From Mike Portas, who unwittingly stumbled across us, poor chap! Mike kindly supplied invaluble info for the 'Jocks Lost and Found' pages, which we were delighted to receive.
I stumbled across your website and wanted to offer my congratulations along with everyone else on a job well done!
I love the 'where are they now' slot and being a subject very close to my heart in relation to 270 jocks, I thought I might pass on a little bit of news. One of your correspondents was enquiring about Mike Hayes and I was somewhat dismayed to read of his demise during the 70's particularly as I was in a bar in Amsterdam with him in 1996! He was at that time working for a computer company based in Holland, and was very much alive and working in his spare time on the fringes of the music scene there. Unless some disaster has befallen him in the meantime he is still with us!
In exchange for that snippet of information, could I make a plea for anyone with 270 recordings or documents (DJ photos, publicity material, company letters etc.) to contact me with a view to a trade. I have several bits of Big L and 60s Caroline material that I would willingly swap for 270 bits.
Keep up the good work.
From Thomas Schulin in Sweden, someone else who is keen to swap tapes.
I was very interested to browse through your and your wife's website.
Looking forward to parts of the Howard Castle interview.
It would be great if you could find Ray Glennister and if he's kept the slides.
I don't remember seeing many photos from Caroline's "illegal" period.
Would you be interested in any swaps of recordings? My main interest is pop-radio from the 1960's. I pursue this interest together with a sound & video engineer who works for Swedish Television. We try to find original or low-generation reel-to-reel tapes and those are carefully transferred to DAT or CD. Many recordings in our list have never been in circulation in the UK.
About a week after getting Thomas's
email, we had some info on Ray Glennister!
That's the way it works here...
From John Otway, International Superstar and Local
Hero in the Aylesbury area. Next update, we hope to include our own Otway page.
Meanwhile, you can visit Otway's
I knee-mailed John to congratulate him on coming seventh in the Beeb's recent Nation's Favourite Song Lyrics poll. He achieved this magkneeficent placing with the words to 'Beware of the Flowers', the touching 'B' side of his 1977 hit, 'Really Free'. John's Superstar knees will be gracing Aylesbury's Civic Centre on December 4th. (In honour of Chris's birthday, we assume.)
Thanks for the note. It was a great honour for me to make it so high in the nation's favourite lyrics!
Checked out the web site - so good I bookmarked it!
Good to see so much promo for the Apple Mac too.
And didn't know there was so much going on in Stoke Mandeville either.
Hope to see you in Aylesbury.
From John S Platt, RNI DJ and modelmaker supreme.
I had suggested to John that when he has finished his model Mi Amigo, he might like to embark on a lifelike representation of my knees, and pointed him to the photo of them taken with Mark Roman.
I found your knees and recognised them immediately. NHS mark 7's, which of course were withdrawn after the incident with the Queen Mother and the whelk stand in Hyde Park.
The "don't knock it until you have tried it" brigade had a field day of course.
I must say that I found it offensive that they took such a reprehensible approach towards the incident. Did no-one consider the camel's feelings?
My only word of advice would be consider the private sector next time, at least they will match.
On a serious note, I was very impressed with your comments on my models. I have made them for the last 25 years or so and won international prizes for them. I built the first radio-controlled submarine that submerged and fired torpedoes in the UK.
The Mi Amigo is 50% complete and I am meeting a chap next week who spent a lot of time on the ship looking after her. I have also found a chap who is making a transmitter that will fit inside the model which will transmit on a correct frequency, playing "Caroline" by the Fortunes.
Don't forget to oil and polish those knees otherwise I fear they may fail.
From Pauline Halford (Famous columnist from 'Caravan'
magazine and Frank Ifield's biographer. (Frank's website can be found at www.ozemail.com.au/~bobhowe/frank.html)
I'd asked Pauline's opinion as to whether the Paynes staying in to finish the website update instead of going out for a curry should be classified as 'dedication' or 'stupidity'.
Keep in touch and keep up the good work on your site - yes, dedication is
the word you're looking for there!
From Steve 'Grocer Jack' Garlick, a Top Jock from Big L '97 (See 'Ed over 'eels for Big L').
We promise an incriminating photo of Steve will grace this site in due course. The following message was a response to Mary's knee-mail regarding the Beeb's 30th Anniversary Monty Python night.
Radio London...It has ceased to be!! It is a dead station!! That is until someone does a Frankenstein job on her and sends 50,000 watts of power through her sails and then shouts 'IT'S ALIVE, IT'S ALIVE!'
The Grocer, (who although too young to recall the events of August 14th 1967, will NEVER be allowed to forget singing on THAT record) had just purchased a complete set of recordings of the final day of Radio London. He continues:
The tapes have been very nostalgic and atmospheric. As the dawn breaks you can picture John Peel leaving Studio 1 with a strawberry incense haze wafting behind him. Chuck Blair is doing his best to sound even more American and upbeat, although his closing speech of farewell before nine still sounds as heartfelt as it did in '67 and STILL makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. ...Followed by Pete Drummond and the growing awareness that time is slowly ticking towards three o'clock. All good stuff!!
Love, Steve xx
From Howie Castle (Ex-Radio Caroline. See 'He's a Caroline Flashback!')
Thanks for the Python info and also your last e-mail. I spent quite a while going through your updated Radio London website, including your very latest on the 7th. Great! And I'll be looking forward to listening to Radio Luxembourg on the Internet, so thanks for the schedule.
From Kjell Dahl in Norway (He's featured in our 'Festival of the Sixties' report)
I am flattered :) I have sent all my friends info on your site and they like it very much. I really hope that we meet again next year for some action (and a few beers :) )!! I like being a famous "star" on your site. lol
love from Kjell
From Ben Healy
Hi Mary & Chris,
The love and passion you have for Offshore Radio shows through on your wonderful revamped website and I am sure once the word gets around, it will become one of the most popular sites on the Offshore history and news.
Thank you for your wonderful new site.
Best Wishes From Canada,
(Thanks a million, Ben. Our heads are so swollen we can barely get into the studio...)
From Keith Hampshire (Radio Caroline's 'Keefers')
Yes, I am alive & well & living on a horse farm 30 miles north of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. What's happening? Any sign of Robbie Dale? Whatever happened to Rick Dane (The Great Dane), Ian McRae or Tatty Tom Edwards? I've managed to keep in touch with pretty well everyone else. There is a Canadian search engine called www.canoe.com that supposedly has all sorts of info on me. Don't know if you are interested. Don't hesitate to e-mail if you have any further inquiries.
Thanks for the info on the website.
(We've been able to answer Keefers' queries re Robbie and Tom, but have no news about Rick or Ian. More names to add to the 'Lost Jocks' file. Look out for a full feature on Keefers in our next major update.)
From Howie Castle
I just wanted you to know I give a major 'thumbs up' to the 'first intallment' of the Bud Ballou story. And I'm very pleased with the picture of the two of you in front of the XERB 'tower'. (Taken by Howie we might add!)
Miller: (Big L 97 Shop Assistant, Reunion Organiser and Ross Revenge Maintenance
Wow, what an update. Very well done. I can quite believe it took a lot of dedication and man and girl hours to achieve it, but well worth the effort; I'm sure you'll have loads of positive feedback. It's developing into a brilliantly comprehensive website.
From: Garry Williams a Top Jock from Big L '97 (see 'A Lil Boy's Christmas')
Subject: Big L Big Bit!
After reading the piece, it gave me quite a lump in the throat! You really have done us proud, and would just like to say a BIG THANK YOU to both of you!!! Please may you long continue. The website really does look good now! (Not that it didn't before!!)
Isn't it great news about Luxy? I think '10 Gold' will have to watch out there! (Any idea who's going to perform on 208?... Princey perhaps... Rob Jones?... Maybe Rosko! God, he must be collecting his bus pass now! (I'm told he has a NAB cart machine stuck on his Zimmer frame!) Sorry... us youngsters should show some respect.
Until next time, God bless and love, from a very round person :-)
From Jon Myer (producer, 'Pirates
of the Airwaves') (see Mary's 'Walton Time-warp', Part
3 for a stunning pic of Jon)
The update was worth the wait. Great to see what Bud Ballou looks like hope you can find a sixties picture to go alongside. Another mission for you: whatever happened to Carl Mitchell one of BB's colleagues on the post-MOA Caroline South? I believe his real name was David Carmichael but I might be wrong about that.
I love the website keep up the good work, Jon
(We'll add Carl to the 'Lost Jocks' list, Jon.)
From 'Jolly Roger'
Ahoy there Mary,
Thankyou for "boarding" the Radio Waves web site and for signing the Captain's Log. I hope you enjoyed the web pages. Your entry will be included when I update files next weekend. I've had a look at your site, and am impressed. I'll add it to my links pages. Long may the spirit of offshore radio remain.
RADIO WAVES - the place where the Watery Wireless dropped anchor www.radiolink.net/jollyroger/
From Jim Temperly (Fan of Luxembourg and of 60s radio, who writes from Iowa, USA)
Hello Luv, always great to hear from you.
About once a week I get out the photos of the old gang that were with Radio Luxy back in the 60s, (which you sent to me) and just sit and dream. I really miss those days. Have been trying (no success) to locate any of the guys I was stationed with in Germany back then. The problem is, I can see faces but, can't put a name with the face. I am quite sure if I can come up with one name at least and make contact with him, he may well remember others whom I can contact.
In August of 1999, I made (for our family) a trip to Sweden to meet lost relatives. I was very nervous at our first encounter. I did not know one word of Swedish and kept wondering if they could speak any English. My god, they spoke better English than I do. The FM radio stations pump out a good supply of Rock Music to keep any Swedish kid happy. The TV stations run both American and British programs and don't mess with the sound track but merely add Swedish sub-titles. My new lost relatives treated me like a king. They like their before, during and after meals drinks. I was not used to that but, I said, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do". All of us would get sort of giggly and we were one happy group.
Glad to hear Radio Luxy will return. I hope I can pick them up here in the US, but short-wave can be tricky. Do you know the times they will on?
Thanks again Mary for the updates. I do enjoy hearing from you. I also wish you much success in your endeavours.
Any suggestions as to how Jim can contact his ex-service pals? Please let us know.
From Jenni Baynton (Ross Revenge Maintenance Person, Big L Shop Assistant and Anorak!)
I'd like to say how much I've enjoyed your new, updated website. Keep up the good work!
Love to you both,
Many thanks to everyone. We'll just hide away and blush...
From Alan Beech (Ross Revenge Painter and DJ!)
Just had a quick look round your website - I'll return for an in-depth
look when I have a little more time on my hands.
I heard about it from Jenny and Pauline whilst I was out on the Ross a
couple of weeks back - with paint brush in hand. This is the first chance
I've had to spend a while in front of the computer.
I have a radio website too. It's at www.beech-ra.demon.co.uk
I'll add a link to you from my links page next time I do an update.
(Alan presented shows during the Caroline RSL in the summer of 99 but not under his real name.)
From Geoff Tyrell (Photographer and Founder Member, Stoke Mandeville Hospital Radio)
I just wanted to say that I had checked out the Radio London web site and found it a very good read.
See some of Geoff's half-frame format pictures at www.whooper.demon.co.uk/halffg
From Ron O'Quinn: (ex-Swinging Radio England):
I revisited your website last night. It is looking great. It is always a thrill to read through some of the comments that you've received and read of people whom I thought I had forgotten. Keep up the good work.
From Tony Currie (ex-Big L 97)
The site is looking very good, now, although the pix seem to take a while to download (probably kneeing their way through the BBC's firewall...). Have just sent an e-mail to RNI asking if they've any room on board. I'm an incurable duffle coat..... Looking forward to more of Mary's recollections on the site.
Keep in touch.
(A thrilling account of Mary's nightmare trip to the Mebo lll to meet up with Tony, appears here.)
From Mark Roman (Original Radio London DJ and very much a part of Big L 97)
Note: We'd didn't realise Mark didn't have a knee-mail address when we launched the site. The snail reached him eventually, and he replied in his usual forthright manner!
Hi you two!
Glad to get your letter, and no I am not on the Net; those things are for fishes. Remember, I've seen what technology can do for radio, so I'm reluctant to get into the computer age. I prefer steam typing.
We told Mark about the picture of him with Mary in her kneeless trousers, which you can see in Part 1 of Mary's account of Big L 97. Mark replied:
In your letter it came out all wrong. It should have read-- Handsome pair of kneeless trousers on woman, next to strange old git. You can't trust computers, can you?
Nice to know you got a response from Tom Danaher to your web site, (see further down) and even nicer to know that you are doing it, so that people around the world can enjoy remembering the old days. I tell you, sometimes I despair of modern radio. In fact I truly can't remember the last time I actually listened. Even on a drive to London I don't tune in.
...I am still pursuing the dream that Ray Anderson did so much to bring to the fore. That man deserves a lot of praise... Ah, well! Maybe one day the dream will come true and we can all get together again.
Take care of yourselves,
From Ray Anderson of East Anglian Productions fame, organiser of Big L 97
Hi Chris and Mary,
Glad to see the web site is up. It's very good, and nice to see Big L having a presence on the web.
Let's hope Radio London will be back full-time in the future.
From John Burch (ex-Commercial Manager of the Caroline Movement)
I've just managed to have a quick wiz around your web site. It is excellent and very interesting - well done.
I too had the pleasure of boarding both the Yeoman Rose and the Ocean Defender and of course have known Ray and his team for many years. You probably know that I also put the first licenced UK offshore station on the air off Walton in 1992 under the name OFFSHORE 1584 onboard the MV Galexy. I published a book about the project entitled "Wheel Turned Full Circle."
Interested to see your contact with George Saunders. (See News and Happenings) George wrote to me a few years ago with some very useful information about a long forgotten project GBOK which I am still trying to research. His assistance opened a few doors for me, but since then I have lost contact with George and really must try to find time to follow up these enquiries as the GBOK project pre-dated even Caroline.
Jaybee - Grays.
From Dick Offringa in the Netherlands
Thanks a lot about your reaction to my Radio Luxembourg page.
And I saw your site. That was very interesting too.
When I was young I was listening to:
Radio Caroline (North and South)
I too always loved radio; and still love radio. And...I was always listening to the Teen and Twenty Disc Club too!!! With that crazy Jimmy Savile!
Greetings from Dick.
(See Dick's site at http://www.offringa.nl)
From Tom Danaher (one of Radio London's founders)
Note: When we were ready to launch the web site, we didn't have an email address for Tom, so we sent him a letter. Tom is one of the originators of Radio London, along with Ben Toney and the late Don Pierson. Tom lives at, and owns, Lake Wichita Airport in Texas. He and Ben Toney were big supporters of Big L 97, and travelled from Texas to visit the station in August 97. Now in his 70s, Tom still flies stunt planes for movies! Really.
Hi Mary & Chris....
Great to hear from YOU!
You don't think a young upstart like I wouldn't be in Cyberspace, do you? Well I am....barely, Ha!
My mail just came as I was pulling the plane out of the hangar to leave for Dallas for Easter weekend, so I'll have to write sometime after I get back.
Look forward to seeing your website.
Very best regards.
From Steve Garlick (ex-Big L 97)
Dear Chris & Mary,
Good Luck with the new site!!!
LOVE STEVE (GROCER JACK) GARLICK
Miller's piece which includes info about Steve... we thought he wanted the
'Grocer Jack' thing kept quiet now?)
From Ben Healy (ex-Radio Scotland and Radio City)
Hi Chris and Mary,
Thank you so much for letting me know about your new website. It is a tremendous addition to the existing Pirate Radio sites. Although I went to work for Radio City and Radio Scotland I was offered a job by Alan Keen (programme controller of Radio London) on a new station being set up by Radio London called UKGM (United Kingdom Good Music) working with Keith Skues, Duncan Johnson, Lorne King and I can't recall whom else. That was in l966 but the deal fell through as the station was going to be on the Radio City fort and it was at that time Reg Calvert was killed and Philip Birch decided not to go ahead with the new station. So to cut a long story short I do have a connection with Big L. Lorne King also lives in Edmonton and Mike Lennox lives just a short journey North of Edmonton. Thank you for including me in your d.j. link and I will continue to visit it and look for your updates.
Best Wishes to you both from Canada
Ben tells us he is coming to the UK in 2000, and plans to participate in the proposed Radio Scotland RSL.
From George Hunt (ex-member of Wycpop 60s band, Jynx)
Congrats on your web site, it's looking good - and Oh!! those knees!! Baring soul and knees at the same time must be a world's first!!
George appeared as a Star Guest on Robbie Owen's Saturday night 'Jukebox Drive-in' show, on High Wycombe's Eleven-Seventy am in August 1999.
From Per Alarud
Just a "hello" from me, Per in Stockholm, Sweden. I discovered Big L in December 1966 and gave it a listen as much as I could in those days. For some odd reason I missed the close down in August....
Anyway, I did travel to Walton in August of 1997 and of course I listened to the new Big L, while walking up and down the seafront. With the wonderful weather and Big L on the radio, I was truly amazed by "summer of 67 sound".
I listened to the final hour, while visiting the Walton pier and the Big L shop. One of the highlights was to talk to Ben Toney and all the "others".
Good luck with your excellent homepage. I have put together some pictures and sounds from the Swedish Radio Syd, which you can find on: http://home1.swipnet.se/~w-13662/radiosyd/
We had the pleasure of meeting Per in August 1999, and he has been working on a new book about Radio Syd.
From Alan Hardy (Co-founder, Radio West Middlesex, and ex-Thames FM):
Well done! A great job - I won't ask how long it took to put together. It looks good, and access is very quick! It'll be interesting to see how the visit count builds!
From Mike West at Radiojock in the US:
Great hearing from you, and thanks for the info! A link to your site will be added in the next update on www.Radiojock.com, so check back soon - look under Links.
From John Ross-Barnard (ex-Invicta, King, 390, Britain Radio/Radio England sorry John, we couldn't resist the long list! and of course, Big L 97):
Good luck with the new site and thanks for keeping me in your "radio picture."
Radio London - Still wonderful!
From Dave Williams (ex-Caroline North and Big L 97):
Mary & Chris,
I took a quick look at your new site tonight and I like what I saw. Keep up the good work, I will keep watching.
From John Sales: (Anorak and all-round enthusiastic nice person)
Dear Chris and Mary,
Congratulations on producing an excellent Radio London website!!! I can see that you have spent a great deal of time and taken a lot of trouble over its production and I am quite sure it will be very well received in all anorak circles throughout the world.
I have looked at it carefully today and I am so very pleased that there is, once again, a Radio London presence on the Internet.
Very well done. I look forward to returning to Radio London in the future and, one day, seeing my own material contained therein.
I hope you manage to locate Chuck Blair.
Best Wishes and Kind Regards,
Yes, John's contribution DID make it onto the site, but he's not impressed with the photos! We'll try and get a glamour shot next time.
From Larry Dean: (ex-Swinging Radio England)
Dear Mary (Radio London) Payne,
Still looking for Chuck huh.... I have made a few inquiries....but so far, nothing.
The website is great. Thanks for letting me be a part of it.
Frank Laseter aka Larry Dean
Check out our radio station site www.wsocfm.com
From The Illustrious Sea Poodle (aka Tom Collins): (ex-Falklands Broadcasting, Big L 97, Reading 107.2 and Battersea Dogs' Home)
Dear Chris and Mary,
Congratulations on a site of great historical interest (or in my case hysterical interest!)