A treasure chest of Real Audio clips!
Use the nav. bar on the left to find your way round the intro page then click on the icon to get to the good stuff.Remember.. click on the icons for streaming audio and the text links for "download and play". They work in VLC if you don't want to use Real Audio player.
Well 2009 is nearly over and we're still reminiscing about the "good old days" of the pirate ships... sad really, but they were great weren't they? Not only the music but the whole "real-life drama" that was played-out to keep them on the air.
Hot news: ... I've checked all the Links and deleted any dead 'uns, let me know if you have a site that could do with a link in my chain!
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Radio Caroline, the early years
Recordings from the "first generation" Caroline and some pictures of those oh-so-trendy sixties DJs!
Caroline North, the original MV Caroline, started its' radio life off Frinton where it was soon to be joined by Radio Atlanta from the Mi-Amigo.... The two joined forces and the Caroline sailed around the South of England and up the West coast to the Isle of Man, broadcasting as she went. There's an excerpt here along with other famous IDs, Caroline Cash Casino etc.
Other sixties pirates...
As well as Caroline and London there were many other stations broadcasting around the coast of Britain.
From the wartime forts off the Essex coast came Radio Sutch, Radio City, Radio Invicta, 390 etc whilst up North were 270 and Radio Scotland.. We have some clips..
Radio Caroline in the '70 and '80s
In the mid 70s the Mi-Amigo broadcast in dutch during the day and as Radio Seagull, a rock service, at night. The signal wasn't good so I didn't get much chance to hear it. Here are some recordings that I made in Norwich whilst working there.
I have the start of transmissions from the Ross Revenge in 1983 and an amazing event on short wave from 1988, Caroline calls... and listens... and replies!
A high-tech North sea pirate ship from the 1970s.
The famous "Radio Nordsee International" broadcast from the ship Mebo 2 to the UK and Europe on Medium Wave and Short Wave. Always in the news, hear their most famous incidents.
First there's the jammming. This is rarely undertaken by Western governments in peace-time but our democratic Labour government had decided that free radio wasn't for us! Rohnan O'Rahilly sympathised with RNI's plight and offered use of the temporarily dormant Caroline name for a big campaign running up to the election. Hear the jamming and some electioneering.
Next came the attempted piracy when a launch and a tug came out to cut the anchor chain and tow the ship away. Hear the full goings on...
Then in 1971 there was the fire! In a dispute with Radio Veronica some arsonists threw an incendiary bomb aboard, the panic-stricken RNI DJs can be heard calling "May Day".
Laser 558, the big noise from America (when the aerial was up!)
From the Radio ship "Communicator" anchored within sight of the Ross Revenge came the all-American sound of "All Europe Radio, Laser558". The signal was good, the presentation was slick and cool... but the rigging couldn't stand the worst that the North Sea could deliver.
We've some excerpts from their start on 558 and from one of their many come-backs after aerial troubles!
Rick Harris, Daid Lee Stone, Tommy Rivers, Charlie Wolf and Holly Michaels.... hear them all!
Land based pirates from the Eighties, three of them!
There was an amazing time in the eighties when pirate stations multiplied in Ireland and some of them, the "Super-Stations" could be heard over a large part of the UK.
Some, such as Nova were reputed to have 50kW transmitters and broadcast on several frequencies, audience figures were enourmous, they certainly shook up Irish radio.
Radio Nova was the biggest and Sunshine Radio was the first, we hear both of them here. There are also recordings of Shropshire's own Sunshine Radio which had a long and successful life as a pirate in the eighties.
The ill-fated Radio Atlantis.
It was short-lived and often off the air but it could be heard in the South East of England as it broadcast off the Dutch coast back in 1974.
A land based pirate you've never heard of!
A "minority" station if ever there was one. Landbased pirate from Leicestershire in the seventies.
Featuring the "Wally's Bucket and Ladder shop" episode from Christmas 1977. The famous duo of Tony Black and Alan Dunkley take on all comers in their special Christmas show complete with Grotto and guest Father Christmas... What could possibly go wrong?
Includes parts one and two of the Cloth Ears "How to be a Jock" course (and we're not talking Scottish!).
Read the day to day adventures of the pirates of the 1980s
This has been a major labour of love! The diaries cover 1984 to 1989, a time of much incident in the world of free radio. It concentrates on Caroline and Laser but mentions some other stations such as Nova and Sunshine from Ireland. The diaries were written at the time of the events and I spent days and days typing them all up.... Much of it is conjecture and rumour but it's interesting to see how much of that came true! I hope that, if you remember those times, it takes you back to that last great age of offshore radio; or if you don't remember, it gives you a flavour of that "soap-opera" which had us all tuning-in just to find out what happened next!
There are five diaries and they're all quite long so rather than spend ages on-line, scroll through them all, log off and view them from cache.
Pictures of ships and stuff.
There's the Comet and the Oceaan7 as well as the Communicator and lots of pictures of the Ross Revenge from my trip out there in 1984.
Other piratical Web sites I have surfed
Links checked May 12th 2016.
Lots of stuff on Midlands Pirates of the past.
Visit "Sixties City" and read their excellent history of the pirates + loads more 60s stuff.
The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame. Highly recommended site. Lots of info on offshore DJs.
The RNI memories site. Many good photos, and whole programmes to download!
The Official Radio Caroline site
Martin van der Ven, Lots of free radio stuff, good pictures
Photos of Radio Syd from Sweden in 1964 and 1965, also Radio Mercur from 1961.
Norman Barrington, ex Mi Amigo, jingles and pictures galore
If you have any comments on this site please mail me at You'll have to make a note of the address, it's an image to stop the robots spamming me!
Page updated 5/2016 © the Captain.