Offshore Radio News

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Thursday July 24th 2003

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Hans Knot reporting from the Dutch radio scene:

Welcome to this early August edition of my report and thanks for the many e-mails which came in. Of course not all will be answered, just a selection. The first one, which came in, was from the new owner of the MV Communicator, David Miller – who probably doesn’t understand that this international report is an open forum where all radio lovers can communicate which each other. He reflected on my report from last time when I mentioned the Communicator and brought a small report, which was sent in by two people from Amsterdam. They found the ship without a guard as well as one of the doors open. David wrote: ‘I am concerned with the latest report of yours with info about the Communicator. As I said to you in a previous email the guard that was on board went home for a few days due to him being there for a couple of weeks without leave. I disapprove that the report has highlighted to the World that the ship is unmanned particularly as there is already a vandalism problem. The people who you report boarded the ship quite illegally and without permission from either Janie or me. I will be reported to the Police and legal action will be taken against them. As I am sure you understand the bad condition of the ship internally they report is due to malicious attacks which have been beyond our control. The inaccurate information regarding the fees at IJmuiden is simply incorrect. We have a fabulous relationship with the Harbourmaster who is very supportive to the ship and us. An agreement was made between us regarding how long she can stay there and we intend to adhere to this. The fees are certainly not expensive and the facilities we have are excellent for the work we need to complete before moving her.’ Well David once again, the two were on their on ship watching to the Communicator. Saw that no one was on the ship and that the door was open. They reported it to me and within an hour I sent you an e-mail. Secondly the two are radio supporters and no youngsters who take vandalism as a hobby. So there is no reason to report them to the Police. Above that go to a certain harbour and look for yourself how many ships are unmanned. And thirdly the two suggested that harbour fees are high. As they’ve their own ship they knew were they were talking about. Next to that they couldn’t know that you’ve organised a nice price with the authorities. Nevertheless once again I want to add that this report has been published for a couple of years and it stays as an open forum where every radio enthusiast can bring in what he or she likes.

It was Mick Luvzit, whom offshore radio listeners from the sixties know from Caroline South as well from Caroline North, who wrote in to say he used a couple of nicknames during the time on international waters. ‘Your Prez...the Wild One’ (Prez short for President) ‘Your Boss Jock’, ‘Your Soul Brother’ and ‘Your mad dad with the groovy turntables dripping wax all over your radio dial’. So if you’ve a personal nick name and you’ve worked in Offshore Radio, please let me know and I’ll promise to publish the complete list at the end of this year.

Talking about Mick Luvzit, there’s now a personal site about him and his personal memories: www.earthradio.co.uk/mick_luvzit.htm

Last time Ray Anderson mentioned at the end of the report that there would be a test transmission on July 17th. Many people tuned in but nothing happened. Due to Jan Parent, former Radio Monique deejay and nowadays working for the regional radio station Radio Zeeland, I learned around 12 o’clock in the morning that nothing would happen. He phoned with Nozema, the company responsible for the transmitter on this frequency. All he heard was that nothing was planned on that day for the frequency. But a day later it really happened. Here's one of the reports: ‘today Friday July 18th a test transmission was heard on 1008 kHz, no station identification was heard when I listened about 1.45pm, the signal went off and came back on at times, music heard ain’t no mountain high enough by Tammi Terell, the Doors, Pink Floyd with ‘She Emily Play, Earth and Fire with Maybe tomorrow’ and others. The address mentioned was in Frinton on sea announcing this is a test transmission from Radlon’. And there you are the tests which Ray had promised a day to late. So Ray maybe in the future give us a mail when you know for sure that a test will not be happening. Thanks!

The same day as the test transmission was on the air Roger Day announced that there will be some open days on the Ross Revenge early August. I know this report comes maybe too late. Nevertheless here’s the news: ‘ The former Radio Caroline ship Ross Revenge has moved to Rochester, not a stone's throw from the historic Castle and Cathedral, and is open for visitors in her new location on August 2nd and 3rd. The point of embarkation is Strood Pier, in the centre of Rochester just by the road / rail bridges over the river. Trips start from 11am. The boarding charge, including the short boat trip, is £5.00, and merchandise will be available on the ship. If you would like to visit the Ross Revenge, please call the trip organiser, Vaughan on 07890 279049. Please only call us during evenings or at the weekend. We need advance bookings so we know how many people we must accommodate.

Then a happy mail from Guido in Belgium: ‘I was very surprised to find your report again in my mailbox. Since the early seventies I’ve tuned in to the offshore radio stations up till the end of Radio Caroline in 1990. Still this whole area is a part of my life and still collecting and watching the newspaper cuts magazines, tapes, movies and other material on a regular base. Recently Internet came also in my house. Still there are, as always rumours. I hope that one day a rumour will become reality and we will have another offshore radio station again. Are these emotions from our youth, which are still there? I don’t know but I didn’t find the atmosphere on radio stations nowadays, which we had in those days at Radio Veronica, Radio Mi Amigo, RNI and the other ones. I do hope that one day the Ross Revenge, the Communicator or any other radio ship will find the way to international waters and bringing non complex radio programs for millions of listeners, without the use of computers. Also I want to thank you for the dedication you’ve for thousands of offshore fans. This with all the work you do with your sites on Internet and your reports. Already I’m looking forward to your next report.’

Thanks Guido for your nice words and hopefully your dream will come true one day!

On Radio 10 FM (also 1395 AM) each Sunday a personal top 10 of a well-known Dutchman can be heard. On the 20th of July, for instant, we could tune in to the personal top 10 of the Governor of the Province of Friesland, Ed Nijpels. A week earlier it was Jan de Hoop who played his top ten. Nice that Peace from Peter – we all know from the seventies – was included. Jan de Hoop, who worked in the seventies on Radio Mi Amigo as Frank van der Mast, is a newsreader nowadays on RTL Television.

On RTL4 there is a nice program in which Reinout Oerlemans looks back a old news and other interesting things which happened in the eighties of last century. On July 15th a nice special was made about the land-based pirates in Holland and it was focused on Radio Decibel in Amsterdam. Many of the people who have worked there made their career in later days in Hilversum, the centre of the radio industry in Holland. People like Rob van Someren, Roderick Veeloo and Jeroen van Inkel made their way starting with Radio Decibel. One guy in this special was René de Leeuw. A pity he didn’t make it into the industry. We do remember him when one of the Delmare ships lost his anchor and Rene, who was only 17 years old, did the SOS calls: ‘mayday maday, this is Radio Delmare. Please help us if no one helps us we will run ashore on the rocks.’ Well rocks on the coast of Holland? 

Last time Derek May brought in a few points and one of them was the idea to bring out a book of all the old Monitor Magazines. A response came in from Donald Scott in Benfleet, who wrote: ‘No prospect of that at the moment, but it is our plan to eventually have them all published on our website (www.monitormag.org.uk). This is a massive project because prior to Monitor 27 we didn't have a computer so everything has got to be retyped. We may be able to use OCR software for editions 20 - 26, but we've tried it without success on the old foolscape editions, which were duplicated from stencils - the quality of the printing is just too rough for the software to be able to cope with it. It will be good when this project is completed, as we will be able to include photos which Buster was unable to reproduce in a duplicated magazine, and some photos in colour which we were only able to print in black-and-white. Although we didn't have the Internet when Buster was alive, he could envisage such a system and it was his dream to publish electronically and not have all the problems with delays and mistakes which always were inevitable with printers. Eventually we will bring his dream to life, and if Offshore Radio ever returns to the UK ‘Monitor’ will be there to report on events as they happen! Greetings from Don & Jean.

It was good to hear from the both of you. We have only good memories to the several visits I brought, together with Rob, to the both of you in Benfleet. 

But there was more response to last month e-mail from Derek May. He wrote also about his experiences with reception of radio and television signals during the sixties: ‘I lived in Banbury in the South of the UK, but had a rig of 4 television aerials wired in series to get height and length of conductor.’ And just to that sentence brought the next e-mail to us: ‘that is interesting. In the 1960s I went to school near Banbury and there was a Derek May there, so I wonder if it's the same person! Would you care to let me have his e-mail address or alternatively e-mail him and ask if he went to school in Brackley? It came in from Andrew Emmerson in Northampton. 

And indeed the two knew each other from the sixties. Here’s just a short piece of the answer which came in from Derek: ‘Hi, yes it is the Derek May who used to come in on the bus from Middletom...I was unaware that you were an anorak.. I used to listen to the Pirates avidly at Magdalen, and have done ever since now Radio Caroline via Sky. Radio Veronica via Astra 19 degrees East. I used to listen along with Dave Upstone (he is still a Caroline supporter in Brackley), Taff Franklin, who used to like Radio England, Robert Southam to name the main guys. Also Roger (Trigger) Foreman got in touch about 6 months ago, he lives in SW London and also listens to 'good' radio on Astra and Caroline on Sky. So if I recall you was a year ahead - yes. I recall the Second Year Sixth guys playing cards and listening to Radio London on the radio in the Classroom next door to the sweet shop - it had a fluorescent light which kept a constant 'buzz' on the Radio. Even Caroline was too weak to overcome the interference.’ Indeed two people finding each other back after almost 40 years. And Derek’s reply to me was: ‘Maybe you could start Anoraks Re-United!’ 

And finally someone else, a friend of Derek, wrote in: ‘I sometimes get the feeling that I must be the only person in the Big Wide Wonderful World of Daffy Don Allen who hasn't actually met you Hans - only know of you. I spent some time in the 80s helping Buster & Jean produce Monitor, and have been an offshore radio fan since Day 1 (as far as England is concerned) in 1964. In more recent times have done housework on the Ross, although that became more difficult after she was moved to south of the Thames. I have known your contact Derek May for about 25 years and he passed on details (and forwarded the latest edition) of your monthly e-mail report to me. I'd love to be added to the list! Had I known of this before, perhaps I would have known the Ross has been moved to Rochester. I didn't find that out until I returned from a recent rare visit to Kent - having spent an afternoon looking for her at Queenborough. The poor old Ross's web site is rarely updated these days. Interesting that you have an interest in railways too, as I do. I did a marathon day trip from Ipswich right across to Liverpool a couple of weeks ago - and happened upon 61 Lord Street whilst I was there. Sadly not much of the building now is to associate it with the original Radio Caroline North and the mv Fredericia. Don't you feel sorry for the kids today? – They have nothing like the fun we had in the 60s! It's nice to be able to communicate with you - best wishes for a great summer.’ Graham Newman. 

Thanks Graham, I must admit that I know a lot of people in the radio world but not all I’ve seen through the past 40 years since I began collecting material as a young boy, like others collected for instant stamps. Good to have you with us and now you’re on the mailing list. Nice to see that you’ve visited Lord Street in Liverpool. So I did visit last year ‘De Singel’ in Amsterdam where Caroline had a temporary office in 1967/1968.

This brings some other memory to me. A couple of weeks ago I did had a visit from a guy who’s totally in love with the offshore stations Veronica and RNI. He did visit me a couple of times through the years and reminded me at our first meeting. It was 1971 and he rang the doorbell like he did with every house in the street. He asked me if I wanted to sign a petition in the fight to keep Veronica on the air. I told him that I was into Free Radio and invited him into the house. Well some weeks ago he visited together with his girlfriend us again. And during that evening he remembered that in my then sleeping room the walls were totally covered with promotion material. As a reader you must have memories too on your sleeping or hobby room. Please do sent in your memories.

Then came a response from Cambodia, where Frits Koning is working as a free lance journalist. We know him from Radio Monique, Unique and other radio stations: ‘Hi Hans, What a nice report again. Only one mistake you made writing that Maarten de Jong is living in Singapore. He lives in Jakarta (Indonesia) and I will try to visit him one day. Of course it’s ‘around the corner’. Earlier I did ask Frits to tell us a little more about the radio world in Cambodia and he told me: ‘there’s not too much to tell, only one English language station can be heard. It’s Love FM (www.lovefm.ws) where the whole day ballads and other sweet music is played. It’s a radio station for a more international public so no ‘Khmer propaganda’. They love the sweet music over here. Now and then I think by myself that a speedier program can be brought and I would love to do a fast breakfast program, to show them how radio can be made too. Making fast radio they’ve never heard of. Presentation is very slow and there’s often a lot of space between talking and music. Women present most of the programs. Who knows if I will ever be on the air, anyway I will have a look at Love FM one day. ‘ 

Thanks Frits for this nice report. Hope you’ve more news soon and when you go to visit the station make a nice photo for us. Also thanks for the correction on the name of the country where Maarten de Jong, or Paul Lek (his own name) is living. It was Herbie the Fish who just wrote in 10 minutes before you to make the correction too. So you see all colleagues are reading this newsletter too!

Another message came in from Flashback Sales this time: ‘Many thanks for your radio report, which we received the other day, unfortunately, you got our web address wrong,

Flashback Sales is the site we sell audio cables for vintage hi-fi from, the offshore radio stuff is at http://www.pirateradiosales.co.uk maybe you could fix it in the next radio news?

Well Dave and Lynn, there you go. But I must say that many readers did find your offshore site by pushing the button for it on your main site.

Then some questions were coming in from Justin who want some answers on the law aspects regarding offshore radio: ‘Hi Hans, I recently viewed a web site concerning the Offshore 98 project and read a piece on the then forthcoming shake up in the Dutch Radio Laws. I wondered what was the situation was with this review of the law? As far as I am aware, if a ship is registered in Panama, carries a crew which are non EU citizens (such as American, Polish etc) and anchored in International waters (be it the North Sea or North Atlantic), this would be entirely lawful as long as no British or Dutch citizens are involved with the broadcast itself. Could the Dutch or British board a ship that isn’t subject to Any laws regarding an offshore broadcast? Surely this is piracy itself? As for tendering, there could be loopholes exploited, such as the ‘Ross Revenge Supporters Group’, a group who only help the well being and future of a ship they are fanatical supporters of. I doubt that the law has any of these issues ‘tied up’. I think that Offshore radio could return if done on a smaller scale and operated strictly on a weekends only basis etc. Would like to know your thoughts.’

So please to you the reader give your answers to the questions Justin sent in.

By sending them to HKnot@home.nl

Bart van Leeuwen, Ferry Maat, Kas van Iersel, Rob van Someren en Peter Teekamp can be heard from August 31st on the new Radio Veronica. It will be on the 103 FM frequency in the main part of the Netherlands and the format will be oldies – mainly form the eighties and nineties. On that date it’s exactly 29 years ago Radio Veronica closed down as an offshore radio station. As mentioned RTL got together with the Veronica organisation to get this station, which will be on for 24 hours a day, on the air. Hopefully it will bring a little joy in the radio again.

Some time ago I mentioned that Dutch Telecom, the authority responsible to get the land based pirates of the air, started the Action ‘Etherflits’. In this they didn’t wait anymore till complaint came in from people who had interference problems due to illegal transmissions. No, they would go for it and try to get as much stations as possible of the air. Pirate radio is very popular in Provinces like Drenthe, Overijssel and East Gelderland. Now a spokeswoman from Telecom told us that in those parts of the Netherlands near to the German border it is more difficult to catch the station. The reason is that more owners bring their equipment to the other site of the border to transmit from the German side. Telecom will now work together with their German colleagues to solve the intense problem.

Last year we had already the next question in the report but as there are many more readers nowadays we do try it again. The question came in from Canada: ‘I have been trying to get hold of Captain Martin Gips who was the Captain on Caroline North and was the one who married Janet & I on Sept 20, 1966. He was Dutch. Do you know of anyone who knows of his whereabouts or any of his relatives. I would really appreciate it" Thanks Mick Luvzit. 

So anyone who knows Martin Gips, who worked for the Wijsmuller Company from Baarn, please be in contact with me so we can maybe make Mick a little bit happier. Another question, which came, is who knows the present whereabouts of Pete ‘Dum Dum’ Drummond. One of the old colleagues want to get in touch with him. So who has contacts with Pete Drummond, please let us know.

For those who are in London the forthcoming time please tune in to Capital Radio. Between 14 and 17 hrs on weekdays you can hear another ‘old chap’ from offshore days. It’s Dave (David) Andrews who worked on the Ross Revenge in the second part of the eighties. A very nice guy, whom I met for the last time in the late nineties and who is a good deejay.

I’ve must been in a little hurry last time, finishing the report as another Internet address was not complete. The Loving Awareness site is as follows: www.getintola.nl.

Barry Crompton, one of the people who have worked a lot for Caroline lately wrote in to me: ‘I will be, and a few others on our list too, will in Amsterdam in October. So we will get to meet up, also Tony Christian said to me the other day that he will be over as well. Now the Ross is in Rochester/Strood on the Medway the reason I also say both towns as they are linked by the bridge. All the best and take care.’ 

Thanks Barry, also for including the nice photograph showing the new position for the Ross Revenge near the bridge which connect Rochester with Strood.

It was Clive Manning from Northampton who has also a question for you all to respond on, that is those who are reading the report in Great Britain: ‘I have digital satellite receiver so I am looking forward to hearing the new Veronica from August 31st on. That brings me to another point, I wonder how many radio fans in the UK know that they can hear a lot Dutch stations such as Radio 538, Radio 10FM, Sky Radio, Yorin etc on satellite? Might be worth mentioning in one your reports?. Thanks once again for the excellent news reports, I always enjoy reading them. Clive. 

For those who are dissatisfied that the Wonderful Radio London site, run by Chris and Mary Payne are not updated as regular as before I can mention that there is really a medical problem. Here’s what Mary wrote about it: ‘as you probably remember, I have a long-standing problem with my arm, which has recently become much worse. It looks like I shall really, really have to cut back on my typing to get it completely better. My therapist says it would be preferable if I didn't use the keyboard for 4-6 weeks. That isn't possible, but I will have to do much less typing. So if you receive short replies to messages, or no reply at all, you'll understand why. Some site updates may have to wait’.

Mary also asked me to publish a question, which came in her mailbox. Someone is looking for a song and did send it to Mary. And so she forwarded it for the report: 

‘Hello - I am hoping you can help me. I heard a song on the radio, when I was in London in the late 60's to early 70's. I only remember some of the lyrics, which goes as follows. "Beautiful flowers running with laughter, pick them to smell them ending their lives". I think the band was on a show on the radio and the song did not make it into the charts. I do not know name of song or who sang it. Thanking you for any help with this. Moh. 

So anyone who can help Mo can answer him personally on the following address: mya2065241@aol.com

May I wish you, Mary, a happy recovery and hopefully the Anoraks are patience enough for some new updates in the future and hope we will see each other in Groningen in the Autumn together with Chris, Paul, Martin, Ulrike, Jana and Mark for a nice weekend.

In one of the reports in the past month I reflected on a couple of questions regarding the time it takes tow put a radio station like MusicMann on the air. I did asked to take a lot of patience. Svenn Martinsen sent in some remarks on his forthcoming radio station on long wave. It’s a reflection on e-mails appearing in one of the many newsgroups and so he did ask to use it for the report too. 

‘Originally posted by Richard Shops’: Quote: Anyone any news on Cruisin' 216..? http://www.northernstar.no
[QUOTE] Dead in the water, probably. Response from Svenn: ‘First, I want to thank Richard for the publicity and the incredible rise in traffic his comments led to on our website. We have now well over 150000 unique hits since December 2001. I think this really shows the demand and market for a "good" radio station, with great music, presenters, news, I don't need to explain. We keep generally a low media profile though and will not tell the public everything that is going on. I will mention however that Richard is wrong. We have not given up. We have a good project and are continuing. I am not saying much though other than we are real pioneers and must work for the solutions of many questions from absolutely nothing. Good things take time and patience. Such as the siting of the transmitter facility which has been quite a story. We knew from Day 1 in 1994 that the site question would be the big challenge. So we went for the Decca sites, each priced at only 6000 Pounds. However, the actual department in Norway responsible took a rather silly stand and demolished them, the last one late 1999. Norway btw also demolished its own AM 216(LKO Oslo-Kloefta 200 kW) site in 1995, so Norway is not an easy environment to create something in at all. To compare, when the UK INR networks (Virgin, Talk and Classic fm came on, be it AM or FM, the site questions were mostly already solved. Quite large strategic and tactical questions are involved in building a new super-power border blaster on AM. However, there is now a site possibility: http://www.northernstar.no/press.html we would however be quite stupid if that track was the only one to be followed. Quote: Wasn't this the one where someone, in another thread, said they had seen the business plan and it was totally unworkable? Svenn: ‘No, another station definitely. I think a station planning to broadcast on 684 AM was mentioned in that thread. And I would be very interested to hear who had seen the BP for our AM 216 without authorization. Quote Richard: ’I noticed from the website that they have Paul Rusling as a consultant, so the BS element is going to be somewhat high. Svenn: Paul Rusling has been a good consultant and a good friend for us. He was the first who took an interest abroad, as early as 1996. He is not our only consultant, though, please check and enjoy the website. There is a lot of heritage and exciting material for radio fans, anoraks and more will follow when we have the time to update it. http://www.northernstar.no Due to the summer holiday, we are not able to continue the discussion from here, so finally, let me express best wishes to Richard and everybody concerned with "good radio", including the people wanting to put Big L back on 1008, to RTÉ for 252, and for the IOM 279 station. Svenn Martinsen Northern Star IBC AS(Norway)

Another question came in from France. One of the technicians on board the Ross Revenge was John, who had a nick name called ‘The Plant’. The question is what was his real name. I know many of the former deejays and technician’s from Caroline in that period are readers of the report so let your mind work and do send me his real name. Here’s a photograph Leen Vingerling made. 

It’s Steve Young, ‘the curly headed kid on the third row’ who send in an alternative index of a new CD. Let’s have some fun with his rundown:

The following songs are on a new album called ‘
Baby Boomers Turn Gray: Re-heated Oldies’:
Paul Simon -"Fifty Ways to Lose Your Liver"
Carly Simon--"You're So Varicose Vein"
The Bee Gees--"How Can You Mend a Broken Hip"
Roberta Flack--"The First Time Ever I Forgot Your Face"
Johnny Nash--"I Can't See Clearly Now"
The Temptations--"Papa Got a Kidney Stone"
Nancy Sinatra--"These Boots Are Made For Bunions"
ABBA--"Denture Queen"
Leo Sayer--"You Make Me Feel Like Napping"
Commodores--"Once, Twice, Three Times My Back's Out"
Procol Harem--"A Whiter Shade of Hair"
The Beatles--"I Get By with a Little Help From Depends"
Steely Dan--"Rikki Don't Lose That Clapper"
Herman's Hermits--"Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Walker"
Creedence Clearwater Revival--"Bad Prune Rising"
Marvin Gaye--"I Heard It Through the Grape Nuts"
The Who--"Talkin' 'Bout My Medication"
The Troggs--"Bald Thing"


Thanks Steve and hope you and Trish are well and hope to see you one day in Europe.

On July 21st in the morning around 10 there was again a test on 1008 kHz, this time 95% modulated and on high power. It brought some nice oldies and a Wonderful Radio London jingle. The reception in Groningen was very good. So congratulations for the people at Nozema who are using a transmitter at their site at Flevoland for these broadcasts. Ray Anderson hopes to be on the air on a regular base with the transmissions in the forthcoming autumn.

On July 22nd a letter came in from Graeme in Scotland who wrote that he cannot totally agree with Derek May’s comments on the quality of the British Radio: ‘The digital DAB network here in Central Scotland has some excellent programmes. In the evenings I enjoy JAZZ FM from 7-10 PM with the very relaxing ‘Dinner Jazz’ followed at 10 PM – midnight with Tony Blackburn’s Soul show. At midnight – 6 AM, Saga Digital (although on a computerised play-out system) has an excellent music mix all through the night with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald and so on. During the day I particularly enjoy Prime Time Radio especially at 9 AM, 1 PM and 6 PM with Sandie Chelmers. She plays lots of 1940’s – 60’s hits; and let’s not forget Sheila Tracey’s Big Band Program at 3 PM – 5 PM on Sunday afternoons. BBC Radio 2 recently carried an excellent 5-hour debate about the state of the music industry. Well, of course, we could have told them in five seconds what is wrong with the music industry. Every song sounds the same, every group looks the same and every group does the same pathetic dance routine. And, at one point in the debate, a guy came on and introduced himself as Robb Eden. As far as I know there is only one Robb Eden’. 

Thanks Graeme, a lot of our readers in Great Britain will have a try to hear if they love the same programs as you do nowadays. By the way Robb reported himself already that he would be on the debate in one of the last reports.

Than on the 22nd testransmissions were heard on 1008 kHz from the Flevoland transmitter site of Nozema. It were tests for Radlon Ltd. Within 2 hours there came in 189 e mails reflecting the tests on my personal e mail. I must say that the signal was coming in in most places in good conditions. Even in Manchester and Leeds the signal was good, although some reports from London were less good. The signal was fading away. However also from Germany, Norway and France came good reports. Listeners in the Province of Zeeland and the western parts of Vlaanderen in Belgium had a weaker signal. Hopefully for Ray Anderson some backers will show up when they hear about the good result of the test signals. When the next one will be is not known yet.

The same day an e-mail came in with the next question: ‘An unconfirmed report from a reliable source suggests that the MV Marianas is now at anchor near the Galloper Sandbank. Have you heard anything or is it wishful thinking?’ The only thing I could mention is that I can’t look at the Galloper and if I should have to hear the station first before believing it is on international waters. 

Talpa Radio International came the same day with the happy press report that one of the two stations owned by the company, headed by John the Mol, is making progress in the listening figures. Radio Noordzee went from 5.2 up till 5.7%. Their other station, Radio 10FM, although loosing their FM frequency and only temporary on 1395 kHz and the cable networks, still took 6.9% of the total listeners in Holland. They only lost 0,2% to the last figures from last month.

On July 23rd around half past two in the morning the next came in from Radlon: 

“RADIO LONDON TEST TRANSMISSION REPORT”

A BIG THANK YOU FROM BIG L…

Radioio London today carried out a test transmission on 1008 kHz from Flevoland in the Netherlands. Using 400 kilowatts of transmitter power.

We received over 300 reports by e-mail and telephone (mail reports will be delayed, of course). Reports were received from as far away as Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Belgium and France. Plus the Netherlands, of course. Closer to home from Northern Ireland, Scotland and England.

These tests and your reception reports will greatly assist us in improving the signal into the UK. From your reports we can now prepare a contour map and compare this with the aerial pattern diagrams we currently have from the transmitter site to confirm and highlight existing black spots in the signal. Early indications show that our signal was good in the East, North and South but the Midlands and West London need to be improved upon. 

Our engineers will now look at various options available to us. These are likely to include a combination of better processing, higher transmitter modulation and power (note that the channel is cleared for 1000 kilowatts) plus a detailed study of the antenna patterns, which could include a directional beam to the UK. We are hoping to have the engineers report by the end of the first week of August. This report, once implemented will then form the basis of our plans to provide Radio London with the best possible signal into the UK, which is our prime target area.

Again, a Big thank you for sending us your reception report and various other comments, which are greatly appreciated. 

FOR FURTHER COMMENT OR CLARIFICATION PLEASE RING RAY ANDERSON: 01255 676252   FAX: 01255 850528

E-mail: bigl@radiofab.com

One radio friend from Belgium, Jean Pierre Berckmans, wrote to me that he received the signal from the new offshore radio station. I wrote him back that probably he had dreamed as offshore radio from the Flevo transmitter is not possible. Here is his answer: ‘Yes that was a big mistake I did make. Probably I was making nostalgic dreams. I was 17 in 1966. My heart was going stronger yesterday when I heard the signal. Medium wave radio is still the feeling of warm radio. A crackle now and then doesn’t matter as it gives a good feeling. It’s like the good old records, which used to have noises which comes from using them often. But I waked up and now that it doesn’t come from the North Sea but it really sounds as before!

It’s nice to know that more people are publishing my report on the internet versus their site. Here’s a plug for one of them: ‘Hello Hans. A splendid spread on news and views expertly sculpted together from you own knowledge and others emails - I am happy to have it on the Wireless Waffle site on a link off my diary pages. In July I have put on the 3rd issue of my radio clip programme Wireless Waves in two parts, the second with some different offshore memories - to commemorate the Marine etc Broadcasting Act 1967. Keith Knight   http://homepage.ntlworld.com/waffler/

And as Martin is going on holiday soon and so his site will be not updated for some weeks I thought to send this report within 10 days after the last one. I promise that I won’t be back before August 16th. Let your news, gossip and memories come in as always at my PO Box 102 9700 AC Groningen Holland (old photographs are always welcome) or versus my e mail address Hknot@home.nl

And have a nice couple of weeks with warm weather, love and affection and good memories

Hans Knot

P.S. I’m finishing this report with the sad news that Talpa Radio, owner of Radio 10 FM, has decided to dismiss 30 of the people working for the station. Since Radio 10FM lost their bit for a FM frequency and also the 695 AM frequency, they only transmit on the low power 1395 kHz and the cable networks. Deejays Ferry Maat and Bart van Leeuwen decided on their own to leave the station and will be back at the end of August with the new Veronica station. Radio 10FM is now a very low profiled station with only 10 people working for the organisation. It’s a pity for a station with such a long history. They’re leaving their building in Amsterdam and will use a studio, hired with the Wereldomroep in Hilversum. Later they will remove again to a building, which will bring all the Talpa Radio work together. With the lost of the 695 and FM frequencies lesser advertising came in and so decisions had to be made.


 

Wednesday July 23rd 2003

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RADLON MEDIA LIMITED
PO BOX 7336
FRINTON-ON-SEA
ESSEX
CO13 0WZ
ENGLAND

22th July 2003

"RADIO LONDON TEST TRANSMISSION REPORT"

A BIG THANK YOU FROM BIG L…

Radio London today carried out a test transmission on 1008 kHz from Flevoland in the Netherlands. Using 400 kilowatts of transmitter power.

We received over 300 reports by e-mail and telephone (mail reports will be delayed, of course). Reports were received from as far away as Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Belgium and France. Plus the Netherlands, of course. Closer to home from Northern Ireland, Scotland and England.

These tests and your reception reports will greatly assist us in improving the signal into the UK. From your reports we can now prepare a contour map and compare this with the aerial pattern diagrams we currently have from the transmitter site to confirm and highlight existing black spots in the signal. Early indications show that our signal was good in the East, North and South but the Midlands and West London need to be improved upon. 

Our engineers will now look at various options available to us. These are likely to include a combination of better processing, higher transmitter modulation and power (note that the channel is cleared for 1000 kilowatts) plus a detailed study of the antenna patterns, which could include a directional beam to the UK. We are hoping to have the engineers report by the end of the first week of August. This report, once implemented will then form the basis of our plans to provide Radio London with the best possible signal into the UK, which is our prime target area.

Again, a Big thank you for sending us your reception report and various other comments, which are greatly appreciated. 


FOR FURTHER COMMENT OR CLARIFICATION 
PLEASE RING RAY ANDERSON
01255 676252
FAX: 01255 850528
E-mail: bigl@radiofab.com

 

Sunday July 20th 2003

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RADLON MEDIA LIMITED
PO BOX 7336
FRINTON-ON-SEA
ESSEX
CO13 0WZ
ENGLAND

PRESS RELEASE 002

RADIO LONDON TEST BROADCAST

Radio London will conduct further engineering tests at 12.00 (UK Time) on 22nd July, 2003 for approximately two hours on 1008 kHz from the Flovoland transmitting site in the Netherlands.

The transmitter will be operated at 400 kilowatts with 95% peak modulation using an Optimod 9200 processing. This will enable our engineers to ascertain coverage in the UK. The current aerial pattern produces a figure eight pattern pointing NE - SW and our study will enable us to work on plans to alter the antenna pattern to produce a
better signal into our target areas.

Radlon Media Limited would welcome reception reports from anywhere in Europe. We are mainly interested in reports from listeners using standard domestic equipment, i.e. Hi-fi units, portable radio's and car radio's rather than full sinpo reports using communications equipment and long wire aerials. Please either post them to the address at the top of this press release of e-mail them to bigl@radiofab.com. All reports will be acknowledged.

PROGRESS REPORT

We have received an enormous amount of correspondence, mainly by e- mail, many questions have been asked, and at your request, we are happy to give the following progress report:

FUND RAISING

Our fund raising has been rather slow. This time of year many people are away on vacation and we have lost a few weeks because of this. However, response has been very encouraging, despite what are difficult times for the radio industry. We now need to start closing deals and this is what our team are currently focusing on.
Opportunities to invest in this project are still available with investments starting at £10,000. Anyone interested should contact us ASAP.

ENGINEERING

On Thursday 17th July, 2003, our engineers made a full appraisal of the transmitter site at Flavoland on the Netherlands. The site also transmits the Dutch public broadcaster Radio 1 on 747 kHz so any changes that we may wish to make have to be compatible with their requirements. From our findings we can now evaluate the aerial patterns and work on commissioning a full report on the antenna and recommend changes. We also evaluated the suitability of the AEG Telefunken 600 kilowatt transmitter, which is 20 years old and may not be capable of producing positive peak modulations now used by many commercial broadcasters in Europe. So we need to await the full report in order to make our final deliberations.

The tests next Tuesday will also give our backers an indication of our signal strength, when engineering adjustments are made at a later date, our engineers are confident that a further 6db of signal will reach the UK.

It is also our plan to broadcast in AM stereo (although not on our current tests) and we will watch the progress of DRM, which looks set to revolutionize the AM dial.

PROGRAMMING

The Radio London & Big L brands will be used to launch our Gold format. Much in attitude has changed since Radio London last attracted a significant audience and the station sound needs to be tuned to current market trends. Commercially, it is important to attract and please an audience, of hopefully 1 or 2 million listeners
and not a minority group, so emphasis will be on the music and presenters whilst retaining some of the magic and fun that the original station produced.

WEBSITE

There is no official Radio London website at the moment, although we are working on this at the moment. In order to avoid confusion, please ensure that all correspondence regarding the re-launch of Radio London is addressed to the contact phone numbers, fax and e-mail in this press release.


FOR FURTHER COMMENT OR CLARIFICATION
PLEASE RING RAY ANDERSON
01255 676252
FAX: 01255 850528
E-mail: bigl@radiofab.com

 

Thursday July 17rd 2003

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Radio Netherlands Media Network reporting:

Radio Veronica 103 FM announces presenter line-up

Five of the main presenters have been announced for Dutch oldies station Radio Veronica 103 FM, which officially launches on 31 August 2003. The line-up is headed by veteran DJ
Ferry Maat [ex-RNI], who abruptly left Radio 10 FM a couple of weeks ago. Also moving across from Radio 10 are Bart van Leeuwen [ex-Radio Veronica and Radio Mi Amigo] and Peter Teekamp [Carl de Jong on Radio Caroline]. Two other names announced today are Kas van Iersel [Cas Collins on the Voice of Peace] and Rob van Someren. Uunco Cerfontaine, currently station manager at Radio 538, will assume the same position at Radio Veronica. The station will "soft launch" without presenters on 1 August, playing music from the 80's and 90's. The official opening on 31 August will mark the 29th anniversary of Veronica's closure as an offshore station.

Sky Radio Director Ton Lathouwers [Hans Verlaan on Radio Caroline] said "Radio Veronica has always played an important role in the Dutch radio market. Our goal is clear: Radio Veronica must come alive again and take a significant market position. With the knowledge and experience of Sky Radio and the fantastic team of DJ's, I'm convinced that will definitely happen."

The names of more presenters and details of the programming will be announced over the next few weeks.


 

Tuesday July 15th 2003

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Hans Knot reporting from the Dutch radio scene:

Do you also have the feeling that this summer is one of the finest we have had since decades? My lady Jana and I have just had some short trips till now, but did enjoy it for more than 100%. 

For people waiting for Ray Anderson's station I want to advice they just first go to the bottom of the report for some news.

Thanks again for all your e-mails, of which a few will be mentioned in this edition. As usual I do always mention the first which came in, after sending away the report in the late evening of June 27th. This time the 'winner' is Andrew Dawson aka Andy Archer. He wrote: 'Thank you very much for the latest report, as usual, full of interesting gossip!! I was sorry to hear of Peter van Dijken's heart attack, I will send him a get-well email later tonight. With all good wishes from Andy A'. 

Peter is now in far much better condition and already at home again for many weeks. Bob Noakes spoke to him and they decided to get together as soon as possible to go into their memories. Also they're both planning to come to the Radio Day, so together with Andy and Paul Rusling they can go into Memory Lane on October 25th. And of course we hope to see a lot of you in Amsterdam.

By the way Andy, I've heard that you sat in for Skues on Eastern Counties Radio. Did you record this as I would like to hear it one day?

Next it was David Laine who wrote in to tell us that his new site is ready with some interesting information of exclusive material for sale on offshore radio. Go and have a look at: http://www.flashbacksales.co.uk

It was Mark McDonald who wanted to inform us on recent developments within the BBC: 'BBC Worldwide, the commercial consumer arm of the BBC, has signed an agreement with satellite platform UPC Direct to provide BBC PRIME in Hungary and the Czech and Slovak Republics. The agreement makes this leading BBC entertainment channel available throughout these markets on the sole digital satellite service currently operating there. BBC Worldwide Director of Channels EMEIA, Wayne Dunsford, said, "This new agreement with UPC Direct is an important step for BBC Worldwide in the Central European region and we look forward to taking this partnership to new levels. The agreement illustrates the growing popularity of English language programming in these countries and enables more subscribers to enjoy the best of BBC entertainment." UPC Direct Managing Director, Balazs Sranko, added, "BBC programmes have an excellent reputation around the world for high quality. By offering BBC PRIME on our UPC Direct platform we will be bringing new value to our offering not only in metropolitan centres but also in rural areas that rely on satellite feeds for international channels." BBC PRIME recently launched localisation services across Central Europe with Hungarian, Czech and Polish subtitling introduced this year. Speaking at recent BBC Prime launch events in Poland and Hungary, education ministers have hailed this as an important step in promoting foreign language learning throughout the region. UPC Direct is reinforcing this in Hungary with the donation of 150 digital satellite receivers to schools in rural areas so that they can access English language programmes on BBC PRIME.'

David Leadbater wrote in on June 28th : 'Thanks as always for your report. A nice surprise when you turn the computer on! Just to let you know yesterday, I was in Birmingham and was tuned to 105.7FM Saga Radio and was listening to Roger Day doing breakfast for Les Ross!! It's just another nice surprise. Check out: http://www.saga.co.uk

Around the time you're reading this edition Les will back on his own spot but maybe there will be some other surprises when Roger is filling in for one of the other presenters on the station. 

Now we go to what Derek May has to say: 'Hans, thanks very much for yet another interesting report. Three points which I would like to make:

* 1. A message for Ben Healy - Ben, you were my favourite deejay on my favourite station in the 60s. I lived in Banbury in the South of the UK, but had a rig of 4 television aerials wired in series to get height and length of conductor, and managed to get a Ground Wave so I had a good Radio Scotland signal all day. Evening reception was variable, but I always listened to your show. 'Broadcasting to Scotland, Ireland and a whole lotta water baby, this is Radio Scotland'. Please try and get back on Radio over here if you can - I am sure that, with the revival of the old names on Radio Caroline, that there would be a place for a guest spot for you. What do you think about it?

* 2. A message for Don and Jean: I used to read Monitor magazine intermittently, but as a journal to show the trials and tribulations faced by an offshore radio station it is invaluable. Please can you get together all the editions of Monitor and publish them as a book. It will be a good token to the memory of Buster, will revive memories of the MV Mi Amigo, and be a sure-fire best seller.

* 3 Finally a quick message to Klaas Vaak, I don't recall his current name, but I believe he is the Chief of Radio10FM - thanks to all you have done for radio since your days on the nigh time shows on Veronica - I listened every night as a student on '192'. It is sad Radio 10 lost 675khz, but we can still listen on ASTRA satellite in UK, and Arrow is the only Rock station we can receive in the UK (no satellite outlet unfortunately). Although Government regulations restrict coverage to their own countries, offshore radio has given Europe the first true international community where we are bound by a common cause and passion - good music on good quality radio. I am sure station executives in Netherlands realise this. Unfortunately the UK radio execs are interested in commercial gain and power, not good radio. We must rely on satellite outlets for that here. Thanks again to the European community of free radio enthusiasts - Hans it is through ambassadors such as you that we 'keep the dream alive'. From an
anorak, Derek May '

Derek, thanks for your kind words and hopefully the people mentioned in your letter will respond to me, after reading this.

Just minutes after sending away the report last time, I tuned in to the radio and heard the news bulletin. From September 1st Veronica 8 will be the new name for the television station V8, which is run by SBS International. SBS will try to get as much as possible people from former Veronica working for the new station. Also they think that with the new name the station will be stronger in the market. Normally we don't report on Television but I thought to mention it as we have a long past of the name 'Veronica'. Going back in history it was already there in 1960 as an offshore radio station off the Dutch coast. The radio leg of the Veronica organisation is also again active. On 100.3 FM the station will be using the licence of RTL from September on. It's a golden oldie station. Veronica has bought a share of 3,5% in the big RTL Company. 

Pieter Damave reflected on my info about why Radio 10FM did not get the frequency for an oldies format in London. Last month I abusively wrote that Talpa International, the owner of Radio 10FM, had not bid enough money for the frequency with the oldies format. I had written that they had bid with more money than RTL. However RTL planned one more hour per day of golden oldies in their programming than Radio 10FM had planned. Lucky enough I do also make mistakes.

My good friend since 25 years, Bob LeRoi, does get on a regular base, e-mails about the radio forts. Some one questioned if it is not possible to rebuilt one or more of the forts into a living place and also if some memories to the offshore period of the forts have left. Here's what Bob answered and which he also wants to share with you the reader of this report: 'Thanks for the nice mail regarding preserving the forts & them being like an abandoned house.

Sadly not the case, believe it or not virtually everything has been removed from the forts. Radio 390 stripped the place completely when they closed down for the last time leaving nothing what so ever behind. The only sign of their occupation is the "floating" wooden studio. Radio City had a caretaker crew on board until 1969, & again everything, except the Dietz generator & remnants of the studio woodwork & mainframes removed. The owners of Radio Essex took everything from Knock John & some parts taken from Tongue to Roughs. Sadly the Americans threw all the Radio Essex gear overboard last year in a massive clearout then involved. I was on Roughs trough most of January this year & I can confirm there's not a single item left. Roughs Tower remains occupied but is not wholly representative of how a navy fort looked, having had much superstructure removed in the 60's. Several have proposed that at least one fort be preserved. But this is highly unlikely as funds for maintaining even older & perhaps more important historic buildings are limited from local government. The only way that would be to go out & take one over. Red Sands Development Corporation tried this. But sufficient funds were not forthcoming to see the project to fruition. The forts are big structures, in the Solent the Napoleonic forts have been preserved, indeed one is now a private home. Big investment was needed there for the granite forts, which are close to shore. The Thames forts all lie some miles out, & are constructed of reinforced concrete & steel. To make them safe, habitable & reasonably tidy would cost a small fortune.' Thanks Bob for these is interesting bits and pieces. All of you have to go and visit his site with a lot of info including the several forts around England: www.bobleroi.co.uk

Another mention about a CD on the history of radio. To be more specific, I should have written: History of the jingle. In Holland, Genootschap radiojingles en -tunes, have produced a lot of brilliant CD's in the past years. Since a couple of weeks a new one is out. Its called TROS Radio TM jingles 1979-1981. Next to the beautiful jingles, which were re sung for the Dutch Public Broadcaster, also the original demo tapes from TM, which stands for Tom Merriman, can be heard. It's all produced in a documentary style and includes also an interview with Tom Merriman in which he tells how the packages 'TM Winning Score' and 'TM Radio Express' were produced in the seventies. For more info on the products of Genootschap Radiojingles and -tunes just take a look at the following site: www.jingleweb.com

It's has been a long time since I could mention a new nickname in this report. We go back to the eighties when on the Ross Revenge for Radio Caroline there was a very good newsreader and presenter. His name was Peter Philips and he had the nickname 'Football Free'. Another one we have to go back to the seventies as Veronica deejay Chiel Montagne got the nickname 'Chiel Montagne zonder franje', which best could be translated in Chiel Montage without finery. I looked down in the list, which I keep with all those nicknames and saw we forgot also one, who's coming back in this report later on. Radio London brought us Pete 'Dum Dum' Drummond. Also we could mention that Mike Barrington was named now and then 'The Hermit' by his crewmembers. I think from the days with Laser it was Ray Anderson, who we also know from Radio Atlantis days as Ray Warner, got the nick name Captain Hughie. With thanks to Stuart Dobson. Martin van der Ven brought two names in for the same person who worked on Laser as well as Caroline 558. Shaun Taylor, who made later fame at Radio Luxembourg as Shaun Tilney, used 'Young Shaun in the morning' (Laser) as well as 'Young Shaun Taylor" (Caroline).

Nice it was to have the time to show the city of Groningen to one of the readers of the international report. It was Graham Bishop with his friend Barry who suddenly thought that it would be nice to catch a plane and see how beautiful Groningen is. On a Tuesday evening we made a long walk ending in the Irish Pub here in town. Hope you had a good trip back.

Another surprise came in from Dunblane (Scotland), where our reader Graeme was very surprised to see that I also do like the railways, next to radio. He thought he was the only one in the world. I can tell you that there are many more. Thanks a lot for the beautiful videotape you sent to my address as it was a very welcome gift with many old steam trains on it. 

From Gent in Belgium I got an e-mail from Geert Roeland who wrote that he hopes to read the reports for years to come. He also speaks out his hope that a miracle will happen and so we can listen to an offshore radio station in the very near future. For him, it's however a pity that Radio 10FM can't be heard properly anymore in Belgium now they've changed frequency to 1375 kHz. 

Everyone who listened in on a regular base to Roy Masters on Radio Caroline in the seventies, eighties and nowadays on satellite, know his Foundation on Human Understanding. One of the listeners of the old days wrote in to say that nowadays Roy Masters is getting not too good or better say very bad press coverage. Masters' head office is in Grant's Pass (USA) and he's been getting a lot of coverage recently as the owner of the company who syndicates an awful far-right talk show, 'The Savage Nation.' Not a lot of 'human understanding' in that show! Just have a look of some of the following Internet sites:

http://rogueimc.org/2003/03/378.shtml  http://michaelsavagesucks.com/default.asp  http://www.roymasters.com  http://www.watchman.org/cults/newdimen.htm  http://www.skepticfiles.org/cultinfo/masters.htm  http://www.equip.org/free/DM012.htm

Then the American government has brought on the air the biggest pirate ever. The Pentagon developed a special airplane to beam the signals of Radio and TV Martí to Cuba, using a technology that one administration official said 'breached the wall' of Cuban jamming efforts. An Air Force EC-130 plane conducts the transmissions. It operates within U.S. airspace, not passing into Cuban territory. Cuba acknowledged that the United States had altered its normal transmissions of the two stations, but said they were ineffective and hinted that the Castro government might retaliate. A statement of the Cuban government was given in which was mentioned that the Cuban government could order to boosting power on their own radio stations to disrupt the broadcasts of many radio stations in Florida. Radio Martí's history goes back to 1985 on medium wave and short wave. In the past several years, criticism has been made that its programming had become stale. On April 1st, the White House replaced Radio Martí's chief, Salvador Lew, with another executive, Pedro Roig. Among recent changes to brighten the station's programming are broadcasts of Major League baseball
games. A spokesman of the Pentagon did not say how often it would use the EC-130 plane to beam the radio and TV signals. Radio and TV Martí have until now transmitted from the Florida Keys. The TV Martí signal is sent from a balloon 10,000 feet above Cudjoe Key at a low angle toward Cuba that is easily blocked. The EC-130 aircraft used is the same type of aircraft that beamed signals to Afghanistan and Iraqis in the past years.

Shachar Zahavi wrote me from Israël: Thanks for the kind response. I met with Abe Nathan and I am in close contact with his group. I also recently visited kibbutz "Givat Haviva" where all his documents were sent. Just to clarify whom I am. I am currently the coordinator and founder of a new Israeli forum called IsraAID: The Israel Forum for International Humanitarian Aid. You can also visit one of our websites at www.tikkunnews.org 

We are building these days a website where we wish also to build a special page for Abe. At the end of this message I wrote all the main humanitarian activities that Abe has operated. I am looking for photos, documents and anything that could be added to the stuff that I mentioned (only humanitarian aid).'

In the meantime I've sent a lot of additional information, which were in the book I wrote on Abe and his Peacework, which was published in 1993. 

And then some news from Chris and Mary Payne: ' Broadcast magazine reports that ex-Big L DJ Pete 'Dum Dum' Drummond has written a two-part documentary 'The Radio Revolutionaries', tracing the history of pirate radio from the 1930s. BBC Radio 2 will be airing the two sixty-minute programmes, produced by Nick St George, for independent company Heavy Entertainment, at 20.30 hrs on August 26th and September 2nd. Hopefully, a documentary that was written by a genuine ex-offshore jock will prove less 'dum' than previous Radio 2 offerings on the subject. Interviews include Bob Le-Roi, Paul Hollingdale and Peter Moore. Clips from Tony Blackburn, Kenny Everett and Johnnie Walker are promised, plus jingles, ads and music. Let's hope they've found some new clips.'

Remember last months 3rd report in which was one photo, taken by Leen Vingerling, from which he didn't knew the names of the persons who were on the photo? Well we know now as a very quick answer came in from an unexpected place: Sealand. Yes, you read it well, the answer was sent out from the Principality of Sealand: 'Hi Hans, hope you are well. The three people on the photo are three members of the crew of Laser Hot Hits in 1987. From left Bob Trumain, Captain Dave and ships engineer and I think deejay KC, who stayed on as crew till the end of it all. All the best from Sealand and I think we must talk more on the subject of Laser Hot Hits as most people involved were not known a lot to the free radio world. As you may know I'm on Sealand again.' Was signed Mike Barrington.

Another mail came in from another person who worked on Laser Hot Hits, Dennis Jason. He corrected the name of the person who Mike Barrington thought would be KC. It was another, forgotten deejay, from Hot Hits days: Paul Jackson. Thank to you both. I sent Mike the info from Dennis and he added more: 'Dave came from Manchester in the North of England and his brother name, who also worked on the Communicator, was Andey.'

I wrote back to Brian and asked him to bring us some of his memories of Laser Hot Hits, as we can start from there. Of course, you as a reader can bring in also your memories on this short lived station. Just sent them to my e-mail address.

Talking about Manchester, rumours are going around in Holland that John de Mol jr. (we know him from EndeMol as well as RNI) will by more shares in Manchester United. Some people think he will be the owner of the World's famous soccer club one-day.

Last month we already mentioned on the plans of Dutch AVRO to stop the program 'Steenen Tijdperk' (Stone Age). I forgot to add that it is the version of the program, which is on Radio 1 in the night. The Radio 2 program will not be stopped. There is a program on Radio 1 called 'Toppers van Toen', presented by Jan Steeman. In this he brings the music from the first decades of last century up till 1960. A lot of 78's are played and this program is nowadays also on Internet 24hrs a day. Go and have a listen, it's very interesting: www.avro.nl/index.asp?main=/toppersvantoen/main.asp. Soon also an Internet version of the Steenen Tijdperk will follow.

Some original people from Veronica's days make another site I want you to have a watch on. Two important people should have a mention in the report: Ad Bouman and Juul Geleick, who both worked as a technician on the station. They've saved a lot of material from those days and have including technicians Juul worked a long time to make an archive of this. Although the story is in Dutch it is worth well to watch at. www.norderney.nl

Who does remember from the mid eighties Maarten de Jong on Radio Monique. He was in later years working for the cable radio station Cable One in Holland under his own name Paul Lek. He also went to Asia and is now living in Singapore. Paul is official dealer for Music Scheduling Software Selector. (With thanks to Herbie).

On July 1st an end came to talks between the people behind Radio Nationaal and Radio 192. The directors of both stations talked about working together, but no agreement was made. Ruud Hendriks, owner of Nationaal, will pull the plug out of the radio station. Radio 192 has to look for other partners. Two days later the news came in that Radio 192 has found a new backer, which could be find in the health sector. Hopefully the station will find a partner for an AM frequency soon.

Ruud Zaal, 39 years, will become in September the new director for the regional radio and television station Radio Noord Holland. Since 1997 he was the director for ROOS, which is the organisation in which all the regional stations have a chair. Nowadays Huub Elzerman who goes on pension later this year heads the station.

A few editions ago I told you that Barbara Apostolides is writing the story of Keith Skues and she has responded to the latest report again: 'Dear Hans, Thank you once again for the monthly report. I do read it and find it so interesting. I used to listen to Radio Veronica way back in the early 60's and Radio Sud (I think that's how it's spelt) (Radio Syd is correct) before that. It was while listening to Veronica that I came across the Caroline set up in 1964.

It is very distressing to hear that Johnnie Walker has cancer. One can only wish him well and hope that he will respond to treatment. I am still working on Keith's story, which is, by his own request very light-hearted. So far I have not been able to trace any members of the crew of Radio Caroline or Big L from 1964 to 1967. Do you think any of the Radio Stations on your side of the North Sea would put out a plea for me. Is it the sort of thing they do?'

Well I've forwarded the plea to Radio 10FM and will see what will happen.

But I think it's so interesting that this lady is writing a book on Skues life at her age and so I asked Barbara if she could something about herself in connection with the radio. Here's a wonderful reply she sent in:
'You asked where did I originate from. What I thought when I first heard Radio Caroline. My thoughts of Big L. Happy to oblige: I originate from Romford...having been bought here at the age of three weeks: A great traveller, I have moved from north Romford to southwest Romford. The name of Apostolides comes from my Husbands family whose Grandfather came from Smirna.

As a youngster I had a weird sense of humour (still have) but came from a family who were often. 'Not amused and did not like music'. Unlike my Grandfather who loved the radio and had a large radiogram in his front room. His eldest daughter had worked for 2LO at Savoy Hill during the twenties...She used to say "London calling 2 LO. London Calling". They had a large collection of records (78's) which were passed on to me when Grandad died.

I married in 1955 incredibly to a person who was not keen on radio but liked Blues music...however, having a small household of my own to run...I turned to the radio. I could listen as much and as often as I wanted too. I began to search for other stations. The places on the dial fascinated me. Radio Luxembourg: Hilversum: Belgrade: Lyons: Warsaw: Rabat: Lisbon: Berlin: Ankara; Oh to have such a radio now. Mine has problems picking up Radio Essex, which is only 12 miles away.

Obviously I could not pick up all those stations but I became a 'twiddler'. Found Radio Syd and the music was bright and bouncy and I frequently tuned in. I also discovered Radio Veronica and began listening to them on a regular basis. The BBC was fine for a story or drama but their music was a little basic. I was impressed by the fact that the presenters actually laughed and sounded happy. Then one day while tuning into Veronica: "This is 199 Caroline." Again this was fresh and different. The presenters spoke as though we their audience had a brain. The BBC spoke down to you.

My listening hours became varied. I would tune in to all and sundry: Then, one stormy day I heard this voice setting the most weird competition, very funny...and my type of humour.

I entered...my entry was read out and the DJ said "I like your sense of humour Mrs Woman...keep in touch."

I did so. We exchanged many letters and ideas. Being meddlesome I would suggest ideas for competitions or programme format. The DJ encouraged me to write. We had a lot of laughs. He then moved on to Radio Luxembourg, to Big L. And than to National Radio and to Radio Hallam. Currently broadcasting from Norwich with Eastern Counties Radio. Two years ago I was asked if I would like to write said DJ's ...Keith Skues...life story. It isn't a serious cold factual biography...it is by Keith's own request
light hearted and an honest account of his broadcasting career. There will be some facts about the man himself. A few carefully rehearsed ad-libs and a handful of songs.'

Grandad and Auntie would be proud of me. We seem to have come full circle.'
Well Barbara I loved your story and can't wait till the book comes on the market. And hopefully one of the many crewmembers or deejays who have known Keith Skues come forwards with their memories on Keith. Everyone can send them in and they will be forwarded to Barbara. Hknot@home.nl

Then an e-mail came from an unexpected person, who I know since the early seventies. He was once of the 5 German's who I was in contact in those days regarding our love for RNI. It's Dietmar Flacke who wrote in: 'Since the end of the 60s I am a listener of Dutch Radio stations (offshore and later Hitradio Veronica, Radio 538 and so on). And of course I read these discussions about Dutch radio. And I must say (write): I don't understand you and Rob Olthof and ...

Yesterday, sitting in my car I tried to listen to any alternative station to the WDR and SWR here in Bonn. No success: there is no other sound, not on the local or regional stations we have (Radio Bonn-Rhein-Sieg, RPR). The same stupid Modern-Hits- or simple Oldies-Sound are everywhere. And no one tries a discussion about this situation. And we don't have famous Radio persons.

And you in Holland are discussing about Jazz-Radio, Easy-Listening-Radio, Disco-Radio, Rock-Radio, Oldie stations on medium ware, FM, only on cable ...and real stars in the radio scene: Jeroen van Inkel, Ferry Maat... You really have problems with your radio scene in Holland! In Germany we say: that's crying on the highest level! Greetings from Bonn, Dietmar Flacke'

Thanks Dietmar and as I'm going to Rostock on a regular base to visit my wife's family I know how boring radio in Germany can be. 

On July 7th it was Roger Day who sent in info: 'Dear Friends and Twiglets, starting tomorrow for an indefinite period I shall be broadcasting on the old Lady from 11.00-13.00. British Summer Time. On the net, Sky Digital and Worldspace. I do hope you can join me. Real radio rules. Roger'. Of course for those who don't know the history of radio: The Old Lady is the same as Radio Caroline. The same day I heard that another Caroline deejay, who was already active in the seventies and eighties on the MV Mi Amigo and the MV Ross Revenge, has no time anymore to do his regular program for the satellite service of Caroline. 

Today it was also announced that Ferry Maat has left Radio10FM again. He worked only for a very short second period for the station. The programmes from the he former RNI deejay from the seventies have been taken over by Jos van Heerden, who has an offshore radio past on Radio Monique. It will be announced later why Ferry left the station and what he eventually is going to do in the future.

Some of my radio friends in Holland have been on the Communicator in IJmuiden and reported me. One told me that it will be another few weeks before the ship is going into a dry dock and will be inspected by the authorities to get a permission to leave the Dutch waters for a towing to an harbour somewhere in Essex. Another friend told me he was on the ship only a few minutes as it was a terrible smell on the Communicator as well as he found it like a garbage field. 

It was Peter van den Berg from Amsterdam, chairman of the Big L Foundation since the late sixties, who wrote in on July 9th: 'Together with a colleague I went with a little ship from Amsterdam to IJmuiden today. Already from a distance we could see the mast of the Communicator. And so it was easy to find our way to the Vissershaven (Fishing harbour) were the ship is. I can tell you that it's like a pathetic state the Communicator is in. It can also be seen that the anchor and anchor chain have been towed in with force. Windows on one side of the ship are smashed. And if we take the cover of the record ' I spy for the DTI' we can see that the original Gardline Seeker had no windows. So sure it must have been the unprofessional users (Radio London or Mr.Jansen) of the Communicator who gave order to make windows into the ship. Inside the ship it is a total chaos. It gives me the idea of a squatter bastion. There was no captain on the ship, as was earlier stated. The door to the bridge was open but the door to the backside of the ship was blocked. I don't think the ship can stay too long in the harbor due to the high prices. Also I think that the future of the ship has to be on the breakers yard, instead of the sea.' 

Thanks Peter. And the same day I saw a comment in one of the news groups. The Dutch companion of owner David Miller wrote it. He wrote to people who asked themselves why no photo's were put on the official Communicator site, that David is too busy with his work on BRBM and he was too busy with working for his boss, the download club as well as guarding the Communicator. So be patient for photographs and be more patient for the
work on the ship. 

From Belgium I got a message from Patrick Jacobs who wrote in a little bit irritated why the new owners don't get out with the new destination of the ship. Also Patrick told that he knows what the ship will become. A museum! As mentioned earlier, as soon as the owner thinks it's time for new information he will let us know. 

Paul Johnson in Brighton will be more on Internet in the future: 'Hi Hans, Thank you for all the news letters, I have decided not to give up the Internet after all. I am making a copy of Radio 10 Gold for you and ask if you can give me information on the lady presenter, I love her voice, this will be sent later this week. I am almost ready to relaunch Special Music Radio. Due to hold ups since October last year, the station has been in limbo, anyway, my idol - 1960s pop star Billie Davis has recorded jingles for S.M.R. and Radio Samantha, I have a fine crew of presenters waiting for the relaunch of the playback station on cd-r. If you have any fauve tracks, send me a list and we will feature them for you, anyway keep up the great work-Paul Johnson in Bristol.' 

Good luck Paul with your special station and for info on the presenter just sent an email to the station, surely they can reply on your question.

Roel Jager did sent in a report from one of his radio friends Roland, who visited the Ross Revenge lately: 'My mission on Sunday 6th July was to seek out and find the new mooring for the Ross Revenge. Not only did I find the ship but I later found myself on board looking at some of the work that the Northern repair group have been carrying out. On arriving at the jetty I saw some of the repair group loading the Caroline mini bus with all their kit. I walked down to the end of the pontoon and met up with Peter Clayton who was unloading the outboard dinghy. I introduced myself and he invited me to take a ride out to the Ross moored over the other side of the river. I spent an enjoyable two hours aboard with Peter showing me some of the work that they have carried out. I was impressed at the new galley that has been fitted which was donated by the Dutch supporters. I also had a look at the work that has been carried out on the steering gear that was badly damaged when they went aground on the Goodwin Sands. Peter told me that the move had gone well taking about 4 hours escorted by two tugs and a pilot from the Medway Port authority. More details about the move can be found on the premium phone line that has been updated. 0906 7669990. Well done to Peter's gang of men for all the hard work they have been doing for so long. From Rochester Bridge you can see the ship on the opposite side. From Strood turn left just before Rochester Bridge along Canal Road. From the Rochester side take the right hand lane over the bridge and turn right along Canal Road. There is a pontoon on the right hand side along Canal Road. There is ample parking in the area. You can take photos from the pontoon.'  (Find new pictures of the Ross Revenge in Strood HERE.)

Earlier this year I wrote twice about the connections between Ronan O'Rahilly and Georgie Fame. This time again Georgie is part of the international report. Leo Maathuis wrote in and maybe one of you can help. Georgie did record a special version of 'Words' the song composed by Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb in 1967. Georgie recorded the special version of the song for use in a movie called 'The Mini Mob' in 1968. When searching the Internet I found some more info in the movie: 'the film The Mini-Mob was written and directed by Robert Amram, from an idea by the producer Richard Herland. On the strength of his popular Swinging London documentary short Dolly Story, Amram put together his first feature film, and approached Robert Stigwood for a Beatles song to feature in it. A Bee Gees song was promised instead. The song was provided so late that Georgie had to record it one day and mime to it for the film scene the next. Since the outdoor scene is clearly in the summer, it cannot be later than August. The Bee Gees' version was recorded at least a month later. Bill Shepherd did the score. Much of it is inventive variation on the title song, 'The Mini Mob' by Alan Blaikley and Ken Howard. A concert sequence contains the Gibb-written 'All my Christmases came at once' performed by the Majority (see below) and an unidentified song 'Arrangements' performed by Georgie Fame as his character Georgie. Two full renditions of 'Words' are used, an instrumental and Georgie Fame's vocal. In one scene, a radio is playing the Bee Gees' record of 'Jumbo', but only half of it is heard. The film was renamed The Mini-Affair at the last minute, probably to avoid confusion with another film called The Mini-Skirt Mob, or to drop the association with organized crime. In the film, three young women kidnap the men of their dreams, the Minister of Pop Culture, a pop singer, and a pirate radio DJ, with the help of a friendly couple who have unexplained expertise with such things. The US premiere was in Albany NY in May 1968, but no other showings have been confirmed. (with thanks to Robert Anram).

You see there is a connection to the main reason of the international report: radio. A pirate deejay, amongst others, has been kidnapped. Two questions we do have. Is there anybody out there who ever did see the movie or has the song on an obscure record. That means the Georgie Fame on. As always you can respond on my questions by writing to Hknot@home.nl

Radio Nova, a radio station in Italy, was founded in Spring 1979 by a group of free radio enthusiasts inspired by the success of the offshore pirates - particularly the first RNI, Radio Northsea International. When the passing of Dutch legislation to outlaw offshore radio closed down most of the remaining pirates in the North Sea, and even Radio Veronica joined the Hilversum 'club' of licensed broadcasters. The Swiss owners of RNI, Meister and Bollier, are said to have considered sailing the MEBO II to the Italian coast to commence broadcasting there under the name of Radio Nova International. The two Swiss people also officially told this to journalists. Of course the radio ship was locked up for a longer period in Slikkerveer harbour and in took up till 1977 before the ship could leave Holland for international waters. By then it had a new owner in the person of General Ghadaffi of Libya. However, the relaxation of Italian laws on private broadcasting, resulting from an almost anarchic proliferation of land based pirates in that country made the expense and inconvenience of broadcasting from ships at sea rather unnecessary. Meister and Bollier lost interest in the Nova project, but gave their blessing for a group of Dutch, Belgian, German and French investors to use the name. Best known among them was AJ Beirens but they also included Ruud Kegel (Danny Thomas), Nils van Schijndel, Peter Janssen (Peter Hartwig), and Richard Adaridi. A lot of others have worked for the station, including Guy Starkey - who did also some stints on the Voice of Peace. Have a look on his historical site on Radio Nova. www.guystarkey.com/NOVA

On Friday July 11th I thought it was time to ask Ray Anderson how things are going with the new radio station that should come on the air after getting a licence for the 1008 kHz. Here what Ray answered me: 'We are still working on the backing, but the project is looking very good and we are hopeful of getting the station on the air by the Autumn. Once I have confirmed information, I will let you know.' So it seems looking good for the people at the project. So have patience. 

In August the 'Internationale Funkausstellung' (International Broadcasting Exhibition) will take place again in Berlin. In connection with this long running exhibition there will be also a special event for short-wave listeners and people who are interested in radio. Place to be is Saturday August 30th from 18 hrs. in Preussischen Landwirthaus, Flatowallee 23, Charlottenburg Berlin. More information can be get from Andreas Erbe at: aerbe@arcor.de

Hi to Nigel Harris. Well sorry to hear you can't make it for the Radio Day in October. A pity as this is the 25th Year. Hopefully next time and be careful with the new carpet in the studio.

On Saturday July 12th Ray Anderson wrote in to say: 'Hi Hans : We (Redlon) may conduct some tests next Thursday 17th on 1008 kHz. Just for an hour or so, while we study the aerial patterns. Regards RAY ANDERSON.' So tune in on Thursday to see if you can pick up the signal and how it's coming in. Please sent in your reception information to me and I'll forward it to Ray and his people: Hknot@home.nl

Ending this edition of the report I would like to advice you to have a look on an Internet site on the subject 'Loving Awareness'. That's for people who do believe in it. Elsewhere forget it. www.getintola.nl

As always, please get all your news, comments and memories to me and we will use it the next time.

Greetings

Hans


 

Thursday July 3rd 2003

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Hello to everyone

After visiting Abie Nathan for the second time in a few weeks, I am happy to say that I caught him on one of his better days. Do not get me wrong, Abie is still very sick, and was in hospital last week, but we could understand more of what he was saying . Last time I went, he could hardly speak.

Abie has suffered a stroke, and is in a wheelchair. His speech is slurred,but is fully aware of what is going on around him. I went with someone else, and although he cannot speak full sentences, he was answering our questions with one or two word answers, that were very much to the point.

To everyone who has sent me e-mails asking me to pass their wishes on to Abie, I have done so. One has to remember that a lot of people passed through the VOP in its 20 years history, so you can forgive Abie for not remembering everyone.

Thank you for you e-mails, keep them coming in, Abie appreciates it very much. It is very important for him, that even though he is in an old age home, and in bad health, he is not forgotten. Now I know where he is, I will try to visit him every so often. Visits are important to him. So if you are in Israel, please call my mobile phone, and I will tell you exactly where Abie is, if you wish to visit him.

All the best

Mike Brand

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Besonders für deutschsprachige Leser ist ein fünfseitiger Artikel von Johannes Ruhr empfehlenswert, der im aktuellen Juli-Heft des Ostfriesland-Magazins erschienen ist (zumindest im norddeutschen Raum in gut sortierten Kiosken erhältlich):

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Pictures from Shivering Sands (Radio City) taken by Paula Robb in June 2003

Click on the pictures to enlarge:


 

Monday June 30th 2002

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Een commentaar door Rob Olthof (SMC):

Wow, Radio London komt eraan (2)

Op aflevering 1 van de gelijknamige rubriek heb ik heel wat reacties op gehad van de lezers. Sommigen waren het geheel met me eens, anderen snapten het ‘klonen’ niet helemaal, dus ik ga dat even uitleggen. Stel je gaat voor het eerst op stedenbezoek: bijvoorbeeld naar Londen of Parijs. Je bent jong en je gaat met je ouders. Die indruk die je dan opdoet, is een heel andere dan wanneer je de stad met je vriendin voor de 3e, 5e of 10e keer bezoekt. De stad is praktisch hetzelfde gebleven, echter je indruk is anders geworden. Je bekijkt het met de ogen van anno 2003, de ogen van een volwassene, de ogen van een ‘Londen’ of ‘Parijs’ kenner. 

Als je dus nu een station als Wonderful Radio London, dan wel Big L (in feite de enige zeezender die in de jaren 1964 t/m augustus 1967 wat geld heeft overgehouden) wil klonen, dan moet je ook de toenmalige deejays en presentatoren klonen. Je zoekt dus een stem á la Paul Kaye, een stem als Kenny Everett, een deejay die heel geestig was, een Keith Skues n ga zo maar door. Kortom onmogelijk. Nu heeft Engeland ruim 55 miljoen inwoners, dus de kans dat je bij een lokaal station een talent vindt, is groter dan in Nederland maar toch, je krijgt niet het Londen soundje van weleer. Nu heeft Ray Anderson de tijd met het starten van het station tot juni 2004, dus hij kan nog op talentenjacht gaan. We wensen hem succes.

De vraag blijft natuurlijk hoe je je staande moet houden in deze tijd van moordende concurrentie op het ‘gouwe ouwe’ gebied: wij hebben al Radio 192, Radio10FM en ook de Gouwe Ouwe Zender van Sky Radio.

Ik had laatst een vreselijke droom: ik deed morgens de radio aan en hoorde in plaats van de publieke Radio 2 Sky Radio. Ik zette wat anders aan en hoorde Sky Gouwe Ouwe, ik zapte door en hoorde Sky Klassiek, ik zapte verder en hoorde Sky Blues en Rock, in paniek zapte ik naar Sky Jazz, hijgend zapte ik naar Sky Country en vervolgens naar Sky Easy listening. Ik stond op het punt te gaan gillen, maar Moortje, de kat, sprong gelukkig boven op mijn gezicht omdat hij eten wilde. Zwetend werd ik wakker en bemerkte dat de Publieke Omroep er nog was. Eens geen platte vertoningen a la Noordzee (wat een slap aftreksel van wat eens een fantastisch station was) en geen andere vormen van Sky achtigen. 

De overheid heeft flink geld gebeurd voor de FM frequenties, de vraag is of de pluriformiteit niet heel erg in het gedrang is gekomen: Noordzee, Sky, Yorin (gaap!), RTL Radio (gaap!) en Radio 538 vissen allemaal uit dezelfde vijver, waarbij misschien Radio 538 de vlotste van alle is. Merkwaardig dat computer radio het heeft gewonnen van het ouderwetse vakwerk en dat kleinere stations als Arrow Classic Rock, Radio192 en dat Radio 10 het onderspit moest delven. Wij zien nu het fenomeen dat gladde programmeringen- die met een zak euro’s stonden te zwaaien op de FM zijn terechtgekomen en de meer kwaliteit gerichte stations moeten uitwijken naar de AM. 

Nog merkwaardiger is het dat deze overheid, die ruim 70 jaar de piratenzenders te vuur en te zwaard bestreed, nu opeens pleidooi houdt voor de piraten, omdat ze platen draaien die andere stations links laten liggen, zoals de Marianne Webers en andere smartlappen koningen en koninginnen. CDA’er Atsma komt er rond voor uit dat hij Marianne Weber miste in de ether en minister Brinkhorst laat onderzoeken of het toelaten van piraten in de ether mogelijk is. “Wij moeten ons afvragen of we een systeem moeten invoeren met ruimte voor mensen zonder een vergunning.” Na enig onderzoek blijkt dat een meerderheid in de Tweede Kamer wil dat er een ‘gedoogzone’ voor piraten kan komen. Kennelijk vindt de overheid ook dat de pluriformiteit wel erg in het gedrang is gekomen. Van de zotte is ook dat Radio 1 in het buitenland niet meer te ontvangen is terwijl de waardeloze programmering op 747kHz wel op de middengolf blijft zitten. Inmiddels werd bekend dat de ‘747’ gedeeltelijk wordt gebruikt door Radio 1. Op de 1008 kHz is het nog stil en het zal wel eens lang stil kunnen blijven omdat meneer Ray Anderson in Engeland eerst een nationale collecte moet houden om de huur van de 1008 kHz te kunnen betalen.

Rob Olthof

 

News Archive:

1st June to 27th June 2003

20th April to 16th May 2003

1st March to 13th April 2003

25th December 2002 to 14th February 2003

 

 

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