Jan/Feb/March is here
The archived Happenings index is here...

Email Mary with your news and views:

(Updated 01/04) Fab Alan Field's original notes for the Fab Forty of 090467

Site Updates

06/2011 Caroline charts added for 1967 and 1964
05/2011 Mini-memories Page Eleven: Big L Club newsletter wants you to join the 'IN' crowd.

The Amazing Radio London Adventure' – Original Programme Director Ben Toney's personal memoirs.
The final part, 'Tragedy and Farce' is two pages long.

Part 3: 'In at The Deep End'
Part 6: Hanging with the 'In' Crowd
Part 9: Shy Cher, steady Eddy and chilli withdrawal symptoms
Part 12: Attention from Big Brother and a visit from a barmy Greek
Part 15: 'All Roads Lead to Rome' Ben encounters royalty, but finds himself too young and too tall for the movies; NATO bars the Galaxy from the Med Part 16: Tragedy and Farce. Page 1; Page 2

And now, The News...

Nick Payne
Died June 10th 2011

Tony O'Neil of the Pharos Trust writes:

Sad news. We have lost our long-standing volunteer, Nick Payne. You might remember him – always in the background as security at the Pirate BBC Essex events, making sure everything went well. I wonder if you would be good enough to post this picture of him on the site with this tribute:

Nick Payne RIP – LV18 volunteer of long standing and 'Keeper of the Fog Horn'. Always answered the call of his beloved Lightship at the drop of a hat.

'Just tell me old shipmates, I'm taking a trip mates, and I'll see you someday in Fiddler's Green.'

Now the angels are playing harps with Dog Salad bass riffs!

God bless you Nick – another Harwich legend gone, but not forgotten. Forever at the Burger Wagon, Harwich Quay, on Google Street View! (Left)

Tony, Sally and the Crew of LV18

Mark's Big Birthday

June's batch of Birthday Boys
The Wombat, Ian Damon, celebrated on June 5th, and it's a big 'Hail Citizen and warm congratulations' to the Roman Emperor (right) who donned his best toga for his big 7-0 on the 16th. Mark wrote:

"Thank you so much for the card – you two really are very special in the world of watery wireless. I use that phrase because I met up with Keith Skues last week and we spent the day talking radio (as you do)"

May's birthdays were Radio London founder Tom Danaher, on the 2nd, Norm St John on the 12th and on the 27th, Guy Hamilton (Radio Essex). We must not forget Pirate Radio Hall of Fame Webmaster, Jon Myer, who celebrated a milestone birthday on May 25th.

Three milestone birthdays were celebrated in April: "Hello Dear" to Ed Stewart, who hit the big 70 on the 23rd and congratulations to Graeme Gill, on the 15th and Graham Webb, on the 19th, both 75. Caroline's Robbie Dale celebrated his 71st on April 21st, while Radio England's Phil Martin celebrated on April 30th.

Many happy returns to everyone.

53-year wait is over... The Impressions finally reach the UK
The Impressions, the group that formed in 1958 and launched solo careers for Jerry Butler, Curtis Mayfield and Leroy Hutson, appeared for the first time in the UK at London's Barbican on June 10th. Alan Hardy kindly sent a photo report of their show, 'The Soul of Curtis Mayfield'.

The Monkey Picks reviewer (who went to the Saturday 11th performance) agreed with everything Alan said.

Ready, Steady, Meltdown!
Ray Reynolds writes :

I went to The Royal Festival Hall on Saturday 11th June, for the 'Ready Steady Go!' tribute, Ray Davies Meltdown event on the Southbank.

Highlights for me were predictably the Sixties original artistes and the radio hits.
The Manfreds with the ever-young Paul Jones performed '54321' and 'Doo wah diddy diddy'; Dave Berry did 'The Crying Game', 'Little Things' and 'This Strange Effect'; Sandie Shaw did 'Always Something There to Remind Me' and 'Girl Don't Come' and Ronnie Spector did 'Baby I Love You', 'Walking in the Rain' and 'Be My Baby'.
Good performances as well from original Bluebelle Nona Hendryx, Carl Barat, Paloma Faith and David McAlmont.

"Groovy, glam and rather fabulous" – Evening Standard Review

New Security Gate for LV18
John Sales sends a photoreport of the LV18's new berth and major changes in the town of Harwich.

Left: LV18 in her new home. Photo: ©John Sales.

Read the story in the Harwich and Manningtree Echo

News bleeps
Quote from Radio London feature appears on DVD sleeve. (Thanks to Alan Hardy for alerting us).

Cutlass from Seattle
WBEZ91.5 has a new take on pirate radio and has recorded a session from Seattle singer David Bazan aboard the tall ship Windy.

Offshore on Lincoln City Radio
Graham Hall writes:

As a regular visitor to your excellent website, and a pirate radio fan since early 1966, it was my dream come true when I managed to get a position on Lincoln City Radio 103.6FM. We are a community station serving a roughly 15-mile radius of Lincoln. I now present two programmes, 'Sounds Instrumental' on Saturdays, 1600 to 1800 and 'Americana' Sunday evenings, 1800 to 2000. Naturally, both programmes feature offshore-related material, theme tunes on Saturday, and American tracks that were plugged on the pirates, on Sunday.
Keep up the good work, best wishes, Graham Hall.

Record Company RSL Archive
Domino Records ran Domino Radio – a one-week RSL, from June 6th - 12th, originating in London (SW18). The company website says:

"In the spirit of such stand-alone broadcasting giants as Radio Caroline, The Peel Show, Rinse FM, The World Service and Woman’s Hour – and dispensing with such orthodoxies as play lists and compliance - Domino Radio commences transmission on June 6th 2011 - for one week only - featuring non-stop twenty four hour music, conversation and good times."

Archives of the shows are available here.

Pirate Treasure

Aubrey Daulman writes:

This is a tatty postcard that's been languishing in my old shed at my parents' house, since 1968. The shed was my 1967 Christmas present (what an anorak, eh!) and I got the card after sending a signal report to the station. What puzzles me now, thinking back, was did I get the card in 1967, before most of the stations went off the air, or did Radio England/Britain Radio carry on afterwards?

Aubrey associates receiving the QSL card with the arrival of his new shed, but if he sent in a reception report for Radio England, he must have received his response much earlier.

Radio England was a very short-lived venture that went off the air in November 1966, but broadcasts from its transmitter aboard the mv Olga Patricia, continued as Radio Dolfijn. Radio England's twin station on the ship, Britain Radio, soldiered on for a short while, before being renamed Radio 355, while Dolfijn became Radio 227. None of the Olga Patricia stations survived after the Marine Offences Act became law in August 1967.

As this small item of 'pirate treasure' is not franked, it must have been posted in an envelope, maybe for the purpose of enclosing some car stickers.

The story of the various stations that broadcast from the Olga Patricia after the demise of Radio England, is on the Pirate Radio Hall of Fame

Nothing is Real
One of the major attractions of Liverpool's Magical Mystery Tour of Beatle locations, the wrought iron gates to Strawberry Fields, have been replaced by replicas. The Salvation Army, which owns the property, says time had taken its toll of the Victorian gates and they have been removed to a secret location to prevent further deterioration.
The fate of the strawberry-coloured originals has not yet been decided, but they may be auctioned.

Other Fab Four-related Liverpool news is that plans to demolish Ringo Starr's birthplace, a long-derelict terraced property in Madryn Street, have been approved by the City Council. Ringo recently apologised for his remark that there was "nothing he missed" about Liverpool and said that he felt his former home should be preserved. Both John Lennon and Paul McCartney's childhood homes have been acquired and refurbished by the National Trust and are open for guided tours.

Since the above item appeared, an anonymous confession has been received by Radio London.

"By 1974 the original gates were a little in need of repair so I decided to 'liberate' a little piece for posterity – to save it from further rusting."

Anonymous has kindly supplied a photo (left) of the artefact in question, using one of our Big L teeshirts as a background.

We can't help but think that a large number of youngsters must have had the same idea as Anonymous, and that perhaps not much of the 'original' gates that have just been put into storage, is really original.

Maybe nothing is real, after all.

Let me take you down – Strawberry Fields gates in 2009.
Photo: © Mary Payne

You're a winner with...
Richard John Neil, who runs a magazine about classic stock car racing and has sent a photo of Mike Lennox beating Ed Stewart in a race at Wimbledon. He says:

The car is that of three-times British Champion Derek Fiske (whose son still races). The car was immortalised by Corgi Toys. I think Roger Fennings may have had something to do with getting Radio London involved with the Stock Cars – I am still in touch with Roger and have a picture of him with some DJs somewhere too.

Richard is interested to know what Radio London listeners might remember about attending stock car races, so all recollections will be greatly appreciated!

Otway Cracks Asia
"I've just had a wonderful break," says John. "I got booked to play a private party in Singapore, a lecture to 300 school children and a spot in a club in Thailand with my mate Barry Upton – so I've now cracked Asia!

Ray Davies is choosing the acts for this year's Meltdown festival and he kindly picked us to do a date at the Queen Elizabeth Hall with John Cooper Clarke, which fits in beautifully with the end of the '40 Odd Years of Otway and Barrett' Tour.

On that subject, I've just been in the studio with Willy and put together a CD – we should have it ready for the start of the tour.

There are some great festivals to come over the summer. I just found out that the Band will be playing Glastonbury on the Acoustic Stage on the Friday.

As there is so much about to happen, I thought it was about time I started tweeting the news as it comes in, so if you want to keep up with me the link is


And I have big plans for my significant birthday in 2012!

Cheers, Otway

Webmaster's note: Spamalot was playing recently at Aylesbury's new Waterside Theatre. The show is customised to the town where it's appearing and it was good to hear that 'things the town is famous for' included "Chart-botherer John Otway"! (Phil Jupitus played the lead and he ought to know).

As always, the latest gig list is gigs posted on www.johnotway.com

A Feast of Motown
Tony Nugus writes:
I am currently presenting a show on Replay Radio which is made up primarily of Sixties/Seventies music. Alongside this, I am also playing for an hour every other week 'The Length and Breadth of Motown Music'. This programme begins in 1959 and can go right up to 1989, so a feast of Motown music can be heard, some seldom played on the radio. The show goes out 1900 to 2100 Sundays UK time, and is currently repeated 0600 to 0800, Tuesdays and 1400 to 1600, Fridays. Hope you can join me.

Steve's Sixties Show
Steve Burnham now has a weekly programme on Norwich community station Future Radio. It can be heard on Saturdays between 0600 and 0700 and a Podcast will be available shortly. Steve says: "My playlist is 50s and 60s, but mainly 60s and the response I am getting is that people are loving the music, and the programme."

In the Norwich area, tune to Future Radio on 108.7FM, or to listen online, go to the website and click 'listen online' on the top righthand side of the screen.

For requests, email Steve

News continues on Page 2....

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