2020 News Archive

December 2020

PUB TIME you might not be able to visit one but a few have come through the postbox or email!

Offshore Echoes Magazine Edition 202 with News, Lady In Distress part 4, RNI the 1971 return part 2, Radio Syd Stpry part 15,Government Files, Remethtmbering Roman, Mile Plumley's Memories, Reviews, Terry Bate interview and The End of the Mi Amigo's 1973 Mast. Here you will see that the original intention was to rebuild the the triangular mast and new sections were on deck.

Tune Into Yesterday Christmas 2020 Issue 91 and Supplement Music In Old Tome Radio.

The latest Hans Knot International Radio Report.

SUSY RADIO in the Community Radio Awards we have won Bronze in the Live Events Outside Broadcast of the Year. This was for Surrey Fire and Rescue Service Open Day.

November 2020

SUSY Radio- 22nd November has been shortlisted for two nominations for the Community Radio Awards 'Live Event or Outside Broadcast of the Year' for Surrey Fire and Rescue Open Day and for Arts and Creative Radio of the Year for David Jay's Remembrance Sunday.

Ofcom has published data showing that the BBC is losing the loyalty of the older viewers both in number and hours watched or listened. Of course the Beed does shoot themselvesin the foot removing specialist programming from Radio 2. Of course they ignore that this appeals beyond the older audience.

Neil Brand returns with The Sound of TV on Friday 4th December on BBC4. Episode 1 is TV themes and for many of us the sound of our youth. Of course catch the offshore radio connections. So the music from Danger Man appears as well as The Prisoner. The first there is an episode called 'Not so Jolly Roger' and the Prisoner theme was used for the Album Sound Countdown in the late 70s by Caroline.

Tanks on the Lawn -Sky have put Sky Arts onto Freeview Channel 11. This is a direct challenge to the BBC where rumours persist that BBC4 will be closed by the Corporation due to cuts. Of course this hasn't stopped them from expanding into other area mainly aimed at the youth such as Radio 1's new Dance station. If you look at the BBC4 schedule it does look like

They are trying to rise with the challenge.Radio Seagull - the original transmitter on 1602 kHz has moved across to 1287 kHz. This is due Tom increased interference probably from other channels allocated by the Dutch authorities

  • October 2020

We have no idea when our meetings will resume but, in the background are working on a 2019/2020 London FM newsletter. This will be sent out via email.

I do wonder who looks at our website and how many. According to google we have had 2,174 views in the last 30 days. That we excludes admin or owner visits.

Hans Knot International Radio Report The October 2020 edition is available. News and lots of memories and interesting articles. Click on the link and see how our friend Hans Knot does his newsletter.

October 12th – Hans Knot passed on the very sad news that Stuart Dobson passed away. Stuart was the last person winched up from the Ross Revenge when the ship stranded on the Goodwin Sands in 1991. After that he spent many times working for free on the Ross Revenge in Dover and took part in some RSL’s including RNI from the LV17. Stuart found out about us (via Tony) and was a regular contributor to our SAS newsletter. The provided extension short-wave pirate radio loggings, Irish illegal AM broadcasters and also FM pirates from the Birmingham / Wolverhampton area.

I believe Stuart had had a brain tumour many years ago and was diagnosed again with this condition this year. In early September he had a surgery after another brain tumour was found. With a 50/50 change of success he fought as much as possible but sadly didn’t make it.

It is sad that we have lost another member of our SASradiogroup. Our thoughts are with his brother Ken and family.

  • September 2020

Two publications have fallen through the mailbox this month

Offshore Echos Edition 201 - Featuring Lady In Distress Part 3, Radio Northsea the 1971 return part1, The Radio Syd Story Part 14,The Name is Lion by Hans Knot, Government Files, Remembering Ronan and a Tribute to the late AJ Beirns To get your copy go visit offshoreechos.com.

Tune Into Yesterday - Issue 90 Autumn 2020 "Good Guys and Bad Guys", Articles from Radio Pictorial from the 1930s including Late Night Transmission written by Maurice Griffith a Radio Normandy announcers. and originally printed on August 18th 1939. Plus Issue 90 Supplement "Hell, I was there!" Memories of Britain Radio and Radio England by Ron O'Quinn programme director., Lessons of the 'Mars Invasion'. Causes and reactions to the broadcast by Orson Wells. Plus The Archers in the pandemic

Radio Caroline - The 648 transmitter at Orfordness is now connected to one of the 350ft main aerial masts instead of the 160ft standby tower. Initially signal strength went down at our locale near Gatwick and additional work was required to make the other full height masts compliment the signal and not absorb or deflect it. The signal is slightly better than before and the modulation is good and punchy. Night time reception appears to have improved. Alan Beech has applied to Ofcom for an increase in power over the present 1kW. Some sources are saying that 5/10kW has been requested but it is far more likely that 2kW has been asked for. It is needed since in winter the Spanish station does clobber the signal.

  • August 2020

Hans Knot International Radio Report The Summer 2020 is available. A longer and more detailed report from Hans. Still tons of info Link Hans Knot

Radio Caroline - the August fundraiser raised over £40,000

Ross Revenge - August 4th - the old anchor and chain has been lifted and replaced with a brand new one.

Principality of Hut River - The Daily Telegraph brings us bad news that after 50 years 'independence' has lost its battles to retain independence. Recent court cases have been won by the Australian tax authorities has resulted in AUD 30 million owing t5o them. The 'state' has been dissolved on 3rd August and the farm will haveto be sold to pay the taxman. Once the story on a Radio Netherlands Media Network program.

Live Like a Bond Baddie - August 2nd The Times carried a near full page article as three 19th Century Forts in the Solent are put up for sale. Prices range from £750,000 for the Derelict Horse Sans and £4m for Spitbank and £4.2m for No Man's. The latter two having been refurbished as Hotel and Event venues.

  • July 2020

The Last Pirates: Britain's Rebel DJs - This BBC documentary due to air at 10pm on Friday 31st July on BBC4. It is a repeat of the September 2017 documentary. I will pull out my review of this as you might want an alternative view to balance out Rodney P's slanted and perhaps political viewpoints.

Rewind - The Times reports on July 22nd that the Official Charts Company that 65,000 music cassettes were bought from January to June 2020. This is twice as many as last year for the first 6 months. It is expected that yearly sales will exceed 100,000 units. The last time this was achieved was 2003. They are bought not only by us oldies but also for their collectable appeal by young consumers. Average price is £10. Part of the revival is down to retro appeal, the Guardians of the Galaxy film. It must also be in part to how the audio is compressed on the medium resulting in a different sound to that of CDs.

SUSY Radio - the station celebrated their eight year of full-time broadcasting on 15th July 2020 at 12 midday. No mean feat especially in the current COVID downturm. The station is offering a special package to advertisers "Reviving your Business to assist with their business at this time. For further info see the website SUSY Radio 103.4

UK AM & FM Radio - July 4th the Government has announced that FM and AM is being allowed to continue for another 10 years. John Whittingdale, Media Minister said commercial radio would be licensed for another decade to allow loyal listeners to continue to listen without the disruption of switching to digital. Circa 60% of listening is digital but this is across ALL platforms.

Steam Tug Challenge - 4th of July. Contact from Tony and the weekly newsletter re the tug in my inbox. The tug has to be lifted out of the water again to fix a leak (a small hole in the plating) and this is organised for the 7th. It is also intended to replace the ships side valves. Other engine restoration work continues and the ship is back at 42 berth. Donations are welcome via the GoFund site.

BBC Local Radio and TV - July 4th. In a devious and sneaky move the "temporary" emergency programming schedules on BBC local radio are to become permanent. Take a look at the Radio Times and you will see that all BBC local radio have exactly the same timetables. Whilst hours were increased there are fewer presenters on air for longer. The Beeb state some shows and presenters will not return. On TV areas have decreased e.g. London and the South East News, TV news will only have one presenter (eg Look North and Look East). Inside Out with 11 regional editions has been axed.. One sixth of the regional workforce (450 jobs) are being axed.

Ed's comments: What some of us suspected has come true. BBC local radio appears to have lost all its distinctive programming. Specialist shows which only survived the last cuts by remaining on the regional evening time have gone. No more specialist music. This is a cost saving drive dictated by BBC bosses in London who care not. Much preferring to aim at the youth, BAME or other specialist audiences. Apart from the underhand way that this has been done it is a hammer blow to the stations. During COVID people want to be entertained and losing for example Nicky Horne's show on Sunday nights with 1940s / 50s music shows really hits hard at older and specialist audiences. This is the action of an uncaring, urban BBC who have lost touch with mainstream audiences.

  • June 2020

Steam Tug Challenge - 30th June Tony reports the latest updates. After trials and tribulations the ownership of the restored vessel is handed over by the DLSRT (Dunkirk Little Ships Restoration Trust) to a new owner Mr Chris Bannister. This was after a 2 week docking period where the hull was stripped down and repainted, masts renovated. The ship had been due to move to London Docks from Southampton but this fell through and ownership was retained by the DLSRT. Enter Chris Bannister who after negotiations has taken her over. Next stop is for a boiler survey before the tug sails to a new home on the East Coast. The Challenge is of major interest to Offshore Radio fans as she was used to position the forts in the Thames Estuary.

Floating Tax Havens - The Times carried an extensive article on June 16th, referring to Sealand, the Seatrading Institute in San Francisco, has resurrected the idea of floating seasteds. These have to be outside territorial waters. However, the UN does not recognise sovereignty for artificial structures or islands although the establishment of Sealand predates this. In reality we know they would need to create a microstate and probably be 200 miles offshore. Last April Thailand raided one of Phuket and towed it ashore. The owners Chad Elwartowski and his partner fled before the raid. Hi tech pods costing USD 195,000 are proposed but this would be a forerunner to bigger floating structures.

Publications - Offshore Echos Edition 200. The original proposed 200th issue has been replaced by an issue dedicated to celebrate the life of Ronan O'Rahilly 1940-2020. Many stories and contributions "So thank you Ronan, may you rest in peace". There is currently a special subscription off so go visit offshoreechos.com.

Hans Knot International Radio Report June 2020 is available. An earlier and shorter report from Hans. Still tons of info Link Hans Knot.

  • April 2020

Release FM - Gerry referred me to an article in the Surrey Mirror where former FM pirate Release FM has gone legal on DAB. Now renamed as Release Radio it is run by DJ Mathew rackley, owner Gary McManus and Technician Ed Rimmer. It is available across Berkshire, Surrey and party of London.


Publications - Tune Into Yesterday - the Spring 2020 Edition 89 hit the doormats! with News from the Archives and The Reichsrundfunk Tape recorder. The Supplement is on the US Office of War Information programmes in WW2 August 1943 to September 1945.

Hans Knot International Radio Report EXTRA April 2020 is in tribute to the late Ronan O'Rahilly. Hans Knot

The Times - the paper on 23rd April carried a full page obituary to Ronan O'Rahilly. Very extensive and quite readable. Does have some of the usual inaccuracies and showing 'the other side' of the man.

Ronan O'Rahilly - it was expected but it is with deep regret that the death of Ronan has been announced. He passed away at the end of 79 on April 20th. Ronan, was at times very controversial but without him there would be no Caroline and no re-launch in 1972 and 1983. A great man.

March 2020

Publications - Offshore Echos Edition 199. An appropriate number including a number concerned with Caroline. Lady in Distress part 2 1989, Caroline's return in 1972 part 5 and Raiders of the Ross Revenge part 3. Plus Radio Geronimo's 50th birthday, Radio Syd Story part 13 Radio Syd Television, Government Files, Tribute to Klaas Vaak (Tom Mulder) of radio Veronica and an interview with the late Robin Banks in 2005 offshoreechos.com.

  • February 2020

The March meeting is to be held at The Home Cottage. We are very aware of parking issues and accessibility if you have mobility problems. So we are looking to change the venue again but we need to give some serious thought on this. The Toby Inn remains closing at 10pm which is of no help to us. So watch this space...

Abandoned Engineering: Britain's Sea Fort Complex - The Red Sands Sea Fort. This may be a repeat but is airing on Sunday 1st March at 4pm on Yesterday on Freeview.

Hans Knot International Radio Report Winter Edition 2020 is available. 32 pages of radio news and nostalgia compiled by the famous and respected offshore radio historian Hans Knot. Link Hans Knot.

  • January 2020

Surrey Mirror - another smaller article about Radio Jackie appeared on 16th January in relation to a celebratory meal at the Stepping Stones, Westhumble, Dorking in December 2019 along with a photograph of DJs and supporters from the past. It is quite common for newspaper articles about pirate radio to be 'fillers' or bumped down the order to a later date which is what appears to have happened to this one and the one published on January 2nd.

The BBC is to close a further 18 medium wave transmitters across England, Scotland and Wales in the next stage of its plan to cut costs. These areBBC Radio Cornwall 630 and 657 kHz, BBC Radio Merseyside 1485 kHz, BBC Radio Newcastle 1458 kHz), BBC Radio Solent 999 kHz and BBC Radio Solent (for Dorset) 1359 kHz, Three Counties Radio 630 and 1161 kHz, and BBC Radio York 666 and 1260 kHz. The following stations will have reduced MW coverage:BBC Radio Scotland: Areas in and around both Aberdeen and Kirkcudbright, BBC Radio Wales: Tywyn, Forden and Llandrindod Wells transmitter areas, BBC Radio Cumbria: Areas in and around Whitehaven, BBC Radio Norfolk: Areas in and around Norwich

Surrey Mirror - pick up a copy of the paper dated January 2nd. On pages 24 and 25 their is a two page article celebrating 50 years of Radio Jackie. Lots of decent photos and some interesting text. You'll find that

  • December 2019