News

sasradiogroup - our next meet is on Tuesday 4th December 2018 from 8.30pm at the Toby Inn, Redhill.

 

  • November 2018
Radio 3 - yes a bit off beat I know. On Wednesday 24th October BBC Radio Wales took over some Radio 3 FM channels to bring availability into line with other national / network stations in Wales. The result? Listeners in pats of Shropshire and Cheshire need to retune or go onto DAB. One listeners complaints getting into the Radio Times 10th to 16th November. So as usual the BBC discriminate against English listeners. Why not tell Radio Wales listeners to tune into DAB? Ironically the Beeb's own engineers tell Radio 3 listeners to to in FM reception for better reception. 

sasradiogroup - Jeremy provides an update re the November meet as I took a late decision not to attend. A very well attended meeting. Topics under discussion Radio Caroline 648's signal and sound quality, SUSY Radio updates, advertising on Quasar and Radio Seagull's departure from 1602 (although this may now have come back with just 100 watts) and Radio Jackie coverage area (I tune in on the way to work to Neil Long and Nikki). Plus other odds and ends 
  • October 2018
COMING SOON! sasradiogroup.org website - across the summer and autumn we have been working on a new look site which is designed be best viewed across all your devices computer, laptop, tablet and your mobile. 

Radio Seagull - bad news received today on the 24th via various websites and Facebook. The foundation which owns the license has surrendered it back to the Dutch Radio Communications Agency. Broadcasts will cease on 31st October on 1602 kHz and DAB+. 

Radio Nord Revival - Hans Knot has pointed us to the latest revival from October 26th to October 27th. With transmitters located at the Waxholm Fortress Museum and some broadcasts from the ship Constantia. Broadcasts will be on Shot wave 5995 kHz alternating with 6035 kHz with an output of 500 watts. Locally to be heard on 91.8 MHz FM with 60 watts. Test transmissions can be heard beforehand. On the 27th a number of Radio Nord Veterans will vist and be heard on-air.

Tune Into Yesterday - Issue 86 Autumn 2018 has landed, with various articles and a Supplement on articles from the pages of radio history 1931 to 1936. This will keep another  of our members happy at the meet!

sasradiogroup - A rather small meet this month (even I couldn't attend). If I did I would have said shortwave shows signs of a bit more life on 49 metres and also noting activity from 1612 up to 1699 kHz. weekday and weekend evenings are eventful and a lot of activity noted as the evenings get longer. on the 29th I also picked up a Serbian pirate on 1699 kHz.I aim to attend the November meet.

International Radio Report - The October / November edition of the famous International Radio Report from Hans Knot now available. Link Hans Knot.  Hans is still having some computer problems so if you are having difficulties please use the link provided to get there. 
  • September 2018

Radio Caroline North - the big news from this broadcast is that Caroline North broadcasts will continue throughout 2019 on 1368 kHz via Manx Radio and also on 648 kHz for Suffolk/ NE Essex and beyond! Also the old Caroline Overdrive studio at the stern of the ship has been reinvigorated as Studio No 3. This was showcased on the last hour of the September caroline North broadcast.

Robin Adcroft / Robin Banks - news has reached us via Hans Knot that Robin passed away on 16th September from kidney cancer. Robin had a varied broadcasting career firstly on land based pirates including Radio Free London before joining Radio Caroline in January 1973. Robin wended up on the other side of the mike. That August 1973 he moved to the MV Mebo II Radio Northsea International working under the alias Robin Banks and stayed until its forced closedown the following year. His next task was refitting the ship for the planned Radio Nova International.

When this failed to materialise he worked with Spangles Muldoon in his electronics firm, with Robb Eden in Dutch clubs and as an engineer for Rank Xerox. He then shipped out to the Voice of Peace, before returning to the Mebo II, in 1977. He worked a lot in Ireland for various pirates before his last offshore radio sojourn at Laser 730 tests. Robin was a key player inthe campaign to preserve Red Sands fort, Project Redsand. 

OEM Issue 193 - has landed.  The Return of Caroline in 1972 part 2,  Interview with Bill Scadden part 1, Radio Syd Story part 7 as the Cheetah battles winter storms and ice floes (a lot of detail here from this previously unpublished history), Government Files re the Mi Amigo drifting, Roger Day interview part 1, OEM News and various obituaries including Ben Toney and Larry Dean.

The Baron of Norfolk - Following up from our report from April 2017 we can report that Dr Peter Brueggemann who spent £70,000 building a replica Fokker Driedecker Dr20171 fighter from World War One. has now received his CofA (Certificate of airworthiness). The 'plane made it's first flight on 7th September.. Peter who is a German GP living in Norfolk has painted his plane bright red to emulate his hero ace Manfred von Ritchofen aka The Red Barron. He bought the title Baron from the micronation of Sealand.

Sandbanks - Further to our July 2018 report it is understood that the locals are appointing solicitors to assist in blocking the redevelopment of the Haven Hotel at Sandbanks in Poole Harbour. Early radio experiments were conducted by Guglielmo Marconi from the buildings lounge. In the 1890s Marconi successfully sent a radio signal from the hotel to France. The Hotel carries a blue plaque commemorating the event.

sasradiogroup - a well attended meet. Lots of discussions re Radio Caroline, SUSY Radio - current and future developments (can't report the later!), 6070 kHz 49 metre band and pirates on SW. Centreforce 883 on D&B (former FM land -based drum 'n' base station. Also Chris Evans leaving Radio 2 at the end of the year to go to Virgin Radio on DAB. From 9 million to 450,000 listeners. A lot of debate as to the true reasons why. He has shown a lot of interest in re-starting his TV career and I wonder if his new contract will let him do this. So watch out for a revival of Don't Forget Your Toothbrush.

  • August 2018

Radio Caroline Southampton Support Group - Our colleagues tell us that the next meet takes place on Wednesday 12th September from 7pm at the Netley Victoria Club, Netley near Southampton SO31 5DG. Special guests will be coming along to meet you and the Caroline merchandise stall will be there, you could even win a prize from the stall. There is a bar and everyone are welcome to join for a £5 donation which includes a buffet. All proceeds will go towards the cost of work on board our Radio Ship, The Ross Revenge.

USGC Courier - If you are in the US then there is a USCGC Courier exhibit will be viewed at the Voice Of America's museum’s new main exhibit hall at its third annual fundraiser, “Rock the Radio” dinner-and-dance party on Saturday, Sept. 22 from 6 to 11 p.m. at the VOA museum at 8070 Tylersville Road, West Chester Township OH45069 USA. It is only open on Saturday and Sunday afternoon's from 1-4pm.

International Radio Report - The second Summer (August/September) edition International Radio Report from Hans Knot now available from Hans Knot.  Hans is still having problems with sending electronic copies of the newsletter so please use the link provided to get there. 

Maud- The BBC website carried today (9th August) an article re Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen. It was Amundsen who beat Britain's Captain Robert Scott to the South Pole in 1911, becoming the first man to reach it. But his later attempt for the North Pole led to his ship the Maud, his ship for that trip spending years locked in Arctic ice. When Amundsen hit financial difficulties, he sold it her. It became a floating warehouse and radio station under its new owners - before sinking off Canada in the 1930s. Raised from its watery grave in 2016, it has now been towed across the Atlantic to its Norwegian home - 100 years after it left.

Radio Caroline 1975-1980 Re-union - Jeremy very kindly provided a link to various photographs at this event from June Caroline Re-union

sasradiogroup - after July's very small meet a much better attended meet for August. a bit about Caroline and Am and listening into a good signal from Radio North 846 kHz in the car park after 11pm! We all think they upped power a while back.
  • July 2018

Flypast Magazine December 2017 - following-up on my January post re the small article on Page 7 where a Short Sunderland was moved under cover at the Museum of Transport and technology in Auckland, New Zealand. I thought this could be of interest to us if you have Adrian Blackburn's book The Shoestring Pirates. There is a photo in there of a Sunderland or a Short Solent flying over the Hauraki ship. Sometimes it was used to tender the vessel! The museum has two aircraft Short Sunderland NZ4115 and Short Solent ZK-AMO Aruni. I can confirm that the Short Solent came from New Zealand from a private owner. More news to come...

Rinse 106.8 / Flex FM 101.4 - I spoke with part of JET on 28th and neither could pick up Rinse. That said on the Sunday I did pick them up. Signal strength in our local area is some what down on that earlier in the year. According to Digital Spy the original site at Maydew House, Bermondsey had to be shut down as it is being refurbished. This forced a move to a site of City Road which as we all know proved useless.

Adrian Cronauer - I know we're off-beat again but this US Forces DJ who inspired the film Good Morning Vietnam passed away on July 18th. In 1963 he was posted to Heraklion, Crete and his early morning greeting was "Good Morning Heraklion" which gradually changed to Goooood Moooorning Heraklion". later when transferred to Vietnam this became  "Goooood Moooorning Vietnam".  The phrase being used as he would often be late and still trying to queue up his first record! He had a varied broadcasting career and with Ben Moses, another Vietnam veteran, They both tried to pitch a TV series based in Vienam in 1979 but this was turned down.Eventually becoming a film in 1987. The films story was mostly Cronauers although there is some artistic license. He was no comedian but tried to inject some humour as well as rock 'n' roll into his broadcasts. The film made him a celebrity although Robin Williams portrayal in reality owes little to his real self. Adrian being a lot calmer on-air.Very good obits in The Daily Telegraph on the 24th and today 25th in the Times.

Sandbanks - Following up on our May 2017 report nearly 3,000 objections have been made against the proposal to demolish the Haven Hotel at Sandbanks in Poole Harbour. Protect Sandbanks describe the plans which replace the Art Deco hotel with "faceless, mass development". i.e. three blocks of flats. They also state it will "have a devastating impact on an area of outstanding natural beauty". The  hotel was originally built in 1880 and re-built in 1927 with a steel frame in the art-deco style. It has been saved from demolition before in 1976 and refurbished adding some 50 years of life.. For us radio fan objections surround the historic nature of the site. Early radio experiments were conducted by Guglielmo Marconi from the buildings lounge. In the 1890s Marconi successfully sent a radio signal from the hotel to France. The Hotel carries a blue plaque commemorating the event.

1602 kHz - the daytime hours are now covered by Cyber Gold with Radio Seagull overnights.

Rinse 106.8 / Flex FM 101.4 - JET advised us that Flex started legal transmissions on 1st July and that after initial tests that reception had improved in Hounslow. Meanwhile we are both struggling to find out why Rinse is still off-air on 106.8 MHz after some 6/7 weeks...

Radio Caroline 648 - we have three reasons why they might be down in strength, summertime ground conductivity (although this is Orfordness), Caroline told to put the power down (we think this unlikely since Ofcom should have inspected the site last year) and Caroline turning it down to save money. Although if they are only running 1kW then the reduction in electricity costs against other fixed costs I don't think this is likely. Let's see if the field strength goes up in a hopefully wetter autumn,

sasradiogroup -after last June's high a very low attendance meet in July. I think that I should have highlighted this to anyone who didn't attend the June meeting. we knew in advance that a lot of us were on holiday, one was working and another recuperating from an operation. We'll do some 'lessons learned' from this and all will be revealed at the August meet.
I've not been given an update as to discussions but if you tune into SUSY Radio over the last couple of months you'll hear quite a lot of new adverts.

  • June 2018
Radio Seagull / KBC - news reached us that the Jenni Baynton is due to move offshore for two weeks in August. meanwhile we have hot reports that KBC will cease transmissions on 1602 kHz from 1st July. More info to come...

Rinse 106.8 / Flex FM 101.4 - JET advised that Flex as of 20th June are testing on 101.4. However as one former pirate becomes legit on London's FM airwaves JET points out (and I can confirm this) that Rinse has been off-air on 106.8 for a few weeks.

OEM Issue 192 - landed at the weekend 23rd June. Sadly various obituaries and tributes to Ad Roberts and Graham Gill amongst others various obituaries,The Return of Caroline in 1972, (with much contemporary information), Interview with Bill Scadden part 2, Radio Syd Story part 6 autumn / winter 1962/1963 (previously unpublished), Government files (The MV Magda Maria 1962 off the Essex coast. A fascinating insight,

Paul Harris - The Daily Telegraph carried a near half-page obituary to the writer and publisher on 13th June. Known to offshore radio fans as the author of When Pirates Ruled the Waves, To be a Pirate King and Broadcasting from the High Seas. A part founder of Capital Radio (1970 from the MV Kind David). He had a varied career caliming to have beena spy for MI6, a writer for the Arts and publishing consultant as well as having run his own company Paul Harris Publishing from 1968 to 1985.He broadened his writing andhaving been in Yugoslavia when war broke out became a war correspondent and analyst by default. 

International Radio Report - The first Summer (June / July) edition International Radio Report from Hans Knot now available from Hans Knot. This is more than a newsletter it is the offshore radio community communicating together.

sasradiogroup - An excellent high attendance June meet. Main topics of news:  Shortwave Relay Service,  Focus, Radio Caroline (down in strength we note), development at Quasar - the Album Station, Cyber Rock / Cyber Hot Hits on Surrey multiplex. Finally the Radio Caroline 1976 - 1980 crew re-union in London next month. It is at a secret location. They wouldn't even tell me!
  • May 2018
Radio Seagull- in true offshore style off-air due to the severe weather affecting the aerial at the land-based transmitter site yesterday (30th May) Expected back in the next day or two

Abandoned Engineering - this is a Series 3 starts exclusively on Yesterday on 8th May. Of real interest to Offshore Radio fans is Episode Four "Britain's Sea For Complex"  Seven huge steel boxes stand rusting in the Thames Estuary. Hear how the Red Sans Fort was once Britian's first line of defence against the Nazi's. Scheduled for transmission at 8pm on Tuesday July 15thj.
yesterday is available on Freeview Ch 19, Freesat Ch 159, Sky Ch 155 , Virgin 245. Also see UKTV Play

No Mans Land Fort Geograph 1263735 87977ef9.jpgSolent Forts for Sale - following on from the above The Daily Telegraph reported in the paper on 6th May that Spitbank Fort, No Man's Forts (both luxury hotels) and Horse Sand Fort (being turned into a museum) are for sale A more extensive article is available via their website,  Solent Forts For Sale

Photo from Wikipedia and reproduced under Wikipedia's rules (picture is unaccredited)

International Radio Report - The May edition of the International Radio Report from Hans Knot now available from Hans Knot including a tribute to Graham Gill, and extract from a new book by Clive Warner "Adventures in the Luminiferous Aether" Clive was the other well known transmitter engineer ion the 1975 period ISBN 978-0-9790836-3-1. Available via Kindle and print soon via Amazon, lots of news from readers worldwide.

Of interest are the usual links this including FCC US pirates. If you look at the map the FCC show are some 1500 pirates in the US (we can't even see the West Coast). 




Having been on a trip down the River Thames I thought I would put a shot I took on the website of the iconic studios and towerblock of the old London Weekend Television. Now itv studios. In February ITV announced that the site would be redeveloped so this view will soon disappear.

Message Boards - We're all familiar with the Pirate / Free Radio message board by Gary Stevens Pirate Radio Legend Gary Stevens.
Odd things seem to be happening and the site was closed down on the 15th of April. But, tonight 17th April it is back.

In the meantime there is an all new message board just created The Free Radio Forum FreeRadioForum And before you ask. No it isn't sasradiogroup running it.


Once again catching up with items as we're not quite back onto normal service

Graham Gill - sadly Hans Knot advised that Graham Gill passed away yesterday 9th April aged 81. Graham had a varied offshore radio career with the Radio 390, Radio London, Britain Radio / 355 in the 1960s and RNI and Radio Caroline  in the 70s. After the dutch MOA he joined the international broadcaster Radio Nederlands Worldwide. 

OEM Issue 191 - hit the doormat last week! Out now with a tribute to Peter Van Dam and various obituaries, The Days before The Return of Caroline in 1972, (which fits neatly from our last issue of Interference), Interview with Bill Scadden part 1, Radio Syd Story part 5 as they continue after the 1962 MOA(previously unpublished), Government files and TV From No man's Land - a 1959 plan to transmit TV from two planes to Sweden and Denmark.

United DJs - much discussed on various forums The Times carried a major article on Saturday April 7th. The station is broadcasting from an industrial estate outside Maidenhead. Founded by ex Caroline North and Radio Luxembourg DJ Tony Prince. "We're kind of a brotherhood. All the DJs of the past meet regularly to chinwag, and we were talking about how bad the scene had got for radio." The station has 12 ex Luxembourg veterans plus nine each from Capital and Radio One. This includes many other ex offshore DJs like DLT, Emperor Rosko and Bob Lawrence. The station is currently internet only don't dismiss applying for a DAB license. To hear more United DJs

International Radio Report - The April edition International Radio Report from Hans Knot now available from Hans Knot

sasradiogroup -  we had the same number of people as last month except half of those didn't attend in March. You do the math. Lots of talk about Caroline over Easter, Caroline on DAB in London (from 1st April and NOT an April fool) , Quasar - the Album Station etc. etc.


  • March 2018
27th March -Time to catch-up on some more news as I've had some very serious matters to attend to:

Radio Caroline North - swings into action again this weekend across 31st March into 1st April. Via Manx Radio on 1368 kHz in the North West of England and 648 kHz in the South East.
A great way to celebrate Caroline's 54th birthday with live shows from the Ross and the great atmosphere and music that goes with it!

Love Sport 558 kHz - Charlie Wolf is back on Five Five Eight as a contributor to the new London station.

Tune Into Yesterday - Issue 83 Spring 2018 hit the doormat last week.  News from The Archives, Supplement 1 Broadcasters on war Dept ETO Tour 1945, Supplement 2 From the Pages of  Radio History. A fascinating insight into broadcasting during the 1930s and 1940s. To obtain an issue see ORCA on our Other Groups page.

Daily Telegraph – 17th March carried details of a leaked speech by BBC Director of Radio Bob Shennan. In essence he stated that the future of radio in the UK needs to be a mixture of DAB, FM and internet, rather than just DAB. He says: “We all once thought that DAB was the only digital future of radio, but audiences want choice. We now know DAB is important, but only a part of the story, along with FM and the internet. We need to do more before we consider a switchover in the UK, and for that to be genuinely audience-led. For now, we believe audiences are best served by a mixed economy. Radio is also better served by a mixed economy. This is Bob trying to put on a positive spin at DABs failure to hit its listening target. We've been banging about this for over ten yeears and at long last the BBC gets the point that a lot of the audience are either satisfied with the choice on FM or the fact that the internet offers genuine choice as to the type of music the listener wants and not dire4cted by the Beebs urban trendies.

Love Sport 558kHz - at our meet we discussed the soft launch of this station. Can't say that we were immediately impressed but, we'll wait and see how the new operator on the channel fayres.

Radio Caroline - thoroughly enjoyed Roger Days show on the 3rd March. It got much positive response and can't wait for the next Caroline North.

International Radio Report - The March edition International Radio Report from Hans Knot now available from Hans Knot
Hans has told us that he has had issues with the e-mail version of his newsletter as he changed provider. So if you are having issues please go direct to his website. Or use our link above. Lots of memories and news including United DJs Radio also touched upon at our meet.

sasradiogroup -  warming up in the pub to get away from the Beast from the East. More Caroline chat, Radio Jackie old and new (the current format with a lot of 70s and 80s material is particularly liked despite the fact that management claim no change! We've put some photos of some of us on our Meetings page. SW pirates particularly from Holland. 
  • February 2018
sasradiogroup - a very good number of us defied the cold and enjoyed an evening in a snug and warm pub. Much to talk about: The return of Caroline to AM. Discussions around the audio quality and the programming. Introduced the first Interference newsletter of 2018 and discovered that we were mostly on the same wavelength re how Caroline sounds. 
AM DX - with the BBC shutting down local transmitters in Surrey, Sussex and Kent what we can now hear. We heard a pirate station on 1368 on Sunday 4th February.  Also try KBC from Holland on 1602 kHz before sunset Seagull in the evening. Good signals currently heard from Manx Radio on 1368 kHz. Very much a local station in the old style but great audio quality. It will be interesting to compare this months Caroline North broadcast on 1368 and 648 kHz.
The sad news of Tom Taylor's death and personal reminiscences of Tom.


Tom Taylor - JET contacted me today having had an e-mail via a contact from Peter Verbruggen at the Free Radio Service Holland.
"With great sadness we report the death of European Music Radio's founder and short wave legend Tom Taylor, to many also known as Barry Stephens.
For many dedicated SW free radio enthusiasts, E.M.R. was thé station in the late 1970s and 1980. As from 1980 onwards E.M.R. and FRS became sister stations. 
Within a few days a Memorial with some personal memories will be put on the FRS site. We will inform you via mail when it will be on-line.
All of us at FRS are shocked by Tom's death. He indeed was a short wave legend. May he rest in peace


Jim spoke with Tom last November and that was when he found out that he had cancer and that he was stopping EMR. The aim was for this to be short-term pending treatment but, sadly this was unsuccessful. Jim says that he was a really nice guy and RIP Tom. I couldn't agree more. 

The February edition International Radio Report from Hans Knot now available Hans Knot
  • January 2018
We've had an enforced break as like Radio Caroline our land-line was cut and I'm not fiddling round doing this on a telephone!

World Music Radio - this is the original version which broadcast from Holland in the early 70s, via Andorra in the late 80s and in the noughties did a series of test Broadcasts from Denmark. The station has returned on low power on 5805 kHz with 100 watts (400w PEP) with further tests and Identifications from Copenhagen. 927 kHz and 15805 kHz will start soon according to the website.

Only Connect - this excellent quiz show has moved back to Monday nights at 8pm on BBC2. On the first show in January various names appeared on their wall round. where you have 16 names and have to sort them into four groups to get a maximum of 10 points. a few names leapt out Caroline, Jackie, 270 and London. The answer? names of pirate radio stations. It wasn't that easy as there was also names of various girls magazines of the 60s and 70s so Jackie could have confused many. Indeed the team failed on this round but us seasoned Anorak's didn't.

Flypast Magazine December 2017 - still catching up on events there is a small article on Page 7 where a Short Sunderland was moved under cover at the Museum of Transport and technology in Auckland, New Zealand. This maybe of interest to us as if you have Adrian Blackburn's book The Shoestring Pirates. As there is a photo in there of a Sunderland or a Short Solent flying over the Hauraki ship. Sometimes it was used to tender the vessel! The museum has two aircraft Short Sunderland NZ4115 and Short Solent ZK-AMO Aruni. SoI'll do some digging around on this one and report back.

sasradiogroup - numbers can be a bit low in January but we had a good meet with our best numbers for a couple of months. Discussions in brief:
162 kHz. The former France Inter transmitter broadcasts a time signal. it was also off-air on Christmas day returning on the 26th with low power but this was boosted to normal levels by 11am.
Radio Caroline -  a lot of discussion about the format, the audio quality which is worse than Capital on 1548. It is very flat  and at times very over compressed. Also note the fluctuating power level!
Plus a lot of discussion of Radio Jackie's current format. A lot of 1970s and 1980s tracks and also 1970s transmission sites.