Two pages for

July/Aug/Sept is here
The archived Happenings index is here...

Email Mary with your news and views:

(06/11) They were #1 and on the Swinging '66 tour!
(06/11) A poem written by a Fruit Eating Bear!
(27/11) The Knack story is updated with a clip about a Wimbledon Palais visit

Site Updates
(Updated 11/12) New information from a Top Ten published for 29/01/66.
All recent updates to Jempi Laevaert's Radio Caroline Charts are on the Stonewashed Index.
New (01/11) A French model of the Galaxy
(Updated 27/11) Page 7 of Minimemories has an MP3 'commercial' from Stewpot and Myrtle; Page 10 has DJ columns written by Duncan Johnson and Mike Lennox

And now, The News...

Season's Greetings... all our visitors on the occasions of Radio London's 46th birthday, Dec 23rd 2010
and we do hope you'll all make many happy returns to the site in 2011.

Mary and Chris Payne

(Don't forget you can still enjoy the Big L Christmas Annuals)

Radio London Fab 100 of 1965
27th to 31st December was Hot 100 Week on Extra Gold.
On Monday 27th December, Extra Gold played the Radio London Fab 100 of 1965, featuring interviews with Big L DJ Norm St John and Radio London's joint webmaster, Mary Payne. Many thanks to everyone at Extra Gold for a truly Fab Feature!
The chart is available on the station website. (Don't tell Kenny and Cash, but 'Il Silenzio' is at #68.)

Tues 28th December featured Radio Veronica, 1969; Weds 29th, Radio Noordesee, 1973; Thurs 29th, Radio Mi Amigo, 1977; Friday 31st Radio Monique, 1986.

That's a lovely one there, Virginia!
Mike Terry in Bournemouth has been busy trying to turn 'Yes Virginia There is Santa Claus', by the late Big L DJ Dave Dennis, into a 2010 Christmas Hit. Dave released the single under his real name of Neil Spence and TW is credited as co-writing the song. Hardly surprisingly, TW picked it as his own climber. 'Yes Virginia' went as high as #14 in the Fab Forty!

On BBC Kent, Roger Day had already featured 'Yes Virginia' when Mike sent a copy to Dave Cash, who had failed to find the disc in the Beeb library. Dave opened his 18th December show with it and then Cardboard Shoes played it during his Dec 19th BBC Eastern Counties programme – complete with Double D impression!

Neil was never exactly proud of the single and retained a somewhat 'Bah, humbug!' attitude to it. During his stint as Programme Director at the United Biscuits Network in the Seventies, his staff made mention of it at their peril!

Lottery Cash for John Peel Centre
The John Peel Centre for Creative Arts in Stowmarket has been awarded £50,000 from the Big Lottery Fund. UK community groups were invited to bid for a share of £3.6m, and in November the public voted for its favourite projects.

John's widow Sheila Ravenscroft, naturally a staunch supporter of the project, was delighted to be presented with the cheque. The Ravenscroft family have lived in Stowmarket for many years. One of the Peel Centre's rivals for funding was the Classic Cruise Ship, SS Balmoral, that makes occasional forays into the Thames estuary to take passengers on trips around the sea forts. An interview with an elated Sheila is here (Note: very poor audio)
(Thanks to Pauline Miller)

Philip Birch Piccadilly Interview
A 63-minute interview with Radio London's MD Philip Birch recorded in 1980 at Piccadilly Radio in Manchester (audio only) has been posted on YouTube.

Rob's 65th Birthday
Many congratulations to Rob Olthof, who celebrated a milestone 65th birthday on December 7th.

His great friend Hans Knot has published a collection of birthday greetings and tributes from around Europe.

(Photo: Martin van der Ven, 2009)

270 Big Night Out
Guy Hamilton (Gerry Zierler) enjoyed a meal out recently with a group of his former Radio 270 Oceaan 7 shipmates. A full gallery of photos are published in the Pirate Radio Hall of Fame's New Year update.
Guy has also been appearing on stage in Highgate, playing the character 'Uncle' (right) the older officer, in R C Sherriff's play, Journey's End, set in the trenches of WW1.

Both photos copyright Gerry Zierler

Caroline Early Day Motion
Several site visitors have alerted us to the following story. We would point out that Caroline is not only available via the net. The station can be heard via satellite:
-The broadcasting regulator OFCOM is being criticised for refusing a medium wave licence to Radio Caroline, Britain's first offshore pirate.

The Conservative MP for Chatham and Aylesford Tracey Crouch has tabled a Commons "Early Day Motion", criticising the decision, saying it means the station is only available on the internet.

Early Day Motion
EDM 1163

Crouch, Tracey
That this House expresses its disappointment that, having pioneered commercial radio in the UK and for the past decade being a fully licensed broadcaster, Radio Caroline, a cornerstone of British radio history, has been denied by Ofcom the opportunity to secure a medium wave frequency from which to broadcast; regrets that as a result its devoted listeners are confined to listening to Radio Caroline via the internet and unable to enjoy its musical offerings in transit; and calls on Ofcom to exhaust all avenues in making the provisions available for Radio Caroline to celebrate its 50th birthday in 2014 by broadcasting on a medium wave frequency which, it appears, is unwanted by both BBC and commercial operators as a broadcast platform.

You can lobby your MP to sign the motion.
Go to this link and punch in your postcode to find your MP.
It only needs one short paragraph asking your MP to sign.

After 50 years of broadcasts from Caroline, under crushingly difficult circumstances, it's not a lot to ask.

(17/12) Mike Terry sent a link to a videoclip of Richard Bacon, MP raising Radio Caroline's case with Ofcom head Ed Richards in the House of Commons. Mike says: "It's obvious Caroline has some friends on that committee, judging by the smiles and chuckles of the older participants! It would be wonderful if she was back with decent power for her 50th!"

If you watch via the Silverlight player, the discussion begins at 1218; for Windows Media Player, slide to 1:43:46.

This year, the Royal Mint asked the public to vote for the person that they felt most worthy of enhancing their next Great Briton commemorative coin in a collection of individuals who have "excelled in the political, scientific and literary fields." John Lennon, who would have been 70 this year, attracted more votes than Jane Austen, Douglas Bader, Walter Raleigh, Emmeline Pankhurst and John Logie Baird.The 5,000 limited-edition sterling silver Proofs sold out within a week, so the Royal Mint released a second Proof-quality coin to satisfy demand from Lennon fans.

To commemorate the 30th anniversary of John Lennon's untimely death, all orders had to be received by midnight on 8th December 2010. No further orders will be taken, but no doubt the coins will soon become available through dealers.

Golden Couple
Hans Knot reported in his International Newsletter that unfortunately, John Ross-Barnard (known aboard the Olga Patricia as John Boss-Farmyard) had been unable to attend the Amsterdam Radio Day due to illness. We are pleased to hear from Hans that since he had finished the report, he had received the news that John had fortunately recovered in time to embark on a cruise with his wife Connie on the Queen Elizabeth, to celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary. Warmest congratulations to the Golden Couple.

Left, John and Connie attending Grey Pierson's premiere of his Swinging Radio England documentary in Fort Worth

Congratulations to Paul on another Gillard
Paul Rowley says:

Just to let you know, my documentary about the early life of Kenny Everett, 'Happy Birthday Maurice Cole' has won the silver prize in the annual Frank Gillard Awards for BBC Local Radio in the 'Original Journalism' category. (Here's the full winners' list.)
Last year, my documentary about Caroline North, 'The Other Radio Caroline' got the silver in the same category.
I've done well in the Gillards. I've now got five since they were introduced a decade ago, a gold, three silvers and a bronze, plus a Sony Radio Award nomination for my documentary 'Kenny Everett : The BBC Local Radio Years'

Pirate Pint on Flying Visit
On a recent flying visit to London, Caroline South's Bud Ballou (left) managed to find time for a swift half with Radio 270's Guy Hamilton.

A Day in the Life... 09/10/2010 – 09/12/2010 Lennon Anniversaries Commemorated

The Lennon Visitors
Radio 4 marked the week when John Winston Lennon would have celebrated his 70th birthday, with a programme about visitors to 'Mendips' the house where John spent his formative years in the care of his Aunt Mimi and Uncle George. Alexi Sayle talked to local residents, custodian Colin Hall (who like the McCartney custodian lives on the premises), and some of the many visitors – around 8,000 take the tour annually.
When Chris and I visited the house in July 2009, we were given the tour by a female guide who had lived in the area as a child. Left, John Lennon's childhood home and right – his coal bunker and dustbin!As in many National Trust properties, photography is strictly forbidden inside the house, but in the case of 'Mendips', a nicely-preserved 1930s property, the custodian makes doubly sure that no illicit images are taken, by locking all photographic devices in a cupboard!

Being in Mimi's house proves an emotional experience for many and we learnt that there have been cases of women fainting upon entering John's bedroom.

The city of Liverpool hosted a John Lennon Tribute Season between October 9th and December 9th, remembering both his birthday and the 30th anniversary of his assassination. It included the unveiling of a peace statue and a 'bed-in' at the Bluecoat Arts Centre for 62 days, with 62 occupiers of the bed commemorating Lennon’s 1969 bed-ins for peace. The event was approved by his widow Yoko Ono, who recently visited Liverpool and went to Mimi's house.

...and finally
If you want non-stop Fab Four music, you can tune in to Beatles Radio via shortwave and the internet.

More news... Page 2

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