Editor:- Roland C. Pearson. Editorial Office :-
Sub-Editors:- Ineke Jager & 31, Avondale Road,
Penelope Page. Benfleet,
Technical Adviser:- Don Scott. Essex SS7 1EH,
Circulation Officer:- Diane Foale. ENGLAND.
Issue Number 4. Price 10p (Overseas 3 IRC'S).
EDITORIAL. Welcome, readers old and new, to "Monitor" 4! In this issue we invite you to read the most complete details of Radio Caroline's activities that you'll find anywhere. But don't let the excitement of discovering all the latest Caroline news spoil your enjoyment of our features on RNI, Veronica and Radio Syd. We also present for your attention a detailed analysis of the recent events in Holland. On behalf of all Caroline's many listeners everywhere, we at "Monitor" would like to express our sincere appreciation to Mr. RONAN O'RAHILLY for providing us with something we've been wanting and awaiting for a long time now: an all-day English service! Thanks a million for making it possible, Ronan; good luck with everything and remember we're all with you. "All the time with Caroline, day by day...."
Due to the vast amount of topical information in this issue it is not possible to include another instalment of the thesis "Pirates of the Airwaves" by J. Patrick Michaels, Jr. If circumstances permit, the 3rd part of this popular feature will appear in "Monitor" 5, which will, of course, be automatically despatched to everyone on our mailing-list on the usual sale-or-return basis. And so from the newly enlarged East Anglian branch of the F.R.C. we wish you good reading of our magazine, and most
of all - "Happy Listening".
The first part of this chronicle brought us up to the exciting events of January 2nd. At this particular juncture Caroline was receiving so much attention from the national Press that it was exceedingly difficult to keep abreast of it, and I omitted to mention in my earlier account that reports had appeared in the "Daily Express "Evening News", & "Evening Standard" on 30-12-72; and also in the "News of the World", "Sunday Express", "Sunday Mirror", & "Observer" on 31-12-72. Having now put the record straight back to the story in hand. The unexpected return of the station to 259 metres was referred to on January 3rd in the "Daily Express", "Daily Mirror", "Guardian", & "Sun". Meanwhile, back on the "Mi Amigo" the programmes for the next fifteen days were transmitted without a hitch in both the English and Dutch languages. During this period four new Dutch disc-jockeys were heard on the air, they were jolly J. and Dennis King, who did their first shows on 6-1-73; & Peter Zonneveld and Bert Bennett, whose first broadcasts were both on 17-1-73. Departing was Crispian St. John, who did his final programme on 16-1-73. By this time the Press was beginning to lose interest, and the only articles that appeared were to be found in the "Sunday Telegraph" on 7-1-73; and the American "Time" magazine dated 15-1-73, which incidentally included photographs of Ronan O'Rahilly and Captain van den Kamp.
On the night of January 18th a near disaster occurred. Norman Barrington was doing the 20.00-23.00 GMT slot, when at 22.51 GMT Tony Allan burst into the studio to broadcast the following Mayday message:- "There is a fire in our engine-room, please call your local Coast Guard or the police immediately. We have a fire in our engine room which we are trying to bring under control, but we would like to have assistance as soon as possible. Please, anyone monitoring this call could they call their police or the local Coast Guard immediately. This is the "Mi Amigo", Radio Caroline, the "Mi Amigo", Radio Caroline, we have a fire on board. This is a Mayday message, and I'm going to give you back to Norman whose going to continue with this massage until I tell him to stop". Norman, as per instructions, then proceeded to put out this further distress call:- "This is the "The Mi Amigo", Radio Caroline, we have a fire on board and want assistance - so if you're listening please ring your local police station, if we could have any assistance possible, as soon as possible, we'd be much obliged. There's a fire in the engine-room I believe, and I can smell it from here. Mayday, Mayday, Mayday, Mayday. This as Radio Caroline, the "Mi Amigo" moored approximately six miles off the coast of Scheveningen, in between the "Norderney" and the "Mebo". This is Radio Caroline, Mayday, Mayday. We would like assistance please, we have a fire in our engine-room, we're trying to bring it under control, but we would still require assistance. Mayday, Mayday, Mayday, Mayday. This is the "Mi Amigo", the "Mi Amigo". Mayday, Mayday".
Variations of this message continued; and then at 22.58 GMT Norman announced : "This is radio Caroline on two-five-nine broadcasting from the ship "Mi Amigo"., if anyone is listening on Radio Northsea, "Mebo II", if you could send us some assistance, or repeat our message of earlier - there is a fire on board at the moment, and er....". At this point Andy Archer interrupted and said:- "In actual fact Norman,
MONITOR SUMMER ISSUE 1973 - Page Two -
I hate to butt in, the fire has been put out - everything is okay. So, there was a fire on board ...it's been put out; it's now under control and everything is okay so we'll go back to your programme, and back to mine in a minute - so there' no problem - Geen problem aan board. Thank you".
In the meantime, at Earley in Berkshire, a 15 year old schoolgirl Sylvia Herchv was in bed listening to Caroline on her transistor radio and heard their appeals for help. Sylvia's mother said afterwards: "Sylvia came downstairs in a terrible state after hearing the message. I thought the house was on fire". Her father immediately contacted the police, who in turn passed on the information to the Admiralty Shipping Division, and they conveyed the message to the Netherlands Navy for their attention. Sylvia deserves to be complimented upon her presence of mind, her quick reaction to the emergency could have saved lives if the Mi Amigo's crew had not been successful in putting the fire out themselves. Two accounts of Sylvia's part in the drama were' " printed in the Reading "Evening Post", the first was dated 19-1-73, and the second, together with her picture, on 22-1-73. The fire incident was also mentioned by a couple of the daily papers; in the Stop-press of the "Daily Mirror" on 19-1-73, and the "Sunday Telegraph" for 21-1-73. The cause of the blaze was a spark from the welding that Dick Palmer was doing which ignited some waste oil that had collected in the ship's bilge.
On January 21st the station was troubled by breakdowns all day, and for the next two days went completely off the air. On January 24th the 50 kW transmitter made its first appearence on 259 metres, not on full power I hasten to add. The test lasted from about 10.00-14.30 GMT and comprised tuning tones and the occasional item of music. Normal programming was resumed the following day.. Atypical day's schedule at this time Was the one for January 26th which I will quote in full:- 05.00-07.00 Paul Dubois, 07.00-09.00 Mike Storm, 09.00-11.00 Ron Dolman, 11.00-13.00 Mike Storm, 13.00-15.00 Paul Dubois, 15.00-17.00 Ron Dolman, 17.00-20.00 Steve England, 20.00-23.00 Norman Barrington, 23.00-02.00 Andy Archer, & 02.00-05.00 "Night Trip" with Dick Palmer. (All times GMT).
January 31st saw two new DJ's start on the Dutch Service, they were Pierre van Gent (better known in the free radio world as Pierre Deseyn, he had previously broadcast from Caroline last December under the name of Jeremy Bender), & Wil van der Steen (Wil had also been heard before on the station, he had done some news-reading, earlier in the month using the name Bill Stones). On the same day Radio Caroline changed their postal address from P.O.-Box 2448 to Caroline House, The Hague, Holland. In the early hours of February 2nd Debbie England presented her first full length programme, prior to this she had only done thirty minutes or so at a time on a couple of her husband's shows, The next new DJ to be heard on the air was Robin Adcroft, he did his initial programme between 03.00-05.00 GMT on February 4th, Robin had been aboard the "Mi Amigo" as a technician since January 19th. At 17.22 GMT on February 9th Steve England announced that the English Service would henceforth be adopting a Top 40 format for the hours between 17.00-23.00 GMT, and that the progressive music would now be played from'23.00-05.00 GMT. On February 10th the first "Caroline Countdown of Sound" was presented on the Dutch Service by Ron Dolman.
A good example of the new programming was heard on February 11th:- (all times GMT) 05.00-08.00 Pierre van Gent (07.00-07.30 Johann Maasbach), 08.00-11.00 Wil van der Steen, 11.00-14.00 Ron Dolman, 14.00-16.00 The 1st "Caroline Club Request Show" hosted by Tony Allan & Pierre van Gent 16.00-16,30 Johann Maasbach, 16-30-17.00 The 1st "0me Joop Show" (The Uncle Joop Show presented by Wil van der Steen, 17.00-18-00 let "The Best of the Top 40" Andy Archer, 18.00-20.00 "The Going Back in Time Show" Steve England, 20.00-21.00 Debbie England & Robin Adcroft, 21.00-23.00 Norman Barrington. (During this programme the generator broke down and they appeared to terminate broadcasting for the day). Two DJ's left the station at about this time, they were Pierre van Gent whose final show was broadcast on February 14th, & Tony Allan whose last programme went out on February 15th. Their departure was counterbalanced by the arrival of two new Dutch DJ's, Peter Bryan & Jos Minder, they both made their first broadcasts on February 21st. By March 1st the programme run-down was as follows:05.00-06.00 Non-stop music, 06.00-06-30 Johann Maasbach, 06.30-08.00 Ron Dolman, 08.0011.00 Wil van der Steen, 11.00-14.00 Peter Bryan, 14.00-17.00 Ron Dolman, 17.00-21.00 Steve England, 21.00-23.00 Chicago, 23.00-03.00 Norman Barrington, 03.00-05.00 Debbie England & Robin Adcroft. (All times GMT).
Graham Gill joined the station on March 6th and his first programme was transmitted that evening between 20.00-23.00 GMT. Then on March 7th a new DJ appeared on the Dutch Service, this was Joop Verhoof. Graham's stay with Radio Caroline proved to be short-lived, and he did his last show for them on March 12th. A typical Sunday's programme during this period was the one heard on March 18th, here it is with times given in BST:- 06.00-09.00 Bert Bennett (08.00-08-30 Johann Maasbach), 09.00-10.00 ?, 10.00-12.00 Joop Verhoof, 12.00-13.00 Dominee Toornvliet (Pastor Toornvliet), 13-0015.00 Peter Bryan, 15.00-17.00 "Caroline Club Requests" presented by Steve England & Bert Bennett, 17-00-17.30 Johann Maasbach, 17.30-18.00 "0me Joop Show" Wil van der Steen, 18.00-19.00 "The Best of the Top 40" Norman Barrington, 19.00-21.00 "Going Back in Time Show" Steve England, 21.00-24-00 Robin Adcroft, 24.00-06.00 Norman Barrington.
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Towards the end of the month further generator problems manifested themselves. Numerous breaks in transmission occurred on the 24th & 25th culminating in a complete breakdown at 10.05 BST on the 26th.
The station was to remain silent for the next fifteen days. In the interim, however, the second Force 12 gale in six months struck the radio-ships anchored in the North Sea - this happened on Monday April 2nd. At 20.54 BST that evening the "Norderney" housing Radio Veronica broke her mooring chain and was soon drifting helplessly towards the shore; broadcasting ceased at 22.30 BST, and her crew were rescued by the "Bernard van Leer" lifeboat at 22.45 BST. The "Norderney" was eventually washed up on Scheveningen beach at 00.15 BST the following morning, apparently none the worse for her experience! Re-floating the vessel which was now high and dry presented Radio Veronica's owners with a major headache, as they had to await a suitably high tide. Meanwhile, it was decided to resume broadcasting using the facilities of Radio Caroline that had been placed at their disposal by Ronan O'Rahilly. And so it was that on April 11th radio history came to be made when Radio Caroline started broadcasting the taped programmes of Radio Veronica, with live newscasts inserted just before each hour read by Arend Langeberg or Freek Simon, who had taken up temporary residence aboard the "Mi Amigo".
On the morning of that particular day I switched on my radio at 09.36 BST and was delighted to note that the long silence on 259 metres had ended, unannounced records were played, including several Beatle LP's, up until noon. Then at exactly 12.00 BST the official Veronica programmes commenced. They wasted no time in launching into a publicity campaign to advertise the free radio rally they had organised for April 18th in The Hague. With the aid of a tug and some bulldozers the "Norderney" was successfully re-floated at about 20.00 BST on April 16th. Meantime, Caroline was still broadcasting daily as Radio Veronica from 06.00-02.00 BST, this continued until April 18th when on that date Veronica resumed transmitting its own programmes once again from the "Norderney". That morning between 10.00-11.00 BST Caroline played non-stop music selected by Norman Barrington, then at 11.00 BST they started relaying Veronica from 538 metres and re-transmitting the programmes on 259 metres. This relay operation lasted two more days and finally came to an end at 18.00 BST on April 20th, for the next fifteen minutes between jingles and the playing of the Veronica record there were announcements in Dutch telling listeners to re-tune to 538 metres, then at 18.15 BST the "Caroline" record by The Fortunes was played, and when it ended the transmitter was switched off.
Another twenty-two days were to elapse before anything further was heard from the "Mi Amigo". During their time off the air ten of the twelve sections of the new aerial mast had been erected and a second studio had been built on board, but of equal importance from the listeners point of view was the adaptation of the 10 kW transmitter to enable it to operate on 389 metres. The first test transmission on this wavelength was a tuning tone heard at 22.55 BST on May 13th., after switching on and off several times the test ended at 23.18 BST. On the following day three test transmissions were logged, the first started at 00.40 (or slightly earlier and continued until 08.08 BST, station idents were given between records by Norman Barrington and Ron Dolman; the second test that day was from 08.56-09.20 BST; and the third ran from 13.00 BST till 19.30 BST on May 15th, a total of 30~ hours. In which time a number of marathon DJ-ing sessions were clocked-up. From 13.00-23.00 BST we heard Ron Dolman, then he handed over to Norman Barrington whose programme lasted from 23.00-09.00 BST. Norman should have handed over to Ron at this time - but Ron was still asleep in his cabin and so we had non-stop music instead till almost 10.00 BST when Alan Wheeler, the ship's chef, arrived on the scene and tried his hand at making station announcements until Ron put in an appearence at 10.26 BST. Ron then did a programme which took us through till close-down at 19.30 BST.
From then onwards hardly a day passed without tests being heard on both 389 and 259 metres. On May 30th, at 21.45 & 22.08 BST Norman Barrington announced the 389 station as Radio Caroline One. The next milestone was when I checked the channels at 10.15 BST on the morning of May 31st and found that each one was carrying a different musical programme, they were completely free from cross modulation or any other form-of breakthrough. By June 1st the 389 metre station was calling itself Radio Caroline International, whilst 259 metres was plain Radio Caroline, it was also becoming obvious that the English Service would be on the former wavelength, with the Dutch Service broadcasting on the latter. During the test programming on the morning of June 2nd the announcer on 259 metres gave his name as Paul Alexander, and he said that Henk Meeuwis was doing the announcing on 259 metres. At 21.00 BST that night Norman Barrington stated that they were now combining channels, which meant that the English test programme that Norman was presenting on 389 metres would now be broadcast on 259 metres as well.
The grand opening of the twin stations was on Monday June 4th; but before I give a run-down of the day's programmes I think that I had better impart a few organisational and technical details. The English Service of Radio Caroline International is under the personal supervision of the Station Manager Chris Cary (Spangles Maldoon), and at the time in question was being broadcast on 389 metres (774 kHz) from a
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Continental-Electronics Type 316B 10 kW AM Transmitter, which was being fed into the vertical antenna with a power output of 8 kW. In charge of the Dutch Service on Radio Caroline was its Programme Director Andy Archer, at this particular time they were broadcasting on 259 metres (1187 kHz) from the big Continental-Electronics Type 317C 50 kW AM Transmitter, which was feeding into a "sausage" aerial slung from the main antenna to a smaller after mast; the power output was 15 kW.
Now for the actual programmes, the English Service first:- 06,00-07,00 Non-stop music, 07.00-07.30 Johann Maasbach, 07.30-09.00 Paul Alexander (his 1st programme), 09.00-12.00 Andy Archer, 12.00-13.00 Spangles Maldoon, his 1st programme (incidentally it was taped not live), 13.00-16.00 Robin Adcroft, 16.00-18.00 Norman Barrington, 18,00-21.00 Paul Alexander, 21.00-24.00 Norman Barrington, 24.00-02.00 Dick Palmer. The Dutch Service was as follows:- 06,00-07,00 Non-stop music, 07.00-10.00 Joost Verhoeven, 1st programme (tape), 10,00-12,00 Ad Peterson, 1st programme (tape) , 12.00-13.00 Mike Storm (tape), 13.00-16.00 Joop Verhoo£ (live), 16.00-17.27 Andy Archer (live), at 17.27 the tender departed so Andy, who was due on shore, did not have time to finish his show: 17.27-18.00 Joop Verhoof (live), 18,00-19.00 Henk Meeuwis, 1st programme (live), 19.00-21.00 Classical Music, presented by Andy Archer (tape). At 21.00 259 metres combined with 389 metres. All the above times are in BST.
On June 5th a new DJ, Dave West, was billed to appear between 15.00-18.00 BST, but after only thirty minutes of programming he was overcome by seasickness, and his colleague Paul Alexander had to finish his show for him. The next day, June 6th, Dave managed to complete his three-hour show, however, this proved to be his last as he was taken off the "Mi Amigo" soon afterwards. The Dutch Service had a new DJ on the air from 10.00-12.00 BST (live) on June 8th named Leo de Later, his primary purpose aboard the boat was that of newsreader. Another familiar name was heard on the air between 24,00-03,00 BST on June 10th, this was Michael Lindsay and his programme was prerecorded. Here is an example of a full day's programmes at this time as heard on Friday, June 15th:- English Service, 06.00-07.00 Non-stop music, 07.00-07.30 Johann Maasbach, 07.30-10.00 Steve England, 18.00-12.00 Robin Adcroft, 12.00-14.00 Norman Barrington, 14.00-18.00 Steve England, 18.00-20.00 Robin Adcroft, 20.00-24.00 Norman Barrington, 24.00-02.00 Dick Palmer. Dutch Service. 06.00-07.00 Non-stop music, 07.00-09.00 Joop Verhoof, 09.00-12.00 Joost Verhoeven, 12.00-13.00 Non-stop music, 13.00-16.00 Jeep Verhoof, 16.00-18.00 Jerry van der Loo, 1st programme (live), 18.00-19.00 Leo de Later, 19.00-21.OO.Classical Music. From 21.00 BST onwards the programmes were the same as 389 metres.
The first programme from another new disc jockey, Johnny Jason, was heard on Sunday morning June 17th, and over on the Dutch Service newcomer Ted Bouwens did his first show on tape between 11.00-13.00 BST on June 18th. The following day, the 19th, saw a most interesting innovation on 259 metres, instead of the usual merger at 21.00 BST with the English Service, an alternative English Service specialising in progressive music was inaugurated. It was presented from 21.00-24.00 BST by Norman Barrington, and from 24.00-02.00 BST by Dick Palmer; this left 389 metres free to continue their format of Top 40 & "Golden Oldies" through till close-down. By June 22nd the programme line-up was:- (English) 06.00-09.00 Steve England, (07.00-07.30 Johann Maasbach), 09.00-12.00 Johnny Jason, 12.00-13.00 Spangles Maldoon, 13.00-15.00 Paul Alexander, 15.00-18.00 Johnny Jason, 18.00-21.00 Steve England, 21.00-24.00 Paul Alexander, 24.00-03.00 Robin Adcroft, 03.00 Close-down. (Dutch) 06.00-07.00 Non-stop music, 07.00-09.00 Ad Peterson, 09.00-11.00 Joost Verhoeven, 11.00-13.00 Ted Bouwens, 13.00-15.00 Bert Bennett, 15.00-18-00 Jerry van der Loo, 18,00-19.00 Henk Meeuwis, 19.00-21.00 Classical Music, 21.00-24,00 Norman Barrington, 24.00-03.00 Dick Palmer, 03.00-06.00 Michael Wall-Garlend, lst programme.
Both stations spent several hours off the air on June 23rd & 24th due to a recurrence of the generator trouble. The arrival of two new DJ's made Monday June 25th a notable date, on tape on 389 metres between 07.30-09.00 BST was none other than Roger Day, who was making his return to the airwaves after an absence of three years; while across on the Dutch Service Tom Dekkler was to make his radio debut. At 19.46 BST on June 26th the ill-fated Buda generator finally gave up the ghost putting both transmitters off the air. The day's programmes, up to this time, had been as follows: (English) 06.00-07,00 Steve England, 07.00-07.30 Johann Maasbach, 07.30-09.00 Roger Day, 09.00-12.00 Johnny Jason, 12,00-15.00 Robin Adcroft, 15.00-18.00 Johnny Jason, 18.00-19.22 Steve England (At 19.22 Steve departed in mid-programme to take the tender to Scheveningen for a week's leave), 19.22 until the generator failure at 19.46 was Paul Alexander. (Dutch) 06.00-07,00 Non-stop music, 87.00-09.00 Jerry van der Loo, 09.00-11.00 Tom Dekkler, 11,00-13.00 Jerry van der Loo, 13.00-15.00 Bert Bennett, 15.00-18.00 Jerry van der Loo, 18.00-19.00 Hank Meeuwis, 19.00-19.46 BST Classical Music,
Press coverage of the opening of the twin-services was confined to the "Times" on 5-6-73 & the "Daily Mail" dated 7-6-73. For the next twelve days after the breakdown Caroline fans frantically tuned around their radio dials in the hope of hearing something, but to no avail, It was at this time that Robin Adcroft and Norman Barrington at considerable personal risk, succeeded in putting up the top two sections of the antenna mast to bring it to its full height of 180 ft. Soon after
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the mast had been completed two new Duitz 200 kVA generators arrived on the boat and these have been mounted on the deck aft of the bridge. Back at Caroline House some important decisions were being made, it was decided to abandon Radio Caroline's Dutch Service, and lease its transmitter to Radio Atlantis, a Belgian organisation which would furnish their own programme material on tape. This rearrangement has resulted in Andy Archer being transferred to the English Service where he will now become the Programme Director.
A rumour that the "Mi Amigo" had moved her position to five miles off the Essex coast was reported on July 11th by the "Evening Standard" & the Ipswich "Evening Star". The following day the rumour was taken up by three of the national dailies, namely the "Daily Express", "Guardian" & "Sun". That night the Southend "Evening Echo" mentioned that Radio Caroline would soon be broadcasting to Britain with a more powerful signal. Further rumours appeared on July 13th in the "East Anglian Daily Times", & "East Essex Gazette"; and for three consecutive days, from the 11th-13th, the local newscasts on Anglia TV gave prominence to the story; but exactly how these rumours came to be triggered-off remains a mystery.
At twelve noon on Sunday July 15th Radio Atlantis was heard on the air for the very first time. The day began with a tuning tone being heard on 259 metres, this stopped at 10.00 BST and was followed immediately by two hours of uninterrupted Beetle music, which brought us up to starting time. Appropriately the opening record was "Atlantis" by the Shadows, and for the next seven hours we heard programmes presented by a team of four DJ's who were heard in the following order:- 12.00-13.00 Tony Euston (in between discs he interviewed the station's backer, a Mr. van Lansschot, who is, apparently, a big name in the record world in Belgium), 13.00-16.00 Peter van Dam, assisted by Mike Morgans, 16.00-17.00 Luck van Kapellen, 17.00-18.00 Mike Morgans, 18.00-19.00 BST Non-stop music. On July 16th, their first full thirteen-hour day, the programmes were divided up as follows:- 06.00-07.00 Non-stop music, 07.00-09.00 Luck van Kapellen, 09.00-10.00 Mike Morgans, 10.00-12.00 Peter van Dam, 12.00-14.00 Tony Euston, 14.00-15.00 Luck van Kapellen, 15.00-16.00 Mike Morgans, 16.00-18.00 Peter van Dam, 18.00-18.30 Tony Euston (students Requests), 18.30-19.00 BST Mike Morgans (Forces Requests).
The programmes of Radio Atlantis are generally in Flemish, a language akin in many respects to Dutch. During the first few days of broadcasting their DJ's were constantly referring to the wavelength as 385 metres, which was rather confusing! In most areas reception is reported as being exceptionally good, this is partly due to the new mast, but mainly because the power output of the transmitter has been boosted to 45 kW. The new station has already received a couple of mentions in the British Press, the "Evening Standard" on 16-7-73, & the "Times" dated 17-7-73.
At the time of writing Caroline's English Service is inoperative, but it will probably be back on the air again by the time you read this.
Well now that I have your attention, I might as well tell you that this is in fact the 'ARNOLD LAYNE COLUMN' written by Steve England (Copyright 1973). If I am truthful about the matter, it has very little, well ...er...nothing to do with Arnold Layne, that well-known RNI mouth-mover. It isn't even the Geoffrey Pearl column, it is, even though I hate to admit it in Gestetner form, the Steve England column. Yes, my word, the East Anglian FRC, have let me loose on this page, no expense or correction fluid spared. I suppose you're thinking: Well, the only interesting thing Steve England has done is work on Radio Caroline. Might I tell you that that is NOT TRUE! I've been to seven schools, laid in a trunk at the London Paladium, nearly been kidnapped in Berlin, run a bagging business when I was 11 in Blackpool, driven a hired car and got my £25 deposit back, loaned Ronan O'Rahilly my socks and many, many, other INTERESTING THINGS. Still, I suppose you only want to know about Caroline, so I'll tell you about that terrible night when we had the second force 12; the night that Radio Veronica (dun-da-dwn-dunnnnnn!) landed on the beach.
The first we knew of the forthcoming storm was when Scheveningen Radio forecast a force 4 or 5 for the evening and the following morning. Dick Palmer in his usual cool and collected way, started sorting; things out on deck, so that nothing would break loose in the storm. As it later turned out, the storm ripped out most of the careful securing that Dick had done, still it also broke the wire I had tied the gas bottles up with, and they smashed about. like they were trying to escape the ship. As the forecasts got worse, so all the work we had been doing had to stop; it's hard enough work standing up. Norman had been painting the Loo's a beautiful Blue and Peach, well it was an improvement on Rust & White. An interesting fact about the Loo's on the "Mi Amigo" is that they are self-flushing, that is to say, you finish your work in grab a bucket with some rope on the handle, go outside and throw the bucket over the side. When it's full of lovely sea-water, you trundle inside and. sling, it into the pan. Great fun, especially when it's say, 4 a.m. and the sea-water wets your pyjamas! Dick has actually fitted the sea-water flushing from a tank on the roof now, which is filled by the fire-hose every day or so, so that 4 times a day event is now
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a thing of the past (I hope!).
I had been painting the larder with Chicago, not a very easy task, as you had to lie on the shelves to do it, and had spread all our food out in the Record Library, locally known as the 'Discotheque'. Anyway, everything had to stop and we just slept and sat in the Mess-room. The only work that had to be done was cooking and pumping up the generator. The kitchen was chaos; if you cooked anything, you had to stand guard over it all the time, because otherwise it just ended up on the dog shelf. The washing machine (Oh yes, we have such boring domestic tasks to do on the ship) was constantly sliding the full length of the Galley like a demented Dalek, and a tidal wave of filthy water sloshed over the floor with each roll of the ship. Then the bilges started coming up, as the bilge primp was blocked, that meant that everything downstairs, the 'Discotheque', and all the cabins had as much as 9 inches of filthy, oily water, whose toxic fumes knocked you out everytime you stepped in the door of
your cabin. Everything on the floor, shoe's, letters, clothes, anything was reduced to a sodden oily mass, which was only fit for slinging over the side. The bottom bunk in our cabin was unusable, and we had to both share the small top one (Debbie and I that is, just in case you might be thinking....). Can you imagine sleeping in THAT? The only dry place in the whole ship was the mess-room.
Dick Palmer was in the mess-room drying his hair and watching TV when suddenly a huge wave hit the ship and smashed the porthole window next to Dick. The seawater poured in and everyone thought it was the end; the lights fused and a column of sea water went straight through the window through the mess-room and down the stairs some 20 feet away. Well, everyone was soaked, but the ship was still floating, so we grabbed anything we could find, towels, sheets, pillow cases, and started to mop up in the dark. We had agreed to take watch on the bridge in case we lost our anchor that night, and I went up with Robin Adcroft at about 11 p.m. or so. The only people to come up for their watch were Debbie and Dick, so I was still there at 5 a.m. the following morning. The ship lurched at incredible angles, and we had sea-weed on the bridge, it was terrifying. We saw what we thought were the lights of Veronica, but where was the "Mebo"? As it turned out in the morning, it was the "Mebo" we could see, and Veronica was on the beach. The food that we had painstakingly laid out on the 'Discotheque' floor was completely destroyed by the bilge water, so our fun diet for four days consisted of Condensed Milk, Prunes, Tinned Veg, and Peaches. Do you still believe Pirate radio is romantic?
Got to go now, next issue features 'How to be a DJ in 6 easy lessons', I hope some of you may come along to my DJ School, £60 + 30 per cent VAT. You will get: 1 square foot of felt (Do it yourself slip-mat kit), 1 screw from a broken Spotmaster cartridge, 2" x 2" picture of Radio Essex, Andy Archer's left leg (+ VAT), what a con.. er...I mean, BARGAIN! Bye,
On 18 April 1973 there was to be a hearing in the Houses of Parliament in The Hague which attracted more public interest than hearings in the Dutch Parliament usually do. For this hearing had everything to do with pirate radio-stations and their rights to exist. In other words the question was whether the Dutch government was going to sign the treaty of Strasburg or not. The signing of this treaty would make life for the pirates impossible. Another bill proposed that anyone co-operating with them could be arrested and prosecuted for doing so. The Dutch nation felt that Radio Veronica especially was in great danger, for it is the only station under Dutch ownership. Nevertheless this hearing could have passed without much fuss, if the Dutch were not the Dutch and Veronica-fans were not Veronica-fans. They, obviously anxious about the threat of losing their pet, decided they could not let this perfect opportunity to testify their loyalty go by without doing something. In the middle of March the Dutch newspapers started to write about how dangerous the situation really was, and how the Dutch would have to show the government that they really would not be allowed to get away with demolishing the pirates just like that. By the end of March it was clear that a huge demonstration was to be expected on the 18th of April, and that many representatives of record companies, as well as many artists, would come along too to give their support.
And then, while all this was being prepared something tragic happened on the 2 April. As if to show its power over humanly good intentions nature struck the North Sea (and all of Holland) with a real hurricane, snapping Radio Veronica's anchor chain in the process, and eventually casting her aground. So the battle against the elements was lost, and there she was - a sad sight, the good old "Norderney" on the Scheveningen beach, battered, but by no means beaten. For although this mishap was a very nasty thing, it made the nation realise even more how attached they really were to our legendary pop-station. Crowds of people went along to the beach to see the ship, and that in itself was almost a demonstration, a very spontaneous one. Still this accident happened at a very inconvenient time, for it meant that Radio Veronica was not able to back up the demonstration to be as had been planned. The Veronica
MONITOR SUMMER ISSUE 1973 - Page Seven -
management anxiously looked for a solution to this problem. The hardest blow was delivered to them by the NOS (Dutch equivalent of the BBC) which placed a total boycott on everything that had to do with Veronica. An offer from Veronica to take care of night broadcasts on Hilversum III, because. the government did not have money to finance them, had been rejected only ten days earlier. The Veronica management would have thought it a splendid gesture if the government had been willing to give them a broadcasting license only for the time the "Norderney" was stuck on the beach. They did not get it. They only got a complete boycott.. RNI offered Veronica transmitter time, but Veronica turned this down, still hoping the ship would be back at sea fairly soon. The articles in the Dutch press on the Veronica case were many and rather confusing in those days. One victim of the NOS-boycott was Henk Terlingen, whose Paul Meijer Show was stopped, because he had done a live report from what proved to be the Veronica ship on the beach. The NOS-management was furious, the show was taken off the air and everybody who had anything at all to do with the show was forbidden to utter even one word about the matter to anyone. "Anyone" especially being the press of course. MP's started asking questions in Parliament (7-4-73) and talked about an alarming similarity to censure, and where was the lawful freedom of airing one's opinions.
So the already smouldering fire started to light up brightly. Apart from the NOS and the government everybody loved it. Only the NOS would love a signed treaty, and the Dutch government has alway felt uneasy about coping with radio and television problems. After all, it would not be the first time a government was sent packing for not being able to handle matters like that satisfactorily. On the 13th of April "De Telegraaf" stated that the NOS was openly attacking Veronica by sending a memo to the special committee that was to investigate the affair on the hearing. The main issue was that the European Broadcasting Union would make trouble with alloting wavelengths in the Medium Wave-band to Holland if we didn't sign the treaty. The MP who had already asked questions in the House of Commons earlier on said that he did not believe this, and called it a piece of high-handedness on the part of the NOS. Now the heat was really on! The politicians in The Hague were mainly pro-Veronica, or at least pretended to be. Even those who were against were holding back a bit in actually saying so, and nobody liked the idea of having to make a decision on a matter as delicate as this. I think that at this stage I should give you a little explanation as to the political situation in Holland at the time. Holland was desperately trying to get a new government together after the elections of November last year. It proved an almost impossible task. The government that was in office at the time of the hearing was still the old government, which was just there to hold out until the new one could take over. At that stage nobody could afford to make even a slight mistake, for the whole political set-up was >s fragile as an antique piece of china.
Popularity-polls had proved that 75 per cent of the nation wanted to keep Veronica, but all that the political parties in The Hague wanted to do was to keep the matter in the fridge until the new cabinet would be in office. So most politicians said either nothing at all, or a whole lot that really did not mean too much. Questions from MP's were being smoothed out, and in this atmosphere the sun rose over 18 April. After a lot of difficulties the Veronica ship had been released from the beach the day before, and everyone was in high spirits. Between 150,000 and 200,000 people made their way to the city centre of The Hague, and thus placed the police, who had never expected anything like this at all, in great difficulty. The demo started at the Malieveld, an enormous field in the middle of The Hague, and from there it went to the Houses of Parliament where some of` the big names in Dutch show business handed over a petition to the chairman of the House of Commons. Due to the fact that the police were not prepared for a demonstration of this proportion, the city centre became the victim of the most unbelievable traffic jams. Veronica was broadcasting again on 538 metres MW, and on 259 metres thanks to the co-operation of Radio Caroline.
On the hearing itself, the pros were all stating what a terrific blow it would be to commerce and show-biz if Veronica would have to go, but everybody was still convinced that though the threat was real this time, nothing would be done for at least two years. The NOS-representative stated that Hilversum III (which is supposed to be the legal answer to the off-shore stations) had a vaster circle of listeners than Veronica and RNI put together. The public gallery roared with (derisive) laughter. He was constantly using the word of pirates" in quite a nasty way until one of the MP's sharply requested him to stop doing that. The public gallery applauded and cheered. But a hearing is only a hearing and nothing is really decided on hearings, as you know. Investigating is all that can be done. Still, the nation thought, we made our point. We had a fantastic action in 1971, when millions of cards were signed by people who wanted Veronica to stay, and when the government start the debates on what will happen to the off-shore stations, they simply cannot ignore that 200,000 people demonstrated for Veronica in person. That 75 per cent of the nation definitely wants the off-shore stations to stay. Holland is being governed as a democracy, so the government simply can't ignore the will of the people. Something as bold as that was absolutely impossible, for it is unacceptable to a nation which has always been proud of its democracy, freedom, and say in political affairs. That
MONITOR SUMMER ISSUE 1973 - Page Eight -
it proved not impossible, and that the government was able to ignore the will of the nation was something like an enormous and very cold shower.
On 9 May the (then) future minister of CRM (the department under which broadcasting management resorts) stated that he wanted drastic changes in the current at-. of affairs, and that he wanted to hurry the debates on the off-shore stations and the proposed bill against them up. The future cabinet, and especially the Prime Minister to be were not at all keen on starting off with a matter as delicate as this. In spite of all the resistance from all around, Mr. van Doorn, the minister in question, was determined to go ahead - to storm ahead, if possible, with his evil plans. With this he even created problems within his own party, and so confronted the Prime Minister with the first conflict between the cabinet and a government-supporting party in the House of Commons. All the government wanted to do was to lead the proposed bills through the House as quietly and calmly as possible, without fuss. But conflicts within government-supporting parties made that an absolute impossibility. However, Mr. van Doorn regardlessly insisted on going ahead with his "murder-plans" as they were called in the press. He was furious with the broadcasting-specialists of other government-supporting parties who went out of their way to try and attempt to save Veronica. Because, unlike Mr. van Doorn, the other parties had indeed been influenced by the big demo on 18 April, and actually feared that the Veronica-legion would come into less peaceful action if the government acted against their station. A funny thing was, and is, that most of the people who voted for the parties represented in this government belong to the Veronica-legion.
Another demonstration against the government would be highly unpleasant to say the least, especially as the enormous crowd of Dutch students were rather restless and dissatisfied as well, over college affairs. The debates had to be postponed, for the sake of peace, and behind the political screens the government tried to persuade Mr. van Doorn to give in to this; but he flatly refused. Understandable when you learn that Mr. van Doorn, ex-chairman of one of the Hilversum broadcasting companies, had made far going promises to the boards of the other broadcasting companies. He had promised to kill the pirates off as soon as he would be in office, and one cannot afford to lose face in front of one's dearest friends and former colleagues! On 20 June, the cabinet, reluctantly supporting their rebellious minister now, stated that: Hilversum III had enough to satisfy the Veronica supporters, the Luxembourg code could not be used for Veronica, a period of thirteen months before Veronica would have to leave was a request beyond reason, it was impossible to keep the 538 metres MW for Veronica to broadcast on. The cabinet had to move on with the "strangle-bills", because of (among other things) the pressure of the broadcasting-companies in Hilversum. One of them (the VARA) actually made it clear that its support of this left-wing government was dependant on the willingness of the government to get rid of the offshores. Veronica fans started jamming the phones of their MP's to such an extent that the phones could not be used for normal conversations anymore. 24 hours a day people complained and begged for action.
But the outcome was pretty clear (at least to me) even before the debates started on 26 June. Parliament had little choice. We had had five months of great trouble to get a government together, they had been in office for no more than six weeks. Voting against the bills that would mean the end of the off-shore stations would mean the end of the government. So, another period of political uncertainty and trouble which the country economically could not afford. Voting for the bills would keep the government in office, but would mean the definite end of our pop stations. Can you call this a choice? Even though the night broadcasts on Hilversum III (the only thing the government was willing to give in return for the death of three pop stations) would cost a fortune, and even though the off-shore stations never cost the nation a penny, and in fact brought in a lot of money (tax and otherwise), they would have to go, for the Hilversum broadcasting companies can't risk having to compete with the much better commercial pirates, because Hilversum would lose and they know it. But already before the debates started, the Senate (equivalent of the House of Lords) made it very clear that they did not intend to co-operate with the mad hurry Mr. van Doorn seemed to be
in. They stated that if the bills would be accepted by the House of Commons, the Senate wanted to have a quiet and calm look at the:1, and so they did not agree to give the discussions on these bills the priority Mr. -van Doorn had eagerly requested. That was a bit of a set-back for Mr. van Doorn, for it meant that even if he succeeded in rushing the bills through the House of Commons, there could well be a delay of several months in the House of Lords. In the debates the cabinet was going to use two arguments against the off-shores. The trouble Holland would have with the alloting of a fourth wavelength at the international conference in Copenhagen in 1975-76, and the fact that Holland would lose its prominent position in the European Broadcasting Union. Facts to support this argumentation proved more difficult to get together than they had thought. The NOS-complaint that Veronica caused interference to foreign stations, proved to hold no ground after the foreign countries were asked for information. Note: Something was found out though. The IBA transmitter that has been depriving the English of Veronica caused interference with many stations, and on a large scale!).
MONITOR SUMMER ISSUE 1973 - Page Nine -
Even on the night before the debates the situation was still so confused that there were parties who did not know whether to vote for or against the proposed bills. Though the situation looked rather grim, people still had hopes; hopes because of the expected support of the Catholic Party (one of the' biggest). Then on the morning of 26 June the blow fell. The Catholics were going to vote for the bills and against the stations. They had made a deal, their votes in return for something that would enable the youth to go on listening to a station as good as Veronica, for a place for a pop station within the legal regions of the law.
The majority in the House of Commons made it clear-that they wanted the era of pirating on the air to end. The Socialist Party actually had the nerve to call the big demo of 18 April a "children's pilgrimage": An MP, belonging to the same party as our beloved Mr. van Doorn stated bitterly that the government could not have picked a better time to kill off the pirates.. For about nine years a thing like this was dangerous, because there was always an election coming up or a cabinet on the brink
of falling-Now the next elections still far off and so the government speculates on their voters having lost the foul taste in their mouths by then, It became clear that seven parties, altogether holding 98 out of a total of 150 seats, were going to tolerate for the bills; and the seven other parties, holding the remaining 52 seats, were - going to vote against them. A section of the parties who were going to support Veronica were, however, going to vote for the signing of the treaty of Strasbourg. They merely wanted to give Veronica a legal position, something like a Hilversum IV. For Parliament did seem to realise after all that there would be a huge gap to be filled up after the disappearance of the pirates. Mr. van Doorn promised to extend" the broadcasts on Hilversum III to 24 hours a day, but said that it would mean that the people would have to pay higher contributions. Fortunately, this most evil of
all plans, having the public pay for the death of the pirates, was quickly stopped by Parliament.
The voting; on the, Thursday.,(29th_Jui) went like this: 95 for, 37 against the signing of the Strasbourg document; 94 for,39 against the bill that will make people who co-operate with the pirates liable for prosecution. 'So that was that. Now the only thing the pirates can do is gather as many' members as they can and form their own broadcasting company, then apply for an official broadcasting license. The minimum number of members required is 15,000.RNI applied for a license the day before the debates started, saying that they had the necessary 15,000 members. Veronica also started an action to obtain official members. The results of this are not yet clear, but I am sure they could quite easily reach a lot more than 15,000 members. And the more members you have, the more hours you get on either Hilversum I, II or III. Still I consider a few hours per week on one of the Hilversum stations, completely limited and restricted by the Dutch broadcasting laws, no real alternative to our lovely commercial stations. Veronica fans seemed to feel the same way about this, for as soon as the results of the voting became publicly known rowing and rioting started in the city centre of The Hague. The police had to step in to prevent the windows of the House of Commons from being smashed up altogether, and to protect the Members of Parliament when they left the House.
The police were not capable of calming the crowd down and they had to get Rob Out, Programme Director of Veronica, in to talk to the people, and ask them to stop this because it would not help Veronica in any way. This helped, but already during the riots three policemen had been injured, and two members of the public arrested.
I had secretly hoped for another big demonstration, but apart from the riot, in which about 1,000 youngsters were involved nothing happened. Veronica abandoned the routine of broadcasting a Top 40 and Tip-parade on the Saturday, and immediately the results of this were noticeable in the record shops. Shopkeepers did not know what records to order, and their customers did not know what records to buy. Far fewer records than usual were sold that weekend. So what is going to happen now? In short: The pirates will definitely go. When? Well that depends on when the bills will have passed through the Senate, which could be any time between the end of October and the end of January, as I have been told. What will the Dutch get in return? 24 hours a day broadcasts on Hilversum III, but no change in programming. Where will the money for this come from? Only God (in this case Mr. van Doorn) knows. Maybe, if the pirates get the broadcasting licenses they applied for, or are to apply for, we may even have a few hours a week of RNI or VOS (as the Veronica foundation will be known). But they will have to abide by the rules and fit in with the system.
So what did the nation/out of this dubious way of governing a country which is supposed to be a democratic state? A fine mental hangover. Holland's democracy proved not to be as healthy as most people had thought it up till now; freedom proves not to be as big as it seemed, and the government proved to be quite deaf to the voice of a nation of 13,000,000 people. Support-actions, big demonstrations, they might just as well have not taken place. For the pirates will go, and if we don't like it the only thing we can do, while we are living in a society like this, is LUMP it!!!
/get Ineke Jager. Sub-Editor.
MONITOR SUMMER ISSUE 1973 - Page Ten -
(N.B. The information for the preceding article came from three Dutch newspapers, namely:- "De Telegraaf", "Algemeen Dagblad" & "Haagsche Courant".)
DJ PROFILES N0. I GRAHAM GILL.
"....Melbourne town's where I was born..." Yes, Good People, you've often heard these words sung to the tune of "Way Back Home", the Junior Walker and the All Stars record, by the Man Himself GRAHAM GILL. He does indeed sing it "live" everynight at the beginning of his programme.
Blue-eyed, browned-haired Graham was born Graeme George Gilsenan on 15th April 1941. The name may not sound very Australian to you, as it is of Swedish origin. He first became involved in radio at the age of 14 when he became a programme arranger at station 3UZ in his home town. Later he became a cadet D.J. and panel operator with another Melbourne station, 3KZ. While he worked on this station, one of the panels he operated was for someone who's name is familiar to listeners in Britain - Alan Freeman. Graham still names Alan as one of his best friends.
We have all heard of Graham's passion for sardines. What other foods does he enjoy? He admits a liking for steak and kidney pie and apple crumble. He's also very fond of Indonesian cooking, In common with many broadcasters, Graham names Guinness stout as his favourite drink.
After leaving 3KZ Graham became the regular compere of the Women's Morning Show on Radio 2RG in Griffith, New South Wales. He also compered the Children's programme and became the station's programme manager after he had worked there for five years. In 1965 he had his own T.V. programme on MTN-9 which was 2RG's television channel; but in March of the following year Graham brought his talent to Britain. Graham's favourite recording artists include Dusty Springfield; Aretha Franklin; Cliff Richard; the Shadows; the Four Tops; the Moody Blues; the Hollies and of course Neil Christian who is a very good friend of his. In his spare time Graham enjoys photography, swimming and sunbathing, but most of all he loves meeting people. He cannot stand insincerity or hypocrites and like most of us he avoids getting up early as often as possible! Graham favours most the colour red.
Our 6 ft. tall Hero's first employment in England was a post as a D.J. with the Wimbledon Palais. It didn't take long for Gordon Shepherd, of Radio London fame, to notice Graham's talent, and so on "Big L" began his career in offshore broadcasting. Radio England listeners will no doubt remember Graham's midnight until dawn programme, as fans of Britain Radio won't have forgotten his part in "Morning Serenade". Graham worked at the Flamingo Club in London for three moths but rejoined Britain Radio before he became part of the staff of Radio 390, with which station he remained until the final close-down.
Graham speaks fluent Dutch, which is not so surprising when you consider that his step-father, Jos van Egdom, is a Dutchman. Our readers in Holland have no doubt heard Graham broadcast on VARA - Hilversum III. He has been working at the Birds Club in Amsterdam, and before joining RNI on March 16th took part in programmes on Radio Caroline from 6th to 12th of March this year.
So now; Good People, lets all sit back and listen to Graham's special programme, the RNI Request Show from 10 p.m. until midnight on Sunday, and be glad that he didn't stay Way Back Home.
SSDFRC "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 7 1/2p 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. Only ten copies left. Price 7 1/2p inc. post-age (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. Sixteen gen-filled pages. Price 10p inc. postage (or 3 IRC's).
Monitor No.3. Our Special Radio Caroline Edition. Its contents include the first part of a detailed chronicle entitled 'Radio Caroline Returns'; the second instalment of the RNI Story. Articles about Veronica's change of wavelength & RNI-2 on 192 metres; also contributions from Martin Kayne and Rick Michaels. Plus various other items of free radio news. Price 10p inc. postage (or 3 1RC's).
All the above publications are obtainable from the Editorial address.
MONITOR SUMMER ISSUE 1973 - Page Eleven -
In March 1962, listeners in the regions around the Sound of Malmo heard something new on their radios: a "pop" station called Radio Syd! If your name happens be Sydney you may now be saying "Ah! A radio station called after me!" In fact you would be wrong. "Syd" is the Swedish word for "South". The popular Scandinavian offshore station Radio Nord ("North") had gained a new companion. Offshore radio first came to Scandinavia in 1958. The Romans believed that it was the deity Mercurius, messenger of the Gods, who invented music. It is not surprising, therefore that the "pop pirate" to lead the field should be called Radio Mercur. This station broadcast in Danish from the radio-ship "Cheeta". In 1959, Radio Syd's owner, Swedish beauty queen Britt Wadner, began Swedish-language broadcasts for three hours each day from the "Cheeta", calling the programmes "Skanes Radio Mercur.
Skane is a county in Southern Sweden, within the range of the VHF transmitter. After the station "Danmarks Commerciella Radio" (Danish Commercial Radio was forced to close down in 1960, the ship, "Lucky Star", was purchased by the Radio Mercur organisation, and became "Chests, II".
So it was that in March, 1962, Radio Mercur began broadcasts from "Cheeta II'! at Stora Balt, leaving Radio Syd to broadcast alone alone from "Cheeta I", still anchored in Oresund, between Malmo and Copenhagen. In August of the same year, the first "Pirate law" was passed, with the result that Radio Mercur and other Scandinavian "pirates" were closed down. But Radio Syd continued to provide free radio and pop music for the people of Scandinavia! The station was not without problems, however. One of the most serious was caused by the legal Swedish radio station at Halaingborg. They announced that they were changing their frequency to 89•5 MHz. Radio Syd broadcast only on FM, and as their frequency was 89.6 MHz it was obvious they could not continue without causing interference to the legally authorised station. As this would mean a certain end to Swedish offshore radio, the management of Radio Syd did the only thing possible - the frequency was changed to 88•3 MHz with only a few days to spare! Mrs. Wadner was imprisoned for her illegal activities, but due to the Swedish law that persons may continue their normal employment whilst in jail, she was allowed to broadcast over the airwaves of Radio Syd from her prison cell!
It was in 1964 that the 500 tons deadweight "Cheeta II" became home of Radio Syd, and one year later television; transmissions began from the ship. But the T.V. station was shortlived. In January 1966 the presence of an excessive amount of Baltic ice forced the ship to leave her anchorage in Oresund. The Swedish government had tried for three-and-a-half years to silence offshore radio; finally it was Mother Nature who achieved their goal. During the same month Radio Caroline South was also caused to leave the airwaves by the winter weather. During a storm the anchor chain of the "Mi Amigo" was broken and the ship was beached. Hearing of this, Mrs. Wadner offered her ship to the Caroline organisation as a temporary replacement. So it was that all the broadcasts of Radio Caroline South originated from the "Cheeta II" from February 13th until April 1st, when she was joined by the "Mi Amigo". The two ships then broadcast the same programmes for a short time; the "Cheeta II" on 199 metres and the "Mi Amigo" on 259 metres, Caroline's new wavelength. Later it was announced that the management of Radio 390 intended to buy "Cheeta II" for "Radio 390 North", but the plan was never realised.
So "Cheeta II" was moved from the coast of Harwich to take a long holiday. What better place could she choose than Las Palmas harbour in the sun-soaked Canary Islands? "Cheeta II" definitely prefers a warm climate. For now she is anchored only 13½ degrees North of the Equator - at the harbour of Banjul, capital city of The Gambia, West Africa. If you cannot find Banjul on your map, there is a good reason. The name of the city was previously Bathurst; it was changed to Banjul in May this year. Radio Syd is no longer a "pirate station". Since "Cheeta II" arrived in May 1970, Syd has become established as a legally authorised station, broadcasting in four languages on 329 metres (908 kHz) in the medium-wave band. Broadcasts now emanate from a radiohouse three miles outside Banjul on a power of 5 kilowatts. The station has a 270 foot high aerial mast. Besides the regular broadcasts in English, French, Wollof and Mandinka, Advertising Director Ingvar Hjulstrom, aided by Directors' Assistant Saul N'jie, arranges special programmes in Swedish for the benefit of the many Scandinavian tourists who visit the country during the season from October to May.
Should you ever be within the Radio Syd reception area, two English-speaking DJ's you should specially listen out for are Louis Paul Njie and Edith Davies, who also speaks Creole. Another of the most popular DJ's is Deida Hydara, whose programmes go out in French and Wollof. You will be able to contact these and all others of the station's staff at P. 0. Box 279/200, Banjul, or you can 'phone the station at Banjul 8170. Cables should be addressed to "SYD BANJUL". Although Radio Syd is still owned by Mrs. Britt Wadner, only one Swede is now part of the staff, which other wise entirely consists of twenty Gambians. She is Connie Wadner, to whom we are
MONITOR SUMMER ISSUE 1973 - Page Twelve -
indebted for much of the information contained herein. We would like to take this opportunity to thank her for making this article possible; we also thank Andy Archer of Radio Caroline fame for supplying additional facts. Calling itself "Your all day and every day music station", Radio Syd entertains the people of Gambia twenty hours per day. We extend our wishes to everyone concerned with the stations "Long may you continue to do so!".
Mark Slate's stay with RNI was short-lived. His first programme was the "Skyline" show in the early hours of 16-12-72, whilst his last live show went out on 15-2-73. He did, however, record a final programme before leaving the boat and this was broadcast on 23-2-73.
Twice this year RNI have tested out their 31 metre transmitter. The first time was on the evening of January 26th; and the second time was on Sunday February 4th when it carried the "Northsea Goes DX" programme between 09,00-10.00 GMT. On both occasions the frequency used was 9780 kHz,
Steve King was the DJ who replaced Mark Slate, but he lasted for only eleven days. He was first heard on 26-2-73, and his last show was transmitted on 8-3-73
The month of February saw the arrival of Ian Anderson aboard the "Mebo II", where he took up the post of News Editor. Ian comes from Lerwick in the Shetland Isles and, incidentally, has been a "Monitor" reader since the first issue. It was not long before he was called upon to try his hand at DJ-ing, and on 18-2-73 he hosted a two hour show on the World Service; from then on he became one of their regular broadcasters. Towards the end of May stringent economies were made in the International Service and he was declared redundant, His last programme for RNI was broadcast on 17-5-73. We have since heard that Ian is likely to be joining the Radio Caroline Organisation.
Further economies followed with the closure of the Sunday World Service on 6205 kHz in the 49 metre-band. During the final broadcast, which was transmitted on 27-5-73, it was announced that A. J. Beirens two weekly taped programmes, "Northsea Goes DX", and "Our World in Action", had been reprieved. These two programmes are now put out every Sunday morning between 09.00-11.00 GMT.
The acquisition of RNI's newest DJ, Graham Gill, came as a great surprise. On 12-3-73 he was broadcasting from the "Mi Amigo", and four days later, on 16-3-73, he
appeared on the 220 metre airwaves! (Graham is featured in our "DJ Profiles", see page ten).
Another recent departure from RNI has been their expert transmission-engineer Steve Berry, he is reported to have left the station for a better paid job. His last Radio Northsea broadcast was the "Skyline" show on 22-4-73.
As most of you already know the time of Brian McKenzie's Friday night "Rock 'n Roll Special" has been brought forward by two hours, and it is now aired from 22.00-24.00 BST. This change-over was effective from 1-6-73 when the summer programme schedule was introduced.
FRC HOLLAND HAVE FOR SALE: The Radio Caroline LP; this LP is a documentary about Radio Caroline from the beginning in 1964 up till now. Andy Archer, Alan Clark, and Lion Keezer tell you the story, but you'll also hear the voices of: Johnny Walker, Robbie Dale, Daffy Don Allen, Crispian St. John, Ronan 6'Rahilly and many more. The "A" side is about the first part of the Caroline history, from 1964-67. It also contains recordings of Radio Atlanta, Caroline North & South, the Caroline Cash Casino, a recording of a final programme, Daffy Don Allen, an interview with Robbie Dale; Johnny Walker and Robbie Dale together on August 15th, 1967, jingles, etc. The "B" side is about the comeback of Caroline in 1972; you'll hear items with Crispian St. John, Andy Archer, test-transmissions, recordings of Radio 199, the first Caroline programmes on Friday the 22nd December 1972, jingles and last but not least: an interview with Ronan O'Rahilly. Side "A" 21•30 min. Side "B" 24•30 minutes.
An International Money Order for the equivalent o£ 15 guilders will secure your copy, the price is inclusive of postage and packing.
A Black & White Photo-Poster of the "Mi Amigo" measuring 24 x 351 ins. Price 8 guilders (or an International Money Order for the equivalent in British currency).
Also a Black & White poster showing pictures of all three radio-ships, their tenders, & REM Island. Its measurements are 251 x 40 ins. This beautifully produced poster is priced at only 8 guilders (or equivalent International Money Order in your own
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Bulk orders for the posters at greatly redu:,ed prices, send an IRC for details, and at the same time, request information on other free radio offers. The address to write to for all or any of the above items is:- J. Verbaan, P. 0. Box 9460, The Hague 2040.. Holland.
CAROLINE JINGLES. This tape includes all the New Sono-Vox jingles used in '73, Andy Archer's famous 'Day-by-Day' renditioning, Crispian St. John's Promotions, Norman Barrington's epic's, plus all the fun promo's that you heard over the air. All the material is straight from the master's or off the studio cartridges, and was recorded by Steve England on board the "Mi Amigo". The tape is on a 5" reel and is available at 33 ips. or 71 ips. The cost is £1.00 including P & P. Let us know the speed you prefer. And send a SAE for particulars of the wide range of colour photographs taken on Radio Caroline that are also available at modest prices from:- Steve England, Box D, 17, The Beach, Deal, Kent.
Contrary to what I said in the Editorial we do have sufficient space for the next instalment of Rick's offshore radio thesis. RCP.
PIRATES OF THE AIRWAVES : BRITISH OFFSHORE COMMERCIAL RADIO 1964-68
By J. Patrick Michaels, Jr. Part III
The Copyright Laws were being infringed and only Caroline's ships paid royalties, and those were only token. Moreover, the "pirates" because they operated illegally, were not subject to British taxes. Finally, the Government had chosen a public broadcasting monopoly, and therefore these stations were not in the "public interest". On the other hand, admirers and supporters of offshore commercial radio argued that ship-to-shore stations clearly had the ability to provide the sort of program that appeared to fill an obvious need, and most important, they operated in international waters only to avoid legislation which was outdated and not in the "true public interest."
Mr. Jeremy Thorpe (North Devon, Liberal) proposed a Bill of "Academic interest" to stir up public opinion. He advocated the registration of all commercial operations accepting British advertising. The Liberal Party was by and large, opposed to "pirate radio," and went so far as to establish "Radio Free Yorkshire," a one day "pirate" station protest against "pirate" radio.
With a General Election coming in the fall, the P.M.G, procrastinated in taking action against the commercial corsairs. The Labour Party began to make proclamations about developing local broadcasting and establishing a "University of the Air" if they came to power. Mr. Roy Mason, M.P. said: "The Labour Party would favour as rapid a development as possible of local sound broadcasting to grow under the umbrella of the B.B.C.
The next day listeners in Liverpool were treated to an hour and a half of experimental pop music broadcast from Radio Red Rose located on a 500 ton ship anchored 23 miles off Merseyside. Radio Red Rose announced that it would be on the air 24 hours per day in about six weeks time. The station operators were Liverpool club owners James Ireland, Alan Williams and Mr. S. Roberts. The ship headed back to Amsterdam for additional equipment and a higher antenna, but never returned for some unexplained reason. However, a new station did appear a month later, Radio City, formerly Radio Sutch.
In September 1964, Reg Calvert took over Radio Sutch and began in earnest to "commercialize" the station. The press quotes him as having paid Sutch £5,000 for the station, however, the author in a private conversation with Sutch in 1965, he denied that he ever received compensation. This point is made only to illustrate the difficulty in reporting any of the financial transactions of the "pirates" almost all of which were carried out "under the counter."
Tne Beatle Bonanza was coming into full swing in late 1964 and the mod world was coming into fashion. This was the swinging, zany young world of the Rolling Stones, boutiques, mini-skirts, beat clubs and long hair. England's drab image of the tweed jacket, old school tie and 1930's look had changed over night to the mecca of the "with it" generation, and, of course, "pirate" radio was very much a part of the scene. The General Election in the fall of 1964 saw Labour come into power, firmly opposed to commercial broadcasting. Wilson commented on the Labour Party's broadcasting policy prior to the Election with regards to commercial "radio:
We are opposed to that, but we are in favour of the very rapid and widespread development of sound broadcasting on a non-profit making basis.I have in the past linked this proposals for a University of the air.
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The unpopular job of scuttling the "pirates" was bequeathed to the new Postmaster General, Mr. Anthony Wedgewood Benn, who had resigned a peerage to become a Labour M.P. Inspite of his one time popular image with the younger generation, he proceeded to make plans to eliminate the "pirates" in accordance with the Labour Party's broadcasting policy. He did, however, decide to follow the policy of Mr. Bevens in waiting for the forthcoming Council of Europe meeting.
The legal committee of the Council of Europe announced on December 18, 1964, that an agreement had been prepared which would make it a punishable offence to operate; provide maintenance or repair equipment; order or produce broadcast material; to provide transport or supply and service; or to supply advertising services for these stations. This was to be open for signature on January 20, 1965. While the Montreux Convention 1965 (Article 48, paragraph 303) prohibited "pirates", like the 1959 Geneva Convention, it was signed with reservation by many nations. Indeed both Panama and Liberia had signed the 1965 agreement, but did nothing about "pirates" flying their flags. The Strasbourg Agreement also remained extremely flexible and members could sign with reservation and even opt out at a later date.
The day before the announcement of the agreement a very startling and important event took place. R.E.M., a Dutch "pirate" T.V. station, put out its first test pattern on May 1, 1964. It was located on a Texas tower off the coast of Holland and financed by a Dutch ship builder and a Netherlands bank (also possibly several Dutch manufacturers). Two weeks later the Installations Continental Shelf Dill was introduced in the Dutch Parliament to prevent the T,V, island, but interestingly, would not affect the immensely popular Radio Veronica. On December 17th, Dutch naval ships surrounded the tower and dramatically lowered the police onto the station from helicopters, while one helicopter equipped with grappling hooks tore down the antenna. The station had been taken over from its original Dutch owners by a British controlled firm, High Seas Television Ltd., who operated the station under the name of T.V. Nordsee, A "pirate" radio station under the same name also operated from the tower. Mr. Eric Bent, director of High Seas Television Ltd., told the press following the the closure of the station: "The company has no desire to make any sort of international incident out of the situation." He estimated that the company had grossed over a million dollars in its 3 ½ month operation. The station was also insured with Lloyds of London for £900,000.
Although the company did not appeal the action in the Dutch courts or seek help from the international Court, the seizure of the station created a strong debate in international law circles over the legality of this move by the Dutch government.
This action had precedent in the case of Radio Mercur off Denmark and Radio Nord off Sweden. The seizure of T.V. Nordsee and the announcement of the Strasbourg agreement came as a shock to the operators of the British stations.
In addition to those two significant events, Harry Featherbee (alias Tom Pepper), operator of Radio Invicta, was drowned in a boating accident en route from the station.Also listed as missing were Brian Ashely, a D,J., and M. R. D. Shaw, one of the station's engineers. Although the court ruled an open verdict owing to insufficient evidence in the death of Tom Pepper, an air of mystery still surrounds his death.
Why did the Government not follow the Dutch example of seizing the forts: The general feeling at the time was that Benn prefered to wait for the signing of the agreement in January when he would have international backing to move against the "pirates," The Government had, in fact, consdered blockading the "pirates," but feared Radio Caroline would survive because of non-cooperation in the project from the Isle of Man. On January 22, 1965, the long awaited, widely heralded Council of Europe agreement was signed by Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Luxembourg, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The Times blandly announced: "All the countries which signed today reserved ratification, which means the agreement cannot be enforced immediately."
On December 23, 1965, "Wonderful Radio London" began broadcasting and quickly became the most important of the "pirates." The station was located on the exAmerican minesweeper "M.V. Galaxy" which had disposed of nearly 500 mines during World War II, and had also participated in the dramatic: rescue of several hundred men who had abandoned a sinking ship. Prior to becoming Britain's number one "pirate," the ship was used in hauling cargo. In 1964, the ship was purchased by several Texas investors and taken to Miami where she was fitted out with modern studios, a new R.C.A. 50 kilowatt transmitter and a 212 foot mast. The "Big L" cost approximately £500,000 (11•4 million) to launch.
The company owning Radio London was based in Nassau and run by a trust placed in a local bank. Most of the backers - American and British - remained invisible for tax reasons. One of the more prominent investors was Mr, Tom Darraher, a wealthy Volkswagen dealer from Wichita Falls, Texas, who also had part interest in Radios 227 and 355 which began broadcasting in 1966. Radio London's managing director was exadvertising man Philip Birch with experience in New York and London in public
MONITOR SUMMER ISSUE 1973 - Page Fifteen -
relations. His experience was successfully reflected in the tremendous promotional activities surrounding the introduction of Fadio London. Using the American Top 40 format and the concept of "formula radio," Eadio London became an immediate hit. Its fast paced mid-Atlantic D.J.'s became well-known personalities overnight, and the tailor-made jingles became the hallmark o£ the station. Within three months, Radi" London could boast an audience of some 10 million per week.
Meanwhile, Caroline's owners claimed to be grossing $42,000 per week with a profit of $25,200 and an estimated weekly audience of 12.5 million in December 1964. Caroline's rates in January 1965 ranged from $168-504 per advertising minute with numerous discounts for volume and long term as well as combination rates on the North and South ships. The sales office claimed over 100 advertisers including some of the largest British companies.
Despite these success stories, pressure was still building up on shore against the "pirates." "These pirates," Mr. Benn said, "are interferring, by stealing wave lengths, with reception on the Continent. They are a danger to shipping - we have evidence of this. They are also stealing the copyrights of all the records they broadcast and are thus stealing the work of those who make the records and the legitimate business claims of those who manufacture them."
There were legitimate reasons for complaints against the pirates for interferring with continental broadcasts. There had been seven complaints against Radio Caroline and nine complaints against the other stations during the first three months of 1965. Radio City received complaints of interference with ship-to-shore emergency frequencies because they were transmitting on 188 metres medium wave in addition to their transmissions on 299 metres m.w. Complaints were received by G.P.O. from the Netherlands (who also protested against Radio King), Germany and the West of England. These complaints were ignored until the British Safety Council protested to the Defense Minister that Radio King (formerly Radio Invicta) and Radio City were interferring with the emergency frequencies. Radio City heeded the warning and reduced its interference by moving its frequency three kilocycles.
To be fair, it must be realized that in 1966, 500 of the 898 radio stations in Europe broadcast on frequencies that were not internationally authorized, some of the better known being Vatican Radio, the American Forces Network (Munich) and the British Forces Broadcasting Service in Cyprus. Power violations were also common on the Continent. The more legitimate complaint against the pirates was the failure to recognize the Copyright Act (1956) and failure to come to an equitable agreement with the Performing Right Society.
In the early days of Caroline, an agreement was reached with the Performing Right Society to pay royalties; this amounted to the token sum of £200 vis-a-vis the 12 per cent of broadcast revenues paid by Radio Luxembourg. It was not until February 1966 that most of the major "pirates" agreed to pay royalties. Radio City was the exception. Radio London agreed to pay royalties which would increase over a three year period and then remain constant, as well as making a retroactive agreement for back royalties. Even with the "pirates" slowly recognizing Copyright agreements, the Performing Right Society still opposed them. A P.R.S. representative put it this way: "We oppose pirate radio broadcasts on principle, because they do not come to us and ask if they may use our property - they grab it and come back to us and say they will make an extra-gratis payment."
The £22 million pop explosion was definitely affected by the "pirates." The sales of singles were down 23 per cent in the first half of 1965 compared with 1964 and the sales of record players slumped by 37 per cent in the first quarter. The record companies blamed this on the over-exposure of pop records by the pirates. Bill Townsey of Decca Records put it this way:
February (1965) sales for singles were two million down on last year. People are not buying because of over exposure on the "Pirates." A record has been played on one station as often as 14 times in one day. Being in international waters the "Pirates" needn't pay us a penny and we have no control over what they play.
Although the sales of 45's did decrease, the record companies failed to mention that the sales of LP's increased considerably. American record executive Al Bennett of Records pointed out in 1965 that the pirate stations were showing that the listeners in Britain were demanding a change to all music stations, and although Top 50 sales might drop initially, there would be a growing interest for a wide variety of the product by a wide cross section of listening public. Consequently, there would be a noticeable increase in LP sales and overall sales would have a total increase.
To prove this point: total sales for 1965 were £5,843,000 against a 1963 volume of £4,552,000, an increase of £1,291,000 in hard cash. When export profits are added to the domestic profit, it is easy to see that the major record companies somewhat exaggorated their care. It is often forgotten that the "pirates" opened up
MONITOR SUMMER ISSUE 1973 - Page Sixteen -
a medium which made the existence of small record companies possible. The four large record companies virtually controlled the air time of Radio Luxembourg, spending large sums of money on programs to gain exposure for their new releases to the exclusion of the small companies.
In 1961, EMI (Electric and Musical Industries and Decca produced 84 per cent of the Top 10 records in Britain, but with the "pirates" giving air time to the smaller labels their share dropped to 57 per cent in 1966. No wonder the large companies complained! They also contributed to their own decline in the rush to capitalize on the "pop explosion" by producing a large quantity of singles, many of which were of an inferior quality. This over production increased costs and decreased the formerly handsome profit margin. Along with this over production came the publicity men, agents, producers, publishers and artists to the offices of the "pirates" beseeching them to give them air time, and even engaged in various payola schemes.
Alan Day, Professor of Economics at the University of London, in an article for the London Obeerver, presents a convincing case for the "pirates." Referring to the Copyright Act he said, "Until the advent of the pirates, the power has been used in order to protect the position of second rate musicians." The Musicians Union was, and still is, violently opposed to commercial radio in any form and any extension of gramophone time. This powerful self-interest group is not only guilty of"featherbedding," but is also crippling attempts of the B.B.C.'s new Radio One to provide a continuous music service.
Professor Day concluded: "It would be nearer the truth to thank the pirates profusely for cracking the restrictive practices of the Musicians Union which have, since the Cowardine case of 1933, managed to raise the costs of the B.B.C. and to reduce its power to entertain by severely restricting the number of hours in which gramophone records can be broadcast." He suggested changing the Copyright Act and licensing the "pirates" to bring them within the law and subject to taxes which could be used to help finance the B.B.C. Of course, the G.P.O. had no intention of legalizing the "pirates."
Tony Allan left Radio Caroline in February to join the Peace ship which since May has been broadcasting from the Mediterranean on 195 metres (1540 kHz. We understand that Tony, when on the air, uses the name Anthony J. Smith. There has been at least one report of the station being heard in this country, this occurred in the late evening and was probably due to freak weather conditions.
The editorial staff would like to extend their best wishes to Steve England whose birthday it was on July 10th. Steve has been a very great help in putting "Monitor" on the map, and he has also written us a highly amusing article for this issue which can be found on page five.
The I.B.A. are now playing taped music 24 hours per day on 539 metres (557 kHz), and on the additional wavelength of 417 metres (719 kHz, with test transmissions on 95-8 MHz and 97•3 MHz expected to begin in the autumn.
Two ex-Caroline DJ's, Bert Bennett and Joop Verhoof, are now employed by Radio Atlantis. They were both heard on the station for the first time on July 20th. Peter van Dam is also an ex-Caroline DJ, where he worked for them under the name of Peter Bryan.
The station's mailing address is: Radio Atlantis, Postbus 385, Oostburg, Holland.
This was the second new station to be heard broadcasting on 259 metres from the "Mi Amigo" during July. Unlike Radio Atlantis its programmes are transmitted live and are in English. Radio Seagull opened up unexpectedly at 21.00 BST on July 24th. The opening was preceded by just over an hour of tuning tones and unannounced records, then we heard the familiar voice of Norman Barrington giving the station ident. The station is being run along similar lines to Radio Geronimo and intends to broadcast progressive music nightly between 21.00 until either 05.00 or 06.00 BST. DJ's heard during the first week were Andy, Barry &. Norman.
ERRATA. On page three of "Monitor" No.3 the spelling of Leon Keizer should have been Lion Keezer. A correction is also necessary on page five of this issue. The surname of Radio Atlantis DJ Tony Euston should have read Houston.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. We gratefully record our obligation to all those who have contributed to this edition, namely:- Andy Archer, Roy Brooker, Steve England, Colin Howard, Rick Michaels, "Newscaster", Martin Rosen, John Steven & Hans Verbaan.