Radio Caroline Tony Blackburn photos and ? supplied by Mo Elms

Tony Court-holmes… I liked Radio London

Albert Pitman… and me

Mike Waghorne… I remember the Caroline ship sailing passed Bexhill prom on it’s way to the Isle of Mann back in the 60’s

Jeannette Wilde… He came to the ‘Happening’ to open it in Kings Road. What a great night it was!

John Wilde… Jeannette, that night was wonderful, he gave me a great contact for new release singles, I got free 45s for months.

Mike Waghorne… Jeanette, I vaguely remember that little club ! must have been around 1967/68, ?

Merv Kennard… Bottom row right hand side is Rosko. Photo is in the book independent radio by Mike Baron

Nigel Ford… & Robbie Day + Emperor Rosko?

Sharon Carter… I loved radio Caroline.


picking up Radio Atlanta in 1964 thanks to Attwells.

Pete Fisher… When we got Rediffusion I adopted the valve radio we’d had in the kitchen and installed it on my bedside table around 1966 I think. A mate of mine at school gave me a tip and said I should get about 50 feet of single cable and plug it in the aerial socket, trail it around the room and down the side of the house. It worked a treat and I got Luxembourg and all the pirates…

Jim Breeds… When I was a teenager Mum had a metal (steel, I guess) clothes line that ran all down the back garden, starting just below my bedroom window. I connected some bell wire to it, and ran it up the outside wall to my bedroom window. On the end of the bell wire I put a connector to plug into my transistor radio’s aerial socket. It brought in Luxembourg, Caroline, and loads of other pirates loud and clear. One day my Dad spotted it. He told me I’d get the house burned down in the next lightning storm! Quite a bit later, when Capital Radio launched in London, I could pull in the FM signal quite well in some weather conditions. That was back when Capital was a rock station.

Tony Court-holmes… we could get radio luxemberg on rediffusion before bbc 2 came along

Marine Offences Bill – 14th August 1967 by Andre Martin

Andre Martin…. Thought for today – For those who remember – today say the end of many of the off-shore radio stations, under the Marine Offences Bill – 14 August 1967 was the date and our choice of music supplier was restricted by Government Application of the Law – a sad day. Would radio in this country have been any better if Radio Caroline, London etc had been given broadcasting licences and allowed on land !- Big L closed down at 3.00pm but Radio Caroline kept going. Here are some memories from the Big L Final Day.

Graham How… Without doubt, the pirates changed UK radio for ever. Even Harold Wilson and Tony Benn with their heavy-handed, suspect legal actions could not stop the public demanding an end to the restrictive (and very dull) practices within the BBC. Even though it did take quite a few more years before the MU’s ridiculous needle time restrictions were finally squashed.

Jim Breeds… One of the few things I have never been able to forgive Tony Benn for doing. I was a member of the Free Radio Association and other pressure groups. I had the magazines and posters that I had in my bedroom window (“Make Wilson Walk The Plank” poster was my favourite). My bedroom window was at the back of the house so only me and our two immediate neighbours could see them, but it was the thought that counted. Dad wouldn’t let me put it in the front windows because (a) it’s about that awful music you play on that transistor radio, and (b) the police will come to arrest us. AT least Caroline defied the Act and Radio Nordsea was great to listen too as well, and we got Radio 1 out of it too, followed eventually by an Act of parliament that opened up commercial radio. I could just about pick up Capital Radio when it started broadcasting to London by using my mum’s metal washing line as an external antenna for my tranni. It was a good station in those days too, playing progressive and underground as much as pop. It’s crap now of course. I had loads of FRA magazines, posters, and stickers and pin badges. I think my Mum must have thrown them out years later when I was working in London. Also another organisation I joined to fight for Free Radio (can’t remember the name) published great little magazines monthly and I still remember reading about their newest discovery – a band that had just started gigging and was hoping to get a recording contract. They were called Deep Purple.

Cathy Knight… I used to Listen under my bed Covers on my Which Would now be a Retro Transistor Radio 📻 to Radio London … I Could not pick up Caroline …!!!

Jaffa Peckham… Did anyone, like me, listen to this closing down show live? I was an avid Radio London listener and was staying with a French family when they broadcast it. There was a radio and pinball (‘flipper’) machine in their cellar amongst the wine, the junk and hung garlic. I spent happy hours down there during my stay listening to Big L, but the last show brought a year to my eye. 🥲 (Could have been the garlic, I suppose!) x

Radio London Is Now Closing Down – 14th August 1967

Andre Martin…  This happened  today 14th August 1967 at precisely 3.00pm, the airwaves on 266 Radio London ceased forever. What were you doing when this happened ?

Nick Prince… The bill responsible for the demise of pirate radio was called the Marine Offences Act (1967) as well as several similar names such as the Marine, Broadcasting (offences) Act (1967). Tony Benn was the Postmaster General at the time and it was he that oversaw the banning of pirate radio in the UK. His act replaced the British Wireless Telegraphy Act (1949). This earlier act was put in place to prevent European broadcasters from broadcasting English services to the UK from other countries. Radio Luxembourg and Radio Eireann owned by RTL and RTE respective were quite legally licenced from their own countries and got their signals to the UK by using high power transmitters. Try as they did, the British government could not stop these two. Also in 1965, plans for a pirate broadcaster by the name of Radio Channel were announced in the national press. This was to start test transmissions from the MV Laissez Faire between Bexhill and Beachy Head.To my knowledge these test transmissions never took place but the MV Laissez Faire became home to the twin stations Swinging Radio England and Britain Radio soon after. Maybe someone can shed more light on Radio Channel.

Jim Breeds… What I was doing was listening to the closedown. I was a member of a number of organisations opposed to the MO Act (I still have a copy of it somewhere) including the Free Radio Association and others. I so wish I still had all the newsletters they sent me! And button badges. And my “Make Wilson Walk The Plank” poster that Dad wouldn’t let me put in the front window because, he said, the police would arrest him! So it went in my bedroom window instead where only the neighbours could see it when they were in their back gardens, lol.

Geoff Peckham…  I was too young to understand the politics behind their demise. I just loved Radio London and was staying with a French family when it closed down. I listened to Big L’s final broadcast in the cellar playing pinball among strings of garlic and onions. I got really upset when they played the closing music.

Dave Nattress… I remember so many of the “Pirates” well. In the mid-sixties I went on a caravan holiday to Herne Bay,right on the Thames estuary of course and close therefore to several stations. Herne Bay; we knew how to live!! Anyway, I had a tiny, tinny, transistor that picked up the local pirates including of course Radio London, Radio Caroline and Radio City? One I think broadcast from a “Sea-fort” in the estuary. I think there was also another Pirate way up in the Irish Sea somewhere – beyond the 12 mile limit – would it be Radio 275 or something like? I’m going from memory – I haven’t researched any of this but I dare say, all things are on the web now. If it wasn’t the Pirates it was just Radio Luxembourg from about 7.00 pm until early the next morning, or…the BBC Light Programme! All on the Medium Wave of course and pretty poor reception generally. Lots of French interference – so nothing’s changed there then!

Joe Knight… Remember

Jeff Belton… Thought Radio London was still going in the 1980’s ?

50th anniversary of the Marine Offences Act

Jake Nelson… I certainly remember that, listening to the Pirates on my little tranny, outraged that they were trying to ration my pop-music! And of course the war was eventually won, because it forced the establishment to allow us unlimited devil-music!

Radio Northsea

Sarah Harvey… Going back to the early 1980s when pirate radio was still alive and kicking

Alan Wood…Thanks Sarah,that theme tune always gets me !!!

Sarah Harvey… Over and above any other pirate radio station, RNI has always been the most dearest to my heart for all the memories it brings back.

Alan Esdaile… Remember the theme tune, it brings it all back, because the signals kept dropping you moved up and down the dial listening to Caroline, London, North Sea, Radio Essex and others.

Robert Searle…  Loved them all and still going on internet radio.I bought an internet radio a couple of months ago, best thing in radio.

Alan Pepper… Wow That takes me back to my youth ! Radio under the pillow late at night. Playing all the latest sounds. Thanks for that. I always thought it was called NORDSEE ha ha !

Mick O’Dowd… Didn’t they have a Dutch segment and it was Radio Nordsea Int.?

Radio Caroline – who remembers this ship and radio station?


source: Euan Walker – Growing up in U.K. in the 50’s/60’s

Thanks to Barry Newton for finding this.

Gary Sykes… Yeah, used to listen to Caroline on a small transistor radio in my bedroom living in Ramsgate.

Ernest Ballard… Great radio station from my youth x

Martyn Baker… “Loving Awareness” (not completely sure what is was, but it sounded good – and could be used as a chat up line!) was the theme to my Hastings summer c.1976. Klaatu featured heavily on Caroline that summer.

Nigel Goodman… Ex grimsby trawler the Ross Revenge.

Joe Knight… NOW 65 HA!!ha!!

Mick O’Dowd… Those were the days my friends!

Josie Lawson… I do. My dad bought me His Masters Voice transistor radio from a shop along the seafront near London Road called Attwells. From then I loved listening to Radio Caroline…

Philip John… Back in the day I joined a group set up by Ronan O’Rahilly called ‘Broadside Free Radio’ in support of Radio Caroline and we walked from Edinburgh to London. Stopping off at various places along the way for public meeting and to get our petition signed in support of the Pirate stations, finally delivering it to Buckingham Palace to hopefully be viewed by her Majesty. Didn’t change a thing.

The Veronica Story – Radio Station

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supplied by Mick O’Dowd

Mick O’Dowd… Found this at a boot sale. Vaguely remember Veronica. If I remember right it broadcast in Dutch during the day and English at night. Might be a connection with Radio North Sea Int. Anybody shed any light?

Martin Ritcher…

Peter Thomson… While living in Germany in the early ’90s we used to pick up a Dutch TV station called Veronica – and it carried that same logo. I recorded the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert on there (the BBC did not show it). I still have it on VHS cassette.

Kevin Carylon… Veronica broadcast legally after being closed down as a pirate. Radio Veronica was one of the first and last Dutch offshore pirates, closing in 1974. It was anchored just outside the Dutch Territorial Limit of three miles, Radio Caroline, Radio Northsea International and for a short time Radio Delmare broadcast near by. All except Caroline were forced to close in Aug ’74. (Pic shows RNI).


supplied by Kevin Carylon

Jim Breeds… Brilliant find. I remember Radio Veronica well.  RNI Facebook group here:

Alan Esdaile… This is the cd that Mick had with him at the SMART meet. Great find.