Keith Peter Milborrow
Everyone who knew Keith from various radio gatherings, but especially those who were present at our recent August 14th commemoration, was shocked by the sad news that our friend had died suddenly over the August Bank Holiday weekend.
Keith was interested in all types of radio and Mike Barraclough tells us that from 1973, he joined the World DX Club for international radio enthusiasts and was a member for quite some time. Mike discovered a letter in the April 1977 issue of the DX magazine Contact, that Keith had written about his program on BBC Radio Brighton. He had hosted a regular slot called 'On the Airwaves'.
Mike explains, "For those unfamiliar with the term, DX is a radio enthusiasts' abbreviation for distance. We were a club of listeners to broadcast stations, receiving radio long distance stations via shortwave, mediumwave or FM. The subject of offshore radio and land-based pirates was covered, as well as licensed UK ones. I was editing the magazine's mailbag section during the days of typing text onto stencil for publication.
Keith had also contributed to the news section of the previous month's edition of Contact, quoting a 'reliable source' that Radio Mi Amigo's 50kw transmitter was running at only 15kw due to a blown component!
In August 2014, Keith wrote to us: "In recent weeks I have been surprised and pleased that several people I have encountered still remember Big L. I was chatting to my barber about The Dubliners (who I had seen in concert locally) and commented that their records were plugged heavily on Radio Caroline. He then remarked, "I always preferred Radio London myself".
An almost identical comment was made by one of the regulars at a pub I visited, by someone seeing that I was wearing a Radio Caroline/Ronan O'Rahilly T-shirt. Then, a friend of mine who I thought had no recollection of the Sixties pirates, added a 'whoopee' when I mentioned Radio London. I suppose that PAMS jingle was rather memorable!
However, nothing beats my experience back in December 1997. It reminded me of Paul Kaye's story during the 'Final Hour' about the very early days of Big L. I had spent the day on board the MV Ocean Defender during the Christmas RSL and I stopped for a drink at a local pub before I arrived home. Someone came over to my table and sang 'Wonderful Radio London' to me. I realised I was wearing a Radio London sweatshirt and that at least one other person remembered that great radio station! Sadly, I don't think this man believed me when I told him that Radio London was currently back on the air in the capital for a 30th Anniversary commemorative broadcast!"
Big L was always Keith's favourite station and as a regular contributor to the Radio London website, he relished wearing the crown of 'Roving Kneeporter'.
At one time Keith was a director of 'Voice of Progress', a Talking Newspaper for the Blind and Partially Sighted, since renamed 'Sussex Coast Talking News'. Besides his interest in radio, Keith was equally enthusiastic about real ale and had been a regular contributor to the Campaign for Real Ale publication, 'Sussex Drinker'. He kindly brought a Purple Moose beer mat back from Wales for Cousin Moosie. Keith also loved the Isle of Man, where he became a frequent visitor.
(Left) Keith during a visit to one of the Pirate BBC Essex broadcasts
Unfortunately, Keith had been suffering with health problems that kept him out of action for some time. He retired from his London job earlier this year and was just beginning to feel well enough to embark on new projects. On August 14th, he was delighted to be able to join our gathering and especially pleased to tell us that once he had fully learnt the studio operating systems, he was about to start presenting Sunday morning shows on community station Burgess Hill Radio, 103.8 FM, featuring music from the 60s ("Obviously!" said Keith) 70s and 80s.
Very poignantly, in the email we received from Keith on August 15th, he told us how much he had enjoyed the afternoon, especially being able to meet Mitch again. He continued:
"I hope it is not a year until we all meet again and we are able to get together sometime in the meantime.
By the way, the MV Galaxy stamp on my arm (thanks Chris) became so smudged that it became unreadable by the time I got home, so sadly I had to wash it off! A bit of fun whilst it lasted …."
It was and we shall miss you, Keith.
(Above) John Sales, Colin Wilkins, Keith and Colin's dog examine Ray Reynold's collection of memorabilia
(Right) Caroline's Graham 'Spider' Webb introduces himself to everyone at Bud Ballou's birthday party
(Below) Keith, far left, has coffee on the Ha'penny Pier during Radio Mi Amigo with John Sales, Jon Sketchley, Steve Burnham, Alan Field and Chris Payne
Below is Keith's final Roving Kneeporter contribution, dated 17/08/19
Thank you to John Sales, Mike Barraclough, Les Campbell and everyone who kindly contributed to this page.
Keith was in Montreal for Expo '67 and listening to CKGM when Big L closed. Marc Denis, who runs the station tribute site had "dug up and forwarded some CKGM Montreal 1960s jingles Keith had been longing to hear again, just back in May when he contacted me. I could tell it made his day by his grateful, enthusiastic reply."
Penny Bowskill, the widow of Caroline North's Jason Wolf, was very grateful to Keith for donating to her a badge for the Jason Wolf Pack.