THE SEVENTIES

When the two Radio Caroline ships were towed away by an irate creditor in March 1968, it looked like the end for English-language offshore radio.
 
Apart from Robbie Dale's shows on the Dutch pirate Radio Veronica, the youth of Great Britain had to make do with just BBC Radio One and the ever-fading signal of Radio Luxembourg to provide their pop entertainment.
 
Then, in January 1970, the first test signals were heard from Radio Northsea International. Its ship, the Mebo II, was anchored off Holland - the only country in northern Europe not to have legislated against offshore radio - but its programmes were in German and English.
 
Radio Northsea (or RNI, as it quickly became known), was joined by a returning Radio Caroline and, at the end of 1973, by the short-lived Radio Atlantis. Although the audience figures never again matched the millions of the sixties stations, it was another boom-time for offshore radio.
 
Even when the Dutch Government introduced their legislation in August 1974, forcing the closure of the much-loved Radio Veronica as well as RNI and Atlantis, Caroline battled on with the help of the Belgian-owned Radio Mi Amigo.
 
The Pirate Radio Hall Of Fame Seventies Supplement pays tribute to those disc-jockeys who not only braved the elements but risked prosecution as well to keep the music playing.
 
The last few months of Caroline's broadcasts from the mv Mi Amigo are included in this Seventies Supplement even though, strictly speaking, it was the eighties by then.


m.v.Mebo II


The Pirate Radio Hall Of Fame is updated regularly and we are always on the look-out for new material to add to the site. If you have any information, photographs, recordings or contact details for any of the disc-jockeys we haven't been able to trace, please get in touch.

SEVENTIES DIARY

23rd January 1970: First test broadcasts for Radio Northsea International (RNI).
28th February 1970: RNI begins regular programmes from anchorage off Holland.
23rd March 1970: RNI's ship, Mebo II, moves to new position off Essex.
13th June 1970: RNI changes name to ‘Caroline International’ as part of election campaign.
14th June 1970: Capital Radio begins intermittent test broadcasts from the mv King David off Holland.
23rd July 1970: RNI, now using original name again, moves back to the Dutch coast.
29th August 1970: Boarding party fails in attempt to take over the Mebo II.
1st September 1970: Capital Radio begins regular programmes of light music with announcements in Dutch and English.
24th September 1970: RNI closes down after being bought off by rival Radio Veronica.
10th November 1970: Mv King David goes aground in a storm. Capital Radio silenced.
21st February 1971: After weeks of anonymous test broadcasts, RNI returns to the air.
15th May 1971: Mebo II fire-bombed by raiders.
29th September 1972: First anonymous tests from mv.Mi Amigo for return of Radio Caroline.
30th September 1972: Veronica changes frequency. Its old wavelength grabbed by ‘RNI 2’.
17th December 1972: Programmes begin from Caroline's Mi Amigo as ‘Radio 199’.
22nd December 1972: Radio 199 changes name to Radio Caroline.
25th March 1973: Caroline closes abruptly, in the middle of a record, when generator fails.
April 1973: Radio Veronica borrows the Mi Amigo after its ship is grounded in a storm.
4th June 1973: Radio Caroline returns to the air with two services, English Top 40 on 389 metres, Dutch MOR by day, rock through the night on 259 metres.
26th June 1973: Generator failure silences the two Carolines.
15th July 1973: Belgian Radio Atlantis begins, hiring the daytime output from the Mi Amigo.
24th July 1973: Radio Seagull begins broadcasting during the evening from the Mi Amigo.
30th December 1973: Radio Atlantis begins programmes from own ship, mv Jeanine, Flemish by day, English at night.
1st January 1974: Radio Mi Amigo is now hiring the daytime output from the Caroline ship.
23rd February 1974: Radio Seagull changes name back to Radio Caroline.
30th August 1974: The Mi Amigo sails back to the UK coast.
Radio Northsea's English language service closes down.
31st August 1974: Dutch anti-pirate legislation comes into force.
Radios Veronica, Northsea and Atlantis close down.
8th November 1975: MV Mi Amigo loses her anchor in a gale. Drifts inside territorial limit.
13th November 1975: After bungled towing attempt, Caroline returns to air while inside UK waters.
14th November 1975: Mi Amigo raided by police. Two Caroline DJs, one engineer and ship's Captain arrested.
26th November 1975: Radios Caroline and Mi Amigo return to the air from outside the limit.
21st August 1978: First test transmissions are broadcast for Radio Delmare on 1570 kHz, 191 metres, from the Aegir anchored off Holland.
11th September 1978: The Aegir is abandoned after going adrift in a force 9 gale.
20th October 1978: Radios Caroline and Mi Amigo closed down by generator failure.
19th January 1979: ‘Mayday’ call from the mv Mi Amigo brings out a lifeboat to take off last remaining crew-members as ship takes in water.
15th April 1979: After nearly six months silence, Caroline returns to the air with programmes in Dutch and English.
2nd June 1979: Radio Delmare returns from a new ship, the Martina, on 1566 kHz, 192 metres.
25th June 1979: Test broadcasts commence for a new Radio Mi Amigo, this time from their own ship, the mv.Magdalena, on 1100 kHz, 273 metres.
1st July 1979: Regular programmes begin from the new Radio Mi Amigo.
18th September 1979: Radio Mi Amigo closes down after the ship drifts onto a sandbank.
28th September 1979: Radio Delmare closes down.
(20th March 1980: The mv Mi Amigo sinks after the crew has abandoned ship.)

The inductees in The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame Seventies Supplement are listed alphabetically. More names are being added all the time. To find your favourite voice from the past either select it from the drop-down list below, search the site using the Google box or click on the appropriate page from the table of contents beneath.


 
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It would not have been possible to produce The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame Seventies Supplement without the help of back issues of Monitor magazine. Throughout the seventies, and into the eighties, editor Roland “Buster” Pearson diligently chronicled the comings and goings of the DJs on all the offshore stations. Some issues of his magazine can now be found on line. Thanks also to everyone who has provided information, photos or recordings, especially The Offshore Radio Archive, Hans Knot, John Burch, Chris Edwards, Steve England and Jim Nantz & Ray Robinson of www.azanorak.com.

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