Chris Payne rescues the late Jim Murphy's Website
for our 35th Anniversary Offshore Reunion, which took place in August 2002,
Radio London naturally attempted to contact as many offshore personnel as possible.
One of them was Jim Murphy of Radio Caroline North, who had been piecing together
a great website of Caroline North pictures and bios of all the station's staff,
administrators and engineers.
We failed to contact Jim, and as nobody had heard from him for some time, ex-Caroline North Newsreader David Williams launched a search for him. After the reunion, David wrote, "What a fantastic weekend we have just had. Meeting everybody again after 35 years was an occasion to be treasured. There was much speculation last weekend about some absent friends, and one name that was constantly mentioned was Jim Murphy. Nobody had heard anything from Jim for at least two years, although he had been in contact with several of us in 1998.
I made a brief search this morning and discovered that sadly, it would appear that Jim died in June 2000. No further information is currently available, but I know when I talked to him in 1998 that he was incapacitated with some long-standing illness contracted when serving in Vietnam."
Some while later, I tried to revisit Jim's website. Sadly the Home page came up blank. Several other people reported the same problem. At first I thought that maybe a friend or someone connected with Jim had taken it down in respect. A casual remark made later to Kenny Tosh revealed that he had helped Jim in compiling the site and had given him some of Don Allen's pictures for inclusion. I enquired whether he had any of the original page files, but Kenny did not think he had. He didn't know where the login details for Geocities (where the website was hosted) were either.
So that was that. The site was gone, or so it would seem. Being Manx, remembering the ship off the Isle of Man, the fact that the site was created by someone from the North ship and that it was potentially 'lost', niggled me. It kept coming back to haunt me. There had to be a way of 'rescuing' the website! I spent ages on Yahoo/Geocities trying to find a Customer Services or support email address that looked appropriate to contact someone sensible who might understand the dilemma. I couldn't find anything.
Then, as all things have a way of being made possible, I had an idea and, just for once, I was right! Without going into the technical details, I could now copy all the pages and photos from the website to my computer. This was it! Was everything there? It seemed so.
One thing I must make perfectly clear, is that being able to download the pages and photos did NOT involve any illegal hacking or use of logins or passwords. Anyone with sufficient technical web knowledge, (and may I add, determination?!), could have discovered why the website appeared inaccessible. It was clear that no-one had deliberately disabled access to it, and was probably caused by a web-server software update.
All the pages of Jim's website presented here are unaltered. None of his words have been edited and it's just as he, sadly, left it, apart from indications of those mentioned who are known to be deceased. I've had to do quite a bit of technical tidying up to make the pages work properly on our website, and correct a couple of links, but that's all that's been changed.
From what Jim says on the Home page, he was intending to put audio clips of Caroline North on the website, but unfortunately I found that none of them had been uploaded.
In retrospect, Jim's website is quite special to Mary and me, because his Guestbook had given us some of the initial leads when we started tracing offshore DJs, way back in January 1999. You can read about those first contacts, here. Many more DJs were able to get in touch with each other in a sort of 'chain-contact reaction' thanks to Jim's website.
After recreating the layout of the website, I discovered some pictures that Jim had uploaded, but hadn't so far used. There is a separate page for these, with links below.
Radio London is very proud to present Jim Murphy's Radio Caroline
North lost website, as it was and few changes have been made to it. For the
benefit of newcomers, we have added some of the missing Caroline names, with
indications of those who are known to be deceased. It
has also been necessary to edit the Guestbook, to exclude outdated contact details.
The site remains self-contained, apart from links back
to our own website from Jim's Home page.
Clicking on most of the pictures on the Caroline North website will produce a larger version. Make sure you have your sound turned on when you go to Jim's website as the original introductory audio is still there.