UPDATED AUGUST 2017
It is fifty years this month since the British Government legislated against offshore radio and most of the first wave of the UK's pirate stations closed down. Of the stations based round
Britain, only Radio Caroline continued. There are recordings, memories and press cuttings here.
This sad anniversary is being marked by a number of special events and programmes:
On Friday 11th August Johnnie Walker, one of the DJs who challenged the new law and continued broadcasting, will be telling ‘The Story of Pirate Radio and the Summer of Love 1967’ at the
Mercury Theatre, Colchester;
On Saturday 12th August Tom Edwards will be hosting The Music from the Boats that Rocked at the The Spa
Pavilion in Felixstowe;
Between 12th and 14th August, the BBC will be running the very popular Pirate BBC Essex from the former lightship LV18 in Harwich. Johnnie Walker, Roger Day, Keith Skues,
Norman St.John, Tom Edwards and Ray Clark (Caroline's “Mick Williams”) will be presenting special shows. See this
video on Facebook for more information. There will also be a “meet the pirates” event at the The Electric Palace, Harwich on 12th August and some of the Pirate BBC Essex DJs will also be there on Sunday 13th to introduce a screening of Richard Curtis's 2009 film loosely based on the British offshore
stations, The Boat That Rocked;
Also on Sunday 13th August at the Princes Theatre, Clacton, Radio Caroline will be hosting an all-day event which includes a radio conference, film show, model
display and live music;
Dutch radio historian Hans Knot and Oeds Jan Koster have produced an epic remake of John Peel's last ever Perfumed Garden programme, as broadcast on Radio London in the early hours of 14th August 1967.
This six hour Dutch language show will be going out on a number of outlets at different times on 14th August. Among the radio stations taking the programme are
Waterlandradio Purmerend, Radio ELS, Radio Emmeloord,
OOG Radio Groningen, Extra Gold, RNI Germany,
Radio 199 and Big L;
From midday to 3pm on 14 August Susy 103.4, the community station for the Redhill, Reigate, Horley and Crawley area, will present It Was 50 Years Ago Today, hosted by
Jim Richman and David Jay. They will be running through the history of offshore radio, playing some of the hits and sharing some memories of the era.
Also on 14th August, at 10pm, “Johnnie Walker Meets ... the Pirates” will be broadcast on BBC Radio 2.
Johnnie will be joined by Robbie Dale, Pete Brady, Emperor Rosko, Tom Edwards, Tony Blackburn and others, and will
be playing music from the offshore era.
Radio Caroline itself will mark the anniversary on air with some special editions of their popular Top 15 programme. During the week beginning 14th August,
the show (each weekday at 9am) will feature personal recollections and music picked by former Caroline broadcasters. Producer Roger Lovett tells us that Nick Bailey, Ross Brown /
Freddie Beare, Keith Hampshire and Emperor Rosko will all feature;
And over the weekend of 9th and 10th September, there is the unveiling of a Radio Caroline commemorative stone in Felixstowe and an Offshore Radio Weekend taking place at the Trinity Methodist Church Hall in the town. Chris
Dannatt's Flashback 67 exhibition will be there, plus a display of vintage radios and a record/CD fair. Full details from the Felixstowe &
Offshore Radio Facebook page.
Motor racing news from Dave the Marshal: “After finishing second overall and first in class in the HSCC Guards Trophy at Brands Hatch last time out, the Radio London Elva driven by Max Bartell & Ben Mitchell can be seen again
at the Croft Nostalgia meeting on Saturday 5th August. There will also be the HSCC Radio Caroline backed Formula Ford races. The Croft circuit is in
North Yorkshire near Darlington.” Thanks to Dave for the update.
Forty years ago this month the Radio Caroline crew found that water was pouring into their ship! Programming was abandoned as everyone had to man the pumps. We tell this story, and much more, in part eight of
Caroline in the '70s.
See the contents page and DJ Directories of the sixties, seventies and eighties for full details of this website.
We are sad to report the death of Richard Findlay who was an airtime salesman for Radio Scotland during the sixties. He went on to have a long career in the media and arts including time at Capital Radio, Radio Forth, Scottish Television,
the Royal Lyceum Theatre Company and the National Theatre of Scotland. He was also Chair of Creative Scotland. Richard was made a CBE for services to the Arts & Creative Industries in 2013. (Thanks to Paul Rusling
for the news.)
IT WAS FIFTY YEARS AGO THIS MONTH:
5th August 1967, 12 midnight: Radio 355 closed down (more details here).
14th August, 3pm: Radio London closed down (more details here).
14th August, 12 midnight: The Marine Offences Act became law. Radios 270 and Scotland closed down. Only the two Caroline ships remained on the air off Britain (more details here).
Britain's first offshore radio station, Radio Caroline, began broadcasting at Easter 1964 from a ship anchored just outside UK territorial waters. She was followed by a host of other radio stations based
on boats and marine structures dotted around the coast.
These “pirates” rapidly won an enormous and enthusiastic audience. There are other web-sites which tell the stories of the various offshore stations but
The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame
has been set up to honour the stars, the broadcasters, from that golden era of music radio.
This site is a tribute to the people who endured a daily battle with the elements to provide a soundtrack to the swinging sixties.
(The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame is a British-based website. It only includes those DJs who broadcast in English and could be heard in the UK. Offshore radio also flourished in Denmark,
Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, Israel and New Zealand. The absence of the DJs from these countries in the Hall of Fame does not suggest that they are any less deserving, just that they are outside the scope of this site. Please
see the links page for details of websites which cover offshore radio in other parts of the world.)
The inductees in The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame are listed alphabetically. To find your favourite voice from the sixties 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. For broadcasters from the later decades, go to the Seventies
Supplement or Eighties Supplement. There are some that we know very little about - see the help wanted page.
THE OFFSHORE STATIONS OF THE SIXTIES
We are very grateful to everyone who has contributed information, recordings or memorabilia to The
Pirate Radio Hall of Fame. We are always on the lookout for more so, if you have any items of interest, please get
A number of the photos, stickers and recordings on this site are beginning to show
their age. Apologies for those that are of less than perfect quality. Many of the photographs were distributed freely by the various radio stations
and were intended for as wide a circulation as possible. Others have been donated to The Pirate Radio Hall of
Fame which are of unknown origin. Where photos have been scanned from books, newspapers or magazines, we have given credit.
However, if anybody believes that their copyright has been inadvertently infringed by the inclusion of an item on this site, please
get in touch and it will be removed immediately. Similarly, anybody who has supplied
audio for The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame has been credited but tapes get passed from collector
to collector and often there is no way of knowing who made the original recording. Our apologies to anyone who thinks their work has been used
here without due acknowledgment.
The offshore radio airchecks on The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame are in two formats: RealAudio and MP3. To listen to RealAudio
we recommend the Real Player or VLC Media Player.
MP3 recordings can be played on both of these as well as a number of others including Windows Media Player and Apple QuickTime.
The name ‘Radio London’ and the RL logo are used by kind permission of Radio London Ltd.
The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame links to MP3s which can be downloaded by UK-based
customers from Amazon. As in a traditional record shop, Amazon offers multiple versions of some songs. It isn't always easy to identify precisely which
version is which. We have endeavoured to ensure that each link leads to the appropriate version of the relevant track - the one that was played by the
offshore DJs of the era - but please listen carefully before purchasing. If you discover that any of them are later re-recordings, please
let us know.
The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame participates in the Amazon Europe S.à r.l. Associates Programme, an affiliate
advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk. It is also partially funded by displaying
adverts provided by Google. Please note that Google, and their advertisers, may use information (which does not include your name, address, email address or
telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements they think will be of interest to you. If you would like more
information about this practice, please visit Google's Privacy page.