PEOPLE

Jocelyn Stevens
Publisher Jocelyn Stevens was one of a number of people who were keen to disprove the 1962 Pilkington Report, which had denied a demand for commercial radio in the UK. Stevens had purchased Queen magazine a few years earlier, and with editor Beatrix Miller restyled it to capture a younger more hip audience. Miller's targeted reader "had long hair, was named Caroline, had left school at age 16, was not an intellectual, but she was the sort of person that one ended up in bed with".

Ronan O'Rahilly
Irishman Ronan O'Rahilly, had arrived in London in 1961 and was soon mixing with artists, photographers, actors and musicians around Chelsea and the West end of London. While studying Stanislavsky method acting, Ronan met Giorgio Gomelski, who was the unofficial first manager of the Rolling Stones. By 1963, Ronan was involved with running the Scene Club, with South African Lionel Blake. The Scene club, situated near London's Piccadilly Circus was the haunt of many emerging musicians. The Animals, the Who (then known as the High Numbers) and the Rolling Stones all played gigs there. Ronan was also working as a record promoter for the Gunnell Brothers, who were club owners and artist managers. One of their artists was Georgie Fame, and Ronan became heavily involved in promoting him.

Allan Crawford
Australian Allan Crawford, a music publisher had moved to London, and for several years had been working to set up his own offshore radio station - Radio Atlanta. He was soon to meet up with Ronan O'Rahilly.

Fredericia
Jocelyn Stevens group raised funds from English, Irish, and Swiss backers through a Swiss company, Alraune. At the end of 1963, a 702 ton ex Danish passenger ferry, the Fredericia was acquired. The ship had been built in 1930 by the Frederikshavens V & F A/S in Frederikshaven, and was built with an ice strengthened hull.

It was alleged that the ship had been sold to Cross Channel Container Services Limited, Greenore Harbour, Ireland. and was to be renamed Iseult. (the name of one of Ronan O’Rahilly's sisters). Ownership was then transferred to Astrenic SA in Panama.

On 13th February 1964, the Fredericia left Rotterdam for Greenore in the Republic of Ireland. The port of Greenore was conveniently owned by Aodhogan O'Rahilly, Ronan's father. Ronan's grandfather had played a key part in the Easter 1916 uprising, that eventually led to the formation of the Irish republic. Yeats wrote a famous poem about "The O'Rahilly". When the Fredericia arrived in Ireland, it is believed that two 10 kilowatt transmitters had already been installed.

At Greenore, a 165 foot mast was erected, studios were fitted, and a large anchor system was installed, with the ship strengthened to withstand continuous assault by wind and waves.

 

Jocelyn Stevens

Jocelyn Stevens

Ronan O'Rahilly 1964

Ronan O'Rahilly

Georgie Fame

Georgie Fame

Ronan O'Rahilly & Allan Crawford

Ronan O'Rahilly with Allan Crawford

Queen Magazine

Fredericia

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