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Last Update 15 October 2016 18:00:16

 

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My interest in Radio Caroline and other offshore stations began at a very early age.

I believe the first thing to stir my radio imagination was in 1964 at the age of 11 a certain radio ship dropped anchor off the coast of Essex. This was of course the MV Caroline which began broadcasts on Easter Sunday.

It was soon joined by another ship the Mi Amigo, call sign Radio Atlanta, soon to be renamed Radio Caroline South . Little did this little ship know at the time that she would be chased around the North Sea by various European Governments although loved and adored by her listeners.

These two ships were joined by others Radio London's Galaxy, fort based radio stations like Radios 390 & City. British broadcasting was booming. The BBC which seemed to broadcast the same boring old programs since the days of Marconi was in retreat. Its audience was leaving it in droves.

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The Government lead by Prime Minister Harold Wilson was getting anxious about this broadcasting boom , and after 3 years of debating and how to deal with the offshore broadcasters put a bill through parliament to silence the stations for good. On 14th August 1967 the Marine Offences Etc. Bill became law. This made it illegal to supply, work or advertise on these offshore radio stations. Technically it was also against the law to listen, but it was not feasible to arrest all the listeners. All the stations closed except the two Caroline ships.

You need a browser with Java support to view this item Radio Caroline continued for several months until both ships were towed in to a Dutch Harbour. However after a few years the Mi Amigo was sold and escaped back into the North Sea. This started probably the most eventful era of offshore radio. The Dutch passed their version of the MOA. Caroline set sail for the Essex Coast. The lady had came home. The next few years was a battle against the elements and the authorities. One small ship brave crew members and dedicated listeners. She was raided in November 1975 for broadcasting in British Waters after drifting, and the crew arrested. Two deejays appeared at Southend Court and were found guilty. During the next few months she was abandoned on several occasions as the crew thought she was sinking. Somehow they managed to salvage the ship and recommence broadcasting. However all was not to last  on 20th March 1980 ,after taking in water for several days the MI Amigo put out a distress call and with the lifeboat standing by the deejays closed the station and got on to the lifeboat .The Mi Amigo sank, this time no salvage operation was possible.

After the sinking the Mi Amigo `s aerial could still be seen pointing definitely above the sea level as if to give the V sign to her opponents. However the Caroline Organization managed to fit out a new radio ship the Ross Revenge. This ship anchored in the same position as the Mi Amigo and commenced broadcasts on 319 meters on 19th August 1983.After a quite beginning of service the ship soon found the same enemies as the Mi Amigo. She was  raided and stripped bare by English & Dutch Government raiders on 19thAugust 1989. Days later the station returned to the air on low power. However broadcasts being rare and after several months of silence the Ross Revenge broke anchor and went aground on the Goodwin sands. The ship was salvaged and towed in Dover. The Ross Revenge Supporters Group managed to raise enough money to pay the salvage fees, and started the task of restoring the Ross.

With the introduction of 1990 Broadcasting Act which gave the government power to board and seize radio ships . Broadcasting at Sea no longer seemed possible. Caroline's future looked bleak. It was though that it might be possible to obtain a license from a third world country and broadcast legally from sea. A license was never obtained and there were doubts if one was granted if a state several thousand miles away had a right to grant a license to broadcast in the North Sea.    During the next eight years the spirit of Radio Caroline survived with several successful restricted service broadcasts and the odd piece of loaned satellite airtime. To the delight of her supporters in 1999 Radio Caroline finally managed to secure airtime on the Pan European Astra 1c satellite at weekends. By early 2001 the station kept its promise and began transmitting 7 days a week. 

 

However technology was moving, the UK was rapidly moving to the digital age and on 31st March 2001 the transponders owners Flextech ceased their analogue television service. With this went  Radio Caroline's audio sub carrier.

 

Radio Caroline however returned on 1st May 2001 with a digital signal from the Astra 1G satellite from 19.2E  After a temporary period  In December 2002 using the Hotbird satellite at 13  E, Caroline moved to the UK friendly position of 28.2E using the Eurobird Satellite on 13th January 2003.

Due to problems receiving Radio Caroline on UK Sky Boxes the Decision has been made to close the Satellite Service on 30th September 2013

. Radio Caroline will continue on the Internet while seaching for a Meduim Wave Frequency.

 The station has many streams and these can be found   HERE

Now on DAB In Norwich And Aldershot

 

Radio Caroline can also be received on smartphones. Both Iphone and Android based phones can use either a special Caroline app or a programe like Tunein

  

 

                                             Radio Caroline @ 50                             

 NEW!!! In addition to the normal Radio Caroline stream Sixties style Caroline Flashback can now be heard on an alternative stream by clicking below, including The Roger Day Show every weekday 1600 - 1800

 

Caroline Flashback is here