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