The fans' memorabilia

A trip to Caroline South

In June 1967 Michael Wickham achieved every sixties schoolboy's dream. He was allowed to visit the Radio Caroline South ship, the mv.Mi Amigo, to interview the DJs for his school magazine.

This is the letter from Caroline Press Officer Frances Van Staden authorising his visit:

letter from Radio Caroline

This is the pass Michael had to present to the shipping agent to be allowed on board the tender:

Radio Caroline pass

The same tender company serviced Radio Caroline and Radio London so Michael's trip took in both ships. He remembers: “I recall it was sunny but there was a heavy swell and we had a very rough journey on the tender. I took the train from Liverpool Street to Parkstone Quay where I reported to the Harcourt Shipping Caravan with my pass. I boarded the tender Offshore 1 where I met two girls (Margaret Orme and Gail?) who had won a competition to visit Big L. We passed close by the MV Laissez Faire (home of Radio England and Britain Radio) but I don't recall that we serviced that ship. First stop was Radio London's mv Galaxy where we pulled alongside and unloaded supplies although I don't think there were any Big L DJs brought out. On deck were John Peel, Tony Blackburn and Keith Skues.”

John Peel, Tony Blackburn and Keith Skues on deck.

“We then proceeded to the Mi Amigo, by far the smallest of the three radio ships, where I made the famous jump across from the tender to the ship. I was taken to the studio where ‘Tatty’ Tom Edwards was doing the morning show. He didn't let me speak on air so I was reduced to making indiscreet noises in the background while he was talking, knowing that a friend was recording everything back home! I still have the tape, complete with noises off. I ‘interviewed’ him for my school magazine as well as Steve Young and Keith ‘Keefers’ Hampshire whom I met in the lounge. I was also allowed into the second studio which was used for the news bulletins and stood behind Gerry Burke while he read the news. I was given an excellent lunch (steak and chips) in the dining room before embarking on the tender for the journey back to shore. The trip back was the reverse of the outward journey and we picked up Mike Lennox from the Galaxy who was going on shore-leave. I feel very fortunate to have been allowed on board Radio Caroline and am sure that this was only offered to me as I wanted to write the article for the school magazine. Although that was, of course, just an excuse to get the visit, I did nevertheless actually write the article and still have it somewhere.”

These are the autographs Michael collected on board the Mi Amigo:

Gerry Burke's autograph
Newsman Gerry Burke's autograph.
Mike Ahern's autograph
Mike Ahern's autograph.
Keith Hampshire's autograph
Keith Hampshire's autograph.
Tom Edwards's autograph
Tom Edwards's autograph.
The autographs below were collected earlier, probably the previous year. Michael thinks it was at Liverpool Street station in London as the DJs returned for their one week shore leave:
Keith Skues's autograph
Keith Skues's autograph.
Tony Blackburn's autograph
Tony Blackburn's autograph.
Norman St.John's autograph
Norman St.John's autograph

Many thanks to Michael. He has promised to forward more photographs of the visit. Look out for them on a future update. You can read another listener's account of a trip out to Radio London here.
Return to the fans' memorabilia index.

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