Friday, 2 March 2018

31. FOR NO MAN WILL EVER FORGET...

Being a 60's offshore anorak, like so many others, it was with dread that I followed the ominous countdown to August 14th 1967 when the Marine Broadcasting Offences Act would take effect at midnight. Even before the ultimate day stations were closing down for all sorts of reasons. On July 23rd came the end for Radio 227, one of the twin stations on the Laissez Faire. Next was fort based Radio 390. The “Woman's Magazine of the Air” ended its transmissions on July 28. On August 6th it was Radio 355's turn, the second of the twin stations.

According to my diary in spite of a southerly wind there was nothing summery about August 14th 1967. The temperature barely reached 14 degrees C. And all day the sun refused to put in an appearance. In fact it was very very cloudy, perfectly reflecting my somber mood. Like one waiting on death row I listened to Radio London, as the minutes ticked by in the life of the station. And then "their Final Hour" was upon us. At 16,00 hrs (3 pm in the UK) Paul Kaye's became the last voice to be heard on Big L. It had also been the first voice on the station.

After the close down, like so many thousands, I retuned to 259, to hear Caroline welcome the Radio London listeners. But then it was time for me to make tracks, as duty called. I had a Summer job to get to at the Games Arcade in Blankenberge.

Later that evening also Radio 270 and Tommy Shields' Radio Scotland closed down. In spite of interference from the electric games in the Arcade I did manage to hear Caroline turn into Radio Caroline International as the pioneer station defied the Marine Broadcasting Offences Act at midnight (1 in the morning my time). To this day hearing Johnnie Walker's “Man's Fight For Freedom” still makes my eyes go moist. (Lyrics)


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