August 14, 2010
The Marine Broadcasting (Offences) Act came into effect at midnight August 14th 1967. I think there were only two offshore pirate stations that continued right up to that final midnight deadline before calling it a day, namely Radio Scotland and Radio 270. Big L (Radio London) had already closed down at 3pm. Radio 227 (formally Radio England), Radio 355 (formerly Britain Radio) and Radio 390 had closed down a few weeks earlier. Radio City had closed in February 1967 and BBMS in December 1966, but they were broadcasting from wartime forts rather than boats and already subject to different legislation. Radio Caroline South and Radio Caroline North had always promised to defy the act and would continue for another 6 months until financial problems silenced them.
The internet is a wonderful place these days to hear offshore radio from the 1960s. Many 1000s of hours of radio taped by “anoraks” has been uploaded to Rapidshare and the like. When I first became interested in the subject many years ago the only way to hear these “exotic” defunct UK radio stations was by purchasing tapes like this one.
Of course it was only after I’d spent a couple of hours transferring this tape to mp3 files that I thought to look around the web. It seems these recordings are already available elsewhere, but having owned this tape for 40 years and after spending all this time I may as well add them to my audio archive.
PS: The pirate Radio Essex broadcast from the (rather tatty looking) Knock John Fort circa 1966. Radio Tower was a station that never got any further than testing. WABC isn’t an offshore station of course. This american fast and furious pop format was evidentally the kind of thing that many pirate stations tried to copy with varied degrees of success. Radio 270 broadcast from the Oceaan 7. Anchored off Bridlington their main audience was the Yorkshire area. They are the offshore station I remember the most as the signal was very strong in Filey, Scarborough and Whitby which were popular family holiday destinations when I was a child.