F • E • E • D • B • A • C • K

This is a montage of extracts from messages received about Big L 2000. Thanks a million for all your kind comments. There are so many messages, it is not possible to reproduce them all in full, but if anyone has asked a specific question, we will send a reply as soon as possible. Previous messages are here...

John Preston, Brisbane:
Hi Mary,
No doubt you have been very busy!

(A bit, John. Chris and I have only been at home for a grand total of FIVE complete days between August 10th and 31st)

I enjoyed listening to Big L and tuned in on the net a number of times both here at home and at work. It sounded very good, and also sounded like a lot of fun. Will it be repeated next year?

Stephen Warne:
This is the 5th Radio London/RNI RSL that I have listened to since 1997, and as usual, I thoroughly enjoyed it!! I am starting to get withdrawal symptoms now it has gone!! Particularly enjoyed the original guest DJs Ian Damon & Keith Skues, but all the usual crew were excellent as well. Enjoyed all the music, hardly a bad record was played. I find the "atmosphere" of these, and the previous Mellow 1557/Jukebox Memories broadcasts to be far warmer and friendlier than most modern radio stations. This and the music and the jingle packages used came together excellently.

Colin Wilkins, Leeds:
Now that Big L has gone off air, it's like the old days once again, the radio is dead – or in this case the computer is dead – as I listened via the Internet. Well, I did manage to get down to Clacton and meet up with old pals, Mary Payne and Pauline Miller, also Ray Anderson, Keith Skues and numerous others. The feeling on August 14th was just magic. Thanks for bringing Big L back. Radio London may be off air, but let's hope it won't be long before the airwaves are once again alive with the sound of Big L, this time for good. It still lives on here, as I made many recordings whilst in Clacton.
Best wishes to all behind the scenes.

John Barrow, Organics Direct:
Hi Ray
Just thought I'd email to say how much I've enjoyed listening to Big L once again. It brings back feelings of a time when anything seemed possible to an 11-year-old, as I was then. Sadly, reality has other ideas!! Anyway, I think it's great you've recreated the sound of Big L for today's listeners and I hope that in the near future Radio London will be available on the wireless once again. Also, the ad. you've done for my company Organics Direct is superbly produced. Would it be possible to have a copy?
When Big L hopefully goes National I will be very happy to continue advertising.
Finally, the music you've been playing is absolutely great. It sends shivers down my spine listening to long-forgotten tunes that used to take me away to a different world. Is there a CD available of the top 500?

Alan Field:
I know you'll be up to your knees in e-mails when you get back home today, but I just wanted mine to be one of the messages you see when you sift through the inbox.

I had a really Fab time at Clacton over the past couple of days, and I know that so much of that was only possible because of you two. It's always interesting to meet e-mail contacts in person for the first time, and in this case - for me - it was a real pleasure. I met a lot of nice people this weekend, mainly because you took the time and trouble to introduce me to them, and made me feel so welcome and accepted.

If Ray or Paul ask about reception, I'm sure they'll be pleased to know that Big L was still coming in loud and clear all the way down the A12 yesterday afternoon, (Mon 28th) and it only got swamped by that talk-station once I was actually on the M25. Hearing Big L made the drive home go especially well, and having bought the Fab 500 poster at least I'll know how the story ended after I had to switch off.. Another thing you can tell Ray (he seems so interested in these things) is that my particular cardboard tube will be pressed into service as part of the assault course for my ex-wife's hamster!!!

Robert Deschodt, Calais
I sent before an e-mail to tell you that Big L 2000 is 6 db lower as Big L 97 here, in Calais, but I went to Cany, in Normandy (where was born Offshore Echo's) and I have heard, with a not commercial quality, on a clean 1143 kHz frequency, during the daylight the poor, but understandable, signal of Radio London at approximately 230 km from Clacton. Confirming that you wrote about the directivity of your antenna.
I enjoyed that the programme has the sound and the spirit of the sixties but why not resume (for a next time) Big L with 30 years difference? Because, in my mind, Radio London is not a museum.

Best regards for all.

Amitis tous les auditeurs francophones.

(Interesting suggestion, to advance the station thirty years, Robert. A small number of people would have us hung, drawn and quartered for having the temerity to venture into the music of the SEVENTIES!)

Ivan Banek, Zagreb, Croatia:
I've been listening to Big L since 1st August via the Internet. I spent the most beautiful holidays in my life listening to you. I've never heard something so exciting like Big L. It reminds me of the mid-sixties. But then Radio Zagreb disturbed the connection to Radio London, so we were very angry. They transmitted on the same frequencies as you, did you know? We could only hear ''wonderful London'' very faint in the evening.

Now me and my friends are recording your programme each at a different time. Then we borrow them each other.

I have a proposition for you. You should do something about the radio future in Europe. Why don't you transmit via Astra together with radio Caroline sharing the costs. It would be cheaper for you.

Keep on rockin'!

Guido Schotmans, Belgium:
I tried a lot of times to hear you on 1143 kHz. It's not easy this time. The choice isn't very good because the AFN radio network in Germany is occupying this channel. But now and then, Radio London is breaking through. It's always great to hear the Big L sound again.

I'm married and I have two kids. Listening to remote radio stations is my hobby since 1971. I am 48 years old and working as a technical draughtsman in Antwerp, at the local waterworks company. I am also an editor for the local radio-DX-hobbyist club DX-Antwerp.

Good luck with your station !

Tom Wilson:
Paul Graham sounds a friendly and knowledgeable fellow. Listening to the recordings I made on Wednesday the interesting part was the Coffee Break I was unaware that it was Paul. Have any of his anecdotes been recorded? It's this type of technical history I find interesting with regard to offshore Radio London. Ray made the comment Paul could talk for hours on the subject.

(One of these days we'll get PG in front of a mike and let him talk till we run out of minidiscs.)

Chris Dannett:
Ian Damon was a laugh - I took some really good shots of him in the RSL studio....He was very talkative and really got into it! Indeed Ray and the rest of the crew were well on form and the station was sounding good! I bought EAP's new 60's video. There's quite a lot of stuff that I've not seen before, all from Anglia TV's news archive...well worth the 20!

Stephen Chesney:
I have only just discovered your website after listening to Mary on Ray Anderson's coffee break today. I live in Chelmsford. Reception has been poor but I managed to hear all that she said. I visited Clacton on Saturday and spoke to Ray and Paul Graham. It was sad to hear of Chuck Blair's death although I felt far worse about 4 years ago when I discovered from Keith Skues' book that Paul Kaye had been dead since 1980. Good luck in trying to track down all the Big L deejays. I would particularly like to know about Earl Richmond. Like Paul he had a BBC announcer voice; very good at reading the news. I remember his 9.0-12.0 show before TW took it over; very smooth and professional. The somewhat frantic style of Dave Dennis who followed on was quite a contrast! I have many happy memories of Radio London of which I was an avid listener from February 1965 to closure.

Bob Price, Sunderland:
I managed, while in Clacton to record some of the programmes onto minidisk, as I had done with RNI. Big L's Internet link has been the best I've heard, steady as a rock and clear as a bell.

Listening to the stories people told made me think that some must have been with the station from day one until the 14th August 1967. I first heard Big L at a friend's house about November 1965 when I lived in Cricklewood, North West, London. I've been hooked on offshore radio ever since. My greatest regret is, I spent a week at the Butlin's Holiday Camp at Clacton in the summer of 1965 and didn't know anything about these ship borne stations only 4 miles away. In July 1966 my family moved to the North East to a little town called Seaham Harbour and I found Radio 270 blasting in. Being on the East Coast meant that Radios Veronica, Caroline, Northsea and Laser could always be picked up (not as good as in Clacton though).

Veronica was a good listen here during 68/69. The music was great and it had Robbie Dale at night. Caroline during the seventies was my favourite offshore period, while everyone else was playing the Bay City Rollers, etc. all the time, Caroline was into playing Joni Mitchell, Genesis and ELP. RNI was a must too; you never knew what was going to happen next. For me Laser and Caroline were eclipsed by Nova in the eighties. Ooh! just like RNI ("Someone is trying to cut the anchor chain on the Mebo 2", "Bang, there goes the mast" and "Is that our aerial balloon heading for Colchester").

Today's radio stations can't compete with that "Flying By The Seat Of Your Pants" excitement. Some come across like your local supermarket, same music and similar strap lines, ("Playing the best music" or "Saving pounds not points"). You can stop listening for months and when you come back, it's just the same. Offshore Radio was like the men walking on the moon, you knew that at any minute it could all go wrong and lives of those talking could be lost.

Living by the sea, you know how quickly it can change. Look out, during a January gale at a ship anchored off the piers waiting to come in on the next high tide. She is being pitched and tossed around like a cork in a Jacuzzi, waves are breaking over her bow, washing along her decks. She is lost to sight as the swell rises only to be lifted up on the peak at the end of her straining anchor chain. All for the advancement of career, commercial radio and music.

Rick, Global Radio, Spain:
Receiving you on the Net and listening. Sounds great! Keep up the good work!

Rein Faber, Netherlands:
I am a 46-year-old photographer living in Sneek, the second town of the province of Friesland, 120k north of Amsterdam. I am very pleased to inform you that I was able to tune in to Radio London on 5/8/00, at 1530 hours BST on 1143 kHz. I enjoyed receiving Big L very much.

Stevie Gordon, Norway (ex Caroline et al):
We are tuned to Big L here in Norway. Please say hello to all my friends in Essex. Warmest regards from Scandinavia.

Jon Davies, Lancaster:
As a one-time Caroline/RNI listener, I'm thoroughly enjoying your Clacton broadcast on Live365. I've only just discovered Net radio and this is a great start! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Good luck!

Stefano Valianti, Bologna, Italy:
What a night! I'm listening to Wonderful Radio London! The last time I heard Big L was in 1967, with an old trannie. It seems like yesterday, but now I'm listening to the same jingles and the same music - not only on 266 metres, but on the Internet now. Thanks for bringing back Big L and thanks for the music.

Martin J A:
Listening daily on the Internet. Spectacular!!!!!!!!!!!! SUPER!!!!!!!!!!!! Good the Seventies hits!!!!!!!!!

Patrick Sherring:
It was just great to be able to listen to Big L this evening. Last time I listened was August 14th 1967. It really was just like turning the clock back. I wish you all the best with these broadcasts that recall the golden days of the pirate radio era. You could almost believe those days had returned.

Linda Ford (nee Gregory), Los Angeles:
I have been listening to your thoroughly enjoyable broadcast from Clacton pier at home here in Los Angeles. It's been fantastic - but even more amazing is the fact that I'm listening to the voice of my own brother, Jim Gregory. This is mind-boggling stuff! Please tell Jim that I heard his dedication to me, 'California Dreaming', a song I'll bet he doesn't even know I love!! Good luck with your broadcasts.

Derek Pooley, Christchurch, Dorset:
Big L really sounds good. I am aged 29, so I don't remember Big L in the 1960s, however, it sounds great today on the Internet. This makes me wonder if Big L could become an Internet-only radio station. While you are trying to raise the finances to become a permanent station, could not the Internet provide a real alternative? Radio on the Net is becoming more popular in the UK as the cost of Internet calls becomes toll-free.

Bob Rendle, Stokenchurch, Bucks:
Welcome back. Superb website! Shall be listening from day one. Congratulations, Ray and crew.

J Hoffmann, Germany:
I'm just listening to your latest RSL broadcast on the Internet and it sounds great - lovely music and the best jingles ever. Would love to have this 24-hours-a-day, all year through. I never had the chance to listen to the original Big L, but I grew up with the Dutch pirates in the early Seventies.

Michael Horne, Yorkshire:
It is great to hear that Big L is back again! It's a shame that I cannot receive it on my radio, but I can get to hear it on the Internet. I came to the Big L celebration in 1997 - a great day out at Walton-on-the-Naze, whilst I was on holiday in Suffolk, where I used to live in the Sixties. My brother and I had an old valve set (Ferguson) and it wasn't long before we discovered the offshore stations. There are two main things that I enjoyed about the 1960s: Offshore Radio and Joe Meek - pioneer of sound recording technology. Joe wrote the track "Is That a Ship I Hear' (1966) for the Tornados, and dedicated it to Radio London, who 'plugged' his records for him. Thanks to the hard work of our Joe Meek Appreciation Society, a recent find of 3,000 unreleased tapes engineered by the late Joe are to be preserved in the National Sound Archive.

Steve Gunn, Nottingham:
I am listening to Big L via the Internet. Good to hear Bud Ballou on the airwaves.

Keith Milborrow, Sussex:
It must say something about the impact of Big L 1964-67 and from 1997 to date that it made me want to travel up from Sussex on two successive weekends just to hear the station! If there are other people like me (or as mad as me) it must be doing wonders for Clacton's tourist trade!

(Mad as you, Keith? People who love Lil are the SANE ones!)

Tony Weaver, Leeds:
Good to hear Ian Damon on the radio again. I was in the studio when he did a programme on the Ocean Defender in St Katharine's Dock in London during the Christmas 1997 broadcast.

Ton Timmerman, Haarlam, Netherlands:
I'm 45 years old and working as an engineer at Schiphol Airport, interested in radio for about 26 years. I was really surprised to receive Big L here on 1143 kHz! I am very much interested in this kind of transmission, as I am from the 'pirates from the sea' generation. Every time there is a happening like this, I am trying to receive it. Wishing you lots of success with your transmissions.

Ken, Monkton, Kent:
Nice signal and good programming. Nice to hear you all again.

Gerard van der Vorst, Eindhoven:
I am on LAN cable Chello and reception is very good and clear. So good to hear you back again and bring back memories from the Sixties, listening to the music and especially the WONDERFUL Big L jingles! Keep on playing those oldies!

Mick Jackson, Clacton (as forwarded by Tony Horsman):
You know I'm a fan of Radio London? Back in the Sixties I had my favourite transistor radio, which I put into storage in the loft, as you do. Anyway, dragged it out, put some batteries in and - low and behold - I'm listening to Big L on the same radio from the Sixties! The position on the dial is the same - 266 - as it was then.

Marcel van Ek, Eindhoven:
I'm very much enjoying this broadcast. First time I'm able to listen to WRL live - all old tapes before that! From those tapes, WRL has always been my favourite. I liked the PAMS jingles and flashy commercials from that Sixties era. Too bad about the Net congestion, but it's still better than our local AM/FM radio in the Netherlands! Keep it up!

Arthur Sutherland, York:
Fantastic! You are all doing very well! It's great to have Big L back. I'm an avid fan of free radio, heard Big L in the Sixties, but Radio Scotland was best for me as I lived in Edinburgh then.
Hi from someone who was almost a pirate on Super S. (Thanks, Harold Wilson).

Bob Kingsley, Dorset:
Great to hear all the old jingles again. I was twelve years old when the original station closed and I'll be trying to tune in on the 14th to hear Their Final Hour once more - work permitting. Good luck to all of you!

Ed Gold, Vancouver, Canada:
You guys are doing a fantastic job, sounds like 30+ years ago when I was 14 years old. Grew up in Hamburg and actually did see the MV Galaxy in Hamburg Harbour. Keep up the good work. I really am enjoying the programmes, and thanks to the Internet for allowing us to relive the good old days.

Ben Meijering, Netherlands:
Once more, I'd like to compliment you on the excellent format and programmes. My neighbour over here was listening to the Top 40 show last Sunday and told me it sounded exactly like it used to sound in the Sixties, when London was at sea. Congratulations to you! His wife is now complaining that she can't get him to go anywhere on Sundays. He wants to stay with the computer to listen on the Internet!

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