Friday, 2 March 2018


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)

1 comment:

  1. This was a very sad day for me as a fourteen year old boy and I hated the establishment for taking away the type of radio I loved. BBC Radio 1 was set up to replace the offshore stations, but for me it was never as good as the former so called pirates. Imagine my joy when RNI appeared in 1969, the return of Radio Caroline, and the start of Radio Atlantis. Not to mention being able to hear Radio Veronica and Radio Mi Amigo. All was not lost with Radio Caroline's determination to continue in the 80s and the arrival of Laser 558. Radio Caroline Continues to this day.