News 2024

February 2024


Radio Seagull - have sannounced that broadcasts on 1476 AM in the UK have ceased. Radio Seagull’s presence on this frequency was a joint venture with Carillon Wellbeing Radio in Coalville. Due to force majeur (the 1476 transmitter is being shut down)  the long lasting co-operation between both stations has come to an end. We wish to express our sincere gratitude to CWR in general and its station management, Jon and Jan Sketchley in particular for many years of working shoulder to shoulder. The other ways to listen to Radio Seagull do not change. Overnight on AM 747 and 24/7/365 via Tunein, App and www.radioseagull.com


SUSY RADIO 103.4 - Neil Munday reported on the 18th that Susy Radio are delighted to announce that Sylvie Blackmore  (BBC Sussex) a familiar local BBC Sussex #Surrey radio voice is joining us as a presenter from next Sunday 12-2pm across  #Redhill #Reigate #Horley #Crawley Ed: Sylvie is one of many BBC local radio presenters who are moving to community or commercial radio Caroline Martin we reported in January is on WCR FM.  Some are getting paid so is Sylvie?


Steve (Stephen Richard) Wright - 6/8/54 to 12/2/24. You might be a bit surprised to an obituary to Steve on this website. Steve's family moved from New Cross London to Southend on Sea. He was interested in radio quite early on and at Eastwood High School broke into the school speaker system from a stock cupboard. In 1974 he put in a demo tape to the offshore Radio Atlantis which failed to get him on air. According to The TImes obituary he first show was on Radio Atlantis but this probably was an Essex based land based pirate! His first job was in Marine Insurance and a trainee journalist on a local paper. He secured his first on-air job at Thames Valley Broadcasting (Radio 210) in Reading where he met an American lady Cyndi Robsinson who worked at the Berkshire Chronicle where he also worked as a trainee junior reporter. They married in 1985 but divorced in 1999. Steve was a radio anorak and would visit New York and it was here that he picked up on the zoo format. Given that Radio One was restricted to 50% music needletime adopting it was a shrewd idea to utilise the zoo format. Steve also used the Laser558 blasts in his shows and apparently was a listener to the station. After Steve's divorce he put on a lot of weight up to 18 stone. He used to visit his mother in Surrey and one of our members was shocked at his size and managed to talk to him. 


Philip advised on the Facebpook page of Land Based Pirate Radio of the 70s ands 80s that Steve grew up as a listener to RNI and that he was also a contributor to the Southern Independent Radio Association magazine. He got to know Steve when he called in as a listener to Radio Concord in 72. At the time he was working as a clerk at an insurance office in the City. We both shared a passion for jingles, and swapped tapes and recorded jingles in his bedroom in Rayleigh., He recalls his enthusiasm where he landed a job in the BBC record library and then his first radio presenter role 76 at Thames Valley Radio in Reading. We lost touch after I moved to Brussels in 79



ATLANTIS - I was a bit sniffy about this station on Facebook recently and decided to nip back in. I see that they now describe themselves as Britains Official Sixties and Seventies Station. 70s tracks being added this month. To be honest I approve of the format change adding the 70s something I and many others have wanted. Ron Brown on Monday was excellent. Jim and Ed like listening and put me right.  The station is available Nationwide and Online, Mobile and Smart Speakers Worldwide. and DAB in some areas. a good presentation team  Peter Quinn, Ron Brown, Mark Mathews, Steve England, Dave Owen, Bob Noakes. The station is successful in attracting advertisers. In December Leading Swiss watch manufacturer IWC has extended its hourly time check contract with Atlantis Radio until 2025. February has also seen campaigns from new clients including Fischer-Dieskau Mastercard along with sponsorship of the London Broncos Super League Rugby team. Atlantis will also feature on the LED advertising for over 150 matches on SKY SPORTS this year.  ATLANTIS Radio


Battleship USS Texas - now I am not going mad! This vessel was used to broadcast VOA to Norh Africa on 601 kHz with 5kW as the Voice of Freedom in 1942. The USS Texas is undergoing restoration and will remain at Gulf Copper Shipyard for the time being. Additional steel work, removal and replacement of the ship’s deck, and superstructure/aft fire control restoration will continue. Structural, decking, drainage, and other repairs have already begun on the ship’s foremast and aft fire control tower as part of the Save America’s Treasures grant project. The vessels main hull and undersides hve been repainted and the ship immersed in 14 feet of water to check for any leaks. The startion had to cease broadcasting as recoil from the 10 14" guns damaged the transmitter which was subsequently put into opration on land on 650 kHz.


Radio Caroline 48 Support Group -The next meeting is on Wednesday 28 February, 8pm at Mr G’s Bowling Centre in Brandon, Suffolk.

Meet Caroline presenters, including Barry James, Dave Foster, Andrew Austin, Steve Dack and Josh Holmes-Bright - and fellow Caroline listeners!

Everyone is welcome at Mr G’s Bowling Centre on Market Hill, Brandon IP27 0AA. Entry is a £5 donation including buffet, and there’s a bar and raffle. Overnight accommodation available at the venue.

Proceeds to the Ross Revenge Charity Dry Dock Appeal.

LV18 - The Harwich and Manningtree standard has reported today (6th February) thst a 33 year old man has been charged with 4 arson offences for two vehcile  fires in George Strtee, the railway station and the other LV18

LV18  the former lightship in Harwich was hit by suspected arson

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service sent seven crews to attend the vessel which was moored at Harwich Quay in Harwich just after 21:00 GMT on Friday. Police said it was being treated as arson and a group of young people were reportedly seen leaving the area shortly after the fire started.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, said crews had faced "punishing conditions with extremely high temperatures in the engine room" of the ship” and they "worked hard to enter the engine room from the deck and prevent the fire spreading". The Crews left at 4am and continued t0 monitor temperatures throughout Saturday morning.

Tony O'Neil he Pharos Trust, which owns the ship, said it was one of the last manned lightships in the country and "an iconic landmark".

Toy O’Neil stated he was "confronted with absolute piles of smoke" when he arrived at the scene and the hull continued to be dowsed with water even after the fire was extinguished as it was "red hot"."There is extensive smoke damage. We will not be beaten and we will bounce back," he added.

The incident at the Quay was not linked to a fire at the railway station, police said

Ivan Henderson, a Labour councillor in Harwich, said: "It is a real shame.

"It is one of the attractions that we are going to have to suffer from not having around.

If you have any information, CCTV, dashcam or other footage in relation to this incident, then please contact Essex Police. The vessel had been thre home to BBC Pirate Radio Essex and various RSLs such as RNI and Mi Amigo 106.8

Stereo Underground - BBC Solent dropped the last edition without any explanation. The show continues and  is now going independent Any radio station interested in syndicating the show free of charge should email latto@stereounderground.co.uk. 

sasradiogroup - Next meeting is Tuesday 6th at the Home Cottage  pub in Redhill. If I can do a link with the meet I shall reveal some exciting news! 

Pirates of the Airwaves - JET poinited me to https://piratepod7080.transistor.fm/episodesPirates of the Airwaves is a podcast where Mark Wakely (founder of the Land Based Pirate Radio of the 70's 80' Facebook group), talks to some of the people involved in the pirate radio world in the 70's and 80's. Much recommended.

Laser 558 - great news the facebook page is back as Laser 558 &  Hot HIts Group. This is now  a private Facebook  group and has been established for over 15 years with memories and nostalgia of the original shipborne Laser 558 and Laser Hot Hits. Thsi includes people involved in the 80s station as well as fans and historians.

Laser 558 is an online station run by Stephen (Steve) Michael Bannister and, reportedly has no connection to the original station of the same name.  It is available online and also via Freeview Channel 277 via UK Radio Portal. This is effectively a recreation tribute station. The station, which recently launched, uses modern technology to remaster recordings of original Laser 558 DJs from the 80s to introduce the music today.   Ongoing legal issues have delayed us reporting this station on our website although Radio Today UK took the risk!

SASradiogroup - we have a special guest for February's meeting - Colin Pearse former MD of Susy Radio and license holder for the RSLs is dropping by.

January 2024

Caroline Martin - as a result of cuts she left BBC WM last year and is working on WCR FM a community station.  She isn't the only one as a number of BBC local radio presenters (Surrey, Sussex and Kent) are involved in a new station to launch on DAB later this year. Details are strictly embargoed so we can't say anything unil March/April.

Stereo Underground - this specialist BBC local radio show is to leave the beeb (radiotoday reports) Sabina Latto confirmed to RadioToday: “31st January will be the last edition of Stereo Underground broadcast on the BBC and available on BBC Sounds. it is now going independent Any radio station interested in syndicating the show free of charge should email latto@stereounderground.co.uk. 


Susy Radio 103.4 FM - came back on air last night after repairs were competed.


Susy Radio 103.4 FM -  Today 22nd January the station has suffered Antenna Damage after last nights storms. It may take a short while to rectify the situation and Susy is broadcasting on reduced power so reception may be poor. Please if able retune to your smart speaker via TuneIn App or mobile via Radio Player App and Bluetooth to your car radio if possible. Also available online at susyradio.com


The station wnt off air at around 9.50 this mornig  so repairs can be made.


Intertnational Radio Report -  To quote Hans January 2024 is not yet over and yet already a new international radio report, which was actually scheduled for the month of March. However, so much interesting material has come in that I have decided to release the report, with 35 pages of memories and photos already. Be surprised at what's in the Hans Knot International Radio Report 2024-1 and download it via the following link:  

hansknot.com

Radio Caroline North - returns this weekend 13th/14th January on 1368 kHz for NW England, on DAB for the Isle of Man and on 648 kHz to Se England.

Talking Pictures TV -  Noel Cronin was awarded the BEM (British Empire Medal) in the New years Honours List. Remember he doesn't just run a TV station. TPTV and Renown Pictues actively research and restore film and TV shows from the 1930s onwards..

December 2023

Final update before Christmas

Tune Into Yesterday Christmas 2023 Issue 100 landed this week at home including Radio Pictorial  1937 BBCs Christmad Plane, 1947  Florida hurricane strikes damages to radio masts and how rsdio saved lives, 10 years of the Third Programme, RNI in 1973 and 74 as the English staff have a meal plus repeats of articles from The Daily Telegraph in 2023 plus the usual SupplementGeorg  Dannenberg and the 'Usable Past' how East Germany used  National Socialist recordings, 

Obituary - in today's Times thay carried a full page obituary to John Whitney.   turned down  by the BBC he sold shows to Radio Luxembourg by his company Ross Radio Productions which was the UK advertising representative for Radio Veronica's English programming under CNBC which broadcast from the Borkum Riff from 1960 to 1961. John failed in a bid to win the General Enrtainment station for London to Capital radio but Richard Attenborough was so impressed he made him MD. He then chose his directors. In 1982 he was headhunted to become head of the IBA and resigned this position in 1989. His interest started in building renting and then selling crystal sets to fellow school pupils 

Hans Knot Internation Radio Report - More pub time and one you don't have to subscribe to it is Hans Knot Rport the Christmas Edition is  now out.  As usal a long read and various links included:

 Radio Report

OEM - OffshoreEchosMagazine - last week Edition 21 Decwember 2023 dropped through my letterbox). A very intersting read it is too! Peter Chicago Part 3) re the cobversion of the Ross Revenge) included are photos of the ship painted pink. No one except Ronan wanted it that colour. They all thought it looked dreadful. I (ed; In the 80s I purchased a set of photos from the Caroline Movement. It looks appalling).  Chicago also describes the construction of the mast. The Gakaxy after August 14th 1967, From the Irish Press, from the Offshore Turntables The Dubliners and Seven Drunken Nights, Obituaries, Caroline Homes facctory built affordable prefabricated homes (Ed: i remember this was covered by the BBC TV London news in 1980 or 1981), Government Files the prosecition of Robbie Day and 3 others in the operation and support of Laser 558 and Operation REM the raid to shut down Radio and TV Noordzee. to get this issue and other backissues contact oem@offshoreechos.com

 

Radio Caroline North - the next broadcast is for this weekend! (9th and 10th December) on the udual 1368 kHz for the Isle of Mann and NW England, DAB for the Isle of Man and 648 kHz for SE England


November 2023 

Radio Caroline Southampton Support Group is on Wednesday 6 December. Alan Beech will be provide a station engineering update and Chris Cooper will be talking about his experience on board Ross Revenge over Christmas and New Year 1989.

Here is a chance to catch up with Caroline presenters plus merchandise for sale, and a bar. Everyone is welcome from 7.30pm at the Hamble Club, Beaulieu Road, Hamble-le-Rice, SO31 4JL. Entry is now a £10 donation including buffet due to rising costs, the first increase in 30 years.


Radio Caroline North -is on this weekend 18th and 19th November on 1368 kHz for NW England and 648 kHz to across SE England and into Holland!


Radio Caroline 648 Support Group Next meeting is on Wednesday 22 November at Mr G’s Bowling Centre in Brandon.

Special guest speaker is Rob Howard from the Vintage TV and Wireless Company, host of the TV show Retro Electro Workshop, which recently featured Ross Revenge. Caroline presenters Barry James, Steve Dack and Rob Proctor will be there, and presenter Stephen Foster and Roger James from the Buster James Band are running a music quiz.

The evening starts at 8pm and entry is a £5 donation which includes a buffet. There’s a bar and raffle. Free parking and overnight accommodation available at the venue, Mr G’s Bowling Centre on Market Hill, Brandon, Suffolk IP27 0AA. Everyone welcome - just turn up!


SUSY RADIO 103.4 Programme Director, Geoff Rogers received an Honours Award at the Community Radio Awards on the 19th.

 

Geoff got into radio when he was 12 listening to offshore and land based pirate radio. Since then has worked for hospital radio, worked in radio overseas, and was one of a small team who set up Restricted Service Licences (RSLs) to promote local charities, causes and events. The team went on to set up Susy Radio. Geoff is responsible for everything that is broadcast on Susy - the music, programmes, presenters, the news, advertising and the station profile.

 

Geoff has also been a presenter at Radio Jackie in South West London for many years and was one of the team in the 80s. He was also a DJ on Southern Radio which became South East Sound. When Jackie heard of this they told him to stop. He didn’t he used san Australian accent and changed his name!

 

In 1985 Geoff addressed a committee room full of MPs at Westminster on the benefits of small 'Community of Interest' radio stations. He also produced a document for a license application for rockers South East Sound.  As Geoff says in his Radio Jackie bio "well we eventually got Community Radio - took over 20 years!"

 

To be nominated for the award required some supporting info which was provided /  verifiied by myself.


15h November - the latest SAS Newsletter No 112 covering AM and shortwave is available on-line under publications.


The Fabulous Barker Boys - we did this link years ago go back to the 1930s and an early pirate station;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FnMpBkD3FQ


October 2023

Boom Radio - The number of under 50s listenig to the station has doubled in the last year to 136,000 20% of the listernership. I can recall that Mellow in LOndon had some 20% of its listeners under the age of 25 so nothing new here.  


Dennis Jason - the late Dennis Jason archive of photos from the Ross Revenge is now accessible Dennis Jason - Flickr


Radio Caroline - it is reported that Ofcom is taking arund three months to process requests so Caroline's application for a power incease on 648 kHz AM should be announced soon.


sasradiogroup - the section on our website re Susy Radio has been updated with a Susy 531 page in addtion to the memories by Graham Ford


Radio Hauraki - MV Tiri - New Zealand Herald 23rd October 2023 - On the Eastern shores of Matakohe-Limestone Island lie the derelict remains of a once-famous floating pirate radio studio.

Scattered skeletal piles of rusting metal is all that remains of the shipwrecked Tiri (the first vessel)  of Radio Hauraki.

On January 28, 1968, disaster struck as the Tiri ran aground at Whangaparapara Harbour,  Great Barrier Island in foul weather while taking part in a search and rescue for a lost fisherman. The Tiri due to engine troubles ended up on the rocks. She was patched up and five feet of water was removed and she was towed back to Auckland and the broadcasting equipment was salvaged. The vessel was beyond repair, Tiri was taken to Matakohe-Limestone Island and beached at Shipwreck Bay alongside another wreck of a wooden-hulled coastal ship. Locals played on her as children and both were set alight by vandals in 1979.

As for the Tiri’s demise, her scant skeletal remains are now flanked with a sign briefly narrating her story. Taken from artice first published on nzherald.co.nz 

BBC Local News Expansion - the NMA (News Media Association which includes The Guardian, Times and the Telegraph amongst others) has re-iterated its complaint that the Beeb is aggresively expanding its digital local news sites where traffic has increased by 20% over the last 3 months. The complaint is that this area is already well covered by local commercial providers. The BBC's action is stifling competition and depriving them of revenues. The accusation is that this aggresive expansion by the BBC has come at the expense of the local radio output. Owen Meredith Chief Executive of the MNA asked Ofcom to put the brakes on this expansion as it would leave only the BBC as the source of local news. The BBC denies the claims.  (Eds Note: Tim Davie has invested £500 million to transform the Beeb to become a Digital First organisation and this is at the expense of traditional broadcasting and the Beebs own values.)


Ray Clarke - having been dropped by the BBC Ray is going back to his offshore roots. From 22nd October he will present a regular show on Caroline on Sunday evenings. He also appears on Caroline North and no doubt this will continue.


MV Ross Revenge  - Radio Caroline’s Ross Revenge is featured in an episode of Four in a Bed on Friday 20 October at 6pm on Channel 4.

In the show, four sets of B&B owners take turns to stay with each other over four days, as they compete to be crowned best hosts and establishments. The entertainment provided for the group during their stay at The Limes Guest House in Maldon, Essex was a visit to Ross Revenge and a tour of the radio ship.


Tune Into Yesterday - Ussue 99 Autumn 2023 hit the mat this week. "40 years of ORCA" With from the radio archives 1945-52. This includes an article on Munich radio station where the wooden towers fell and how the aerial was hung between two 25m stumps in 1930. London Calling, Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service  (monitoring foreign broadcsts by the US FCC and a letter by John Arlott "October Month of Colour" plus the Supplement 1952-56 Travelogues on the BBC General Overseas Service plus "Worlding the archives by Carolyn Birdsall (University of Amsterdam).

 

SAS Email Address - please note our email of webmastersasradio@yahoo.com is back up and running. If you know my private email you can contact me there if you want to as this is monitored daily.


Radio Monique International - is one of the Dutch broadcasters with a mere 100 watt license this time on 918 kHz from Velsen in the Netherlands. I should have mentioned this ages ago. They had to do an enforced site move (which meant the signal propogated better). Unfortunately the Dutch authorities stated that this breached their license conditions and they had to shut dowm AM. All this has now been sorted out and 918 kHz returned yesterday. Link to the webiste is below. ED: mY personal opinion is that the station sounds good and fast paced.  Even re-using some of the old jingles. Things that are missing a) adverts like the old days and b) a  punchy 50kW transmitter. 

Radio Monique 918 


Intertnational Radio Report -  The September Issue is out and Hans advises us via Facebook  that sad news is that four important people have died in the recent period, all of whom will be remembered. Besides the many reactions various topics such as Veronica and politics in 1964, Caroline in Zaandam harbour and the flight to sea. Alan West in 1985 with memories of Gerard van Dam. There is a review of Roger Day's book and Wolf D Rock talks about a book on Amateur Radio. The Dutch government tried to kill the ship de Hoop back in the 1970s and we go back to May 1973, more than half a century ago when the double LP about RNI compiled by Jacob Kokje and Hans Knot was released. 44 pages of reading pleasure downloadable via the following link:

hansknot.com

September 2023

Gold 1548 Khz - today the 29th it is carrying a looped annoucment saying try DAB etc . Yesterday the relay of Gold was as normal with no announcemets on 1548 kHz.  Quite a contrast. Bauer had run Gold at minimal costs with only a breakfast DJ and the rest being automatic. The audience decline is in sharp contrast to Boom Radio which is inreasing listenership.  Field  strength has dropped from 39db to some 30 odd recently to encourage listeners to uses other methods to listen into the station.

SUSY Radio 103.4 - Susy Radio has been shortlisted in the 2023 Community Radio Awards they are a nomination in the Special Category, “HM Queen Elizabeth II – Her life, Her Reign, and her Passing”, with special local news bulletin which was produced and presented by Tracey Franklin.

The Local News Special was transmitted on Monday 12th September 2022, four days after the Queen passed away.

AM Closures - 1548 kHz is carrying an annoucement that transmissions on medium wave will cease from 30 September. Also in Brighton the same is on for Smooth Radio 1323 kHz. 

Bizm FM made the Times yesterday for all the wrong reasons due to a court case re the death of the stations owner. He was abducted, tortured and killed last October. 

OffshoreEchosMagazine - OEM No 213 - landed on my doormat today. Peter Chicago REcalls part 2, The Galaxy after August 1967, Ove Sjostrom Remembers Part 3, REM The Irish Dimension Part 2,  From the Offshore Turntables, Government Files, Logbook of the REM Part 4.

Radio Caroline North - the next broadcast is from 16 and 17th  September and includes PaulMcKenna.

BBC Radio Norfolk - Sophie Little made a scathing attack on the Beeb on her last radio show (she has lost her show Treasure Quest due to the cuts) she described them as ageist, ableist and placing economic barriers for some people. If you try listening on BBC Sounds to her last broadcast her comments have been controversially edited out.

August 2023

No 1 The Thames - the fort is back on the market. Accessed by a tidal causeway or boat.

Capital Gold  - on August 14th RadioToady announced that the stations 1548 frequency would be closed down justt before Captials 50th birthday celebration.


Sweden - Mike Terry of the MW DX Club informed on Facebook that Hörby, in Swden will come back to life on the air again. The Hörby Radio Association has received authorization from the PTS to broadcast on medium wave on the old Hörby frequency of 1179 kHz. The Hörby Radioförening transmitter will operate between 27/8 and 9/9 2023, as part of Veteran Sound Day 2023, on medium wave 1179 kHz. Call sign is SBH Hörby Radioförening. Power of this special station is not known at the time of writing but daytime reception area has been described as limited.  It utilises the same call sign as the original station from 1928 to 1937. At night time there is a 200kW station in the east of Romania which will effect transmissions.

Radio Sweden on 1178 kHz 254.7 metres was bang next to Radio Caroline on 1187 kHz. Many caroline listeners tuned into The Saturday Show from 1968 and into the Seventies even though the splatter from the MV Mi Amigos 50kW made life difficult. Sweden Calling DXers was also popular with rsdio news particularly International Waters. IN the 60s and 70s the station used a 150kW transmitter but by the mid/late 70s was well past its best. IN the early 80s a new Telefunken 600kW transmitter was built whixch greatly improved reception

Radio Caroline Radio Caroline have announced they are now on Freeview.  In fact Johnny Lewis let this slip in an anouncement late on his Sunday show on Caroline North. Their friends at Radio Channel 277 (UK Radio Portal) have provided the tutorial below to help listeners tune in across England (only). This information should enable you to hear us - or learn how to equip so that you can.

Radio Caroline is available on Freeview compatible Smart TVs and on the Amazon Firestick, via the UK Radio Portal on Freeview Channel 277. The service works on compatible internet connected smart TVs, (such as Freeview Play).. Freeview Play is built in to the majority of new TVs and available to viewers for free, with no monthly fees or joining costs.

To do so you need the following:

• A compatible Freeview TV or set-top-box

• A broadband Internet connection

• A TV or set-top-box that is connected to the Internet

• A TV or set-top-box that is connected to a UK Freeview/DTT (Digital Terrestrial TV) aerial

To access UK Radio Portal on Amazon Fire TV Sticks, please ensure that you have the following:

• An Amazon Fire TV Stick

• A broadband Internet connection with WiF

Note: commentd on facebook say this may only apply to the main Freeview transmitters and not the relays and that not all Smart TV's will receive this.

July 3030

Radio Caroline - The next Radio Caroline North broadcast is happening between 11th-13th August during the first three days of the annual Fundraiser. Coverin music from the 60s to the early 90s over this mammoth live broadcast. Available on 648 AM across South East England, The Netherlands, Belgium and beyond, on 1368 AM in the North/North-West courtesy of Manx Radio, worldwide online via their Caroline North Player, on smart speakers and the Radio Caroline app.

RAJAR - Radio 2's audience dropped by more than 1 million to 13.3 million due to Ken Bruce moving to Greatest Hits Radio whose audience is up by 47.6% to 5.9 million. Ken's morning show had 3 million listeners and increase of 93%. Overall the BBC lost 3.9% drop in listeners. Boom Radio doubled it's audiece to 641,000 largely down to listeners deserting Radio 2. 


Radio Caroline 648 - are now powering the transmitter from the solar panels which were installed. On the web page top right there is a meter showing how much power the panels are producing. Also a new jingle has been sung by Holly Hallam "powered by the sun sweet caroline".


Spitbank Fort - We  see that Spitbank Fort in the Solent remains up for sale reduced offers welcome in the region of £2.5 million. For this money you get 9 luxurious bedroom suites (up to 18 overnight guests) plus staff accomodation. Capacity for up to additional 42 day or evening guests, 4 function rooms, Rooftop hot pool, sauna and fire pit, cinema room, Wine cellar, games room, Champagne bar. The fort is on 3 levels with 33,000 sq ft and has been fully refurbished. Has marine generators and its own fresh water well and 15 feet granite walls. If only oit had a radiolicense as well. 1242 kHz was originally used by Isle of Wight radio with 500 watts.


Radio London RSL - Broadcast to promote a radio conference event - RADIO DAYS 2023; and also in memory of the pirate radio stations which were operated off the Essex and Suffolk coasts in the 1960s. This is running up until 14th August from 'The bus that rocks' from the seafront Felixstowe Suffolk on the unusual frequency of 1206 kHz. Presumably to we ensure it ends in a 6 like 266 metres.

SUSY Radio 103.4 - Announced today 25th July the station is celebrating a recent grant award of £9.900 from the National Lottery Community Fund! This will provide core funding to support our work as the community radio station for the East Surrey and North Sussex area. Ed this is good news but the station unlike many others realise that they can't beome too dependent on such grants.  

Retro Electro Workshop - Features studio equipment from the Ross Revenge next Tuesday 25th July at 9pm. THis is a 10 part series featuring Rob Howard who runs the Vintage TV and Wireless Company in Norwich.

Sister Boniface Mysteries - we were pointed to this BBC series on Drama(owned by BBC Studios (ex Worldwide).  Showing series 2d episode is called Dead air set at a groovy pirate radio station set in the late 60s. 

Retro Electro Workshop - Johnny Lewis on his Sunday show on Caroline North put us onto this one a new show on Yesterday TV which airs Tuesday 18th at 9pm  Season 1 Episode 1/6


Shamil buys an '80s Atari which is a more complex fix than it first appears. Rob needs to unravel a previous owner's modifications before he can get it working again

(New Series) (Audio Described)

Possibly this series may include a visit to the Ross Revenge at some time.

SUSY Radio 103.4  - This Saturday, 15 July 2023, is celebrating its 11th Birthday as the #community Radio Station for North Sussex and East Surrey.

Channel 4 - I accused the station on facebook of deliberately sabotaging its schedules to reduce the risk of privatisation. The Telegraph carried an article on C4s fortunes. Share of terrestrial viewing is at it's lowest compared to rival channels whilst all4 was up by 20%. The private production comapnies who C4 lobbied are now livid as they have cut production. Meanwhile PopMasterTV got peak audiences for More4. Why was it shoved on there? Or LegoMaster where they showed the Australian and US versions in the same week. Fire the scheduler and maybe top management.

June 2023

Does Russia plan to seize Radio 4 ?- there are 500kW Storm tranmsitters in Kaliningrad and there is a worry that they will seize the frequency when Radio 4 is shut down. ED expact the Russians to relay Radio 4 off the internet and insert their own bits of propoganda. They could do the same on 234 kHz as well.

Slow Radio: Transmitter - Fuzz, clanking, crackles electronic musician Mathew Herbert and a team of recordists gather up late night sound from some of the BBC's 352 transmitters across the UK. Described by Simon O'Hagen as a beautiful experience .  Sunday 25th JUne at 11:30pm on Radio 3. Ed: please don't make the messenger walk the plank. Should be of interest to any radio fans and anorak's. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p0fwyhrp

Ross Revenge Drydock Appeal - Peter Moore advised on the 19th that £131k has so far been raised against £125 which was their target. The crowdfunder campaign remains open as it is one source of income for the dry dock appeal. On the 16th June 2023 they had raised £45,265 with 737 supporters in 69 days. Every pound matters, they are continuing to collect donations from supporters..

https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/ross-revenge-dry-docking

Radio Caroline North Weekend - due on 24th and 25th June on 1368 and 648kHz to NW and SE England.

Hans KnotInternational Radio Report Summer 2023 edition now available hansknot.com › intrep


The Brighton Argus - reported on the 13th of the death of George Ginn always known as George to everyone. He ran The Record Album from 1962 until his retirement in 2018 and was revered as one of the regions best record dealers. The store was established in 1948. George was renowned for his expertise in film soundtracks and theatrical cast recordings.

George, 93, passed away at his care home in Patcham on Sunday evening, and the current owners have praised him as a “steadfast champion” of vinyl.

As reported in the Argus Keith Blackmore, co-director of the Terminus Road store, said: “The great vinyl revival of the last 20 years may have caught many of us by surprise but not George Ginn.

When I was his customer, his advice on what to buy (and, just as importantly, what not to buy) was invariably right and like many people over the years I heard new things in new ways whenever I visited his shop. I’d often just drop in for a chat then find myself still there two hours later, listening and learning.

“George loved music records and his shop.”

George is survived by his wife, Yvonne, and their daughters.

BBC Local Radio - John Bradford retired CEO of Radio Tees and Mercia Sound and ex director of the Radio Academy Devizes, Wilts got a letter in The Times Yesterday (13 June) suggesting that funding for BBC local newsrooms should be diverted to community radio sinec coverage has been decimated ) Ed: decimates means one in 10 and the situation is far, worse than that. I believe that BBC Local Radio should be legally seperated and form its own BBC Local Radio Trust.

The next meeting of the Radio Caroline Essex & South Suffolk Listeners Group takes place on Thursday 29 June at Clacton Rugby Club. Speakers, bar, food and raffle. Entry is a min £5 donation. Join us at 7.30 pm at Clacton Rugby Club, Valley Road, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex CO15 6NA - there's a large car park behind the club. Everyone is welcome - just turn up! 

Offshore Echoes Magazine - this weekend Issue 212  fell through the door...Peter Chicago Recalls (with rare shots of Big Ls RCA 50kW) from a talk given in Southampton, Ove Sjostrom Remembers part 2 with an insight into Radio Nords planned FM service, REM the Irish Dimension Part 1, obituaries, Remembering Ronan, From the turntables Judge Dread, Government files and Logbook of the REM part 3.   Ed: He Government Files make interesting reading and shows across recent issues that the Laser organisation had been well infiltrated/investigated by the government and that this just as stopiing the tenders finished the station.

Radio Caroline - Alan Beech stated at the latest meeting of the Southampton Support Group that the article in RadioToday UK that the power increase request to Ofcom for 648 kHz was declined is incorrect . As the regulator has not made a decision yet.

Ken Bruce - In the past he offered the rights to Popmaster to the BBC and they declined! So he bought them himself which is why the quiz moved with him to Boom Radio. Now Channel 4 are running promos for Popmaster TV comming soon to More 4. Ed: why not the main Channel 4?

Radio Days 2023 - Roger "Twiggy"  Day and RadioFab.com have organised on 13th August 2023 - see flyer above plus a pirates banquet.

Absolute Radio - Bauer Group have been fined a meesley £25,000 for turning off the AM transmitters. Ed: this appears to be a clear breach of thier license conditions which seem to say they should have remained on until 2027. They could have been fined up to ten times that amount. The fines go to HM Paymaster General so the taxpayer is heavily losing out.

May 2023

Last entry for May! The Daily Telegraph Features section has an article yesterday "National BBC radio is in recession  - but specialist broadcasters are booming" . Essentially on Fix Radio a DAB and internet broadcaster. The station is four years old and one year on national DAB at "considerable cost" says the stations boss Louis Timpany.  DAB is estimated to reach 392,000 liateners per month and annual income is approaching £2m.  It also mentions the highly successful Boom Radio with 630,000 listeners per week and increasing and the fact that commercial radio listeners is 6 million higher than the BBC's at 38.7 million  (Ed the Beeb cares little about older listeners and viewers. Listerns are finding laternatives like Boom, Angel Radio, Caroline and Atlantis. ON TV there is the excellent Talking Pictures which gets up to 6 million viewers, Sky Arts and various UKTV channels).

BBC Radio 4 Long Wave - The Beeb is intending to close this down in 2024 and are puting out announcments in preparation.  It is intended that befohand FM and LW schedules will be unified. Presumably this will apply to all 3 long wave transmitters the one at Droitwich and the 2 50kW in Scotland. The latter two date from the 70s. Oddly enough the 300kW RTE tranmsitter on 252 kHz could well become available. Would it be worth it for teh Beeb to buy it and re-tune to 198 kHz?

The June Meeting of the Souhampton Support GRoup will be held on Wednesday 7th June at the Hamble Club, Beaulieu Road, Hamble-le-Rice Southampton SO31 4JL with Ray Clark.


May  5th was the funeral of Susy Radio Director, Ian Rennison who was known for his work at Susy Radio and Uckfield FM now Ashdown Radio.

 

Ian worked mainly behind the scenes in IT and occasionally on-air. He joined the original station for Redhill Jubilee Fm which became TRsust Fm and later Susy Radio. became involved in Redhill’s first local radio stations, Jubilee FM in 1994, and the following year, at Trust FM.  

 

Ian went on to volunteer at Uckfield FM, and later returned to Susy Radio and joined the Board of Directors.  Many of Ian’s friends at SUSY and Ashtead FM will miss  him.

April 2023

Tune into Yesterday Easter 2023 - Issue 98 From the Radio Archivesd 1936 - 1965. The Radio Times cost 2d in 1936, and the same in March 1950. It was 4d at Easter 1960 and 6d (2 1/2pence in decimal money) at Easter 1965 plus Supplement The value of a German Sound collection.

Hans Knot International Radio Report - the Spring 2023 edition is now available it's time again for another episode of the Hans Knot International Radio Report. The spring 2023 edition includes responses to e mails from various parts of the world.We reflect on the passing of Germany's first deejay Klaus Quirini. Reviews include a new book on Radio Caroline and Ronan O'Rahilly, a new double CD on Laser and Johnny Lewis reflects on the sinking of the Mi Amigo more than 43 years ago. Other features include a Veronica talent show in 1964, the Caroline Revival Hour in 1969 and Gavin McCoy recounts his wonderful radio career. There is also a long article I wrote myself about a failed radio project in the early 1960s. More than enough to enjoy. The report is available to download:    https://hansknot.com/intrep.htm 

MV Ross REvenge

A Charity that maintains the former pirate radio ship Ross Revenge wants to raise funds to move the ship in to dry dock for essential repairs to ensure its survival. The registered charity MV Ross Revenge – Home of Radio Caroline – aims to raise £125k through the Crowdfunder to add to the monies already raised £57k. If they succeed in this they will reach half the amount required to approach the National Lottery for further funding to carry out initial surveys of the ship in dry dock – paint the underside of the hull and to carry out necessary repairs to seals and seavalves.

 

Peter Moore says “the Ross Revenge is a remarkable ship with a fascinating fishing and broadcasting history,”and “It is also one of only a couple of surviving British super trawlers, the pride of a fleet of distant- water vessels that once plied their trade in the cold and turbulent seas of the North Atlantic from ports such as Grimsby and Hull, but were wiped out when the fishing industry went into steep decline in the late 1970s. Ross Revenge still holds the record for the biggest catch.

“It is the only remaining pirate radio ship still afloat, having avoided the cutter’s torch when sent to the breaker’s yard to become the floating broadcast base for the Radio Caroline in 1983.”

The ship has endured many dramas during its time on the North Sea, including losing the 275' mast in 1987 and the armed raid by Dutch Authorities in 1989.

Ross Revenge is also one of only a small number of ships to survive grounding on the Goodwin Sands, when its anchor chain broke during a storm in 1991. Ross Revenge is currently moored on the Blackwater Estuary in Essex and still used by Radio Caroline for regular offshore broadcasts and visitor trips. It is maintained by volunteers and is on the National Historic Ships Register.

Peter |Moore again “We are launching this Crowdfunder Campaign to ensure that the ship can continue to operate and provide a platform for independent radio broadcasting and be of interest to future generations, on which our future will depend.

“Our future plans to turn the forepeak area of the ship into an interactive fishing heritage centre will provide a hub for learning about maritime engineering and the ship’s deep sea fishing history.”

The Crowdfunder campaign will run for six weeks from 10 am on Good Friday 7 April, and donors will be able to choose from a range of rewards.

To support the Crowdfunder Campaign and secure the future of MV Ross Revenge, please visit the Crowdfunder campaign page for MV Ross Revenge (Home of Radio Caroline) at rossrevenge.com.

25 March 2023 

OEM Osffshore Echoes Magazine - Issue 211 dropped into my mail this week. As usual a jam packed edition! Interview Alan Turner who was on board the MV Caroline in  1964 an extensive interview, Ove Sjostrom Interview  Part 1 he was an engineer on Radio Nord and this gives a fascinating insight into the operation of the MV Bon Jour from 1960-62. Janet Bardini interview. She was one of the Laser558 office staff and visited the ship in 1985.  Chris Edwards finds gems even after all this time.  Station of the Stars Radio Luxembourg - offshore DJs who joined in the late 60s and early 70s, ObituariesThe Governmant Files which show how Laser558 was penetrated by the authorities, Logbook ofthe REM part 2, more in-depth of the start of Radio & TV Noordzee. 

Eds note: I have always been a paid subscriber to OEM (I don't receive freebies) so my thoughts about the mag are my own. OEM maintains very high standards and each issues pulls out very interestingstuff.  Subscribe (£45 per annum) or view the website www.offshoreechoes.com 

Ken Bruce signed off uncontroversially from Radio 2 or did he? One of his final tracks was Pilt of the Aurwaves by Charlie Dore. If I am correct this was the final track played by Caroline from International Waters so was there a subliminal message there.

Sunday telegraph - last Sunday  carried an excellent aerticle on the demise of Am in the UK. POinting out that it costed Absolute Radio around £1m to run the AM transmitters and that the fine from Ofcom would be less then this. Apparently around 6.5million people tune into AM every week. One well known sports journalist commented a while ago that he often had to tune into medium wave to pick up the results as when he drove around DAB would cut in and out all the time.

Right access problems means that I am very behind on this so this is a brief catch up.

Hans Knot continues his excellent International Radio Report with teh Winter 2022/23 edition now available hansknot.com/images/2012/intreport.jpg 

Tune Into Yesterday - Christmas 2022

Autumn 2022 Issue 96 - Lone Ranger Trivia

Offshore Echoes - issue 122  December 2022 - interview Alan Turner, Ireland's only offshore pirate (we're not talking about Radio Scotland & Ireland here), Radio Caroline 1983 and REM TV Nordzee.

BBC Local Radio - has effectively been closed reduced to  2 local programmes per day and the rest regionalised,

Sealand - appreared on the latest series of Abandoned Engineering on the yesterday channel.  It is episode 1

Radio Caroline - has a five year extension to 648 kHz and are looking to increase power further from 4kW to 10kW

July 2022

Alain de Cadenet  died on July 1st with extensive obituries in The Telegraph and The Times. he dad a wide ranging career as a racing driver and operated a Supermarine  Spitfire. In fact I think  I met him at Biggin Hill once many moons ago. Of note to offshore radio fans is that he was the official photographer for Radio Caroline and also worked for Radio London.

June 2022

OffshoreEchoes magazine208 - Sylvan Tack in Spain, RadioVeronica Spots, Ben Bode and radio Paradijs and ProjectAtlanta

 April 2022

Tune into Yesterday Spring 2022 Issue 95 - a bit late writing this up Fromthe archives exracts from Popular Wireless and Wireless Magazine in the 1930s.plus Supplement Radio in Europe July 1927 to September 1941

Talking Pictures TV - keep an eye on the Footage Detectives. We've had radio 270 recently in addition to Radio Essex a while back.


March 2022

After a two year gap meetings resume on 5th April 2022 at The Home Cottage

Offshore Echoes Magazine-  the latest edition has arrived with Alan west Interview, Sylvain Tack in Spain Part 1,  Part 20 of the Radio Syd story(on-air in The Gambia), Life On Board a Radio Ship in the early 60s (Veronica), Interview Paul Mckenna, Government Files, Radio Caroline and Planet Productions, Tineke awarded, Philip Birxch interview and obituaries.

Talking Pictures TV - Look at Life Fish and Ships. Sunday 13th showed two vessels of interest to offshore radio fans.  The Lord Nelson at the start of the film (Vessel proposed to Radio Caroline as a Mi Amigo replacement, and what looks like the Ross Revenge and possibly Ernie Stephenson at the end eating steak and chips. 

January 2022

Roger Wallis - it is with great sadness that we report the death of BIG Bad Roger.  Roger was well known for the Saturday Show on Radio Sweden. A station whose late night listenership increased with the closure of Caroline in 1968 

https://www.svt.se/kultur/musikern-och-professorn-roger-wallis-ar-dod 

SB reports on Boom Radio/This is particularly beoming the home of choice for SOTS AVIDS. Roger Day's show on Saturday 8am - 10pm is far superior to Tony Blackburn 's pastiche radio show on Radio 2.

Brian Anthony ex Radio Jackie, Jackie FM (NSR?) and JFM had died in a road accident.

December

Radio Caroline - as reported elsewhere power has increased from 1kW to 4kW. The transmitter previously belonbged to Arrow Classic Rock and is the former 828 kHz rig 25kW. Which they used to run at 20 daytime and 5 nightime.

Offshore Echos Magazine - Issue 206 dropped through the letterbox with interviews Paul McKenna and Robbie Dale, RNI the 1971 return, The Radio Syd Story part 18. More on the aborted Radio 390 North. Wijsmuller tugs. March 1968 the end. Government Files.

tune Into Yesterday - Christmas 2021 Issue 94 -"ask Dave Goldin", search for Boris Karloff lost 1947 episode Wet Saturday, plus reprints 1930s popular wireless and Supplement NBC Radio Archives in 1957 and tape manufacturing in post war Germany.

October

sasradiogroup - the next newsletter wilolo be published via this website! It's been a while so I hope that it is worth the wait!


Ross Revenge - appears on tomorrow's Antiques Road Trip (12 Novemeber on BBC2 at 7pm

AM/FM - the Government has announced the intention to keep analogue broadcasting continuing to 2030.

SUSY Radio - Geoff Rogers has been shortlisted  for Volunteer of the year in the Community Radio Awards.

Hans Knot International Radio Report - the latest issue is available via Hans Knot's website. Always a great read and lot of fascinating links too!  Hans Knot

Tune Into Yesterday Issue 93 Autumn 2021  -  Detective noir fiction in Old Time Radio pluas a majoe expose Censoring of Archive Programmes  on Radio 4 Extra by Steve Poppitt.Ca,p comedians like Frankie Howard and Kenneth Williams are particluarly affected and for example any reference to JImmy Saville is erased  plus Supplement The Drama of radio: the past and the fuuerrry for the unintended break in transmission. time to catch up with events:

Red Sands - has hit the news saying that unless immediate action is taken within 10 years this WW2 fortress will be lost.

Radio Caroline - Ofcom has granted a power increase from 1kW to 10kW after a technical presentation re man made noise in the current AM reception area. This also has the effect of extending the main reception area further beyond the Suffolk/Essex area. It is understood that the station has already obtained a 25kW transmitter but we are unsure whethere this is installed at Ordordness.

SUSY Radio - Geoff Rogers has been nominated for Volunteer of the year in the Community Radio Awards.

Radio Redhill- the hospital radio station based at East Surrey Hospital has received a license for a low powered FM license with reception up to 1km away. This is in addition to 1413 kHz AM. Expected frequency 87.7 or 87.9 MHz

BBVC iPlayer - has been updated but older viewers with older devices will find this is not backwards compatible for older ios versions.

DENNIS JASON Obituary - On 9 July 2021 Dennis Jason passed away far too early having suffered from a long term cancer.

 

Dennis is well known locally having run a shop in Lesbourne Road, Reigate selling disco equipment and some free radio memorabilia (tapes, records etc). As well as running a disco. For a while he ran a dead letter drop for our local AM rock station Southern radio. Dennis participating with the station Southern radio / South East Sounds

 

In 1986, like a number of our CM East Surrey group saw him move offshore times when he was heard on Radio Caroline from the MV Ross Revenge that May and again later in the year. It is important to remember was not only a deejay but a technician. He was also an excellent amateur photographer and filmmaker. If you see the shot of the Ross Revenge from high up the original mast it is Dennis’s foot you can see!

 

In 1987 he joined the engineering team on board the MV Communicator Laser Hot Hits 576.

 

Later, Dennis came back ashore worked at ILR station Mellow 1557 where is worked with Ray Anderson, and the RNI revival broadcasts from LV 18 in 1999 and 2000.

 

Dennis subsequently moved back to Surrey and participated in some of the Susy RSL broadcasts and its prior incarnations in the nineties and noughties.

 

Dennis was quite modest but very reliable and hardworking. I got to know him at our 80s meets and the RSLs.

 

In later years he set-up his own double glazing business Nova Windows and this used the same logo as Dublin based 80s pirate Radio Nova. The last time I saw him was in a Waitrose car park with his Nova van!

 

A pleasant, friendly contemporary who will be extraordinarily missed, especially by many radio friends. RIP Dennis.


Meetings resumed at The Home Cottage 2nd August 2022

Spitbank Fort remains on sale at a reduced price in the gion of  £2.5million

July 2021

sasradiogroup - well we made it! Onto the new version of the site! Only one photo omitted. Can you guess which one! I'll put it back on soon! We have added some more photos and car stickers etc.

The BBC - The Sun etc have reported on a revamp of the BBC's logo. They are using a new font 'Reith'. This cost a figuer intot he reported tens of thousands of pounds and that's before they change all the document etc.

RedSands Fort - the daily Mail carried a recent report on ongoing efforts to turn this into a museum.

June 2021

Sasradiogroup - as with SUSY Radio we too will be having some engineering work as we aim to switch over to the new website in the first full week of July. Whilst I like the current look there are practice reasons for changing. The new version is geared up to be better to read across  computers, iPads and your phones. Once launched we will be doing some further tweaking. It is going to be a bit like swapping over to a brand new radio ship!

Hans Knot International Radio Report - the latest issue is available via Hans Knot's website. Always a great read and lot of fascinating links too!

SUSY Radio - this Saturday 26th June the station will be off-air for a few hours for some aerial and transmitter work. It is still available on-line and via the smart speaker. Ed: We know what's going on but aren't allowed to tell you at the moment.

OEM Offshore Echos Magazine - Issue 204 

Absolute Radio Country - this used to be Country Hits Radio until taken over. Now its listeners are switching off as the new owners filled the Breakfast and Drivetime slots with DJs who are simultaneously on nine other Absolute stations. The system known as Project Banana means that the DJs can chat and then hit a button leading to different tracks on the country music statio, the rock station, 60s station etc. All very clever but the DJs make no mention of the country music or artists. It's so easy to see why listeners are annoyed and switching off. When I broadcast on SUSY we were told 'talk about the music'. 

Ed: with the proliferation of stations even the major players need to continue cost cutting. One wonders if some are getting over extended.

Sasradiogroup-  we have had initial talk on resuming meetings but, as of this moment nothing has been agreed. We have pitched a new locale given the pre COVID issues that we were experiencing.

BM NECTAR - our box number isn't getting the traffic that we used to. At the moment it is intended to close this facility later on this year.

BBC Local Radio - as expected we can hear daytime BBC Essex on 765 and 729 kHz with a message saying to retune to DAB etc. At nighttime both BBC Stoke 1503 kHz and Cambridgeshire 1026 kHz carry their own messages. It makes me laugh when they say for example 752 medium wave. 

BBC -they always seem to bang on about the SNP and Scottish independence. Isn't that a 5 to 10% loss in license revenue if that happens 

May 2021

Great British Railway Journeys - tonight 4th May Michael Portillo visits Writtle to look at the site of 2MT the first broadcasts in the U.K. In 1922. On BBC2 at 6.30pm.

Rock - is a 60 year old Medway coaster, one of the few remaining. If you have £875,000 you can buy the 92 ft long shipwhich was converted into a spacious and comfortable home extensively refitted in 2003 with bottom re-plated and bilge keels added, portholes replaced and new steel roof and roof lights. Four cabins, studio office, large saloon and bathroom/utility room.  The vessel is operational with permanent mooring in Wapping. For sale with the Unique Property Company.

April 2021

Tune Into Yesterday - Issue 92 Spring 2021- of interest to Offshore Radio Fans with an article by Ron O'Quin on The operation of Radio England / Britain Radio and some great Pictures of the tendering of RNI's Mebo 2. Plus vintage articles about Radio in the 1920s and 30s. Also Issue 92 Supplement Sherlock Holmes on the Radio 1932-1948.

Caroline Community Radio - has been chastised by Ofcom for broadcasting a song  with over two minutes of sexual moaning at 8.20 in the morning. The track French Kiss by Lil Louis was down to transferring material from one computer to another and that "some scheduling restrictions had not been carried over to the new system."

Tony reports that the BBC is turning off AM transmitters for the following local radio stations: Cambridgeshire, Devon, Essex, Hereford& Worcester, Lancashire, Leeds, Sheffield, Stoke, Ulster and Foyle. Also coverage would be reduced at BBC Wales and Gloucester.

March 2021

Offshore Echos Magazine - edition 203 is now out- Lady in Distress Part 5 the 1989 raid, RNI the 1971 return Part 3, Radio Syd Story part 16  (390 North), Government Files, Keith Skies interview, , Obituary Chris Moore.

Louise Ottens - creator of the compact cassette tape died on March 6, 2021. In the early 60s the first version was exhibited in Berlin in 1963. RCA had previously developed a tape cartridge but it was much bigger. Imitations appeared in Japan and is switchinPhillips  licensed the design without charge thus ensuring one format and longevity of design. Originally in 60 minute but extended to 90 and 120 minute formats. Post 1974 MOA the compact cassette was essential for taped offshore programmes on Radio Mi Amigo etc. TDK C120 chrome dioxide. Also much used by land based pirates too.

February 2021

 

Payola - Ocom has launched an investigation into DJ Tiiny (real name Frank Boakye-Yiadom). It is alleged he asked artists for payments of £200 to play artists records. The DJ joined Capital Extra in 2018 and was dropped earlier this month.  Such payments being against broadcast guidelines. He apologised via Twitter and said he'd learned a much needed lesson.

UBN - the arts section of the Daily Telegraph carried an extensive article on this in house broadcaster on 27 February. Starting on 1st September 1970 and ceased on December 16 1979. Famed as an excellent trading ground for broadcasters it was et up to reduce staff turnover among the 20,000 staff employed at the avarious biscuit factories across the U.K. The station would pay for itself if this could be reduced by 20% instead they achieved 60% within the first year.  A good article if you can find it and the sort of thing we would show amongst the group at out meets.

Talking Pictures TV - Ofcom have abandoned there investigations into the station. The regulator had come under fire from across the broadcast industry.

Radio Nord Revival - to celebrate the 60th anniversary the revival returns on the weekend of 7th and 8th March. Using a 10kW A3H transmitter on one of the following frequencies: 6035, 6060, 6130 or 6200 kHz in the 49 metre band. During the broadcast it is likely the station will shift frequencies. Transmission site is Ringvalla, Sala.

Radio Caroline 648 - field strength has improved again. On my Grundig it is up to 4.4. Originally it was around 3.8 and last year dipped and then improved upping to 3.8/4.0. There have been rumours of  power increase for some time and the station needs it as it gets clobbered by the Spanish even in Essex at night. 

The first Hans Knot International Radio Report of 2021is now available from today 13th.

Talking Pictures TV - Lord Grade, former Chairman of the BBC, has weighed in, stating that Ofcom !he is deeply troubled by the investigation and that it could set a "dangerous precedent". He claiming it would be politically correct censorship. He has written to the regulator in support. Ed: Ofcom is the judge, prosecution and jury and seems to be accountable to no-one.

Radio Caroline North - a welcome respite the station is back this weekend across 13th and 14th on 1368 via Manx Radio and 648 kHz plus the Internet.

Talking Pictures TV - the lockdown success story has between 3.5 to 6 million viewers according to different sources. After one complaint upheld by Ofcom the station makes studios efforts to warn viewers about content before each programme unlike the BBC. Again Ofcom has started a full investigtion  after one complaint. This time about 70s series Rogue's Rock is set on a private island off the south coast. The problem is that onede episode featured blackface. Ofcom has warned the station that its approach is outdated and the small station faces being fined. Ed: I'm with Talking Pictures here. They give plenty of warnings and it is very clear to viewers what they should be expecting. Warnings are given before every show whether it needs it or not. Blackface is very controversial. Many classic Westerns have these or what about the film Ghandi? or war films? Ofcom is increasingly WOKE and acting as a censor and some feel it is trying to close down the station. Talking Pictures is a window on the past and carries many documentaries showing life as it was. It is interesting that many 30 and 40 year olds are finding it an interesting contrast to today's PC and revisionist broadcasters. We live in a strange world where just one complaint can bring huge fines. We need to support them or else our history faces being wiped. Ofcom has a duty to preserve and not destroy.

The Telegraph - The Sunday version had a go at Radio 2 on the 7th. A veteran DJ on the station says it sound like a "hen party" as the network further chases working class women. Since 2018 it has been trying to pinch liateners from Heart, Magic and Smooth. James Parnell is the architect behind this partially due to criticism from Ofcom about the stations reach. This has been unsuccessful and Radio 2 is losing listeners and their rivals gaining. Helen Thomas the new controller is continuing the policy which has seen specialist shows dropped and 60s and 70s music dropped. Ed: you might ask why Ofcom is interfering by stating that the working class feel under represented by the Beeb. The station has been drifting this way before 2018 as it sounds like a commercial station albeit with a larger playlist. Older DJs like Ken Bruce, Paul Gambacini, Johnnie Walker and Steve Wright must feel like their days are numbered.

Daily Telegraph - there has been some recent correspondence about Radio 2 with claims that baby boomer generation have been deserted. Today 2nd Feb a letter from Max Ingram suggests they tune into Caroline Flashback! 

January 2021

Red Sands Fort 27 January 2021 a three men have been fined for breaching COVID 19 restrictions for visiting the fort. After seeing the forts on TV they travelled down 180 miles from Staffordshire. After getting to the fort on Sunday they were marooned as their inflatable boats drifted away. After spending the night on board they were rescued by Sheerness Lifeboat.


Spitbank Fort remains on sale at a reduced price offers in the region of £2.5 million reduced from £3m