STOLEN   LISTENERS

Stolen listeners
Radio Netherlands aired an account of a recent visit to the Ross Revenge in their "Media Network" programme on 1st August 1985. At breakfast time on Tuesday 6th August 1985, a new advert, for "People Express" airlines was heard. A week later Daily Mail, for Tuesday 13th August 1985, broke the story that the UK Department of Trade and Industry was keeping watch on the two offshore radio stations. The 99ft "Dioptric Surveyor" had been hired at a cost of £50,000 a month from Trinity House, and manned by members of the DTI radio investigation services to monitor programming and keep watch on all vessels calling at the radio ships. Over the following days UK national papers, TV and radio stations, picked up on the story. The DTI claimed that Caroline and Laser were interfering with marine radio, and causing problems for navigation beacons used by oilrig support helicopters, as well as hijacking wavelengths used by local UK radio stations. On Tuesday 20th August 1985, BBC TV news reported on the situation with Garry Lloyd, who spoke to Peter Philips aboard Radio Caroline, about the DTI efforts to close them down, Peter replied "we've been here for 21 years, I'd think we'll be here for a good 21 more". Garry then asked "The ministry say you're robbers of the airwaves, are you?", "I've heard that suggested" said Peter "they've also accused us of stealing listeners, but I don't think our listeners would agree they've been stolen".

 

Possible prosecutions
The London Standard for 21st August 1985reported that the Director of Public Prosecutions had asked police to interview firms who advertised on Radio Caroline, to discover whether any offence had been committed under the MOA. A new studio was being built at the rear of the ship, by Peter Philips who it has been reported is the only carpenter on board the Ross Revenge. The studio came into full operation on Tuesday 27th August 1985. The DTI blockade continued, as do the allegations of interference caused by the offshore stations, John Lewis discussed the DTI on 28th August 1985. "Rather an interesting conversation we had last night on the radiotelephone with some ships, one of the dredgers, they were talking about the so called interference that we cause. They don't seem to attach very much credence to it. May we say thank you very much to all the ships that have called us up, don't worry we're her here to stay. We've been here for 21 years and we're going to be here for another 21, you can use us as a beacon, so don't worry. It was a very nice message of support, so thank you very much". "Time Out " magazine for the 12th September 1985 quoted Mike Norris an operations manager for Bristow helicopters complaining that Radio Carolines signal sprawls across frequencies and blocks helicopter guidance systems to North sea oil rigs, he does not however agree with the DTI that the pirates present a serious "life threat". It is seen as more of an inconvenience as pilots just switch to other means of navigation.


Dioptric

The Dioptric Surveyor

Peter Philips

Peter Philips

Dioptric

Dioptric

paper

Ipswich Evening Star 17-8-1985

icon

DJs line-up August 1985

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Eurosiege

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