During the summer of 1967, Radio London advertised holidays on the Costa Brava in Spain where you would be accompanied by a Big L disc-jockey. A week's stay cost £28 (the equivalent of £504 in
Keith Skues advertises ‘Holidays With DJs’ on the John Peel Show on Radio London, 1st July 1967 (duration 1 minute 36 seconds)
It was the early days of overseas package holidays. Mike Ford and his then girlfriend, now wife, Rosemary were fans of Radio London but hadn't heard the adverts. They just happened to have coincidentally booked a
holiday in the same Spanish resort - L'Estartit - then a small fishing village. Mike says: “One day Rosemary returned from the local market to say she had met a couple - the man was a roadie for the Troggs and the woman, Noreen,
was a secretary at President Records. They said there was a party that night at Big L's L'Estartit venue where Tony Blackburn was the resident DJ for the week. The venue was the Casa Blanca. It was a
converted villa with a lounge and rooms, and with a cellar where the disco was held. We went that night and met Tony, and later went go-karting with him.”
Mike recalls: “it was the week after the Beatles released the Sgt Pepper album. Every bar seemed to be playing it.”
Postcard from L'Estartit.
L'Estartit was then a very quiet and uncommercialised place. Mike points out that there is some home movie footage, shot there in the early sixties, on YouTube.
Sadly Mike and Rosemary didn't take any pictures of themselves hanging out with Tony Blackburn (Mike says: “selfies with DJ celebrities had not been invented back then”) but they have provided a few grainy snaps from their
The bottom right photo was taken in a photo booth near the Radio London pension, Casa Blanca.
Mike and Rosemary write: “We are no longer 18 years of age, as we were in June 1967, but the two of us in the photos are now both young 70 years olds. We have achieved our goal and are now joint presenters
on the brand new Purbeck Coast FM, a community radio station for Purbeck in Dorset, on 101.2 MHz. So never let your dreams escape you - our dream has come true. Swanage,
where we live, is very similar to L'Estartit with a sheltered bay and successful scuba diving club called Divers Down, based on Swanage Pier. The radio station's brand new building is there too. Regards, Mike and Rosemary Ford”.
Our thanks to Mike and Rosemary for getting in touch and sharing memories of their 1967 holiday. Listen out for them on Purbeck Coast FM.
There is a press cutting about Radio London's ‘Holiday with the DJs’ promotion here.
If you visited L'Estartit with Radio London in 1967 and have tales to tell, please get it touch with The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame.