The archived Happenings index is here...

Site Updates
(Sept 9th) three pages of Wijnand Brak's wonderful collection of artefacts from the Galaxy. Page three has a script for a film promotion.
(Updated Sept 9th) another band who were Melody Maker finallists in 1966
(New July 14th) Two-page supplement of New UK Releases for July 1967
(Updated July 20th) Pete Brady adds a personal comment regarding the early Fab Forties
(Updated July 31st) Renowned offshore archivist, Hans Knot introduces, in English and Dutch, our huge collection of newspaper clippings from the summer of 1967. This feature is a co-production with the Pirate Radio Hall of Fame, to bring you as many memorable clips as possible, without duplication.

And now, the news....

Another Radio Academy
Photo Album

The Radio Academy Celebration of Offshore Radio, held at Sugar Reef in Great Windmill Street, W1 on August 4th, marked the 40th anniversary of the demise of most of the offshore stations with the exception of the two Carolines. It was attended by many of the pioneers of the world of watery wireless. Five panel sessions were held during the afternoon: The Sound of the Nation (Caroline), The Stations on Sticks (sea fort stations), The Jocks Who Rocked (stations from the north of England and Scotland), It's Smooth Sailing (Radio London) and No Man Shall Ever Forget... (Caroline continues). The event was dedicated to the memory of the offshore pioneers who are sadly no longer with us.

The Academy has now posted audio files of the panel sessions on its website.

There are two albums on the Radio London website, consisting of both photos of our own and contributions from others.

Praising the Organising Committee, Radio Academy Director Trevor Dann wrote:

"What can I say? A brilliant afternoon, superbly produced and impeccably staged – one of the best Academy events ever. Ralph Bernard, Rolf Harris and Ronan O’Rahilly at the same event... Did that really happen?"

Yes it did. And we also had a royal visitor – Prince Michael of Sealand!

Right: Ed 'Stewpot' Stewart and Norm St John guested on the Radio London Smooth Sailing session, produced by Mary 'Knees Club' Payne.

See our event photo albums here.


"RemembAAAARRR, RemembAAAARRR the 19th SeptembAAAARRR!"

Are you ready for International Talk Like A Pirate Day 2007?

Honoraaaary Anaaaarrraks, Mark 'Cap'n Slappy' Summers and John 'Ol' Chumbucket' Baur, the instigators o' International Talk Like A Pirate Day are gettin' busier and busier with public appearances, cutlass demonstrations an' book signin's. But we're still waitin' fer them ta make it across the briny to the UK. The guys say:

"We're everywhere: International Talk Like A Pirate Day has truly entered the mass media lexicon. Practically every media reference to the 2007 "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie mentioned the holiday, numerous museums around the US referred to it as part of a rash of pirate exhibits set up to coincide with the movie's opening, we're informally affiliated with pirate festivals all over the world, and we get new Google Alerts to TLAPD references in the news almost weekly."

On the Radio London site, the nine-page P.A.R.R.O.T. (Pirate Anoraks Revere Real Offshore Terminology) TLAPD Special Supplement has its own index. You can learn the lingo from our picture dictionary and choose an appropriate outfit from our fashion feature. Or maybe singa longa our specially-written 'Sound of Music' sea shanties.

2007 poster (right) designed by graphic design student Adam Kreuger

Useful Links for the Big Day:

How to talk like a pirate - instructional video on youtube

Piratical speech translator

Musical medley to get you in the mood

How to KNIT like a pirate!

Harrynilsson. com celebrates ITLAPD

Seven-Page Photo Album!
Radio London webmasters Mary and Chris Payne (pictured below with Bud Ballou) would like to thank everyone they met at the Radio Academy Celebration of Offshore Radio and in Harwich, who took the trouble to make such kind comments about their contributions to both event and expressed their appreciation of the work put into our website. They are also indebted to the many people who have written to congratulate them on being Awarded Radio Two Website of the Day for August 14th.

Thank you all.

Our extensive photo album of Pirate BBC Essex.

Links to Video Clips and Photo Galleries
Our extensive photo album of Pirate BBC Essex and the Radio Academy Celebration of Offshore Radio

Click here for The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame galleries of both events

Click here for the BBC Essex website where photos, audio and video clips have been added

Check out the CBC TV feature for Canadian TV here and the BBC Look East feature here.

Click here for the Offshore Echoes photo gallery

Click here for galleries and links in Martin van der Ven's Offshore Radio Guide

Click here for extensive Pirate BBC Essex coverage on Gary Walker's Official Website

Click here for Radio Academy galleries by Alan Milewczyk

Now that the busiest August we can remember for a few years is finally over, the figures are in!

On 'that' day, Pirate BBC Essex ended and we were chosen as Website of the Day on Radio 2, causing the number of hits for our site to double!

The graph says it all. Thank you to everyone who has been to the site, especially new readers, and we hope to carry on giving you an insight into what's happening today in the world of the kind of radio that apparently 'died' forty years ago. Boy are they wrong!


"Monstrous Macca is back on the radio"
Our Down Under correspondent John Preston reports that Ian MacRae is to return to the airwaves on Saturday nights on Sydney's talk station 2UE, where he'll be joining fellow ex-Wet, John Kerr, star of the recent Pirate BBC Essex. 2UE already has strong offshore connections. Jon Myer from the Pirate Radio Hall of Fame comments:

Back in the days when it was a Top 40 station, it also employed ex-pirates 'Dennis 'the Menace' Straney (ex-City and 270) and Mark Roman (see station Christmas card.)

I am glad to see Monstrous Macca is back on the radio.

Meanwhile, Ian's 63rd edition of his newsletter, The Radio Wave, includes the following stories: Bullet busts radio station window * Ex-DJ pleads guilty to illness scam - faces 7 years in prison * Internet ad spending to overtake radio advertising * Rich people listen to radio longer * Radio towers linked to leukaemia.
When Pirates Ruled the Waves
Paul Rowley writes:

Just to let you know "When Pirates Ruled the Waves" is to get another airing, Sunday September 16 on BBC Radio Merseyside at 1500. Like all BBC Locals, you can "listen live" on the internet.
Thank you for the photos of me outside the women's toilets. Clearly, I was subliminally recreating the Keith Skues incident during the "seige of Liverpool Street Station" exactly 40 years beforehand when he got stranded in the ladies' loo to escape the crush!

Happy Birthday, Bud Ballou!

Howie with party organiser Mary Payne. Husband Chris is reflected in the mirror as he takes the photo)

Caroline's Bud Ballou, aka Howie Castle, was in the UK for both the Radio Academy celebration and Pirate BBC Essex.

On August 13th, he celebrated his 60th birthday not in California but at a surprise party at the Pier Hotel in sunny Harwich!

Representing Radio Caroline at the birthday party was Graham 'Spider' Webb. Howie was also given a calendar of British pubs and an A4 photo of the Caroline South ship Mi Amigo, which appropriately was produced in the Netherlands with the kind assistance of Rob Olthof.

Part of the birthday celebration was a visit to the LV18, where Howie was nicknamed 'The Voice' by Dave Cash. On the tender he met fellow Californian Gary Walker of the Walker Brothers. (See story below)

Howie's friends clubbed together to present him with an appropriate photo cake and a giant birthday card signed by (amongst many others) shipmates Robbie Dale, Twiggy Day, and Johnnie Walker, who sadly were unable to be there.

Cake by www.caketoppers.co.uk

A Fab Forty Megastar boards the LV18

It's well known that the Walker Brothers got their break in the UK thanks to watery wireless and that Kenny and Cash were particularly instrumental in promoting the trio's amazing and powerful new sound. On August 13th, drummer Gary Walker guested on the Dave Cash show on Pirate BBC Essex to talk about the band's offshore radio connections. The Walkers enhanced the Big L Fab Forty on many occasions and Gary's solo release 'Twinkie Lee' peaked at #6 in the FF on 5th June 1966.

Chris and Mary were honoured to travel out to the ship with Gary and Sue, who is webmistress of Gary's official site. Sue has added a lovely report of the visit, with some brilliant photos and video clips, some shot in the studio . As you'll see from the pictures, Gary got on famously with Daphne (also pictured below)!

You’ll see Bud Ballou, Gord Cruse and Norm St John plus a glimpse of Tony Currie as we rush to catch the ferry – and Graham Webb narrowly misses it! There's also a REAL Walker – Nick – the manager of the Ha'penny Pier! There’s even a shot of Dave Cash et al singing “Happy Birthday” on air to Bud Ballou (clip 5).

Daphne, pictured after a rather rough night aboard the LV18, is delighted with the news.

Pirate Radio Skues continues to cruise

Good news from Cardboard Shoes is that his boss in Norwich has confirmed that Pirate Radio Skues will continue on Sunday evenings for the foreseeable future. The programme goes out on BBC Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Northants and 3CR, 21:00 to 0100 and on the internet.

Keith left a message on our answerphone concerning the two huge 40th anniversary events – The Radio Academy Celebration of Offshore Radio and Pirate BBC Essex:

"I just wanted to say how good it was to see you and thank you for all your help over the past fortnight. It really has been a magic, amazing two weeks of my life and two weeks that I shall never, ever forget."

"I just got the last lolly in the Pier Cafe and it's mine, all mine!"

Watery Wedding for Rick and Joy

Radio England's Rick Randell has written about the unusual venue for his marriage to fiancée Joy.

"We have made arrangements for our wedding ceremony on August 30th in a rather unusual setting - a chapel built on a boat that will tie up right off the sea wall adjacent to our property on Tampa Bay. There are pictures of it and a brief description at www.weddingsonwater.com.

Joy's brother will be coming to Florida from Canada – which is where she was born and raised. My sister is also making the trip from Missouri, which is my native state. Of course her son and his family, and my son, and my brother and his family - all of whom live nearby – and special friends we have known over our lifetimes will be with us.

After a couple of days in seclusion, we will celebrate with a wedding weekend open house at our place, with more friends and neighbors coming by for informal get-togethers. Then we'll be heading up to Canada ourselves for a month long honeymoon. Among other friends and family we'll be visiting there, we'll be stopping by for a visit with Keith Hampshire, whom you know from Radio Caroline. We've managed to become friends over the past couple of winters during his visits to Florida with wife Cathy, though this will be our first time to see him north of the border.

We are making plans for a visit to the Radio Day event in Amsterdam in November, and I'm glad to know you'll be there. I'm hoping the other American "boss jocks" (I've never been comfortable with that title) will be on hand too, but will be totally surprised if all four of us who originally put Radio England/Britain Radio on the air get there. We have never managed to get together at the same time and place since our fateful days on board the Olga Patricia."

Warmest congratulations, Joy and Rick. We wish you much happiness together.

The Tony Allan Memorial Fund

Elija Vandenberg, who worked for Caroline in 1973/4, was Tony Allan's closest friend and cared for him during the final three years of his life as he sadly lost his battle with cancer. Elija welcomes donations to the memorial fund she has set up to assist Cancer Research and the Marie Curie Hospices. Some of the money will be set aside to benefit Radio Caroline – especially the radio ship – and the Redsand Fort restoration project, both powerful symbols of the things that Tony stood for – free radio and free spirit.

Visit the website here. (Tony's photo used by permission of Elija)

Elija enjoyed attending the Radio Academy Celebration of Offshore Radio and has very kindly sent some her photos for inclusion on the site, when time permits.

Hans looks great in his Radio London teeshirt. For a larger picture, see our photo gallery.

Hans's Longest Newsletter Ever!
With so many events commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Marine Offences Bill, Hans Knot International Newsletter for late August was the longest ever and has swiftly been followed by another! The new newsletter incorporates Geoff Baldwin's feature on the aftermath of Pirate BBC Essex, 2004 and 2007, taken from the Radio Review issue 176 published in July 2007 and an attempt at a 40th anniversary broadcast 'with no previous advertising and a rowing boat'.

Hans's previous newsletter included the unfortunate news that Laser 558 DJ Charlie Wolfe has been diagnosed with cancer. There's a brief tale of land-based UK pirate radio 1968–1972 and a long-lost interview that Robbie Dale conducted with John and Yoko.

To sign up for a personal copy of the free emailed newsletter, contact Hans at hknot@home.nl. You can also read the newsletter on line, at www.hansknot.com where you can see a huge compilation of programmes that could be heard on offshore radio, listed station-by-station, not to mention a very long list of the advertisers on Radio London!

Now some words from Martin van der Ven, this year the main man responsible for programming the Radio Day in November in Amsterdam:
"The time is running fast and we're only four months away from this year's Radio Day, which will be held on Saturday 10th November again in Amsterdam's Hotel Casa 400 near the Amstel railway station (James Wattstraat 75). Our most recent plans include an interview with Steve England on his days on the MV Mi Amigo in 1973 (Radio Caroline 389) and on the MV Jeanine in 1974 (Radio Atlantis). Jelle Boonstra will chat with Tom Mulder (Klaas Vaak) about his wonderful radio career. And last, but not least, we will have two major events: "The Swinging Radio England Reunion" with Stuart Aiken and Svenn Martinsen co-hosting a discussion with several former SRE jocks ("Swinging Radio England - it was just a job...") and a round table called "Radio Caroline resisting the MOA".

Many well-known names from the sixties offshore radio heydays will attend the event. For more details on the Radio Day and how to book a suitable hotel go to www.offshore-radio.de/radioday/

On Martin's Offshore Radio site you can also read back issues of the
International Newsletters and see a very cute photo of Hans as a young lad.

Hans in his new Radio England teeshirt, supplied by Rick Randell (see SRE reunion photo pages) and minus his beard!

Flowers in the Raincoat
The famous Radio One start-up track as played by Tony Blackburn, the Move's 'Flowers In The Rain', is re-released to coincide with the station's 40th anniversary. In 1967, promotional postcards for the single bore cartoons depicting the then PM Harold Wilson in the nude. A court case ensued, and the band was ordered to donate all royalties from the song to The Spastics Society (now Scope) and Stoke Mandeville Hospital. Seeing as Harold was renowned for wearing Gannex macs, maybe the Move should have retitled it 'Flowers in the Raincoat'. Let's hope that both good causes do well out of their royalities in 2007. (Daily Mail story here – bottom of column)

Broadcasts from the lightship Jenni Baynton
Dutch commercial radio station Radio Waddenzee/Radio Seagull is finalising the construction of the first studio on board the former lightship LV8, the 'Jenni Baynton'. Even though the Harris Gates rotating fader mixer is not yet installed, there is one working studio and live broadcasts from the ship have started.

On Saturday 28 July there was a special broadcast, "Summer hit top 120", going out on 1602 kHz. The two stations are going to share the studio until Studio 2 is ready and the first official use of it was this co-production between Waddenzee and Seagull, with shows presented by DJs from both stations.

The ship is, of course, named after our dear friend and fellow offshore enthusiast Jenni, who died in July 2000. (Thanks to Mike Terry. Source: Radio Seagull via Media Network)

Happy Birthday, Dave!

Dave Cash celebrated his 65th birthday on July 18th, and has great plans afoot (or maybe that should be a-knee) for Pirate BBC Essex. (Contrary to rumours, he's not being invited aboard merely because he's such a good chef!)

As a warm-up, the Cashman's Sunday show on BBC Kent (July 8th, 1800 to 2100) included a special called The History of the Pirates according to Dave Cash and Johnnie Walker, produced by Jonathan Witchell. The ex-offshore duo were bombarded with phonecalls and e-mails, one call coming from Cashman's ex-shipmate Ed Stewpot.

Dave's programmes can be heard on 'Listen Aagain' via bbc.co.uk/kent.

The Cashman is also planning another big double-header with Emperor Rosko. (Full details above) In fact, it's already proved so popular that it's now going to be TWO events. Rosko's last big pirate double-header was in 2004, when he and Tony Prince hosted a Caroline North vs South battle of the DJs.

(left) Dave impresses with his skills in the LV18 galley during Pirate BBC Essex 2004. Photo courtesy of Duncan Johnson.

Mark's personal Radio Essex documentary

Mark Wesley writes:

I have finally got around to making my very personal film documentary about Radio Essex available to the general public. The DVD also has a film about the return to the Radio Essex tower, called "40 Years On", plus an animated 3D photo realistic helicopter flight around the tower. I've made it available at a new web site: www.radioessex1966.co.uk

Mark is to be congratulated on his stunning 3D animation. We strongly recommend that you purchase a copy of his DVD. If you attended The Radio Academy Celebration of Offshore Radio, you'll have seen extracts from it.

Smashey and Nicey – you ain't' heard nothing yet!
Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse's spoof DJs Mike Smash and Dave Nice will return to Radio 2 this autumn to present a one-off 40th anniversary Pick of the Pops special in tribute to the late Fluff Freeman. Fluff sportingly made a guest appearance on the duo's TV special, where it was revealed that Smashey and Nicey's illustrious broadcasting careers began on floating station 'Radio Geraldine'. Sadly, little has been heard of the poptastic pair and their charismatacular charidee work since they joined Radio Quiet. However, the supersoundsational Smashey and Nicey theme tune, Bachman Turner Overdrive's 'You Ain't Heard Nothing Yet', is often performed by megastar John Otway.

Other unmissable anniversary specials include a repeat of a Kenny Everett Radio Show from 1981. (Full story in MediaGuardian here. Many thanks to PY.

Harvey's Echoes
Harvey Shield who was the drummer with Big L's favourite group Episode Six and appeared in the Fab 40 on numerous occasions, writes from Los Angeles:

Here's a recent pic of me (left) with my a cappella group The Mighty Echoes and Danny De Vito on the set of 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia'.

Clarissa Sings for SANDS
We previously mentioned Clarissa Hayward, from Macclesfield in Cheshire, when she sang at Picnic in the Park 2006, in London's Regent's Park, aged twelve. The talented youngster raises money for the charity SANDS – Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society, in memory of her late sister.
Clarissa writes:

Thanks for the mention last year for my gig in Regent's Park. It went brilliantly! The weather was awful but hey, I went ahead! I thought I'd drop you a line because I have a new website and a new album. Please check me out.

See Clarissa's website for details of her live appearances and info on how to purchase the CD.
South Herts Radio
Gary Drew the founder of Community station, South Herts Radio has written to tell us about it:

The station is privately funded with limited advertising mainly for promotion and sponsorship purposes. We play a variety of music mainly from 1980 - 1995 with golden oldies and some modern influence. Our intended audience target is the 35 - 65 age group. Specialist programming is also on offer with themed shows for specific interests. Some of our presenters are former pirates and some of our listeners have an interest in the offshore radio stations of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. South Herts Radio will pay tribute to these stations by rebroadcasting restored programmes from offshore and inland pirate radio.

Gary also has a personal blog

'All We Need Is Love'
An attempt is being made to create a Guinness World Record for the most recorded versions of one song – 'All We Need Is Love'. Say the organisers:

The website is set up, the charity – Children In Need – is in place and the top ten downloads will be released on the first ever Concept Single – 'All We Need Is Love'.

We are approaching musicians from every genre nationwide to participate. It's great fun, it's for charity, it will make a new world record and it could make them stars – it is participation – not competition and... completely free!

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