Happy Second Annkneeversary!

Thank you all for these lovely greetings

We're honoured to receive a message from Tom Danaher, an original Texan backer of Radio London. Tom is the man who, with the late Don Pierson, found and bought a former US Navy minesweeper, Density (at the time called Manoula), for $80,000. Tom purchased an RCA transmitter for $32,000, a 212ft mast for $4,000 and oversaw the fitting-out of the ship as a radio station, in dry dock in Dade, Miami. Rechristened the Galaxy, the ship sailed for England, to become the home of Radio London.


Green Green

The Galaxy, complete with her new coat of green paint, photographed by Paul Graham from the Viking Saga in July 1967.

To view a bigger version of this rare picture, click here.

Dear Mary an' Chris,
Congratulations on your site's Second Annkneeversary! So many think that Big L was scuttled then scrapped in Germany... NOT SO! Thanks to folks like you, Big L is still afloat an' doin' GREAT! She's very easy to see... All you have to do is close your eyes.

So many thanks for keeping a good thing alive . . . and 'afloat'.
Very Best Regards,
Tom Danaher

Chris and I first met Tom during Big L '97, and hope we'll meet again at the Density Reunion in September. Further down this page you'll find a story of another WWll heroine from Chris Dannett.

Tom Danaher's airfield in Wichita Falls, Texas. Tom's private residence is above the hangar and has been for over thirty years.

Former Radio Caroline jock and pop mega-star in Canada, Keith Hampshire, has since become a hero of the Radio London website:

Happy Birthday Mary and Chris!!!
Has it only been 2 years?? You have accomplished so much in such a short space of time, it seems as if you have always been there to lend a hand to all us 'whatever-happened-to's'!
My best wishes on this, your special day, and I look forward to many future years of positive feedback.
Love ya lots,

Keefers prepared well in advance for our Second Anniversary. He got the champagne in while still aboard the Mi Amigo!

A man with a claim to being the first UK offshore DJ, having been recruited in September 1963, Colin Nichol, is on the list of jocks awaiting his own, full-length feature on the site.

Congratulations - two years is a long time in cyberspace these days. Keep up the good work and keep that flag hoisted high!

Best wishes, Colin Nichol (Colin Nicol)

Another Caroline man on the 'future full-length feature' list is 'The Curly-Headed Kid', Steve Young.

Dear Mary & Chris,
Happy Anniversary and congratulations on your new home. I can appreciate how much work you guys put into this site but I want you to know that I, for one, am deeply grateful for your efforts.

The Big L site has developed into a kind of "clearing house" for so many of us who might never have connected so many years later and it gives us an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the lives of those with whom we worked so many years ago. During those heady days when I was on board the Mi Amigo as part of the Radio Caroline South crew I felt that for the first, and only, time in my career that I was actually a "living" part of the industry. Years later I was just a cog in the machine as the consultants, programmers and researchers took over, making radio into a smoothly functioning, yet extremely boring and tedious medium.

Your site has rekindled my passion for "the biz" and, although it's unlikely that I'll ever become active in it again, I can re-live the excitement, fun, friendship and passion that was part of the Pirate Radio phenomenon so many years ago.

So, whenever you're feeling overworked and under appreciated, I hope that you'll pause for a moment and think how much pleasure you've brought to a bunch of guys who have mostly washed up on shore, around the world, with only fading memories of "what was".

Thanks a million,
Steve Young

Ian MacRae, Steve Young, Jim Houlihan (Caroline House) and Scottish Engineer (Photo: Kourtesy of Keefers)

Our friend Ben Healy has brought another Radio Scotland jock into the Big L family, John Kerr, in Australia:

Hi Chris & Mary:
Happy Anniversary, it's great to read all the tributes to you both and they are very deserving. It's always a pleasure to visit your site. In two weeks time I will be talking on the air on 2UE in Sydney Australia to a fellow DJ from Radio Scotland who does a daily show there. His name is John Kerr and I will be talking about the Pirates and the effect they had on the U.K. public. I will also be mentioning your site.
I would like to mention another thing about your site. Although it is a Radio London site, you have opened your arms to your fellow Pirates from other stations, something the other sites have not done and you are to be commended for that. I for one always thought that we stood as one, whatever station we were on and your site reflects that feeling which is great.
Thank you once again for a wonderful Big L two years.
Best Wishes, Ben Healy

John Kerr (photo from the 2UE website)

From one of the ex-offshore jocks who survived being towed away on the Mi Amigo, Bud Ballou:

Congratulations on your second year website anniversary. It's hard to believe it's been that long. I wonder how many of those thousands of hits are mine?

As Bud is an offically certified Anorak, probably about 15,000 or so.....

Pillar of the Anorak Communitknee:
Knees Club Vice-President 2000, Bud Ballou and two kneeless pillars, adorning the steps of the former Caroline House, 6 Chesterfield Gardens

From Knees Club Official 381, Pauline Miller :

I've just realised I haven't yet put into writing Kneesy congratulations on the second ankneeversary of the website; what a good time to move house, too. So, albeit bekneetedly, congratulations on the first two successful years and here's to maknee more so long as your knees can stand the pace.

I've just had another roam around, I don't know how you find the time to do all that work, I find it difficult keeping up with it and I oknee have to read it!

Hard work but rewarding when you read all those wonderful comments and appreciation from so maknee offshore original jocks; if it wasn't for the website a lot of them would probabknee never have caught up with each other again.

Love, Pauline (CO 381) xx

From Steve 'Grocer Jack' Garlick:

Dear Mary and Chris,
Hope your second birthday celebrations went well.
Great to read the stories about Kenny.
When I was at stage school had to a voice test for Jacobs Club biscuits and Kenny had just done his bit. I had to do exactly the same, but a kiddie version. I knew who he was and because I was in such awe of him, any performance went right out of the window. He had such a presence about him. He certainly lit up a dark Soho studio for me all those years ago.

Love Steve xx

From Clint, who runs the superb Sixties City site:

Happy Ankneeversary and many more of them!
I always enjoy looking at the new bits on your site and I am impressed, if not amazed, about the new stuff you manage to acquire.
I've recently had mails from Cherry Gilham, Leon Simmons (whose dad owned the hairdressers where Justin de Villeneuve worked) and also Nils-Eric Svensson who owned Skanes Radio Mercur in the early Sixties. Great to receive mails from you all. It makes it all worthwhile!

Very best wishes, Clint

From Colin, who enjoyed Big L 2000:

Hi Mary & Chris,
Just to say how much I ENJOY the Big L website and all the news and items it brings in, it's just astounding that after all these years the interest is still there. I would really miss this site if it ever went away. Keep up the good work, and I look forward to seeing you once again in August at the end of Clacton Pier,
Best Wishes, Colin

From a star of Big L '97, recently heard on Radio Two and subject of a photo-feature in the Daily Express newspaper, for Saturday, March 24th,
Tony Currie:

There are websites.

And there are websites.

And then there's the RADIO LONDON WEBSITE.

The only fan site worth visiting every day.

Chris and Mary – I raise my glass and salute you.


Much Love and Birthday Wishes from Glasgow

(KPFK 92 Los Angeles; Radio Clyde; LBC; WestSound; Blue Danube Radio; Radio Les Arcs; Central London Radio; Radio Nova International; Radio Six; Promin (Ukraine State Radio); KLTFM; PLR; Heartland FM; Radio Luxembourg; Radio London; Radio Northsea International; Radio 4; Radio 2; and BBC Radio Scotland)

...and for those who may have missed out on the thrill, a photo of Tony's magnificent 12-incher can be viewed here!

From two guest stars on Big L 2000, Peter Young and Alan Hardy:

A very HapPY akneeversary to Chris and Mary and all lovers of real music and radio throughout the world. In the immortal words of 'The Double D', "That's a lovely one there, squire".

With love and best wishes, Peter Young.
(Looking forward to Big L 2001!)

Congratulations on another year of hard work. On your first birthday, I remarked on all that had happened in the preceding 12 months - response from and contact with people that you'd never dreamed about when you started the site. The past year has seen a consolidation of all that - with the site becoming more comprehensive than ever and gaining admiration and respect far and wide. Well done! It's great that your hard work is recognised and appreciated. And at least the time and effort that you put in to it keeps you off the streets of Aylesbury threatening old ladies with bicycle chains!


Well SOMETHING has to be done about all those gangs of Hell's Grannies roaming the streets of Bucks.

Radio London isn't the only site celebrating an anniversary. The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame and The Museum of Commercial Radio both have March birthdays. Jonathan says:

Happy birthday to you... and sometime around now (can't remember the exact date) it's The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame's first birthday as well. It started sometime in late March last year. Doesn't time fly when you're anoraking?

I enjoyed the anniversary edition of your site I think it's been a good year both of us. Who'd have thought there would still be so much interest in the pirates after 37 years?

All the best to you both.
Cheers (hic), Jonathan

Having checked, we think the launch date was March 15th.

Robin Davey is also celebrating:

Happy birthday! Guess what - it was our 2nd birthday too on 1st March and we currently have a show on-air to celebrate on Golden Radio International, "The Rockin' Good Birthday Show". You're invited to join in the fun by tuning in at http://listen.to/gri
Here's to another good year! (This bubbly doesn't half come down your knees!)

Cheers, Robin Davey (The Museum of Commercial Radio)

PS. Got a recording of Mary being interviewed on one of the recent RSLs in the museum now.

It's about time someone put me in a museum. (I thought I'd get that in before anybody else.) Thanks Robin!

Congrats to both Jonathan and Robin. Maybe next year our three sites can get together in their party frocks for bloater paste butties, cake, jelly, ice cream, a game of 'pass the lifejacket' combined with a couple of screaming fits in the corner? (Oh yes, I went to all the best kiddies' parties in High Wycombe back in the Fifties!)

From Pat Edison, aka Patrick Monteney, the man behind legendary land pirate, Radio Kaleidoscope:

Congratulations on the 2nd birthday of your Big L site. As I don't drink I'll toast you with a glass of virtual apple juice.

All the best, Patrick Mounteney

Barbara Apostolides has given her patellae a break from beavering away, writing Cardboard Shoes's biography, and kneelayed this greeting:

Thought I'd offer you a dedication or three from the 'Knees Chart'

It's so Kneesy:
Kneesy come...Kneesy go:
When I Kneed you:
So Kneesy to remember:

Terribly corny... but my way of saying You're the Kneeder of the Pack, Nice and Kneesy does it!

Manknee thanks, Barbara. We can't 'cap' that!

John Sales kneeminds us of a time when the site was very small indeed:

Congratulations on the Second Anniversary of the Radio London Website. Is it really two years already? Yes, I suppose that it must be; time seems to pass so very quickly for me these days!

Thank you both ever so much for the tremendous amount of effort which I know goes into running a site like this. It is, and always has been, one of my favourite websites connected with Offshore Radio; the past two years have been great, but I'm quite sure that the next two will be even better, plus many, many, more besides in the future! I know that the site is much appreciated by many Offshore Radio supporters, not only here in the UK, but throughout the World.

I can remember very clearly the time that we all met up in London, at the Dickens Inn to be precise, it was about 2 1/2 years ago. Chris happened to mention to me that you had just started an Offshore Radio Website, Studio Anorak, as it was in those days, but it was, at that time, just a single page!

Well, I'm very pleased to say that you have found a few more pages since then to add to the collection!

Good luck for the future continued success of the Radio London website and congratulations once again. Keep it "Smooth Sailing".

Best Wishes and Kind Regards, John Sales

From our Down-Under Anorak Corrkneespondent, John Preston:

Happy Birthday!! You don't look that old!!

The Big L tapes you sent were great, and brightened up my trips to and from work for a number of days. Heard songs I haven't heard in ages and sang along at full volume - I do travel alone so no-one was harmed by my "singing"!!

Keep up the good work, your site is my most visited by far!

All the very best, John

From Wolfgang Buchholz in Germany

Happy birthday and thank you so much for all those fabulous informations etc. you've put on your site! I've learned from Alan Field, that you are planning to offer Fab 40 listings. That's great! I'm really looking forward to these, hoping, that the gaps in the early listings might be filled by other visitors!

All the best of luck to you and all the other Big L 'Oldies', Wolfgang

Bob Price sends a traditional Vulcan greeting from Sunderland (they have a large population of the people with the pointed ears up there):

Happy Birthday. May your child live long and prosper.

Thank you for printing my letter about the underwater photos of the Mi Amigo. As always John S. Platt comes up with the goods.

It would be wonderful to see more ships across the country fitted out and used as fully functional radio stations LV18, Ross Revenge, each retaining a bit of maritime history and each providing a real alternative to local radio..

Chris Dannatt relates a story about another WWll heroine

Belated Birthday greetings...Sorry I missed the actual day, but it's a busy life in this wonderful wacky world of "real"(???) radio.

Apart from running two studios almost single-handed last week, I found time to travel to East Kirkby, a small ex WW2 airfield in the depths of Lincolnshire. There, in its own purpose-built hanger stands a relic that has brought a lump to the throat of many an old airman. A Lancaster Bomber. She is called "Just Jane", her name being taken from the Daily Mirror strip cartoon of the time. She resides at East Kirkby, surrounded by much memorabilia that is the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Museum, and I was there on Saturday.

"Just Jane's" engines were fired up and she was ushered around part of the airfield, in a moving tribute to some 24,000 souls that never made it 'back to Blighty', in those dark days.

Apparently, she is to appear on BBC TV sometime in September, in a drama focusing on just such an airfield. "Jane" made several trips down the old runway, and was almost airborne at one point, much to the worry of the two elderly farming brothers Harold and Fred Panton, who own "Jane", the airfield, and the land where the museum stands. It was a truly inspiring day away, and I left the world of radio behind for a few hours, and came home the better for the experience.

Greetings, short but sweet....

Happy Anniversary!!
Tedd Webb, 970 WFLA Tampa, Florida

Congrats on the second anniversary.
Regards, Mike Corrigan, K-E-Y-N-S-H-A-M

Bob Olive, Recording Secretary, The Dr Doo Wop Show, WOLZ Ft Myers, Florida

Congratulations, it's fab!
Mike Terry, Bournemouth

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Second Year Review