Juli 2004

op .

MV St PaulHi and a warm welcome to the July edition of the International Radio Report. Of course first some of the responses which came in: "Hi Hans this is Phil Pickering from Coalville, Leicestershire. What a wonderful report as usual I have been reading it now for the last couple of years. How good it is to bring back the memories of Offshore Radio".

"It is now thirty odd years since I first started listening to these wonderful stations and all because we had a short wave and medium wave Radio at the School which I was attending way back in 1969.I was o­ne of those kids who had to go to a special school for Wheelie People (Those in wheelchairs) back then. I well remember the night RNI got a bomb o­nboard. I was listening o­n short wave at the time, I think it was a Saturday night I found it most exciting just listening there. It seems now that a lot of commercial radio is quite boring in comparison. I have just got a DAB receiver and there are a few stations which seem to have flavour of the old Stations. Concerning Radio London I am not at all surprised that they have not come o­n air. It seemed to me either they were dragging there heals or they had know intention of coming o­n in the first place but that is just my opinion! I wonder what you think. Anyway all for now e-mail you again soon".

Kind Regards Phil

Thanks a lot Phil for your response. Always nice to see that there are also a lot of listeners having their own memories from the watery days. I hope Ray Anderson and his people still succeed in getting a signal o­n the air. Now the 1008 kHz has gone to Talpa Radio and their Radio Tien Gold. Still there’s a possibility that o­ne of the other free frequencies could go to the Anderson organisation, so let’s hope the best for them.

Next o­ne is from Rodney Collins who expresses himself in o­nly o­ne line:

‘Wow - Mr Palmer and Mr Tremaine, these memories are wonderful, thanks, Rodney Collins’

Hope Rodney himself can write some memories from the trips he made to the radio ships, when writing o­n the subject some 33 years ago.

Then I did sent an e mail to the people with the new radio ship in Sweden/Finland. I asked Roy Sandgran how things were going after my contacts warned me that there was trouble between the people working within the project. I simply asked: ‘Is there sill LA or also DA. When will we be able to hearing a thing? I got a lot of emails from people who ware asking what’s really happening. Even the name ‘phoney radio project’ is mentioned. So be honest and tell us what’s happening.

On Friday 25th of June an answer came in from Roy:

‘Hello my great friend, everything is Oké. Mike Spenser make his decision yesterday and will from now o­n, follow my instructions. The transmitter is moving from the ship to the coordinated antenna/mast at Nabben outside Mariehamn. Later today an expert o­n AM antennas, atu and tx will try to tune in everything to the best. Perhaps some tests later today with music from some computer. Finally Mike has to accept the rules and regulations of AM-broadcasting o­n Åland (Finland). It's midsummer day today and like a Saturday, take care of you, Roy.’

He also mentioned that tests would be made o­n Sunday 28th of June. Personally I didn’t tune in into the radio that day. Who did receive Radio Scandinavia that day o­n 603?

MV St PaulThe radio ship MV St. Paul (copyright Radio Scandanavia)

On the internet site of Wim van de Water: www.mediapages.nl a wonderful update can be found with hundreds of newspaper cuts from the archive of Jan van Plateringen. Really a very good update.

It was the same day that the 1008 kHz went to Talpa Radio and the Radio 10 Gold transmissions that last issue of the International Report came out. It was Tom Mulder, program director of the station, who got a special delivery of the report before anyone else. I did congratulate him o­n the success station that in stead of Big L we would now get a Big Radio 10 Gold.’

Of course he came back to me and o­ne of the things he wrote was that a reincarnation of the old Big L would nowadays never been a success again and the quality of British radio is getting worse and worse, without the inspiration of the Americans.

Geoffrey Baldwin wants to go back to the issue female deejays:

"Going back to o­ne of your earlier reports, Jessie Brandon said that the photo from the Laser 558 days in the 1980's that everyone saw of her was not very fair o­n her and she sent you a more recent o­ne. After that, I took a look at the Feature Story News site and there is another photo of her in which she looks a bit like actress Sigourney Weaver (meant as a compliment!)." "So, anyway, I can o­nly agree with her comment and, yes, Jessie is an attractive woman and seems to be maturing well! Some ladies do improve with age like wine! Anyway, the point of this message is o­n that subject. You have mentioned various female D.J.'s in your reports but I was wondering who your readers thought was the most attractive offshore female D.J.? When I saw the pictures of Brandy Lee years ago (in Offshore Echos) during her days o­n Laser Hot Hits, I thought she was rather good looking and, with these new pictures of Jessie, it reminds me that Laser did come up trumps in that respect, what with the Laserettes and all!" "So, that's my question: Did Laser have the most attractive women? Of course, there were a number of other lady D.J.'s that worked for stations like Caroline, Mi Amigo, Veronica, Capitol Radio, Atlantis and so o­n."

So guys let Geoff know what you think about this issue and sent it in to Dit e-mailadres wordt beveiligd tegen spambots. JavaScript dient ingeschakeld te zijn om het te bekijken.

The next comes in from Sven Martinsen from Norway and speaks for itself:

‘We refer first to the internet presentation at http://www.northernstar.no/ask.html

This email does not relate to the AM project of Northern Star though, but deals with an idealist museum radio project near Bergen, Norway. The background is that LKB(call sign) Bergen Kringkaster entire site(formerly the property of NRK) has been bought by the municipality of Askoy and the new owner is looking for interest and sponsors to restore the site. Some of the main points in focus are:

Is it possible to make the 20 kW Telefunken transmitter used o­n 890 kHz work again? It has not been used since November 1st, 1978.
(A newer 10 kW Philips from 1965 may be possible to bring back.)
Is it possible to make a 1 kW Marconi used o­n 1115 kHz work again? It has not been used since spring of 1966. From the 40s we think.
Is it possible to make a 250 watts Western Electric used o­n 1466 kHz work again? From the late 40s. It has not been used since November, 1978.
The two 150 metres masts combined into a "T"-aerial have been taken down, but all the sections remain, stored at the site.
The guy wires as well as the central wire of the masts seem to have to be renewed.
The feeder cable to the masts must be renewed.
We think the earthing may be intact.
Thankful for any input’.
A lot of ideas they have up there in Norway and hopefully they will succeed in realise the plans. If anyone has comments or ideas let them coming in as they’re really needed in Norway.. Good luck to all the guys who are working together with Sven.

Publishers NDC and Koninklijke Boom haven’t found a buyer for their regional station Rebecca Radio which can be received in the main parts of northern and eastern of Holland, as a full operating radio station. The licence and frequency has been given free to Jan Lagrouw, who is also active within the radio business in Holland with his regional project Sun FM. Also the name can be used and so Rebecca FM will start o­n August 1st. The programs will be made from studio’s in Rijswijk and it will stay a regional radio station. Less will be changed to the format. All the commercial activities as the advertisement department will be working from offices in Meppel, where they are already. He thinks ten of the former Rebecca people (19) will have a job again form August 1st. Lagrouw and a not mentioned other investors think the station can make profit at the end of 2005.

From Berlin comes the news that the RIAS2 Mega Party will be held o­n Saturday August 14th. It can be seen as a farewell party to all the more than 23.000 visitors who took part in the RIAS2 Marathon Danceparties in Hof, Dresden, Luckau and Teltow. The Mega Party will be held in the ‘Waldbühne’ near Luckau. o­ne of the presenters will be the in Germany world famous Dennis King, who the offshore fans remember from Caroline in the seventies. Dennis is next to radio also a television personality in Germany with his show o­n FAB in Berlin. More information can be get at http://www.riasparty.tripod.com

Then the IMIB, the Isle of Man International Broadcasting plc came with a very glossy brochure in which the new nationwide radio station promote herself with a start for the station in the first half of 2005, with a flotation o­n the stock market in the second half of 2005.

It’s possible for everyone, big spenders as well as small spenders, to take shares in the international cooperation. Paul Rusling, Chief Executive for the company, wrote me a personal letter: ‘I know you would want to read this, but if you do know of anyone who might to invest, we are very interested to hear’. Better to have many small groups that I big radio group. Anyone interested can go for more information o­n. www.iomib.com where the contacts page has a form to get info for buying shares.

You can also send an email to Dit e-mailadres wordt beveiligd tegen spambots. JavaScript dient ingeschakeld te zijn om het te bekijken. and they will send the details.

So go and get your won shares. I still have the shares of the former REM Island, way back in 1964.

Listening to 1008 kHz o­n July 30th. What a brilliant signal of 400 kW is beaming over Western Europe. E mails coming in from all kind of countries like Scotland, Ireland, Denmark and France stating they’re listening to the stations with a very good reception. Radio 10 Gold is now Big Ten! Congratulations to Tom and all the others o­n the station. Even Paul Rusling o­n the Isle of Man wrote that he has a very good reception at the island. o­ne of the readers told me that the signal was far much better than RNI ever had. 100% right!

In the evening I was listening to some old programs and o­ne came from 20 years ago, June 1984. It were the first weeks of Laser 558 and the station attracted millions of listeners in Great Britain as well o­n the continent. o­ne of the deejays mentioned himself several times ‘TR’ in the program and so we can add that o­ne to the long list of ‘nick names’ for Tommy Rivers.

Next we go to Germany where Peter Oonk, originating from Holland, is living. He’s from 1985 and since a couple of years interested in the history of Offshore Radio. He has asked me to publish the next: ‘Hi I’m Peter Oonk and I think you will say that I’m crazy but I’ve plans to come with a new offshore radio station. Therefore I would like to come in contact with anyone who has worked o­n a radio ship and maybe a few of them could step with me into the future project. I’m working within the pirate land based scene since five years and also I’m working for a legal radio station. I got interested in the history o­n Offshore Radio since three years and it seems to me a very good idea to start such a station. I’ve already found public backers who are willing to take part in the project. Please contact me at Dit e-mailadres wordt beveiligd tegen spambots. JavaScript dient ingeschakeld te zijn om het te bekijken.

A few interesting e mails which came in around July 1st up till 8th I will take with me for the next issue of the international report. Reason is that the sad news came in that Tony Allan died o­n July 9th at 11.15 at the age of 54. At the end of June I got the information that Tony was taken to an hospice, the Marie Currie Hospice in Hampstead. Taking care for Tony at his own house was impossible at that stage. It was already known for 3 years that Tony had cancer of the throat. At first it was expected he should die early 2002 but his strong character kept him living for a much longer period than expected. In the early hours of the morning Tony got into coma and died in peace.

Tony AllenFor those he did not know Tony: he was a very professional presenter with a very wide experience in music, production and voice over work. For those who worked with him since 1967 Tony was not always the same guy as he sounded like o­n the radio. He could be very hard to his colleagues and crewmembers o­n the offshore radio ships – he worked o­n through the years. There are many stories about his misbehaving. I had the honour meeting up with him for the first time in 1972 and since then met him several times. Lucky enough I can tell you that I never had the bad experiences with Tony where other talked a lot about. He had always a willing ear and seemed to have a good nature. Together we shared a lot of memories. He started his career at the age of 17 o­n board the MV Comet of Radio Scotland. He tried to get o­nboard the MV Mi Amigo in 1967, after the Marine Offences Act became law. The Caroline director however thought it wouldn’t be such a good idea to put such a young lad for a longer period o­n a ship in international waters. Tony had to wait until 1971 before he could restart his career as a marine broadcaster o­n board the MEBO II, the radio ship of Radio Northsea International.

Maybe the most legendary program I do remember was o­n September 30th 1972 when Tony opened officially RNI2, a radio station which was o­nly o­n the air for two days. Radio Veronica, the Dutch offshore station, changed frequency to 538 metres and as soon as the old ‘192’ transmitter from Radio Veronica left the air, an other strong signal came o­n 192. It was RNI2, a toy station from Radio Northsea International, o­nly with the aim to introduce themselves to the Veronica listeners and hopefully to win them for RNI in the then future. In partly perfect Dutch Tony presented with full joy this opening.

After his RNI days Tony went to The VOP, the Peace station from Abe Nathan. Together with a team of technician there was a period of long and hard working in New York, where the MV Cito of the VOP was technically installed. Then came the trip to Europe and hard times in Spain and France. It took months before the station finally came o­n the air off the Israeli coast and again Tony did open this station. He stayed a long time o­n the ship, even returned in 1976 after working o­n both Radio Seagull and Caroline in Europe.

When I did research for my book o­n The Voice of Peace some thirteen years ago I interviewed a lot of former people who had worked for the Voice of Peace and almost every time people started talking very enthusiastic about the way Tony could bring his experience to them. He was a very creative person, not o­nly for the listener but also to share it with his colleagues. When back in Europe o­n the MV Mi Amigo he even presented a lot of programs in his romantic Dutch when there were no tapes o­n sister stations like Radio Atlantis and Radio Mi Amigo. For Tony non stop music was a taboo.

During the eighties Tony worked o­n Scottish Television and a few Irish commercial radio stations like Radio Nova , Sunshine Radio and South Coast Radio. With his beautiful voice he could be heard at the same time o­n Irish Public Radio RTE as a voice over. During the nineties he could be heard again for o­ne day during the 1995 RSL in London harbour. The Ross Revenge was anchored in the Docklands and when I did enter the ship to do my own program o­ne day, I saw Tony for the very first time since years. He was in a very bad mood as the then program director Johnny Reece had told him to leave the ship and never showing up again. Tony had lost his temper o­n the radio ship after making a program and sour comments o­n younger deejays. It would take years before Tony was invited again to do programmes o­n the satellite version of Radio Caroline. A pity his voice was already in a bad condition but still his experience could be heard in the way he was presenting and making his own musical choice.

Tony AllenAfter it became known Tony had cancer I had the luck to meet him o­nce again in November 2002. It was a surprise party as I would met Robin Banks o­n Piccadilly Circus at two o’clock at a Saturday afternoon for a drink. He was stocked in the traffic and without notice suddenly Tony tagged me o­n the shoulder. What followed was again an afternoon filled with joy, cigarettes, a good beer and many memories. Memories shared with Tony will remain for always in my mind. May he rest in peace.

An Obituary was sent in by Andy Archer: ‘’ Of all of the people I met and worked with during my "pirate" radio years, Tony Allan was the most extraordinary. He was charming, erudite - and wickedly witty. Like many talented people - and Tony was VERY talented - he could have his temperamental moments and throw the odd "wobbly". These were largely as a result of his own professionalism which would not allow him to suffer amateurs gladly. For reasons that have always eluded me, he did not class me in that category, and we never ended up kicking the shit out of each other.

It is well known that Tony did not know the meaning of the word "abstemious", and it was during a shore leave from Radio Caroline that he and Graeme Gill visited me at a well-known hotel in Amsterdam. I had been given a room with a very large private bar, stocked with every drink imaginable. During the course of what should have been a highly memorable evening (I wish I COULD remember it) we drank late into the night. It was o­nly when I woke in the morning (late) that I realised the impact we had made o­n the stock of brandy, whisky, vodka, gin etc. As the remaining contents of the bar were due to be measured, and the amount missing added to my bill, I had no choice but to top the bottles back up again ... the vodka and gin from the bathroom tap .. and the other spirits with various strengths of diluted coffee and tea. When I told Tony afterwards, his o­nly reaction was: "Thank ***** I wasn't the next guest in THAT room!"

Sadly Tony and I lost touch for the better part of 20 years but, thanks to our mutual friend Elija van den Berg, we recently met up again and remained in close contact for the last couple of months of his life. We three spent a joyous afternoon together in London which, despite his frailty, was an event marked not by sadness but by laughter. Lots and lots of it. ‘

Next o­ne came in from Robb Eden, who also worked together with Tony o­n both RNI and Radio Caroline: ‘Hans, I'm sure that you will have heard that Tony passed away this morning. We arrived at the hospice half hour too late. He looked very serene & peaceful. Tony and I have been working o­n a compilation of unsigned music. Tony has written the sleeve notes. The first pressings will be ready in about three weeks. Profits will go to the Marie Curie Cancer hospice where he was being cared for. I have also interviewed him about his life. When this has been transcribed it will be available for all to see at www.jacobsladder.org.uk (in about a week). Will e-mail when the funeral arrangements are confirmed. Robb Eden.

Then from Israël an e mail from media watcher Mike Brand: It was of course with deep sadness I heard of the death of Tony Allan this evening

What more can be said that already has been said. I had the privilege of listening to Tony o­n RNI, Caroline and the Voice Of Peace.

Thinking that when I came to Israel in 1976, listening to good radio was over, I was gladly surprised to listen to the voices of Tony Allan and Crispian St John ( Howard Rose ) o­nce again, through the airwaves of the VOP. Peace was always in the mind of Tony, and radio today has lost a very special person. Tony is the third VOP (amongst other stations of course) presenter to pass away in recent years, the other two being Howard Rose and Kenny Page.

Radio Heaven International has a pretty impressive line up at this moment ……

Mike Brand.’

Well a sad end of this report. Let’s hope we have better news next time. As always you can sent in your comments, news and memories to Dit e-mailadres wordt beveiligd tegen spambots. JavaScript dient ingeschakeld te zijn om het te bekijken.