Saturday, 17 February 2018

23. THE AFTERMATH OF THE REM AFFAIR

In the dying days of TV-Noordzee viewers had been encouraged to become members of the TROS, an acronym for Televisie Radio Omroep Stichting. This organisation aimed at and succeeded in becoming one of the official broadcasters in The Netherlands, as the number of its required members grew in leaps and bounds. Just a year after the demise of the REM-project the TROS was given time slots in the Dutch public broadcasting system. It became the first of the so-called broadcasting pillars (omroepzuilen) to programme the kind of light entertainment the public really wanted to hear and see. Up to that time the other ‘pillars’ had mainly focussed on issues such as education, religion, culture and politics. The growing popularity of the TROS programmes soon forced the original Dutch broadcasters to follow suit.


After Radio & TV Noordzee was forced off the air at the end of 1964 the REM Island lay derelict for ten years. From 1974, when the tell-tale mast was removed, until 2004 the platform was used by the Dutch government to automatically measure sea temperature, salt concentration and wave height. In addition also meteorological information was collected. Early in the new century the measuring platform, which had been renamed “Meetpost Noordwijk”, had outlived its usefulness. In 2004 the construction was put up for sale, but no buyer was found. Two years later, in September, the remainder of the former REM-island was dismantled with the help of the large pontoon crane Rambiz, supplied by the Vlaamse Berginsmaatschappij Scaldis. In 1987 the enormous crane had also been deployed to right the capsized Townsend Thoresen ferry Herald of Free Enterprise off the coast of Zeebrugge.

The upper structure of the REM-platform was temporarily stored in the port of Vlissingen. Later it was purchased by the housing association De Key and moved to Amsterdam, where in July 2011 it opened as a restaurant. 

More of AJ's radio- and other anecdotes.

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