Tape

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.

Radio Essex August 1966

Radio 270

Radio Tower

Offshore Radio clips

WABC 77 New York

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.

4 Responses to “Tape”


  1. Weirdly apposite that this weekend there’s reports of a ghost walking around Radio Caroline’s last ship, which is being restored.
    and bleh, I’m sorry – the recycle lorry’s just taken yesterday’s Sunday Times and I refuse to pay for an online subscription, so I can’t ref it. It was in the main paper on the right hand side of the right hand page somewhere.


  2. There you are ….that’s what a scrapbook is for !!

    I never believed in ghosts until last year when something so odd happened that I daren’t even write about it in the blog in case it happens again…

    Oh, and there was that time years ago working late in the office one winters evening. I was the only person on the whole Industrial Estate. I went in the kitchen to make a drink. When I returned I found my chair lying on its back. It certainly wasn’t like that when I left the room…..you’d know if you’d knocked over one of those swivel/6 wheel things…. I locked up and was out of there…..


  3. Oddly enough, I’ve kept about 20 scrapbooks full of stuff cut out of NME/Sounds/Melody Maker/IT Oz/Frendz/Zigzag/Rolling Stone etc from 1967-76ish – pics, cartoons, concert tickets and stickers and flyers(autographed Tyrannosaurus Rex, Incredible String Band or Jethro Tull tour flyers anyone?). Totally random stuff on the pages. Kinda prophetically, the last picture on the last page is an early Johnny Rotten one.

    Needless to say, I wish I could go back and give my stupid younger self with scissors aloft over a magazine a blow on the head and a ‘don’t be stupid, KEEP THEM’ – although I still luckily have most of the underground stuff and almost a complete run of J Edward Oliver cartoons from Disc and Music Echo, all the Alan Moore Sounds cartoons and most of the Lowry’s from NME (yay Lone Groover, wonder whatever happened to the dude?). Shudder to think how much room another 10 years of mags would take up over and above the garage full of stuff I’ve already got (there’s 8 very large boxes of the articles and full page ads I kept from the same magazines).

    Anyway, I always though they would make a great web site if I had the time to scan those scrapbooks, or even better, a blog with narrative of what each page was about. Bring on retirement ….


  4. Do it !! That sort of stuff would keep me amused for hours. I too cut out JEO strips etc, alas long gone thanks to previous mad desires to bring order to my chaos….


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