Lee Taylor was 19 years old when he joined Britain's fourth offshore radio station, Radio Invicta. It was late 1964 and he remembers how it started: “It was in Whitstable in a pub just opposite the harbour. One evening, whilst just lounging at the bar, this stranger standing next to me says, after only a light conversation and a few off the cuff remarks, ‘Do you fancy being a disc jockey on a radio station cock?’ ‘How much?’ was my instant reply. ‘£14 a week, one week off and one week on.’ ‘It's a deal’ I said. We arranged to meet at the harbour on the quayside that next evening. And, bingo, Eddie Hinkins (who had engaged me), Eddie Jerold, Bruce Holland, Phil Perkins, etc. jumped onto this bobbing up and down on the waves fishing boat and off we went to the wartime forts on the Red Sands. Was I excited ..... at that time I didn't realise that the fisherman who took us out to the fort was the owner (or part owner) of the radio station. Nobody thought to introduce me to him as such. Why should they? I was just a 19 year old lad who was expected to do what he was hired to do, to man the microphones. For my part I was more than happy to be a sort of a modern day pirate. I was electrified by being let loose on the air. I felt like I was broadcasting to the world. In retrospect I think the signal reached as far as south London and the other way as far as Brighton. My ego got such a boost. I was flying but keeping it all under control. It was beautiful. And innocent and intangible, in the head and in the heart. I was also so proud that my mum and dad, family and friends could listen to me on the air. I felt grrrrreat! I did a programme called Date with Romance which Ed Moreno had done previously and the fan mail just flowed in. Ladies were sending me their husband's work schedules together with photos of themselves in negligees! What was I to do? One thing that I do remember is that we were running short on water and food supplies and we kept making remarks about it on the air and getting more and more pointed and less discrete in the choice of our words to describe the situation. Eventually the fishing boat did come and brought the necessary. Another time some blokes came and took away some equipment. It seemed a bit frightening but Eddie said that ‘it was alright’ they were only taking what was theirs anyway. All these sorts of incidents seemed to me to be just part of the adventure I had let myself into.” (Lee now lives in Germany. Many thanks to him for getting in touch and sharing his memories.)

Ray Teret Ray Teret (sometimes spelt Terrett) Born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, Ray had worked as a warehouse clerk, apprentice heating engineer and waiter at the Ritz Ballroom in Manchester before landing his job with Radio Caroline. Writing in Monitor magazine some twenty years later, Ray owned up to be being somewhat economical with the truth at his Caroline audition: “I said I'd worked in a Mecca dance hall for two years. I didn't lie to them. They never asked me if I'd played (any) records!” From waiter to broadcaster in one jump, he joined Radio Caroline North in August 1965, using his mother's nick-name for him on the air. He became known as “Ugli” Ray Teret. His theme tune was Jungle Fever by The Tornados but he also used The Ugly Bug Ball by Burl Ives. Ray invested the money he earned on Caroline in a boutique on the Isle of Man which was run by his sister Janet. Through her brother, Janet got to know the other Caroline DJs and she fell in love with Mick Luvzit. Offshore radio's first and only on air wedding took place on 20th September 1966 when the two married. Ray had left the station by this time and was later heard on both the BBC and commercial stations, notably Manchester's Piccadilly Radio and Signal Radio in Stoke on Trent. Ray sent us this photo, taken for a national newspaper, of himself with The Beatles. In December 2014 he was found guilty of seven counts of rape and eleven counts of indecent assault carried out between 1962 and 1979. He was given a 25 year prison sentence (see The Guardian) but died on 5th May 2021. He was 79. (Promotional photo kindly provided by John Bennett. There is a more recent photo of Ray, taken at Caroline's 40th birthday party, here, and one taken at the August 2007 Radio Academy Celebration of Offshore Radio here.)

click to hear audio “Ugli” Ray Teret presenting The Big Line Up on Radio Caroline North from one afternoon in September 1965. Two people sent us copies of the same programme so many thanks to both Steve Kirby and Ray Andrews (duration 1 minute 3 seconds)
click to hear audio Ray Teret presenting the 3-6pm show on Radio Caroline North in July 1966. Recording kindly provided by Stuart Russell (duration 2 minutes 55 seconds)

Radio 270 badge

Leon Tipler Leon Tipler was born in Kidderminster on 16th October 1942. Like so many of the inductees to The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame Leon was first heard on that training ground for new talent, Radio City, where he spent a few days during the summer of 1965. He used the name Leon Taylor. However it was when he joined Radio 270 that his career took off. Alternating Breakfast Show duties with Paul Burnett, he won a large following in the north and midlands. His theme tune was Arena Caliente by Los Pekinekes. Leon left 270, along with Alex Dee and Andy Kirk, in November 1966 but returned towards the end of the station's life and presented programmes under the name of Phil Oaker. A skilled producer and impressionist, Leon broadcast offshore again during 1974 on the Belgian-owned Radio Atlantis (see The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame ‘Seventies Supplement’). Leon provided a show he recorded at home called The Nightmare Affair, where he featured as two different people: “Scott Mitchell” and “Gabby Hernandez Omilado.” He then worked as a commercial producer / voice-over and was heard on Sunshine 855 in Shropshire, Radio Maldwyn and Radio Hafren. He died on Sunday 9th June 2013. There is a tribute to him here. Some of his personal photo collection and tape archive is here and following pages. You can hear vintage Leon Tipler radio programmes streaming 24 hours a day at myradiostream.com/gltk (see this video for more details). A home movie that Leon shot on Radio City is on YouTube. (With thanks to Edward Waterson, Nigel Knapton, Hans Knot and Mike Coller for their help. The photo is a publicity shot issued by Radio 270.)

click to hear audio Leon Taylor accidentally revealing his real name on Radio City during July 1965. Recording kindly provided by Steve England (duration 1 minute 2 seconds)
click to hear audio Leon Tipler reading the 1pm news bulletin on Radio 270 from Sunday 14th August 1966. The voice at either end of the clip belongs to ‘Neddy’ Noel Miller. Recording kindly contributed by Martyn Webster (duration 2 minutes 17 seconds)
click to hear audio Leon Tipler opening Radio 270 for the day with the Breakfast Show on 17th October 1966. This studio recording is from Leon's personal archive and has been kindly provided by Steve England (duration 1 minute 40 seconds)

The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame needs your

The site is updated regularly and we are always on the look-out for new material to add. If you have any information, photographs, recordings or contact details for any of the disc-jockeys we haven't been able to trace, please get in touch.

Tommy Toal Tommy Toal ran the Irish Club in Glasgow's Charing Cross and, for a time, hosted a weekly half-hour show of Irish music on Radio Scotland (Wednesdays at 10pm). Correspondent Ian Biggar writes: “I knew Tommy many years later when I worked on Radio Carousel in Castleblaney, County Monaghan. Tommy had been involved in the Irish pirate scene for several years and operated a station called Big M in the late seventies. By 1982 Big M had closed and Tommy joined the new Radio Carousel. When Tommy realised I was Scottish, he started chatting about Radio Scotland and that he had been on the station. Tommy later re-started Big M and then ran a station called Hometown Radio which broadcast until the pirates were silenced on December 31st 1988. Tommy died suddenly in the very early nineties. I remember him as a very nice man.” (Our thanks to Hans Knot and Ian Biggar. This photo is from ‘242 Showbeat Monthly’. You can hear Tommy Toal reviewing the new releases on this Stuart Henry audio clip.)

Dave Lee Travis Dave Lee Travis Born David Griffin on 25th May 1945 in Buxton, Derbyshire, Dave became a designer after finishing his education. He also began spinning discs part-time at the Oasis Club in Manchester and started using the stage name “Dave Lee Travis”. Through his club work he got to know all the local bands and when Herman's Hermits were booked for a series of American concerts, Dave became their tour manager. A former member of the Hermits' entourage and fellow Manchester disc-jockey, Ric Jonns, had gone on to join Radio Caroline and Dave followed in his foot steps. He auditioned for the station and was snapped up. “DLT,” as he was known, joined Caroline South in September 1965 where he took over the Lunchtime Show and became “your dinner spinner.” His show started with the sound of Big Ben chiming followed by A Touch Of Velvet, A Sting Of Brass by Mood Mosaic. He was on board the mv Mi Amigo on 20th January 1966, along with Tony Blackburn, Tom Lodge, Graham Webb and others, when the ship lost her anchor and was washed up on the beach at Frinton-on-Sea. Fortunately no one was hurt. One of the station's most popular presenters, he transferred to the North ship during 1967 where he stayed until the legislation in August. During his time with Caroline he also presented Beat Club on German television, clips of which occasionally turn up in music documentaries. After the pirates he worked on the BBC, most notably as “The Hairy Cornflake” presenting the Radio One Breakfast Show and on the World Service's Jolly Good Show. He also had a hit record in 1976 with Paul Burnett under the alias “Laurie Lingo & The Dipsticks.” After leaving the BBC in 1994 Dave presented syndicated shows on commercial radio and had a long-running programme on GWR's Classic Gold network. He then hosted weekend shows on the Magic network. In October 2010 he was inducted into the Radio Academy's Hall of Fame. In September 2014 he was given a three month suspended prison sentence after being found guilty of indecent assault (details here). (We received an email from Dave's assistant saying that the photo of a clean-shaven DLT that we previously included in The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame isn't him! It was a publicity photo sent to members of the Caroline Club and it is hard to believe that Radio Caroline could send out pictures of the wrong guy - but Dave is adamant that it isn't him - and he should know. We have therefore replaced it with one that definitely is DLT. Sorry for the confusion. There are more pictures of Dave here, here, here and here, as well as more recent ones taken at the Offshore 50 reunion in August 2017.)

click to hear audio DLT on his regular lunchtime show on Radio Caroline South from 25th May 1967, his 22nd birthday. Edited from a recording included on ‘The Late Tommy Vance’ mp3-DVD, compiled by the Offshore Radio Guide (duration 3 minutes 57 seconds)
click to hear audio DLT sitting in for Mick Luvzit on Radio Caroline North on 13th August 1967, his penultimate day on the station. Tape courtesy of Ray Andrews (duration 2 minutes 24 seconds)

Radio Caroline advert
Thanks to Ronnie Thorpe for this Caroline press advert.

Alan Turner Alan Turner was born in Blackheath, London, on 29th March 1939. He got his first taste of showbusiness at the age of 19, while living in Singapore, but he had also spent time as a salesman, engineer and policeman before becoming a disc-jockey. Known as “Neddy” after the character in The Goon Show, he joined Radio Caroline in 1964. In the early days of the station the disc-jockeys had technical operators to play the records for them and Alan initially took on that role before moving to the other side of the microphone. Along with Tom Lodge and Jerry Leighton Alan took part in the ultimate long distance radio broadcast when the original Caroline ship, the mv.Fredericia, sailed round the coast of England and Wales to take up her new position off the Isle of Man. We asked if anyone knew Alan's present whereabouts and, in April 2004, as Caroline celebrated its fortieth birthday, we heard from the man himself: “In the immediate years after leaving Caroline my wife Elaine and I ran a very successful retail/wholesale business but after a good few years of doing that I eventually drifted back into the world of aviation. For many years we operated an aviation maintenance facility. This involved a lot of traveling throughout the UK and northern Europe. One of our aviation projects was the operation and maintenance of the aircraft used by Invicta Radio (the Kent based local station, not the old pirate) for their ‘Flying Eye’ road traffic reports. I have quite a lot of photos of that time and I also have the original LP which contains the station theme music 'Round Midnight by Jimmy McGriff - the very first record played on Caroline.” Alan very kindly sent us some photos from his collection of his time with Caroline. There is also a more recent photo, taken at the Radio Academy's Celebration of Offshore Radio, here. Ray Clark's interview with Alan is here. Sadly Alan passed away on 1st October 2023 at his home near Maidstone, Kent. He was 84 and had been suffering from cancer. (Thanks to Mark Lumsden and Steve Kirby for their assistance.)

click to hear audio Alan Turner making a couple of appearances on Tom Lodge's show during the mv.Fredericia's historic journey round the British coast in July 1964. The first part of the audio comes from a cassette originally issued by CM Leisure Sales but now available from GJB Sales and used with kind permission. The second part of the clip is courtesy of Steve Kirby (duration 2 minutes 25 seconds)
click to hear audio A clip of Alan Turner from one of three programmes he made in 1965 for Radio Caroline North in which he interviewed personalities on the Isle of Man. The voice at the start belongs to Jerry Leighton. Many thanks to Alan for providing the recording (duration 3 minute 44 seconds)

Brian Tylney Brian Tylney Born 17th March 1939, Brian had served in the Army for eight years, as well as spending time as a fireman, seaman, bingo-caller and resident disc-jockey at the Mecca ballroom in Ilford, Essex before becoming a pirate. Living in Chigwell, Essex, he had also worked as a sound engineer at the legendary London Palladium before joining “Swinging” Radio England at its launch in May 1966. The first SRE crew was a mixture of experienced American broadcasters alongside three British club DJs: Roger Day, Johnnie Walker and Brian. He did not stay with the station for long. He left to work for the company that supplied the ship but also found time to DJ at the famous Uppercut Club, Forest Gate. This venue, owned by boxer Billy Walker, was often used by the various offshore stations for promotional events. Brian's present whereabouts are unknown but we would be delighted to hear from him or anyone who can tell us about his post-pirate career.(Photo from ‘Who's Who In Pop Radio’, published by The New English Library.)

click to hear audio Boss-jock Brian Tylney on Radio England from one morning in July 1966. Recording kindly provided by Hans Knot (duration 3 minutes 34 seconds)

Radio London pennant

Tommy Vance Tommy Vance Born on 11th July 1940 in Oxford, as Richard Hope-Weston, he ran away to sea as a teenager. While on board ship, he heard American radio and decided that it was the job for him. After working for any radio station that would have him, even if it was for no pay, he finally got his own show and broadcast as “Rick West.” He acquired his new name when a DJ called Tommy Vance failed to turn up for a job, despite having been heavily promoted on the air. The radio station, KOL Seattle, needed a replacement “Tommy Vance” and Rick West was offered the show as long as he changed his name. After a spell on the legendary KHJ Los Angeles he returned to Britain rather than risk being drafted into the US forces serving in Vietnam. He joined Radio Caroline South in January 1966, where his nickname was “TV on Radio”. His theme tune was The Naked City Theme by Jack Constanzo. After problems with his then wife not wishing to move from America if he was going to be working on a ship for two weeks out of three, he took a job on land, joining Radio Luxembourg. He returned to Caroline in December. Six months later he transferred to Radio London where he spent the last few weeks until close-down. Tommy presented the last ever Radio London Fab Forty Show. During the sixties and seventies he released a number of records including a cover of The Rolling Stones' Off The Hook, under his own name, and a version of Silhouettes, better known by Herman's Hermits, as “Shades”. Tommy was an early Radio One presenter then, in 1970/71, he, Dave Cash and Kenny Everett hosted shows on Radio Monte Carlo International. All three joined London's Capital Radio at its start in 1973. In 1975 he played a disc-jockey in the Slade movie Flame. He also worked on GLR, the BBC's station for London, as well as presenting a long-running rock show on Radio One, moving in April 1993 to Virgin Radio. He also had a television career with Disco 2 in the early days of BBC 2 and, later, the Friday Night Rock Show on VH-1, Channel 4's Eleven O'Clock Show and Five's Dumber and Dumber. He was involved in the launch of Total Rock Radio, was a hugely successful commercial voice-over and towards the end of his life was heard on Virgin Classic Rock, a DAB and internet radio station. Tommy died after suffering a stroke in the early hours of 6th March 2005. There are more details available on the BBC web site, an obituary in The Guardian and a tribute in The Observer. The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame tribute is here. In December 2005 Tommy was inducted into industry body The Radio Academy's own Hall of Fame. (There are more pictures of TV in Keith Hampshire's and Dave Hawkins' photo albums. There are also more recent ones, taken at the August 2002 DJ reunion, on the Offshore Radio Nostalgia website's Flickr page and Radio London websites. There is some confusion over Tommy's correct date of birth. We had previously stated he was born in 1943 and the man himself had confirmed that the entry was correct but some obituaries quoted his age when he died as being 63, which means he would have been born in 1941. However the order of service at his funeral stated that he was born in 1940 and we have therefore taken this to be the correct date and amended the details above. This photo taken by Carl Thomson and kindly provided by Colin Nicol. Theme tune information courtesy of Kees Brinkerink, Frank van Heerde and Alan Field.)

click to hear audio Tommy Vance on Radio Caroline South in January 1966, near the beginning of his time with the station. Patrick Starling, “the Child Scientist”, who he refers to, was an engineer. The recording is from Martin Lynch's collection and has been kindly donated by Lynne Sims (duration 2 minutes 30 seconds)
click to hear audio Tommy Vance on Radio London's last ever Fab 40 Show on 6th August 1967. This is an edited version of a recording available from www.azanorak.com. Our thanks to Ray Robinson (duration 4 minutes 9 seconds)

Bryan Vaughan Bryan Vaughan Born in Sydney, Australia, on 23rd February 1941, Bryan is a descendant of Sir Walter Scott. When he finished his education, he worked at 2GB and 2CH in Sydney but in 1962 headed for the UK. He tried to get a job with the BBC without success and spent a couple of years doing various things: packing cigarettes, bar keeping and working in an hotel. He kept on applying to the BBC and was, at last, offered a position just as offshore radio arrived on the scene. Radio Atlanta had been set up by Allan Crawford, an Australian, and he invited a number of his fellow countrymen to get involved. Bryan was one of them and he became the studio technician. Most of Atlanta's programmes were recorded on land and it was Bryan who took care of the taping. After a month on air, he and Colin Nicol were sent out to the ship to look after the continuity. They were responsible for making sure the taped shows went out and for presenting the live ones. When, in July, Atlanta became Radio Caroline South, most of these pre-recorded shows disappeared to be replaced by almost exclusively live programmes. Bryan continued on the ship as a broadcaster and stayed with Caroline through 1965, becoming Senior DJ. His theme tune was Cheers! by the Henry Mancini Orchestra. At the end of the year he went home to Australia for a holiday. On his return to the UK he discovered that the station was now under new management and had a totally different DJ crew. He was surplus to requirements. Bryan joined Radio Luxembourg presenting a show sponsored by Polydor Records, before moving to Radio Scotland at the start of 1967. After six months on the Comet, he went back to Australia. Bryan takes up the story: “When I returned to Sydney in August 1967, an old friend from my earlier Sydney radio days offered me a job with EMI Music. Having a wife and young daughter and looking for a bit of security I took the gig for about 18 months before moving to PolyGram, where I became the Director of Artists & Repertoire (A&R) for many years. I had always thought I would return to radio but this was not to be and in the mid-eighties I became the Music Editor for Reader's Digest. The Digest puts out music sets of all music affinities but nostalgia is the most popular genre. It is ironic that lots of the sets I compiled contained all those sixties hits I used to play on offshore radio!” Bryan retired from Reader's Digest in late 2007 to work as a freelance Music Consultant and did some voiceover work. He says “Those years with Atlanta, Caroline South, Luxembourg and Scotland were the best times of my life. I was truly lucky to be there.” In July 2004 Bryan attended the First North American Pirate Radio Reunion in Vancouver, Canada. There are photos here. The following year he visited London and again in 2007 and 2017. Also Radio Day 2014 in Amsterdam. There is a vintage publicity photo from his days on Radio Scotland here and he also features in Paul Noble's photo album. Bryan has very kindly sent us a recording of the time he guested on the Jack Spector show. To hear how he sounds now, check out his weekly show on Radio 2RDJ in Sydney.

click to hear audio Bryan Vaughan on Radio Caroline South with a couple of adverts and having a discussion with Keith Skues. These clips were part of a tape sent from Australia by Bryan for inclusion in the celebrations surrounding Keith's 40th anniversary of working in radio. They were kindly forwarded to us by Steve Kirby (duration 2 minutes 29 seconds)
click to hear audio Bryan Vaughan on his last late night Party Time programme on Radio Caroline South with Mel Howard and a Dutch crew member seeking pen friends. Many thanks to Nick Widdows for the recording (duration 2 minutes 21 seconds)
click to hear audio Bryan Vaughan ends his final Rooster Call on Radio Scotland, 23rd May 1967. John Kerr on the following programme, The Sixpenny Snowball Request Show, is joined by Mel Howard as they say their goodbyes to Bryan. Recording kindly provided by Manfred Steinkrauss (duration 6 minutes 1 second)

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