From 1984 I kept a diary of the goings on in the
North Sea and roundabout. Here it is!
We join it with Radio Caroline broadcasting happily
on 963kHz since 20th August 1983 and having recently been joined by another
ship, the Communicator, home of Laser Radio. Reception in Birmingham unless
- December 31st Optimod working at last after
months of 30% mod!
- January 20th Caroline drifted under gale
force winds and got stuck on a sandbank inside territorial waters. Off the air
- January 21st Laser testing all day, Beatles
music on 729kHz. Good signal until dark and then clobbered (baloon
- January 25th Caroline back at anchor in
the Knock Deep.
- April 22nd Caroline's 20th birthday, top
500 celebration. Wally said "thanks to all those who made it possible and to
all those who didn't make it impossible"!
- May 7th Laser tests on 558kHz, tuning
signal then music... strong signal.
- May 10th More tests... Very
- May 12th Caroline line-up: Robin Ross, Dave
Richards, Blake Williams, Simon (Wally) Barrat, Andy Johnson.
- May 13th Caroline off-air all
- May 14th Caroline back on, new line-up:
Diane Lauren, Grant Benson, Peter Quinn, Andy Johnson, Blake Williams, Stuart
- May 16th More tests from Laser.
- May 18th More tests. Caroline has distorted
- May 21st More tests with low mod. Caroline
off at 5pm "to replace an insulator".
- May 22nd Nobody on in the morning, Laser
test in the afternoon. Radio Nova (Dublin) audible on 738kHz and
- May 23rd More tests on 558 with better mod.
No Caroline. No Nova on 819. 738 had "Exidy" but went off at
- May 24th Start of "Laser558" Rick Harris
programme from 5am. "All hit Radio" pop format. No Caroline until lunchtime
with Jay Jackson doing the news. Nova/Exidy on 738 only.
- May 25th Caroline line-up: Peter Quinn,
Grant Benson, Andy Johnson, Diane Lauren, Jay Jackson and Blake Williams who
seems to be an engineer. Caroline off mid evening for "tests".
- May 26th Caroline back on at 0600 with
tones, 0635 with programme. Still a poor signal and modulation. Closed at about
nine for more tests. Nova loud on 738 during daylight.
- May 27th Caroline tuning up at 0400 with
tones etc. Blake Williams said good morning so he's been up all night as he
didn't do the afternoon show as billed. Signal strength and mod better. Paul
Dean on Laser did "Sixties Sunday", not too bad.
- May 29th Caroline off from 6pm. Tuning with
tones all night.
- May 30th Caroline's mod sounds a bit
better, signal normal. Generator dying a bit in the afternoon. Laser
advertising T shirts.
- June 1st Blake Williams says Caroline
running "a little more than 50kW" they closed at 8pm. Nova on 738 tripping
- June 2nd Caroline tuning until 11am. The
mods good now.
- June 3rd New "Priority Airfreight" advert
during Caroline's album chart prog.
- June 5th Laser plugging a video for
£15. Caroline has a new holidays advert (Gozo!) mod only 60% or so but
good quality. Laser's is 100% but little compression. C went off at 10pm to
tune up, testing at 1115pm with poor mod waveform.
- June 9th IBA tests on 603kHz for East Kent,
moved from 954kHz, I wonder why! Nova loud again on 738.
- June 10th Caroline off at 6pm.
- June 11th Caroline off at 6pm. Nova 738 and
Sunshine 1017 (land based pirate from Shropshire) both OK.
- June 12th Caroline off at 6pm. Peter Quinn
and Grant Benson gone, 3 hour shows from Tom Anderson, Diane Lauren, Stuart
Vincent, Blake Williams and Jay Jackson on news.
- June 13th I tuned in toCaroline at 0530,
Blake Williams announced "This is Caroline testing" with music. Normal start at
0600, what are they doing? No other outlet found on MW, FM?
- June 14th Caroline off all day.
- June 15th Caroline back on at 0600. Tom
Anderson, Dave Richards, Simon Barret, Brian Allen with Jay Jackson on
- June 17th Caroline has new adverts for
Seagull Sales. No Laser today, no FM no SW.
- June 18th No Laser again. Nova OK, Sunshine
OK. Caroline on until 1am or so.
- June 19th No Caroline, no Laser, I listened
to Nova at work, it was good.
- June 20th No Caroline, no Laser again.
Thunder storms made reception bad anyway!
- June 21st Caroline tuning at 0620 for short
while, returned at 1120am. Blake Williams said "We thought we'd take a couple
of days off to sunbathe" Off at 6pm.
- June 22nd Caroline back, very strong, off
at 6pm. Laser back.
- June 23rd Caroline weak today, "not using
the big rig today but it's OK, the office knows about it" 4-5dB down on
reference, off at 6pm.
- June 24th New female jock on Laser, Holly
Michaels. Caroline off all day.
- June 25th Caroline back on, still weak, new
job adverts. Off at 9pm.
- June 26th Caroline 1-2dB down on ref. Off
at 9pm. Dave Richards, Brian Allen, Blake Williams.
- June 27th Caroline not on until 9am then
tests with music and recorded announcements until 10. Peter Quinn next then
Blake, Tom, Stuart Vincent and Wally until 2am + Jay Jackson with news. New
advert for Discount Traveller Magazine.
- June 29th Caroline still 6am to
- July 1st New bloke "Stuart Russel" ex Mi
Amigo days. Replacing Wally Barret.
- July 2nd New bloke on Laser, and they've
got some letters!
- July 4th Knock Deep tea party at 8pm (US
independance day) with Blake and Tom.
- July 8th New format chart show "Caroline
Top Tracks" 6pm to 9pm with Blake, very good!
- July 14th Caroline still closing early some
evenings, also some alte starts.
- July 16th Caroline have netted! now only a
2Hz beat with RTE. Andy Johnson back at 10pm. Radio Tunis still unstable at
about 300Hz off 963.
- July 17th Caroline line up: Dave Richards,
Stuart Russel, Balke Williams, Tom Anderson, Andy Johnson till
- July 22nd Blake off, replaced by Simon
(Wally) Barret. Jay Jackson on news.
- July 23rd Caroline putting out Dutch
- July 26th Laser have some proper jingles. I
keep meeting people who listen to it!
- July 27th Dave Richards, Simon Barret, Andy
Johnson, Tom Anderson, Edwin King, Grant Benson on news. Jay Jackson off. Test
transmissions on 594kHz, quite good during the day but rotten after
- July 28th THE VISIT. Left Birmingham at 6am
for Ramsgate, boat out at 10am, arrived at the ships about 1330. Laser not too
impressive, couldn't see much, Caroline very good. Went on board and met Grant
and Simon and took photos. Back home at midnight, Ace! (Test TX on 594 was
"only a few kW")
- July 30th New "Seagull Sales"
- August 5th Jay Jackson is back. Tests on
576kHz, better than 594.
- August 6th Still on 963 and 576. Dave
Richards, Wally, Grant, Andy J, Edwin King, Jay Jackson news.
- August 7th Caroline went off both freqs at
8-15pm returned on 576 at 8-35 and 963 at 8-55 but 10hZ off frequency. 576
quite good during the evening, 963 somewhat variable (Tunis etc.)
- August 9th 963 (back on frequency) and
- August 10th No 576 today. Generator stopped
at 1803, back at 1817.
- August 12th New bloke, Johnny Lewis, ex
Caroline and Ireland, (and Laser tests) replacing Dave Richards. New adverts
for sun tan lotion, back on 576 from noon.
- August 13th John Lewis, Grant Benson,
Stuart Vincent, Andy Johnson, Edwin King (ducky!), Jay Jackson.
- August 14th 576 seems permanent, no mention
of "319" anymore.
- August 17th Trip to Scotland, 576 no better
range than 963 because clobbered by RTE on 567 (same with 558!).
- August 19th 963 audible in the North of
Scotland from about 7pm. Good from 9pm when it became one of the strongest
signals on the band! 558 only occasionally audible late in the evening and
never very strong..
- August 24th New jingles on Caroline, some
- September 3rd John Lewis, Wally, Andy
Johnson, Stuart Vincent, Brian Allen + Jay Jackson.
- September 6th 576 is absolutely bang-on
frequency, not very good after dark though.
- September 7th Laser on till
- September 14th Jay Jackson gone off. Laser
still going 'till 2am.
- September 15th Andy J, Wally, Johnny,
SAMANTHA!, Brian Allen.
- September 19th John Lewis, Alton Andrews,
Andy Johnson, Samantha, Brian Allen with Wally on news. Hawaiian Tropic,
Priority Airfreight, Seagull Sales, Alan Landray Personnell, Jordash Jeans,
Newsweek magazine adverts. Also plugs for a "Caroline Night Out" in London on
- September 20th Tunisia netted to within
20Hz of 963. 576 goes off early most evenings (can't hear it after dark
- September 25th Tom Anderson is back 6 to
10pm, Andy Johnson off.
- September 26th Grant Benson is back on
news. ID changed to "Caroline International". News of Caroline Roadshow back in
- September 28th Charlie Wolf off Laser
(pity). Caroline on till 2am again to compete with Laser.
- September 29th Robbie Day reading the news
on Laser, he was doing the "Laser lover and Communicator Roadshow".
- September 30th Laser have forgotten that
CET went back one hour and are still giving split time checks. Went off during
the evening, back at 11-20pm, off frequency.
- October 1st Alton Andrews, Dave Richards,
Andy Johnson, Tom, Samantha, Grant on news. Laser not up to strength
- October 3rd Caroline dead weak on both
frequencies, useless at night. Laser back to normal and on
- October 1st Caroline still weak, went off
about 2pm, Tom Anderson went up the mast and they returned at 8pm on full
power! Laser have some new adverts (crap ones).
- October 9th John Lewis, Grant, Alton
Andrews, Paul McKenna, John Lewis, David Windsor, Samantha 'till 3am (extended
programming). Charlie Wolf back on Laser.
- October 10th Tunisia is now 3.5kHz HF of
- October 11th Laser a bit weak.
- October 15th Paul McKenna mentioned going
for a speedboat ride with Laser jocks. New advert for Motown album set via
teledata on 01 200 0200! Laser back on full power.
- October 16th John Lewis, Grant, Alton, Paul
McKenna, Dave Richards, Dave Windsor, Stuart Vincent and Jay Jackson on
- October 18th STORMS. Johnny said " We're
moving about a bit, but not as much as certain other ships anchored not far
- October 20th Caroline 24 hours.
- October 21st No 576 today. 963 off between
4-30 and 6 and early close at midnight.
- October 22nd 24 hour format: 6-Johnny
Lewis, 9-Grant, 12-Alton, 3-Paul, 6-Dave Richards, 9-Dave Windsor, 12-Stuart
Vincent, 3am Barry StJohn with Jay Jackson news.
- October 25th Caroline off all evening
(aerial maintenance) from 7pm.
- October 26th Laser have an advert for an
- October 27th Caroline at 8am announced
"going off for aerial maintenance which has to be done in daylight and calm
seas". Back at 6pm, Andy Johnson and Samantha have returned. Caroline have ads
for Expo86 in Canada.
- November 5th Suzanne Charles on Caroline
- November 10th Andy Johnson, Suzanne
Charles, Brian Allen, Dave Richards, Tom, Dave Richards again, Keith King......
- November 12th Caroline now have Nikon
camera ads and Kon-Tiki America holidays contest.
- November 15th Caroline very good signals
these days, better than ref by 1dB or so, very little interference in the
- November 20th John Lewis still on, he's
been there since August 12th as far as I can see!
- November 23rd STORMS. Johnny Lewis said
"Hello to our neighbours who are bouncing about a bit!".
- November 25th No Laser (aerial work).
Caroline off at 6pm.
- November 26th Laser back on.
- November 27th Caroline off at
- November 28th Caroline on at 7am, off at
6pm. "essential maintenance" no diesel?
- November 29th No Caroline.
- November 30th No Caroline
- December 1st Caroline back on, no clues
except AJ said he'd been working all night. New Dutch advert. Andy Johnson,
John Lewis, Keith King, Dave Richards, Tom Anderson, Dave Richards again,
- December 3rd C. New newsreader, Marty
- December 5th C. New bloke, Bruce
- December 8th The first Marty Wright show,
- December 9th C on at 0630 with tones and
then off 'till 0845 with 'orrible music until 9 when Bruce announced "resuming
normal programmes at 0915". 576 IS BACK ON, not very good though, new mod
transformer according to the info line.
- December 10th New bloke on C, Tony James.
Announcement that Caroline would be 24hours on 576 and "all through the night"
on 963. Presumably a daytime Dutch service is on the way?
- December 11th C. off from 9am to 1-30pm,
aerial maint. 576 quite good afterwards.
- December 12th Jay Jackson is back. At
8-20am the generator stopped while John Lewis was reading the gig guide, as
they faded out you could hear him saying "we're packing up!". Back up at 8-45am
on 963 and then 576 which is flashing over on mod peaks.
- December 13th John Lewis, Jay Jackson,
Keith King, Tony James, Dave Richards, Bruce Perdy. Marty Wright,
- December 15th RADIO MONIQUE!! on 963 from
5am, Caroline on 576 but not very good here 'till 7am..
- December 17th First official day of Radio
Monique. Caroline "works Christmas do" in the evening with Monique
- December 20th Monique is running from 4am
to 7pm then 963 rejoins Caroline. 576 is 10dB or so down on Laser and no good
after 2pm here. Laser has ads for Time Out magazine and Laser roadshows in
Rugby etc with Paul Dean (Laser jock).
- December 21st Cs new ID "With offices in
New York, Los Angeles and Toronto, this is Caroline 576".
- December 22nd Keith King, Jay Jackson, John
Lewis, Tony James, Dave Richards, Bruce Perdy, Roland Butter! with Marty Wright
on the news. 576 only 5 or 6 dB down on Laser, much better!
- December 23rd No it isn't! Laser's on low
- December 25th Laser off in the evening,
short of fuel.
- December 27th Some Laser people on board
Caroline! Holly Michaels, Tim and others.
- December 28th Laser back on full power, at
least 10dB up on 576. C. has ads for Superior Leisurewear who do Caroline T
shirts and sweat shirts... Have Segull Sales gone bust? There are runours of
Laser's demise, a major backer has pulled out. Occasional cryptic comments on
- December 30th C. break in TX around
lunchtime, 963 back quickly, 576 about 20 mins later.
- December 31st 1984C. new year's eve party /
piss-up 10pm 'till 2am.
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