SVENSKA RADIOARKIVET


J
ack S. Kotschack's book "Radio Nord kommer tillbaka" [Radio Nord will return], published 1963 in Swedish.
In 1970 it was also released in English "The Radio Nord story", by Impulse Publications Ltd. Guild St. Aberdeen)

Here is the continued story which started

Many have tried to portray Jack Kotschack as politically naive. They use to say that Radio Nord had never been launched if a more sensible analysis of the political prospects of the project had been made.
I see it differently. Jack had the ambition that Radio Nord would become a hit among the listeners - and with this he managed completely. His idea was that such a large audience would also create a strong public pressure which the politicians never would dare to oppose. I think that an analysis in the planning stage had never been able to predict that exorbitant priority the government would give to an intellectually so harmless radio station as Radio Nord.

In his book, RADIO NORD KOMMER TILLBAKA, Jack writes about this in his foreword: When they wrote about me personally in the press, they often used the word naive. I admit that I didn’t quite understand what they meant - as a comparatively successful businessman, I considered myself to be a realist. And a realist, I am still to this day, but at one point, I give the papers right in saying that I was incredibly naive - when it comes to politics in general and politicians in particular: I had the naive belief that MPs were elected to effectuate the people's wishes - not oppose them.

Jack continued the preparations, and to the press he named the date when the new radio station would be launched. Unfortunately it was passed, and later there were several such dates stated - and passed.

Anyhow, to make a very long story a little less long, it was at the beginning of March, 1961, when test transmissions were heard on medium wave 495 meters:
test transmission Friday March 3, 1961 Live from MS Bon Jour
The anonymous radio voice was counting "one - two - three - five, five". Why did the voice drop out "four - and why did it repeat "five"? Strange...
test transmission Tuesday March 7, 1961 Live from MS Bon Jour
They also announced instructions addressed to what was called the contest participants. Everyone listening to 495 wanted to candidate for that contest, but how? Of course, the intention was to make the impression that something exciting was going on, and to catch as many listeners as possible.

A minor frequency adjustment was necessary to avoid an interference, audible as a constant tone of 4 kHz caused by the intermediate frequency of the strong transmitter at 602 kHz in Lyon, France. A couple of days after this was discovered, Radio Nord made a small shift of the frequency, by a change of crystal, so that it became the same as Lyon, and the disturbing tone disappeared. This frequency change also meant that the wavelength was different from what they had planned. Instead of 495 meters it became 498.2, but in the programs they continued to announce "495".

A few days later it finally happened - the big premiere, starting at at 10 am on March 8th:
Premier, Wednesday March 8, 1961 The 12 first minutes of this recording also reflects that they played non-stop music prior to the hour. Then they played the first Radio Nord jingle. It was on the tune "Bye bye Blackbird" in which we also hear a voice-over by Radio Nord's own jingle wizard Henry Fox. Announced by Gert Landin followed an introduction speech by Jack Kotschack. With his Finnish-Swedish dialect he started:
-Dear listeners, Radio Nord is a reality. After more than two years of preparations, after many overcome obstacles, I have the pleasure to introduce this new, contemporary radio station.
Radio Nord is a radio in tune with the times; it should be there when you want to hear it. We at Radio Nord never sleeps, we bring our programs to you, 24 hours a day. Radio Nord has been designed to offer pleasant entertainment, current news, exciting competitions and interesting information; we have done our best to create a program to suit YOU - our listeners. But we know that neither Rome nor Radio Nord was built in a day. We greatly appreciate your interest and opinion. We make our programs to you. Therefore, let us know what you think about them. Cooperation with our audience gives us guidance for the future. Please write to us, to Radio Nord (address).
[...]

Test Transmission under the leadership of Archie Mesch, measuring and listening. Also chief engineer Thure Andersson and at the stern a German crewman, Knies.
Studio engineers at the premises in Stockholm, Bengt Törnkrantz and Lars Klettner

Jack's speech was followed by a song for the day, The Radio Nord waltz, composed and performed by Sweden's then, and still today, most beloved poet and troubadour, Evert Taube (search Google). It was an honor to the company Radio Nord that he appeared with his dedicated composition, almost like a hymn or a poem, to the new radio station.

The station's first commercial was for the then completely unknown brand for dishwashers, Westinghouse, which eventually became Sweden's most famous, but nowadays it's completely forgotten. The program was filled with music in many diverse genres, Swedish pop, Frank Sinatra, Swedish accordion music, Ray Conniff, Elvis Presley, Swedish light music, and so on.

The response after the premiere showed that many had been surprised by the station's programming style. The audience and the newspapers had expected that Radio Nord would sound quite similar to what they had heard from Radio Luxembourg. Most music stations in those days used to have hours and half hours allocated to different musical preferences, rock music, old time, South American, etc. At this point Jack made something completely different in European radio. True, he had carefully studied Gordon's famous Policy Books on how to achieve success, but Jack had his very own views on how to format his station. His thesis was that no new entrant listener would get the time to be bored and shut off their radios because the entertainment he or she prefers was not heard soon enough in the program. Any listener would be able to go in and out of the program at any time - no programming times to keep track of and there should never be a programming content that referred to something that had occurred previously in the program.

Jack's idea was that each group of listeners really is a minority. The group that prefers to hear rock music is small compared with those who want to hear anything else. The same can be said about all other groups of listeners. It is always harder to make a listener to turn the radio on than to turn it off. If a listener has shut down the radio because of dissatisfaction with what was offered just then, it is much harder to re-gain that listener. It was important that no listeners would get to be unhappy with Radio Nord. The music should always, within a reasonable time, appeal to each listener.

Radio Nord had offices and studios in central Stockholm and became very popular with their mix of popular music, deejays and news 24 hours a day. In the earlier stages, the announcers often appeared as pre-recorded, rather stiff voice features. Soon enough they developed a more easygoing style on how the program was announced. I think Larsan Sorenson helped to ease up the sound of the station and how the announcers appeared. He had worked many years as a cabaret artist and as an early stand-up comedian, and he was a great inspiration source to the other announcers on the station.

At the autumn of 1961, after 8 months on the air, they introduced a growing number of live broadcasts from the MS Bon Jour. Radio Nord was the first offshore pirate to discover that it was possible to broadcast live out at sea from the ship - to actually use turntables. Before they examined it, everybody assumed that turntables could not be used in such a rocking environment, that the tone arm would helplessly lose track over and over again. What they discovered was that the rocking, even in fairly rough weather, was not that hard and jerky, and the tone arm remained on track mostly without any problems at all.

Radio Nord's most popular program was the Top 20 where they played the 20 most popular discs each week. In the first months it was hosted by Gert Landin, later by Larsan Sorenson. The listeners voted through letters sent to Radio Nord where they could choose up to three songs, later a maximum of five. No record store wanted to be without the important top 20 posters which also offered good publicity to the discs that were hot each week. Between about each other song, the host took some time to talk about the current week's sponsor of that program. Sometimes they also had a popular artist in the studio who was interviewed in the show.

From November 12 1961 they introduced De Tio, a Top 10 of popular songs in Swedish. The program had been suggested by two record dealers who had noticed the importance of the Top 20 list and asked if it could be supplemented by a list of Swedish recordings. The program came as a welcome change to the program menu on Sunday mornings where they, before, had been a little too afraid of being perceived as vulgar if they played popular music in the middle of the Sunday worship time. In order to not offend any opinion they had chosen to play a light and melodic selection of classical music, which really wasn't the right niche for Radio Nord. After they broke this caution and introduced this rather innocent chart program, it became a great success. A success that still remains after all those years, because Radio Sweden immediately competed with a full-alike program that still remain in their programming today.

Despite politics and religious issues being banned at the station, it was forced to close down when the Swedish government introduced the "Lex Radio Nord" of 1962, criminalizing the act of buying advertising time on the station. It has a striking resemblance to the Nazi german law of 1937 previously mentioned here, which made it illegal to give technical or financial support in the creation or operation of a radio station, or to transfer cargo to the ship. The adventure ended when Radio North closed at midnight June 30, 1962. The Swedish offshore radio legislation became a model for the British Marine Broadcasting Offences act of 1967 and to other European countries where their governments wanted to retain monopoly radio.
The Swedish radio monopoly remained unchanged during the many years until 1993 when the Swedish parliament finally approved the establishment of independent local radio stations. This occurred only after the former Soviet republics - and even Albania - had already done so. After all those years, Radio Nord still plays an important part in the Swedish radio history.

Radio Nord's Bon Jour passes past the stern of Radio Syd's ship Cheeta 2, where someone was attentive with the camera. The two ships never came closer than this and there was no reason to exchange collegial greetings between the two pirates either - there were no radio staff on board. Just passing...
An image from October 1962. Mi Amigo has anchored near Veronica's Borkum Riff off the Dutch coast.
Caroline and her father John F. in 1962

Smile please! Ronan O'Rahilly / Allan Crawford
 

 

Simon Dee - the first voice on British offshore radio

The Swedish "Lex Radio Nord" came into effect on August 1, 1962, but the company still chose to shut down a month earlier, at midnight, June 30 / July 1. In an interview I did in 1981 with Jack Kotschack he told me about this episode of Radio Nord's last days:
"In the last days of Radio Nord I was visited by a ship owner's son who was named Ronan O'Rahilly, together with a Swede. Their business was that they wanted to buy the boat, eh,, their appearance and behavioral impression on me was that it was empty talk, so,,, I,,, didn't bother to take their offer seriously."
Perhaps Ronan (then 22 years) failed to give an appropriate impact. However, Jack had already received a proposal from a different company, and that was the actual reason why they closed down a month "too soon". At the time it seemed as if they were in the final stages of the negotiations with an Australian businessman, Alan Crawford and his consortium Project Atlanta Ltd. with Alan's associates Kitty Black and Oliver Smedley. Alan was a former president of the dominant American music publisher Southern Music. He had formed his own company, Merit Music, and with the Atlanta project, he would start a radio station on international waters outside the Thames estuary. The station was expected to reach an audience of millions of radio listeners in the London area. Alan's intention was to use his radio station to promote his record label operations, and Radio Nord's vacant broadcasting ship offered him the total solution for a rapid implementation of his idea.

On July 4, 1962, four days after Radio Nord's closing, she left her former anchorage, with new-recruit Polish staff on board to take her out of the Baltic Sea. On Radio Nord her name had always been mentioned as Bon Jour, but since about seven months, her name had been re-registered "Magda Maria". All the studio equipment was loaded on board, including all the equipment used at the studios in Stockholm. She was also loaded with the entire grammophone archive, both the minor which had been on board and the much larger from the premises in Stockholm. All of the commercial value of the company were now gathered in the ship and its cargo. The owners felt concern that any further intervention from any authority would occur during the trip, not least on her passage through the narrow strait between Denmark and Sweden. But this time the ship had an easy trip all the way to the North Sea.

The owners were still Bob Thompson and Clint Murchison. Behind them was Gordon McLendon, who preferred a less official position, but he was in fact the foremost in the negotiations, and it was he who had invented the name of the new project; Radio Atlanta, as a tribute to the city in Texas where he grew up. A few years later he would also be involved in another business partnership with a certain Don Pierson (1925-1996). With him, he drew up the guidelines for a mirror image of the one of his radio stations that he was most proud of, the KLIF. In the Thames estuary it was agreed to be called KLIF-London. However, at the premiere on December 16, 1964 - and thereafter - it became known as Wonderful Radio London. But that's a different story.

During the negotiations between the owners and Alan Crawford, Magda Maria on August 2, 1962 arrived at the port of El Ferrol in northwestern Spain, where she would undergo some restoration work. On September 14, 1962, it seemed that the negotiations had ended successfully and that the transaction was made, and old Bon Jour, now renamed "MV Mi Amigo", sailed from El Ferrol bound for Dover in England.

However, the negotiations were not completed at all, and yet in January 1963, the future of the Atlanta Company remained uncertain. Mi Amigo's hull was repainted in a green color, and as a modern Flying Dutchman she sailed on the North Sea. She had a crew of a total of 8, the captain and the crew were Poles, but they knew nothing about what would happen next. As a gloomy memory of the days of Radio Nord, she was filled with her precious cargo, wrapped in plastic. She was usually anchored at sea off the Dutch coast, near her fellow pirate ship, Borkum Riff, used by Radio Veronica - which also was doomed to uncertainty until the Dutch authorities would take decision on her fate. An incident that had darkened the prospects for Radio Veronica, and even more for the Atlanta Project, was the heavy-handed police intervention, which had been made against Radio Mercur :

Radio Mercur had illegally resumed transmissions two weeks after the Danish 'Pirate Radio Law" had come into force on August 1, 1962. After three days of broadcasts, the ship was boarded by the Danish police, which then towed the vessel to the port of Tuborg, where she was seized and the transmitting equipment was smashed to pieces to ensure that it would never be used again. The measure was so disturbing to Crawford's financiers that they eventually withdrew their interest in the deal. In his desperation, Crawford tried to propose the owners that he would lease the vessel, but they turned his offer down. The future of offshore broadcasting seemed very darkened, not only to Alan Crawford and his investors who had abandoned him, but also to the Americans.

The Galveston News, September 5, 1963
Only 'Mystery Ship" Mystery Is When Mi Aniigo Will Sell
The Galveston News, December 21, 1963
Mi Amigo Work Under Way, Trial Cruise Set Sunday
 
Gordon McLendon was a man of great energy, and amidst all the work with radio stations both in the U.S. and Europe, he also used his power also on a political career, which can be seen below
The Winnsboro News, April 4, 1964
Vote for Gordon McLendon, United States Senator

On January 26, 1963, the latter company took the Mi Amigo to cross the Atlantic, to Galveston, Texas, where she arrived on March 9, 1963. Their immediate plan was to release her from her unfruitful broadcasting adventures and convert her into a luxury yacht. The continuation of this story tells us that the mast was demolished and all the radio equipment was mounted out of her. The ship also brought some attention in the port of Galveston. One Galveston newspaper noted the owners' great difficulties in finding someone who was willing to buy her and the magazine called her "Mystery Ship", as you can see here on the left.
Nevertheless, some nine months later, Crawford finally managed to raise sufficient capital, and the deal was finally completed on December 18, 1963. The ship was officially owned by Rosebud Shipping of Panama (Radio Atlanta). Ten days after the deal was done, the Mi Amigo departed Galveston, and after a lot of drama, she on January 30th, 1964 arrived at the shipyard of El Ferrol, Spain, again, where work would be carried out to improve her stability to carry a higher mast construction than before. On March 3, she was bound for the shipyard of Greenore, Ireland, were she would be fitted with the new mast with the height of 43 meters - five meters higher than the one used for Radio Nord. The shipyard was, by the way, owned by Ronan O'Rahilly's father.


MV Mi Amigo at the wharf in Greenore


MV Mi Amigo in 1964 with her impressive 41 meter tall mast

Ronan (1940) was trying to promote the R&B and mainstream-jazz singer Georgie Fame. Ronan discovered that the record industry was dominated by "the big four" - the EMI, Decca, Pye and Philips labels. They also had dominance on the BBC, which completely ignored all the smaller labels, as Ronan's. He tried on Radio Luxembourg, but found that their programs were usually sponsored by the same four labels, who thus "owned" the program. Ronan felt that the only way to get his artists played on the radio was to start his own radio station. In Ronan's reflections on his station, he soon started to call it Radio Caroline. He had been caught by a photograph in a newspaper where the U.S. president John F. Kennedy 's daughter Caroline had a magical look that made her seem just so young, free and fresh like Ronan imagined in his thoughts for the station he wanted to create. A dreamer, he was perhaps, but still a lot smarter than Alan. Ronan had been aware from the outset how to organize an initiative of this kind. Alan had not understood anything of what had happened in the past. In interviews, he said that he needed 12 lawyers before anyone found out how one would do (ie, the usual procedure to circumvent the law - the same as already had been used by other pirates: flag from a country that was not a member of the International Telecommunication Union, a holding company in Luxembourg or Liechtenstein, and so on).

Ronan had offered Alan to use his fathers ship yard at Greenore in Ireland in exchange for Ronan's company to use Crawford's recording studio for Radio Caroline. Thus, there were two different companies and two vessels anchored close to each other at Greenore, both in fierce competition to become the first to reach the important broadcast premiere. Ronan's ship was a former Danish passenger ferry, "Fredericia", which now was renamed the "MV Caroline". Both Crawford and O'Rahilly have later admitted that they were doing numerous acts of mutual sabotage to delay the other company's launch. Radio Atlanta's Mi Amigo became the first to leave Greenore and the journey bount for the Thames estuary. However, of unknown reasons, it took almost a full month before they reached past Lands End . On April 21, the mast broke when the M.V. Mi Amigo was caught in a gale and needed further repairs to be carried out by riggers from Portsmouth and because of this delay, Radio Caroline went on air first, starting midday on Easter Sunday, March 28, 1964. The ship MV Caroline was anchored at a position five miles off Harwich, broadcasting on 1520 kHz. After the "Caroline bell" the voice of Simon Dee introduced the station by saying "Hello everybody, this is Radio Caroline broadcasting on 199, your all day music station". In the beginning, Radio Caroline limited their broadcasting hours to twelve hours a day, ending at 6 p.m.

Radio Atlanta needed another fortnight for preparations before test transmissions could be commenced on May 12, 1964 from a position outside Felixstowe, Suffolk, England. Radio Atlanta started their first tests immediately following Radio Caroline's closing at 6 p.m. and on the same frequency as Caroline on 1520 kHz (197 metres). Radio Atlanta's intention was to take over Radio Caroline's audience and then make them all tune to Radio Atlanta when they switched to a new, more permanent frequency at 1495 kHz. Radio Atlanta carefully instructed the listeners about the new frequency before switching over. The programmes of Radio Atlanta were all recorded previously in London, with a few unintentional exceptions when bad wheather made it necessary for DJs on board to present live shows.

However, the Radio Atlanta venture lasted for less than 2 months and was finally closed on July 2, 1964. They never managed to reach near the audience figures and advertising revenue that the company had expected, and it all ended in a merger with Radio Caroline. The MV Mi Amigo remained off the coast of Essex as the new broadcast ship for Radio Caroline South and the MV Caroline was moved to an anchorage off the coast of Ramsey, Isle of Man, and was there broadcasting in the name of Radio Caroline North.


Above an image from when the MV Mi Amigo had ran aground at Frinton-on-Sea on the Essex coast during a storm, 20th January 1966.

Two years had passed since Radio Nord closed but the adventures would continue. Through the years, from March 1961 to the same month in 1980, the 19th, she continued as a radio ship and survived all the other pirate ships, and over the years she became the oldest of them, before it all ended in a north-easterly storm, which first got her anchor chain broke and got her then drifting away for ten miles before she ran aground at Long Sands Bank off the Kent Coast, where she sunk. Her hull was damaged at the generator room and water was pooring in, but her mast remained standing upright as a proud and defiant memory. It wasn't until the ending of July, 1986, when it was reported that the mast had collapsed. A can buoy was placed at the location to mark where the wreck is.

Ove talking in this control room on board the MV Caroline on a recording made in July 1964 (Swedish)
is a text translation in English of the recording above

Oves assistant, the former Radio Nord audio engineer Jan Gunnarsson

Ove Sjöström - my photo 2007

the text translation in English of the recording below
Ove Sjöström, April 14, 2007

a lecture where he talks about his technical expereiences from Radio Nord and Radio Caroline (Swedish)

a text translation in English of the recording below
the round-table after-chat
where Seve Ungermark (a newscaster from Radio Nord) and us "anoraks", Ronny Forslund, Göran Lindemark and myself Ingemar Lindqvist ask Ove to share with us some more information.

Ove Sjöström (1938) was employed at Radio Nord as a technician, starting December 16, 1960, and was promoted a month later as Technical Manager with the responsibility for transmitters and other technology on board Radio Nord’s MS Bon Jour. He also showed a versatility when he through almost a week replaced the regular news staff during their illness when they were out of ability to work.
His actual name is Einar Zeth Olov Sjöström, and among ham radio operators he is best known as SMØXBI Seth Sjoestroem.
X At a radio amateurs seminar and an exhibition called “Radio in Handen”, on April 14, 2007, he gave a lecture about his experiences as technical manager at Radio Nord. Ove also talked about his adventures when he was hired by Ronan O’Rahilly on recommendations from the American owners of the 'Mi Amigo' to carry out the installations of studio and transmitter equipment on board the 'MV Caroline'. When Ove arrived in Greenore, he realized the amount of work that would be necessary, and he asked one of his colleagues from Radio Nord, technician Jan Gunnarsson, to be his assistant. It was urgent to Ronan's team to launch their station before their rival Radio Atlanta. Ove suggested that they should choose the same selection of equipment that had proved good reliability at the Bon Jour, ie Ampex 350b tape recorders, Gates turntables and the Gates "Studioette" mixer, Continental Electronics 10kW transmitter, etc. Before his departure from Sweden, Ove arranged with Ronan that the equipment should be immediately ordered from the U.S., and when Ove arrived at Greenore, the equipment was already on its way.
XI made a recording of the entire lecture in Handen and I kept the recording continuosly running so that it also covers the round table chat afterwards (in the column to the right) which perhaps is the most interesting of the two parts.

I took this photo (left) at the pirate radio conference "Flashback 67", at Heathrow Airport Centre Hotel, London, in August 1977. It was then ten years since the introduction of the Marine Broadcasting Offences Act of 1967 The picture shows how these three formed a discussion panel at the podium, and from the left is Mark Stuart, Alan West and Graham Gill.
During the two days of his conference, Radio Mi Amigo and Radio Caroline managed to perform "live" broadcasts with interviews of interesting radio pesonalities from the conference, over the radio ship Mi Amigo, as can be heard on this recording from August 14, 1977.
However, rumors told us that the broadcasts were not live at all. There were peculiar "blip" sounds repeatedly heard in those broadcasts, very typical how it used to sound when a cassette tape was set on pause now and then during a recording. When recording was completed, they took the cassette apart and the tape roll was encapsuled in a waterproof casing, and then flown to the MV Mi Amigo with the help of a pigeon, landing on the ship. The tape roll was then easily mounted back in a blank cassette shell before it was used for the "live" broadcast.
At some point a police patrol turned up at the conference. Ronan O'Rahilly quickly went out to the car park, I do not know if there was any particular reason for that. In all cases, it gave me the rare opportunity to catch him with my camera, but the police soon disappeared, and everything calmed down again.

Flashback -67 really was an event that made us pirate radio enthusiasts want to meet again, and on July 1978, the next year, in Nordwijk, Holland a new conference opened, Zeesenders 20, to commemorate the 20 years that had passed since the very first offshore pirate started in 1958, Radio Mercur.
's a recording of lectures in English about the Nordic offshore pirate stations. Paul "Dane" Foged starts with a lecture about Radio Mercur. Nils Thalin talks about Radio Nord, and Hasse Hansson talks about Radio Syd.

By a coincidence (?) during this conference, the carrier from Radio Caroline dropped and remained off the air for 36 hours. In between the lectures, this incident was vividly discussed with rumours and fears of what was going on. There were also many deejays and others among us with experiences of life on board the MV Mi Amigo.
I happened to start my tape recorder in the very moment when they went back on 319m at 8 p.m. (July 30th). The next morning when I awoke at 8.15 Radio Mi Amigo was back too

 
Further reading:
What Can We Learn About The Scandinavian Pirates?
The four complete parts of Philip Champion's series of articles (in English),
published in the printed magazine, Radio Review, about the Scandinavian Offshore "pirates".

Part 1: Radio Nord
- published in December 2012
Part 2: Radio Mercur
- published in April 2013
Part 3: DCR,
Danmarks Commercielle Radio May 2013
Part 4: Radio Syd - published in August 20131
  Paul Lambert's radio program
"Story of Radio Nord"

Episode 1:2
broadcast July 7, 2013 through WBCQ on 7490 kHz,
Episode 2:2 broadcast July 13, 2013 through WBCQ on 7490 kHz,
(WBCQ is a shortwave radio station operating from Monticello, Maine, United States)


XHere is a charming story from the roaring 1967, when a minor player in pop "pirate" radio was trying to establish itself as an alternative to the more well-known offshore stations. The station got the smart idea to use the ID name "Offshore Radio" though the broadcasts actually were conducted from dry land. The test broadcasts came from a location at Chichester, Sussex, on the wavelength 222m medium wave.
The transmitter were made out of 2nd World War radio surplus, but it seems as if the broadcasts reached out quite widely - at least they must have been heard as far as Sweden by a listener who sent a message to the Radio Sweden (International) program "Sweden Calling DX-ers". In their broadcast of June 20, 1967, they reported:
”A new pirate heard testing June 10th on 1358 kHz or 222 metres with fair reception. Ended at 1505 with "this off-shore radio signing off". Seems to be located in Essex. acc. to earlier report heard at least a month ago with earlier tests. The DJ asked for a report from Radio Horsham, a land based pirate on the same frequency.”
(more concerning Sweden Calling DX-ers can be found here: http://radiohistoria.jvnf.org/sr/scdx.htm )
XI am really glad to have received a mail from one of the persons behind this special pirate, Mr Tony Herbert, who asks if anyone recognizes this, and may have heard this pirate, and who might even happen to have a recording how the pirate sounded. This is Tonys own story:
X” In 1967 I was a Student at a College in Chichester West Sussex UK. Some years previously I had been given a couple of Ex Army 2nd World War No 38 field communication radios which operated in the Shortwave Band. In 1967 I took these sets into the College to try them out for the first time with other students only to find their range was very disappointing.
XIt was at this point that some of my colleagues with Electronic experience decided that it would be fun to build a sensible transmitter and run a Radio Station before the inevitable plans by the government to close down 'Pirate Radio'. As I was fortunate enough to have a car (and no electronic knowledge), I became ''Transport manager'' and drove fellow students to Worthing to visit a store that specialised in second hand Ex military items, Radio parts being amongst the items available which we purchased to build the transmitter and also to supply The Crystals to enable operation around 221 Metres.
Although we were close to the coast we naturally could not afford a small boat so the Radio Station went 'on air' calling itself 'Offshore Radio' from a Land Based location just South of Chichester and the DJ's from the college presented the programmes as though they were at sea. I am advised that the aerial was a Base loaded vertical half wave antenna mounted on a 10 meter mast and a power output of 150watts.
XMy memory is now somewhat faded as to exactly when broadcasts were made but I recall the transmissions were very irregular but the station did make great efforts to get on air for prolonged Weekends at times during March, May & June 1967.
Occasionally a short pre-recorded transmission would be made around Lunch Time during a weekday to test the transmitter and we could listen to it at the college, the whole system being turned on and off by various time clocks.
XAs a result of all these efforts it seems that a National Newspaper reporter from 'The Daily Telegraph' mentioned the station in an article he was writing for the paper (see attachment). I have no idea where he received us to write this article, but a good daytime signal reached out along the Coast for reception on Transistor radios. However at night time it proved a poor frequency to use and we were lucky to achieve 15kms without severe interference.
XRadio Horsham was operated from Horsham by another fellow student. Again I am advised the transmitter was built from old Television Valves with the exception of the final output stage which once again was from from government surplus including the Crystal for 205 meters. The Antenna was an end fed horizontal long wire, half wave loaded at each end. This operated on a power output of 50watts.
XSadly there is very little by way of memories of ''Offshore Radio'' apart from a few photographs and a very poor quality 30 minute night time recording I made. I am told that no memorabillia exists of Radio Horsham.
X
I am certain your article referring to 'Offshore Radio' must be our station from Chichester Sussex and not to a station in Essex. On the assumption these stations were received by your Dxers in Sweden, It seems amazing that our stations made it that far.
XIf it is not too much trouble would you be able to let me know if any furthur information is held in Sweden about these two Radio Stations. It would be incredible if any recordings still exist in Swedish archives.

Kindest Regards
Tony Herbert

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