I came across part of an old Daily Mirror at the bottom of a wardrobe. Looking at the listings there was virtually nothing to watch on TV. BBC2 (which had started a few months earlier as had Radio Caroline) were showing an Evening’s worth of Open University programmes. At 7.30 you had a choice between Compact and Emergency Ward 10. BBC1 closed down at 10.55pm. There wasn’t much more to be found on the radio. Certainly no pop music in the evening unless you ventured to Radio Luxembourg. And there you found Jimmy Young!!! Is there any wonder that the first phase of UK pirate Radio became so popular so quickly.

Tuesday 28th July 1964

There was also an article about someone being rescued from Radio Caroline. Food poisoning? In these days of instant communication it seems quaint that appeals for help had to be made by Simon Dee live over the air. And news of the start of Radio Invicta. Programmes for fishermen probably meant the range of their transmitter only made it as far as the beach!!

28 07 1964


May 1, 2013

Instructions: Print these out and carefully cut around the outline with a pair of scissors. Place elastic bands through the little holes and around your ears. Wearing non-functioning 3D glasses will enhance your listening pleasure of this audio file by filtering out unwanted visual distractions. And also make you look a complete idiot.

1966 3D Bat glasses

Nuff Said 39

May 1, 2013


Pass, shoot, goal

May 1, 2013

World Cup 1970 cards

Anglo 2


 I doubt they earned £200,000 per week in 1969. As usual there’s no quality in the final third. Better show the scanner a yellow card as I’ve just noticed there’s a page missing in this magazine. Ah well. 

Opel Monza

May 1, 2013

In 1980 I visited the Motor Show to admire the cars (and the girls handing out the brochures) I would like to own when I was older/richer. I was particularly attracted to the Opel Monza. Based on the Senator saloon this big 3 litre coupe looked fantastic inside and out. Unfortunately it was well out of my league, then costing the equivalent of three normal new 1300cc hatchbacks. Years and numerous cars passed until in 1997 I spotted a Monza on a local forecourt. I was fed up with my current Rover SD1 3500 which kept breaking down/running out of petrol. The fuel guage was forever sticking and it was only doing 10 mpg so I was constantly being caught out as the car ground to a halt in unfortunate places. I asked if I could take the Monza for a test drive and was surprised when the keys were just thrown my way without a second thought. The Monza rode superbly with a soft suspension and responsive engine. Of course as I turned back onto the forecourt the car died. It had run out of petrol too !! I bought the car nonetheless and had  years of happy Monza motoring.

Monza Series 1 interior

The car was a 1980 Series 1 painted in moss green, just like the brochure of the car I’d collected from the Motor Show all those years before. The interior was an opulant green velour finish with a hint of plastic wood on the dashboard and doors. The first problem that presented itself was the fact that the sunroof leaked. Water somehow collected in a gap between the sunroof and the headlining. I only found this out when I stopped suddenly at a junction and got a pint of water poured directly down my neck!! The second problem was a front spring snapping with such a loud noise that I thought I’d driven over a land mine. One hot summers day (remember them?) the rear window spontaniously combusted into a million pieces and unencumbered by the glass the struts shot the (heavy) bottom edge of the tailgate backwards and embedded it into the front grille of my Bond Equipe parked behind it!  Problem number four  came some 6 years later when the car failed its MOT on rust in its nether regions.

Another car had to be found immediately. Much money was lavished on another 1980 Series 1. Brown wouldn’t do. It was resprayed moss green to match my previous car. The engine was replaced for a later/lower mileage one. At the same time the 3 speed auto box was changed for a 4 speed version and the dashboard was replaced with the improved Series 2 type turning the car into a Series 1½ !! Actually there really were some series 1½ cars. They had the original Series 1 front with chrome bumpers yet benefitted from the uprated interior that would become standard for the Series 2 cars. Of course from 1984 to 1987 the more sporty/boy racer Monza GSEs were produced but I still prefer the earlier models.


Just over 47000 Monzas were manufactured. I’ve no way of knowing the survival rate of these cars in Europe but alas there don’t seem to be an awful lot of Monzas of any type left in the UK. A look at this site:- gives me the sad news that only 26 Monzas were taxed and on the road last year (and another 65 GSEs). The total of all Monzas of any description Taxed or SORNed in the UK in 2012 was a mere 242.  As the majority of them are bound to be the later GSEs this makes Series 1 Monzas rarer than many Ferraris.

PS: There was also a Vauxhall-badged version of the Monza available in the UK for a few years called the Royale coupe. “How many left” lists 46 Royales as surviving but doesn’t differentiate between how many of those are 4 door saloons and how many are the Monza-clone 2 door coupes.

PPS: So I backed the car out of the garage  and was amazed to see that the tax disc had expired in 2008! Fresh MOT. Fresh oil etc and I’m all set……………..


The unusual thing about Fantastic Four 258 cover dated September 1983 is that the whole story unfolds without ANY members of the FF making even the briefest of appearances. The hero (villain actually) of this particular comic is Victor von Doom, ruler of Latveria (where?).  More useless information that is unlikely to crop up as a question on “University Challenge” or “The Chase”.

Radio Caroline badge

Radio Caroline was silenced in March 1968 when both ships were towed away due to unpaid bills. An extremely low-key return to the airwaves began in September 1972 with the Mi Amigo once more at sea with DJs and crew. Extremely sporadic low power testing of continuous music would continue for the next 3 months. In December 1972 they even attempted some proper “programmes” on 197m whilst calling themselves “Radio 199”. By Christmas 1972 they were finally calling themselves Radio Caroline again. This was when I first picked them up on my little Russian radio. Things evidentally weren’t going smoothly with the equipment or the personel on board. There was an incident on December 28th 1972 which would lead to the Mi Amigo being silenced and once more returning to port.

It must have been a slow news day at the end of December 1972. There was a large article in the Daily Mirror about the “mutiny” by the captain and crew on the Mi Amigo due to unpaid wages. Even Radio Luxembourg reported it.

The MV Mi Amigo returned to sea in January 1973 and semi regular broadcasting continued until March when they were silenced again for a number of weeks with aerial issues. So I think we can say that the 1970s Radio Caroline really only got going properly in June 1973.


May 1, 2013

The underground newspaper/magazine “International Times” began in 1966 and has continued (with a few gaps in publication) right up until today. Admittedly, now you can only access it online.

IT logo

As well as all the current artices the International Times gives you access to EVERY back issue. Most issues had one or two strips. Often the Freak Brothers but sometimes vintage Crumb. Issue 150 in March 1973 had an article about Offshore Radio. The archive is available here.

IT 150

IT 150 March 1973

Perhaps I wouldn’t mind ALL magazines going Internet-only as long as they let you peruse similar extensive archives…for free of course…..

State Express 555

May 1, 2013

From about the age of seven or eight until, I dunno, nine or ten I recall carrying this pack of State Express 555 cigarettes around. Actually it wasn’t a cardboard packet but a tin. And rather than containing cigarettes it held Bubblegum cards…usually ones I was trying to swap for gaps in my collections.

State Express 555 tin

I’ve been trying to decypher the crest of arms but the print is too small. Isn’t SNCF the French national railway?

inside lid

As this tin had once belonged to my Grandfather who died before I was born for a moment I thought it might be worth a few quid only to have my hopes dashed after a look at eBay where similar items are selling for £2.99!!


May 1, 2013

So what was inside this tin unopened for the last 40 years I’m sure you’re asking? A bit of a disappointment really. Just some random stuff, mostly Football cards along with a few older cigarette cards.







I’m surprised Jim Baxter only scored 3 goals “last season”. I thought he was more prolific than that. The drinking finally got him but in his younger days he was famous for drinking to the point of unconsciousness the night before a game and yet still managing to play well. Incidentally his Biography is a fascinating read.




Of course everyone knows there are different breeds of sheep and cows. But I thought a chicken was a chicken. So I’m surprised that there are at least 50 different breeds of poultry in the UK alone not counting Foghorn Leghorn!


Here are some “proper” cigarette cards most probably rescued from my Grandfather’s shed. At some point they began putting adhesive to the backs of these cards. I have a number of “sets” again donated by my Grandfather. Alas they were stacked together with an elastic band round them. The combination of the cards stacked together along with a sometimes hot sometimes damp shed have turned sets of 50 cards to solid cardboard lumps.



Somportex? Looks like the Nadja card has seen better days. Cards from this first (1964) set of “James Bond” cards sell for £10 each in decent condition. I didn’t manage to complete the set before the corner shop had moved on to “Danger Man” cards. There were 72 of these…again still Black and white (as was my TV and my world then!). After that I believe came the famous first series of “Thunderbirds”. Again still in black and white and I did complete the set of those. And at the bottom of the tin some stamps.



May 1, 2013

Nuff Said 38

May 1, 2013

Batco and  Warbin 1967

Christa Päffgen 1938 (?) – 1988

Andrew Warhola 1928 – 1987