The fans' memorabilia

The Caroline North “cruise”

mv Fredericia

In an effort to improve Radio Caroline's reception in northern England, in October 1965 it was decided that the station's north ship should seek out a new anchorage. The plan was that the mv Fredericia would leave her normal home in Ramsey Bay, off the Isle of Man, and head towards the mainland British coast. The Beat Fleet by Mike Leonard reports the intended route: across the Irish Sea from the Isle of Man to Fleetwood in Lancashire, then down the coast, across Liverpool Bay and around the North Wales coast, ending near Llandudno. Listeners were asked to help by sending in reception reports. Howard Bond was one of them. He writes: “The recent BBC radio programme celebrating the history of Radio Caroline North prompted me to dig out some old items from a sixties scrapbook. As a cadet in the signals platoon at William Hulme's Grammar School in South Manchester I had access to some fairly sophisticated radio receivers which outperformed any portable radio commercially available, especially as ours were hooked up to a 400 feet long receiving antenna. This piece of kit would easily pull in all of the offshore stations irrespective of their location and output power. The main stations (Caroline North and South, Radio London, 390 and, from 1966, SRE and Britain Radio, Radio 270 and Radio Scotland) all came in loud and clear. When we heard the plan to move the good ship Fredericia to a new anchorage we were very excited as the new location would have improved reception on portables quite considerably in the Manchester area particularly.”
Unfortunately for Howard - and the other eager listeners waiting to help by sending in their reception reports - bad weather delayed the cruise. First it was postponed to the following weekend and then cancelled altogether. The Fredericia stayed put in Ramsey Bay. Our grateful thanks to Howard for offering these documents to The Pirate Radio Hall Of Fame.

letter from Radio Caroline

click to hear audio click to hear audio Jim Murphy ending a Midnight Surf Party on Radio Caroline North in October 1965
and mentioning the planned cruise (duration 2 minutes 34 seconds)

George Hare, Caroline North's shore agent, told us about Clive J. Silverton, the author of this letter: “In Caroline House we had the Agency Sales office and a Direct Sales office which was run by Larry Tormey. Larry was also responsible for the Liverpool office which was run by Clive Silverton as a direct sales office (until it was closed down suddenly by Larry for reasons unknown to me). Clive Silverton would have had no say in any repositioning of the ship but he may have been preparing to gather reception data if it was decided to do so.”

The reception report form is on the next page.
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