The Radio Academy Celebration of Sixties Offshore Radio

page three

The third session was entitled ‘The Jocks Who Rocked The Ocean’ and was chaired by BBC Scotland's Tony Currie.

the jocks who rocked the ocean

The ‘jocks who rocked the ocean’ panel.

Although most of the offshore stations of the sixties were clustered round the south-east corner of England, pirate radio was not restricted to the home counties. This panel reflected the stations that operated further north. Left to right: Chairman Tony Currie, Jack McLaughlin, Ben Healy, Mike Ahern and Noel Miller. Noel very kindly stepped in at the last minute when Paul Burnett had to cancel due to illness.
Jack and Ben worked on Radio Scotland, Mike on Radio Caroline North and Noel on Radio 270, where Jack also spent a couple of unhappy weeks broadcasting under the name of ‘Steve Taylor’.
This session, as with all of them, was introduced by a video compilation of rare and fascinating home movie footage kindly provided by George Hare, Tony Currie, Noel Miller, Keith Skues and Mark Wesley.
The session ended with Tony leading the audience in a spirited rendition of a well-loved jingle which gave a strong hint as to the subject of the next session: “It's smooth sailing with the highly successful sound of wonderful Radio London.”

Jack McLaughlin

Ben Healy and Mike Ahern

Noel Miller

Jack McLaughlin.
Ben Healy and Mike Ahern. These three photos courtesy of Martin van der Ven.
Noel Miller.

The Radio London session was chaired by the Director of the Radio Academy Trevor Dann, not pictured. Taking part were, left to right, Tony Blackburn, Norman St.John, Pete Brady, Ed Stewart and Duncan Johnson.

The Radio London panel

The Radio London panel.

Tony Blackburn, Norman St.John and Pete Brady

Radio London panel

Tony Blackburn, Norman St.John and Pete Brady. Photo courtesy of Martin van der Ven.
Standing at the end of the session to the applause of an enthusiastic audience. Photo courtesy of Roy Sheridan.

Various recordings were played including one of Ed Stewart singing a weather forecast and a clip displaying the unique talents of Kenny & Cash. The Radio London session ended with a tape of the final broadcast from the station on 14th August 1967. We then ‘re-tuned’ to Radio Caroline South to hear the DJs who were still on the air despite the new law, Robbie Dale and Johnnie Walker. They were on the final panel to remember the events and aftermath of that day.

The August 14th panel

The August 14th panel. Left to right: Phil Martin, Mark Sloane, Robbie Dale and Johnnie Walker.

After his offshore career with Britain Radio and Radio 355, Phil Martin became a journalist with The Daily Express. One of his first jobs for the paper was to go out to the North Sea to interview the DJs on Radio Caroline South who had continued broadcasting despite the new law. He managed to blag his way on to the tender and got as far as the Mi Amigo - but the DJs refused to speak to him as the interview had not been approved by the management in Amsterdam. He didn't get his interview in '67 - but he did forty years later when he chaired this session. Joining Phil, Johnnie and Robbie was Mark Sloane, one of the team who had carried on broadcasting after the Act on Radio Caroline North.

Robbie Dale and Johnnie Walker

Mark Sloane, Robbie Dale and Johnnie Walker

Robbie Dale and Johnnie Walker. Photo courtesy of Roy Sheridan.
Mark Sloane, Robbie Dale and Johnnie Walker. Photo courtesy of Martin van der Ven.

Ronan O'Rahilly

A very special guest arrived in time to hear Robbie, Johnnie and Mark: Caroline's founder Ronan O'Rahilly. Seen here with two more of the broadcasters who carried on after 14th August, Bud Ballou and Roger Day. Photo courtesy of Martin van der Ven.

As well as the discussion sessions, the event provided a great opportunity for old colleagues to meet up again.
Pictures on the next page.

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