice during the month of December he came to the assistance of the English Service which was desparately short staffed due to two new DJ's being unable to acclimatise to conditions on the storm-tossed Mebo 2. Poor Don Allen had to stay on the boat for four weeks on end until Rob came out to relieve him. Rob also came back for the Christmas period, and his many fans all hope that he will still be heard from time to time in 1973. Meanwhile, he continues to work for Mebo Ltd., but in a non-broadcasting capacity.
Another pleasant surprise was in store for us on Thursday the 14th December, when the tender arrived on that day who should be on it but our old friend Arnold Layne...... welcome back Arnold: The same tender also brought out a new DJ, Mark Slate by name, Mark's home town is Wallasey in the county of Cheshire, and like his colleagues Don & Arnold, he too served with Radio Caroline North, where he worked for about six months under the name of Dee Harrison.
MONITOR AND THE FREE RADIO CAMPAIGN
The Southend & District F.R.C. is a branch of the national Free Radio Campaign, our main function is to produce the magazine that you are now reading. We concentrate on in-depth articls, and leave the more general news to the FRC's "Newscaster", which is ably edited by Roy Brooker. It can thus be seen that we complement rather than compete with "Newscaster". We strongly advise all "Monitor" readers to join the F.R.C. and subscribe to "Newscaster". For full F.R.C. membership + subscription to "Newscaster".. ..send a 30p Postal Order to the
Free Radio Campaign, BM-FRC, London WC1V6XX, England.
MONITOR NEW YEAR ISSUE 1973 - Page Ten –
THE R.N.I. STORY PART II.
ALAN WEST continues his account...
In June 1970, rolling peacefully at anchor at sea off the coast of Essex, the Mebo II looked calm and collected. Despite the jamming from the navy transmitter at Rochester the programmes went on the air as usual every day almost as if everything was normal. By that time I think everyone had put their frustrations to one side and realised it was best to get on with the job in hand. At least it was a job and better than not being in radio at all, once more. Despite the jamming and all the little problems such as Larry Tremaine and Edwin Bollier etc., we all did our best on or off the air to do our best and put on a good front. At that time, if I remember correctly, Roger Day still held down the Breakfast Show, Andy 9 till noon, Carl Mitchell 12-3, and I had my regular strip (technical word and not at all expressive!) between 3 and 6; beyond that I can't remember. But things generally had settled down to a routine, and the time and the atmosphere, was ripe for -the ill-fated station to develop into something really worthwhile. However, that was not to be.
While all seemed to be peaceful at sea, the pot was boiling in London. Election day was drawing closer, electioneering had begun in earnest and plans had been drawn up in the mind of one Ronan O'Rahilly (I shall never know how to spell his name with the co-operation of one Urs Emmeneger. Plans which would shake the world of modern politics, and broadcasting too! Out of the quiet of routine the storm broke over our heads. RNI was at it again. Urs Emmeneger and O'Rahilly's henchman Jimmy Houlihan arrived on board, and announced that we would the next day become: Radio Caroline. My God, the worst had really happened! Or had it? How easily I recall the excitement with which most of us greeted the news. At last something was going to happen, although admittedly none of us knew quite what. It was suggested, I forget by whom, that we should masquerade a boarding party that night and announce Caroline's return to the air as a result, but I remember the horror with which everyone received the idea; looking back on it, tongue-in-cheek, it would have been bad for the image. Caroline had been towed away by force, an act of piracy, and. although it would have been ironic justice for the station to return by committing yet another act of piracy and violence, I don't somehow feel that two wrongs make it right.
It was eventually decided that without reason or explanation, Caroline would suddenly appear the next morning, very- gLzietly and without fanfare etc. That night was bloody panic. All the RNI jingles had to be recorded off cassette and on to tape; the "new" Caroline jingles and promos were to be recorded onto the blank cassettes, the whole format had to be changed overnight, and, horror of horrors, someone had forgotten to send out the tape of the old Caroline Bell. How could we be Radio Caroline without the bloody bell! Wind blowing force 5, and the Mebo heaving violently was the back drop at 3.30 in the morning as Park Wesley and I groped about in the dark, under the twinkling stars, tape recorder in hand, falling over and swearing at bits and pieces always to be found laying about on, or attached to, the deck. The language was attrocious duckie! However, we managed to find the ship's bell, painted in yer actual French froggie colours, but upside down representing the inverted "Tricolour" presented to the Dutch by Napoleon, when he conquered their holy of holies. That lovely old ship's bell also bore the name "Sylvretta", still. Nobody had ever found time to paint in the new name. After several attempts, and hastily constructed baffle boards made from bits of cardboard and Mark's back, we managed to record something which sounded vaguely like the original. And that's what you heard, and not, as so many people still believe, the old Caroline bell.
That week began with caution, everyone being a little apprehensive of the power of spoken word suddenly thrust upon us, acid maybe scared of going too far. if you remember we started out by asking voters to use their vote in the cause of free radio and freedom of speech, etc., etc. Within 24 hours, it had become "Support the party which stands for freedom of action" and all that claptrap! The next day, two days away from the election, our campaign was turning into a frighteningly monstrous electoral platform for the Conservatives, Not only were we telling you (not asking to vote-Tory, but we also had to broadcast names o£ MP's and their telephone numbers, and bits of their electoral speeches! What had started as an innocent stand for freedom (more the freedom to broadcast) had become a party machine. RIII had turned overnight into Big Brother in almost as horrifying an aspect as George Orwell's forecast in "1984", and we weren't even being paid for it! I remember thinking at the time that it was a case of either doing it or being out of a job. That's the way it is. It may have occurred to you that not one of the disc jockey„ involved in this holocaust has appeared on the BBC since. 1 am convinced we blotted our Corporation copybooks that week. In a later edition I'll try to prove it to you.
Then came the Saturday of the great protest march, and I was becoming heartily sick of the whole bloody business (I don't know if I sounded that was over on the air)., but strangely enough the fervent atmosphere was beginning to get through to me and I joined in relying messages, and spouting about freedom and all that nonsense, and playing "Who Do You Think You're Kidding Mr. Wilson?", all with great gusto. I had
MONITOR NEW YEAR ISSUE 1973 - Page Eleven –
come to the point of no return - either I had to quit or get on with it and take the and the consequences. I got on with it. Soon the end was in sight and the run-up and the day itself arrived. We had the television tuned to the BBC and Anglia TV alternately for the results and fresh news as it came in, and a telephone from lounge to the studio. The election programme on RNI itself was quite something : .. definitely a first in offshore broadcasting. The campaigning was fortunately over except for a few reminders to late pollsters, and it was a relief to all to get back to some professional broadcasting. Election night was excellent material for good radio and we made the best of it announcing the results from the big studio as they came in, and keeping tabulations etc. Good training. As the night wore on, it became clear that "we" had won, and the feeling of elation was nothing short of ecstatic, but we all were very tired, physically and mentally exhausted; all I could think of doing was getting drunk and going to bed. It was good that it was all over. Now to wait for the glory and the consequences.
The glory never came, but the consequences did. Someone had made a huge political bungle. It had never occurred to anyone that the new Government when it took office would assume that RNI could be dangerous to them as well. It was obvious that we could do the Conservatives as much damage as we had done the Labour Party. Not only that, but it was explosive for the new Government to reverse the policy, of the outgoing hierarchy, of jamming the Mebo's broadcasts, international dynamite in fact; the pressure was being piled on from Geneva and Rome, Oslo and The Hague, among others. The jamming continued no matter how grateful they were.
RNI's next move was heavily cloaked in political intrigue, but that's another chapter.
SIGNED: ALAN WEST
The next contribution comes from MARTIN KAYNE:
The first I heard about RNI coming back in 1971 was when I received a phone
call from Vic Pelli asking if I would like to join the station when it returns to the air. I was a little disappointed when I heard that all the daytime programmes were to be in Dutch, leaving just the evening and early morning hours for the English Service - at this time reception in the U.K. is at its worst.
When I arrived on the Mebo 2, with Tony Allan, Dave Rogers, and Crispian St. John: we found Steve Merike, and Alan West doing the test broadcasts, and at the same time frantically clearing up the rubbish that had accumulated in the studios and living quarters. At this time less than half the studio equipment was in working order so it was down to playing discs with Claude or Kurt under the panel performing live repairs with a soldering iron. Even on the day of the official re-opening things were not really right.... the MW transmitter was on half power, only one S.W. was operational, one studio was still in bits, and there was not one reliable clock on the ship.
Because of an agreement with RNI and Bassart Music N.V. of Holland a tremendous number of Dutch discs had to be played, even in the English Service. Dutch listeners were very pleased, but not so the British listeners who complained that there were not enough UK Chart, and new releases played. This tended to prove that fixed format radio was not suitable for RNI, as more than one country was involved, and there were two sets of charts to work from.
I was married in March 1971 and left RNI at the beginning of May. The reasons for my departure were firstly that I did not fancy being away from my wife for weeks on end, and secondly I could see that RNI was not having a very big impact on British listeners ....... certainly no reasonable replacement for Radio Caroline. What we need is a daytime pop station to compete with Radio One.... if RNI did not waste its power with S.W. and VHF transmitters (which earn Mebc Ltd. nothing and replace them with another MW transmitter, it may then be possible to provide a second station on MW for a continuous English Service, day and night, and that really would be SOMETHING! 390?
SIGNED: MARTIN KAYNE
ALAN CLARK did his 4th Radio Medway programme on 20-7-72. Alan showed his versatility by presenting a show featuring Folk and Country Rock music.
MICHAEL LINDSAY is helping to overcome some of the technical problems encountered by Radio Recovery (The Hospital Tape-recording Service). He has recently fitted up a compression system and is currently building a reverberation unit to be installed shortly. Thanks a million Michael!
ROBBIE DALE did his final show for Hilversum III on January 1st, 1973. He interviewed Crispian St. John during his programme on October 9th,
Monitor-reader STEVE ENGLAND has joined the staff of Radio Caroline. Steve is well known here in the South Fast for his discotheque work. We are sure all readers will join us in wishing him every success in his new career in broadcasting.
MONITOR NEW YEAR ISSUE 1973 - Page Twelve –
CHECK LIST OF R.N.I. DJ's FROM 21st FEBRUARY 1971 TO DATE
Compiled by Jackie Fright.
Name. First Show Last Show. Previous Stations.
TONY ALLAN 21-2-71 16-6-71 Radio Scotland
" * 10-8-71 15-8-71
" * 2-3-72 16-10-72
MARTIN KAY 21-2-71 14-4-71 Radio Essex, Radio 355 & Caroline North
STEVI MERIK 21-2-71 21-7-71 Radio Scotland & Radio Caroline South
DAVE ROGERS 21-2-71 1-2-72
" * 15-8-72 23-10-72
CRISPIAN ST. JOHN 21-2-71 17-10-71 (SW)
ALAN WEST 21-2-71 30-7-71 Radio London, Britain Radio, Radio 390
& Radio 270.
ROGER KIRK 29-4-71 (His only programme).
MIKE ROSS 6-5-71 23-10-72
" + 3-11-72 Currant
MARK STUART 17-6-71 20-10-71
ANDY ARCHER 12-8-71 15-8-71 Radio City & Radio Caroline South
PAUL MAY 19-8-71 29-7-72
ROB EDEN 1-9-71 23-8-72
" * 30-11-72 28-12-72
BRIAN McKENZIE 23-10-71 24-10-72 Radio Scotland
" + 3-11-72 Currant
TERRY DAVIS 28-10-71 9-10-72
JANE VALANTYNE 14-11-71(SW) 28-11-71 Three programmes only, her first one was
Live, the final two were recorded.
ARNOLD LAYNE 22-4-72 10-10-72 Radio Essex, Radio 270, Radio 390 &
" * 15-12-72 Currant Radio Caroline North.
SPANGLES MALDOON 14-9-72 18-9-72 Radio Caroline South
DON ALLEN 3-11-72 Currant Radio Caroline South & North and Manx
STEVE BERRY 26-11-72 Currant Primarily a transmission-engineer.
IAN ANDERSON 10-12-72 (SW His only programme)
MARK SLATE 16-12-72 Currant Radio Caroline North
A. J. BEIRLNS 23-12-72 1-1-73 ( SW )
* = Rejoined + = Reinstated SW = Short-Wave only
Dutch Service DJ's have included:- Joost de Draaier, Jan van Veen, Ferry Maat, Peter Holland, Jocst Verhoeven, Tony Berk, Leo van der Goot, Nico Steenbergen, Hans ten Hooge, Gerard Smit, Alfred Lagarde, Hans Molenaar, Mark van Amstel, Henny Spijker, Dick de Graaf, Piet R8mer & Andre van Duyn.
AUNTY MABEL COLUMN NO.2
First of all, my profuse apologies for my absence from Monitor No.2. This was due, mainly, to my delicate state of health following last month's Whitstable Oyster &Cockle Catchers 26th Annual Ball. As you may know, it is not uncommon for me to partake of the occasional glass of port. However, at this year's function local hippies had laced our refreshments with LSD and, to use current jargon, I just flipped, man. The arrival of a delegation from Kent Hell's Angels hardly helped matters. One had heard rumours of "gang bangs" and so forth, but one never dreamt these animals would carry out their primitive rites in the saloon bar of one's favourite pub.
You can imagine that I was in no condition to sit tapping out lines for my column. Still, one musn't dwell on these unpleasant things. My congratulations to all concerned for the Radio City & RNI souvenir editions. I am prone now and then to fits of contemplation, and it occurred to me after reading these issues how strange it is that people should still have such strong interest in the pirate stations, especially the older ones. It never seemed possible way back in 1966, when I was making daily appearences on the wireless, that people would be talking about the stations in six years time. Will we ever see their ilk again, I sometimes ask. myself. At other times I ask myself where I left the gin bottle. The other day I stupidly filled the tank of my 1938 Bentley with gin, instead of petrol, and it doesn't seem to have harmed performance; although I'm now the owner of the only car in the district with bloodshot headlamps.
It has been brought to my notice, insofar as I'm in any condition to notice anything these days, that last year's Radio 390 reunion went off with it's customary bang, if ,you'll excuse the expression. I was not personally present, but my spies inform me that it was almost as boring as previous ,years. excuse me, am I intruding?
MONITOR NEW YEAR ISSUE 1973 - Page Thirteen –
Since I have been out of action for several years (professionally speaking) I've lost touch with all the wonderful pop records that my boys used to play for me. Lately, I've been trying to make up for this by "checking out the scene". Only the other day I dropped into the Marquee Club in London to see a performance by some young musicians called Vinegar Joe. Whilst relaxing in the club bar during the supporting group's act, I was offered a strange smelling cigarette which I naturally declined.
A few seconds later, I changed my mind and had a few puffs. The smoke slowly curled upwards towards the ceiling, wafting high above the clouds gradually disappearing from view. Oh dear, I appear to be waffling. Anyway, Vinegar Joe were absolutely divine, and I do urge you to see them. 'Among my favourite pop picks at the moment is "Star Trek" by the Vulcans, a record which I can only describe as psychedelic reggae. Don't let this deter you from hearing it.
The mail response (as us old pros call it) to my first column could be described as overwhelming. As I say, it could be described as overwhelming, but a rather more accurate description would be absolutely pathetic. If you'd like to make an old lady happy, why not drop me a line. I'm always thrilled to hear from all of you wonderful people, so write away right away to your old chum, Aunty Mabel.
A quick glance at my engagements book for the forthcoming month tells me that I'm in for a busy time so, if you'll excuse me, I'll have to attend to a few chores around the pad, or should I say house. Warmest regards to all Aunty Mabel Hour fans. Keep boppin !
MARTIN KAYNE interviewed by Martin Kayne!!!
Q. When did you take up DJing?
A. Oh, after leaving the R.A.F. at the beginning of 1966.
Q. Did you start like most DJ's at a disco?
A. No, back in 66 there were not nearly as many discotheques as there are now. first professional position was with Radio Essex.
Q. Had you been interested or involved with radio before?
A. Yes in a way, while serving with the Air Force in Cyprus, at a place called Episkopi I became involved with a shore-based set up using an AM transmitter on 88 MIcs VHF. This became so popular we had to close down for fear o£ being locked up in the Guardroom! It seems that senior officers were not amused.
Q. You have worked for four marine stations, Essex, 355, Caroline North, and Radio North Sea - which station did you like the best and why?
A. Gulp! That is difficult as each station had its better and not so good points. For me Caroline was certainly the most satisfying, the letters we received just . after the MOA bill became law went to show that millions wanted Caroline, and that they missed Big L and the others.
Q. Have you ever worked for the beeb?
A. No. A programme for Radio Medway & a possible series for BBC World Service were suddenly dropped because of my involvement with a rival station (RNI). I did utter some words on 247m once at a Radio One Club broadcast from Folkestone - I was having a parle with Tony Blackburn on the difference between introducing disco shows and radio programmes.
Q. Would you be interested in working on a new pirate station, or perhaps a foreign station?
A. I don't think so, I have a wife and baby to consider, being away at sea for weeks on end is not my idea of married life. I left RNI basically for this reason. As for foreign stations, that depends when and when. Actually while I was in the RAF I applied to join the British Forces Broadcasting Service who happen to have their headquarters station at Dhekelia in Cyprus. I spoke to a Miss Livingstone (a matronly like woman in her 50's) who informed me that I had neither the voice or the personality to become a member of their broadcasting staff. I am sure it was because of this snub back in 1965 that I left the Air Force and became a DJ in the first place.
Q. Do you consider DJing an art? Some say that DJ's are unnecessary.
A. No not an art, there is certainly a knack to DJing, but like most trades anyone can do it if they work at it long enough and hard enough. I don't know of any "born DJ's"! - Who said JY! Several American stations have tried dispensing with DJ's and just having music and commercials, but this kind of programming is very limited. People like to communicate, that is why they write or phone radio stations ...... 'Jocks' have quite a future.
Q. Some DJ's in Pop radio are over 40, do you think they are really in touch with music turned out by musicians in their teens?
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A. This depends on who chooses the discs for the programme, BBC DJ's have producers & commercial stations usually have a set format. Pop music on the whole is young peoples music, and they should have proportional representation in all of the music industry.
Q. What is your opinion on popularity polls, such as the DJ polls that appear from time to time in the Pop Papers?
A. A certain amount depends on which publication we are referring to. In general terms these charts rarely show an undistorted picture of the situation. Many DJ's in such charts certainly deserve to be there - let there be no mistake, however there are several ways an artist can boost his votes. The problem is where does this boosting process end and the fiddling begin. It is obvious that there are fair and unfair methods of promotion.
Q. What is the biggest clanger you have dropped while on the air?
A. Funnily enough I cannot remember saying anything too slanderous. On Essex the microphone was operated by a foot switch, which just happened to become jammed while I was telling an engineer what I thought of an item of equipment. I almost fainted when I heard my abuse in my * cans! (*headphones). Another time, on Caroline a listener wrote saying that he thought our weather forecasts were very accurate indeed, and how did we receive the information. I mentioned on the air that we had an old bit of seaweed on the deck, and that we could tell from that. This did not seem very convincing so I went on to say - that if we were in doubt the DJ's sat around the mess room table holding hands in the dark and staring into their crystal *****!!! Fortunately it was only the listeners that grasped the double meaning.
Q. When on the air what do you think about?.
A. My thoughts are never on what I am doing at that particular time, but on what will be happening in about 30 seconds time. I find that when ad-libbing ones line of thought needs to be several steps ahead.
Q. What do you think a DJ should try to achieve while doing a show?
a. Oh! Ronan answered this one years ago, and I agree with him entirely - he said "It is the DJ's job to make each listener as happy as he or she can be".
Q. Now that the IBA has been formed, what future do you see for Commercial Radio in Britain?
A.. Well firstly I think the growth of commercial radio will be painfully slow. Compared with Caroline or Big L the proposed stations will be very small indeed, therefore opportunities will be severely limited. The smaller the station the fewer ads, the smaller the staff, the lower the wages - the pirate era proved this. I feel that unless something is done we will end up with dozens of Commercial mini--stations sounding much like the local BBC stations. I think it will be years before we have fixed format music stations like the services offered by the offshore stations, until then it will be all down to - "A short programme of popular music, introduced today by Fred Bloggs, who until recently was Chief Sewerage Inspector with the local Town Council". Seriously though, one should realise the difference between commercial Radio and Pop Radio.
On a final note, what would you like to see happen in the radio field in the next few months?
A. I would like to see the end of the needle-time agreements, so that Radio One could perhaps pull its finger out..... all the way, and attempt to be what it is not at present - A POP STATION. After that MEBO LTD could build them a transmitter so that all the country could hear the programmes, for better or worse!
THANKS FOR THE CHAT ......... .......................... MARTIN KAYNE.
PIRATES OF THE AIREWAVES: BRITISH OFFSHORE COMMERCIAL RADIO 1964-68
By J. Patrick Michaels, Jr. Part II
By this time, of course, the advertising society had changed their minds. Mr. Drian F. MacCabe, president of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising said:
We should 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.
While the Government pondered, advertisers rushed to take advantage of this new commercial medium. Conservative backbenchers, complaining that to ban the "pirate" stations would. cost. the party votes at the General. Election, prevented any legislation. Mr. Brian Harrison, M.P. remarked that "to ban Caroline would mean depriving the people of East Anglia of the first decent radio programme they have had for a long time". With
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opposition in both the Commons and the Lords, the P.M.G. retreated to the position that Britain would wait for the forthcoming Council of Europe Convention so that some international agreement would be reached,
Continuous popular music, the basic program material of Caroline and Atlanta, brought outraged protests not only from the P.P.L. but also from the Songwriters.
The journal of the British songwriters, Guild News, said: "Any pleasure derived by the guild members from the activities of Radio Caroline will be diminished when it is realized that this organization is making no payment whatever for the use of the music it broadcasts". The Performing Right Society renewed their offer to Atlanta and Caroline to grant them music copyright licences which would leave the stations free to choose any music they wished, because after all some royalties would be better than none! Victor Knight, General Secretary of the Songwriters Guild of Great Britain said that the organization was only interested in issuing copyright licences, not opposed to "pirate" radio. Radio Atlanta accepting this "soft line", announced that it had agreed to pay royalties to the Performing Rights Society. Radio Caroline concluded a similar agreement the next day.
Screamin' Lord Sutch Goes to Sea
David Sutch, well-known pop singer and leader of Screamin' Lord Sutch and the Savages, was to be the next important figure in pirate radio. Sutch was well-known for his publicity stunts, and even went so far as to run for Parliament on the "Teenag( Ticket". Sutch and his manager Reg Calvert hired a fast launch and equipped it with a small transmitter, and then sped down the Thames from London Bridge with the Jolly Roger flying, and playing pop music. The authorities gave chase, but Sutch and his crew managed to clamber on to the derelict World War II forts on Shivering Sands in the Thames Estuary.
The following day, May 28, 1964, the Government issued a statement claiming that the forts were Crown property and that Sutch was trespassing. The Kent police were sent to arrest the "pirates", but for some unexplained reason, the Army Department land agent had the police recalled and announced that no action would be taken against Radio Sutch. No doubt the G.P.O. felt that Radio Sutch with its small transmitter which barely reached Southend would be no commercial threat, and in fact, Sutch himself considered the venture as a publicity stunt. Calvert, known in the pop world as "Uncle Reg", decided that ultimately the station might have commercial value.
This enlightened attitude seemed to develop shortly after the announcement that Radio Invicta was to begin broadcasting from the Red Sands Fort about a mile and a half away. Radio Invicta was financed by two London shipowners and a Kent industrialist and was originally operated by Tom Pepper, a local fishing boat skipper. Both Sutch and Invicta were small amateur operations which lacked power, audience and advertisements. However, they were encouraged by Lord Jellicoe, Minister of Defense for the Royal Navy, when he declared, in reference to eliminating Radio Sutch:
The difficulty lies elsewhere. The fort which rejoices in the name of Shivering Sands, lies about half a mile outside of territorial waters, and this naturally inhibits legal action under the Wireless Telegraphy Act or for trespass.
However, Lord Jellicoe did supply the answer to torpedoing the forts which was not really seriously considered until two and a half years later.. He suggested implementing the "bay closing lines" in accordance with the Geneva Convention on Territorial Seas which referred to estuaries and other coastal indentations. If these closing lines were enforced, the Thames Estuary would be in territorial waters. Until the late 19th century, the United Kingdom had anti-smuggling "Hovering Acts" which gave them control of waters near though outside of territorial waters. These were repealed in 1876.
While the battle of the "pirates" continued at sea, several arguments emerged for shore based radio to compete with the "pirates". Lord Willis was one of the first to argue in favour of community radio, run by professionals but controlled by Municipal Organizations, but Labour was opposed to any form of commercial radio. Many people pointed to the financial difficulties of the B.B.C. which was forced to subsist on inadequate license fees, and suggested that the B.B.C. be allowed to accept advertising, Christopher Booker in the Spectator summed up the situation neatly:
There is intruth only one possible answer to all these problems - that local radio should pay for itself and indeed other services, such as Channel Four, by advertising - and preferably be run by a variety of organizations as well as the B.B.C.
Ironically the first local commercial radio service to be granted a licence to broadcast was on the Isle of Man. Both Caroline and Atlanta, interested in reaching the industrial north and Scotland had applied to the MANX Legislative Council for a concession to operate a station on the Isle of Man. Mr. T. H. Calbourne, a House of Keys member who was linked with Radio Caroline, announced his intention to establish
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Radio Vannin at Douglas Head, equipped with a 20 kilowatt transmitter. At this time, the rumor, denied by Caroline, that they were to relocate in the Irish Sea near the Isle of Man, had reached the press. Calbourne declared that he would put Radio Vanrnin on the air if Caroline failed to show up, and if he was threatened with prosecution he would resign his seat in the Keys and run in a by-election to prove his point.
The Manx Government, instead of being pressured by "pirate" interests, granted a concession to Pye Radio Ltd to set up a lower powered 50 watt station broadcasting on 188 metres medium wave during the day, but relegated to V.H.F. (FM) during the night. This would barely cover the island, let alone reach the mainland. Moreover, the number of V.H.F. equipped sets on the island was estimated at less than one in twentyfive.
On July 3, 1964, news of the Caroline-Atlanta merger was made public. The idea was to form a commercial radio network with Caroline serving the north and midlands and Atlanta broadcasting to London and the south. This maneuver brought a sharp protest from Mr. M.J. Stanley (Pye deputy consultant to the Isle of Man Government) and Richard Meyer, South African businessman, who supplied Manx Radio with programs. In a joint telegram to the Prime Minister and the Postmaster General, they claimed that Caroline had stolen their listening audience thus precluding all possibility of obtaining revenue to operate the station. The telegram went on to say. "If unable to check Caroline, please give us a chance to compete by allocation of comparable medium wave lengths and power". This plea fell on deaf ears, only to emerge during the stormy debate over the Marine and Broadcasting (Offences) Bill 1967 in the House of Keys.
During the summer of 1964, the battle over "pirate" radio continued to rage with the, stations becoming increasingly more popular and prosperous and complaints becoming more vocal. The arguments against the stations centered around five basic issues. Foremost was the complaint that the "pirates" were contrary to international agreements and contributed to the growing chaos of frequency interference on the medium wave band, and that Radio Caroline and particularly Radio South were a danger to shipping because of their interference with maritime wave lengths. There was also the argument that the Government had no legal recourse to the activities of the stations because they operated "beyond the law" in international waters. (To be continued).
IBA "JAM" RADIO VERONICA!!
No, this unfortunately isn't a joke. On Monday, January 15th the I.B.A. started test transmissions with a 1 kW transmitter situated at Lots Road Power Station,' in Chelsea. The broadcasts consist, mainly, of tuning' whistle, the occasional musical selection, with, every so often the following taped announcement :
"You're listening to an experimental transmission being made by the Independent Broadcasting Authority. We're transmitting on a frequency of 557 kHz, 539 metres, in the Medium Wave Band, and these special tests are to help us plan independent local radio stations for London. The broadcasts will continue for only a limited time, and may be interrupted for engineering purposes. If you want to know more about the tests here is the address to write to: Independent Broadcasting Authority, Engineering Information Service, 70 Brompton Road, London SW3 1EY. Our phone number is
01 (if you're outside London) 584-7011 Extension 444".
I rang the number given, and was put through to their engineer, a Mr. Lovell, I asked why was Radio Veronica's wavelength chosen for the tests, and he replied. "Well, as you will appreciate, Veronica is a pirate, and in fact, this frequency was allocated to us by the Post Office", he added "We wanted to see what it was like down that end of the band". These tests appear to take place between 10.00-15.30 GMT, and I was told that they were expected to last for two to three weeks.
Since our main article was written three new DJ's have been heard.on the Dutch Service, they are Jolly J. whose 1st programme went out between 05.00-08.00 GMT on 6-1-73; Dennis King, his 1st show was from 11.00-14.00 GMT also on January 6th. The most recent newcomer is Bert Bennett, he was first heard on the air on January 17th. Please note that Ronan's film "Gold" has now moved from the Classic Cinema to the Windmill Theatre, just behind Piccadilly Circus, in Windmill Street.
Steve England's wife Debbie presented the records for twenty minutes from 21.30-21.50 GMT on January 13th, during Steve's evening programme. Debbie is a DJ in her own right and has helped her husband run ZAP Discotheques for a number of years.
Andy Archer can be heard nightly, when on the boat, from 23.00-05.00 GMT. All of us at "Monitor" send you belated greeting Andy for your birthday on January 22nd.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. The Editor wishes to record his indebtedness to the following: Andy Archer, Roy Brooker, Alan Clark, "Free Radio News"; Steve England, Jackie Fright, Colin Howard, Martin Kayne, Frank Leonhardt, Rick Michaels, "Newscaster", Martin Rosen, Tony Rounthwaite, John Steven, Martin G. Stevens, Hans Verbaan, & Alan West.