The further closedowns of Radio Caroline
August 1, 2013
For much of the 1980s The Ross Revenge had three transmitters on board although all three weren’t operational all the time. Two transmitters were for the Medium wave and one was for Short wave. The logic behind this was that a second MW transmitter could be used for Dutch and/or Evangelical programming. The income from that subsidised the running of Radio Caroline. Despite Ronan’s optimism in 1983 adverts on Radio Caroline itself varied between once an hour or none for months so the income stream there wouldn’t even cover the cost of toilet rolls. In the bad old days of 1989 even the small SW transmitter had to be adapted to work on MW to (just about) keep the station on air.
Radio Caroline spent a number of years searching for the “right” spot on the Medium wave.In the 1970s they moved around from 773kHz to 1562kHz, 1187kHz, 953kHz, 962kHz and 1412kHz and probably more. In the 1980s the main frequencies used were 963kHz, 576kHz, 585kHz, 558kHz and 819kHz.
Consequently there were often days when announcements were made that they would be closing down for “maintenance” and would be back “stronger than ever” at a new spot on the dial a few days later. For a couple of days before 9th of July 1988 announcements were made that Radio Caroline would be closing for 4 weeks and during that period the english service would be replaced by a Dutch station (apparently called Radio 558). Surprisingly this period isn’t covered in AZAnorak’s extensive archive. Yours truly is always pleased to find an excuse to foist another lo-fi recording on the world at large. Here is Radio Caroline on the 8th of July 1988 and a few minutes from around 6AM on the 9th of July as Radio Caroline performs another closedown and hands over to the “new station”. I presume english programming continued in the evenings? Over the summer they were working on improving the aerial. Perhaps they needed “all hands on deck”?? Problems with the mast/aerial was something I don’t think they ever got satisfactorily sorted before the final final closedown a couple of years later
PS: And harking back to an even earlier age of Offshore Radio, I note that Wilfred Proudfoot died recently. He was a backer and later Managing Director of the Pirate Radio Station Radio 270. He was a vocal supporter of commercial radio in the early 1970s and at various times an MP, a Supermarket chain entrepreneur and a Hypnotist. You couldn’t make it up.