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HAPPY 60th BIRTHDAY RADIO CAROLINE

Mi-Amigo
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Radio Caroline, the famous "pirate" radio station, began broadcasting on 28 March 1964 [Easter Sunday] from the radio ship MV Caroline, anchored in International Waters off the coast of Essex.

 

Before Radio Caroline, pop music on the radio was restricted to 2 hours a week on the BBC Light Programme and the evening transmissions from Radio Luxembourg, with the signal fading in and out, and the records played were from the Big Five record companies - so there was little chance of hearing up-and-coming or new singers or groups.

 

Radio Caroline broke the monopoly. It gave new singers and groups airtime - including The Who and Status Quo who have said Radio Caroline played an important part in their success.

Radio Caroline played the music which the listeners wanted. I listened from Day 1.

It`s djs became household names. Tony Blackburn, Johnny Walker, Paul McKenna, and Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale were all djs on Radio Caroline.

 

Radio Caroline broadcast from five different ships during her life at sea

MV Caroline [1964 - 1968];

MV Mi Amigo [1964 - 1968; 1972 - 1980;

MV Cheeta 2 [1966 - while MV Mi Amigo was being repaired]

MV Mebo II [June 1970];

MV Ross Revenge [1983 - 1990; RSLs 1990s; Ofcom licence 2017 - date]

 

Radio Caroline is still broadcasting today on 648khz AM, and on the internet, from MV Ross Revenge in River Blackwater.

 

Happy 60th birthday Radio Caroline - long may you continue. 

animated-elephant-image-0327



Girl in a jacket


Some people see things as they are and ask "Why?"; I dream of things that never were and ask "Why not?"
Robert Kennedy.

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Oxonian
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@Mi-Amigo wrote:

@Oxonian wrote:

 

Did you follow any of the other pirate stations @Mi-Amigo ? Radio North Sea International and Radio Veronica are two that come to mind.  


Yes @Oxonian 

Radio Nordsee International - aka Radio North Sea/RNI - broadcasting in English and Dutch from radioship Mebo II, initially anchored in International Waters off the coast of Holland in early 1970. The ship sailed to Britain and anchored in International Waters off the coast of Essex. The British Government jammed RNI`s signal. In June 1970, with the British General Election pending, RNI changed her name to Radio Caroline - after consultation with Caroline`s founder Ronan O`Rahilly, A mass rally in support of Radio Caroline and against the jamming was held in London, with a march from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square. At the rally, I met Ronan and was invited to speak at the rally in Rafalgar Square!!

After the election, the station on Mebo II reverted back to RNI and sailed back to the Dutch coast.

In 1972, a boat trip was organised ro visit the offshore stations - RNI, Veronica, and Caroline. I went and during my stay in the Netherlands had the privilege of going out and going on board the Mebo II, visited Caroline`s Dutch office and met the DJs; visited Veronica`s Dutch offices and was given a guided tour and was interviewed - in English - in Veronica`s land based studio, which was later transmitted by the station.

I did realise that under the MOA, I could have been arrested for any of these "offences" - with a possible fine of up to £400 or 3 months in prison - for supporting offshore radio, but was lucky to get away with it.

Radio Caroline was part of my life and something which I`ll never forget.


 

What a fascinating account @Mi-Amigo ; thank you for sharing. 

 

I always find it quite curious that Radio Caroline has effectively gone "full circle" and is now an approved community radio station. But in doing so, it seems to have lost most of the following that it had in the 60s and 70s, and now seems to struggle for publicity rather than being front-page news. 👍    

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Mi-Amigo
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Thank you @Oxonian .

True die-hard "pirate" radio supporters, like me, would love Radio Caroline to be broadcasting from the International Waters of the North Sea - without Government restrictions, and limits to its coverage area.

Sadly the British Government`s Broadcasting Act of 1992 and the revised Wireless Telegraphy Act in 2006 prohibited broadcasting from any structure and granted the right for officials to board the vessel or structure and arrest the crew - even if in International Waters.

Regretably, Radio Caroline no longer has the listeners it once had in the 1960s, 70s, or 80s, and although she is not the free radio station she once was, I am grateful for the decades of music, love and entertainment she provided and that she has survived against almost insurmountable odds. 

And one thing is certain - Radio Caroline will never be forgotten. 

animated-elephant-image-0327



Girl in a jacket


Some people see things as they are and ask "Why?"; I dream of things that never were and ask "Why not?"
Robert Kennedy.

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Oxonian
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@Mi-Amigo wrote:

Thank you @Oxonian .

True die-hard "pirate" radio supporters, like me, would love Radio Caroline to be broadcasting from the International Waters of the North Sea - without Government restrictions, and limits to its coverage area.

Sadly the British Government`s Broadcasting Act of 1992 and the revised Wireless Telegraphy Act in 2006 prohibited broadcasting from any structure and granted the right for officials to board the vessel or structure and arrest the crew - even if in International Waters.

Regretably, Radio Caroline no longer has the listeners it once had in the 1960s, 70s, or 80s, and although she is not the free radio station she once was, I am grateful for the decades of music, love and entertainment she provided and that she has survived against almost insurmountable odds. 

And one thing is certain - Radio Caroline will never be forgotten. 


 

I admire your passion and eloquence @Mi-Amigo ! 👍

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