Mark Stuart's Laser tape archive.

Mark Stuart is best remembered for his time as a DJ on Radio Northsea International in 1971 but he returned to sea in 1984-5 to work behind the scenes as an engineer on Laser-558.
 
He doesn't have any recordings from his time on RNI. He did - but he lent them to someone and never saw them again! Fortunately he does have some from his time on Laser and has kindly shared them with The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame.
 
These were taped off-air on the Laser ship, the mv Communicator, on a cassette recorder. Mark didn't make a note of the dates but we have been able to deduce some of them from the DJ's comments, news stories or incidents they mention. Some we have not been able to date and we would be grateful if anyone can provide that information.
 
They are in a roughly chronological order.

Mark Stuart
Mark Stuart

David Lee Stone
Dave Chaney
Jessie Brandon
Tommy Rivers
David Lee Stone
Dave Chaney
Jessie Brandon
Tommy Rivers
Photos courtesy of ‘Offshore Echo's’ and Michael Dean.

6th November 1984, David Lee Stone:
click to hear audio There are a number of David Lee Stone recordings in Mark's collection. This is from the 1-5pm show on 6th November 1984 (duration 3 minutes 33 seconds)
 
date unknown 1984, Dave Chaney:
click to hear audio Mark must have been a fan of Laser's Sixties Sunday, when the station played more oldies than during the rest of the week, because many of his tapes were recorded on Sundays. This one is of Dave Chaney on the 9am-1pm show. Dave hosted that time slot from 9th October to 15th November 1984 which gives us a rough idea of the transmission date (duration 5 minutes 36 seconds)
 
date unknown 1984, David Lee Stone / Jessie Brandon:
click to hear audio Another Sixties Sunday segment. This one features the end of a David Lee Stone show and the start, at 5pm, of Jessie Brandon's. We are not certain what Jessie is referring to when she says that some of her colleagues “don't know their alphabet”. Maybe she is annoyed that a music cartridge has been filed incorrectly (duration 4 minutes 39 seconds)
 
20th November 1984, Tommy Rivers / Charlie Wolf:
click to hear audio A short clip from a Tommy Rivers Breakfast Show. Charlie Wolf is on news reading duty and is the first voice you hear (duration 2 minutes 39 seconds)
 
16th December 1984, Ric Harris / Holly Michaels:
click to hear audio Another short clip: the end of a Ric Harris Sixties Sunday show and the start, at 9am, of Holly Michaels (duration 2 minutes 10 seconds)
 
26th December 1984, Ric Harris:
click to hear audio Ric Harris from around 8am on Boxing Day 1984 (duration 4 minutes 11 seconds)
 
date unknown 1985, David Lee Stone:
click to hear audio An undated recording of David Lee Stone on a Saturday afternoon probably in February 1985 (duration 5 minutes 26 seconds)
 
28th February 1985, Erin Kelly:
click to hear audio Laser has been experiencing technical difficulties. Erin Kelly is delighted to announce “we're back” but soon has to report “we're going off air for a little bit” (duration 5 minutes 54 seconds)
 
28th February 1985, Tommy Rivers:
click to hear audio We think this is from later the same day. Tommy “Whattaguy” Rivers with Laser's “new and improved aerial system” (duration 4 minutes 57 seconds)
 
24th March 1985, Erin Kelly:
click to hear audio It's another Sixties Sunday, this time with Erin Kelly (duration 3 minutes 44 seconds)
 
25th March 1985, David Lee Stone:
click to hear audio David Lee Stone from around 8am on a Monday morning (duration 4 minutes 3 seconds)


Charlie Wolf
Ric Harris
Holly Michaels
Erin Kelly
Charlie Wolf
Ric Harris
Holly Michaels
Erin Kelly
Photos courtesy of ‘Offshore Echo's’ and Michael Dean.

and a couple of extra collectors' items....

This recording is from a period before Mark joined the station. And before it was even Laser-558. It dates from January 1984. Mark must have picked up the cassette when he was looking for something to record on. Thankfully he didn't erase the existing audio because this is unique.
 
In January 1984 Laser put out some test transmissions on 729 kHz using an aerial held up by a gas balloon. Unfortunately on 22nd January the balloon blew away, causing the antenna to collapse, silencing the station. As you can hear on this clip, Ric Harris gives the date as 30th January. Laser wasn't on the air that day. We asked Paul Rusling, who was on board at the time, why Ric would have done a programme when the station wasn't broadcasting. He told us “the DJs were doing ‘dry runs’ en route across the Atlantic. After the loss of the second balloon there was a feeling to keep dry running to keep up morale and for practice. Ric did that, as did David Lee Stone, in the production studio. It was not transmitted.”
 
30th January 1984, Laser-730, Ric Harris:
click to hear audio An unbroadcast Ric Harris dry-run from almost four months before Laser officially opened. He mentions two of his colleagues: Blake Williams who was heard on the test transmissions and Captain Buzz Cody who never made it on air at all (duration 6 minutes 50 seconds)
 
This last recording is not one of Mark's. He found it while sorting through his cassettes. It belonged to his friend, the late Howard Rose. Howard had been a DJ, as Crispian St.John, during the seventies and during the eighties broadcast on Radio Caroline under the name of Jay Jackson. This tape contains part of the Jay Jackson show from Boxing Day 1984 in which he featured five records which meant a lot to him personally.
 
26th December 1984, Caroline 576, Jay Jackson:
click to hear audio Jay Jackson on Radio Caroline from Boxing Day morning 1984 (duration 5 minutes 26 seconds)

With grateful thanks to Mark.
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