Pirate Radio

Richard Cyster - Orwell 69-66: So, growing up at Woolverstone, what do I remember? One thing was the music. Not just the school concerts, operas, etc. but the 'popular' music of the time, and how difficult it was to listen to it before 1964. I have memories of trying to tune in to Radio Luxembourg, using my earphone under the bedclothes after Lights Out. Not very satisfactory! Then, in 1964, something wonderful happened - Radio Caroline! Swiftly followed by a number of other pirate radio stations: Radio City, Radio London. They were generally moored off the Essex coast, broadcasting to London and Woolverstone was smack bang in the middle of their transmission 'beam'. It was a revelation. All that music we loved: the Beatles, the Stones, the Searchers, the Hollies - I could go on and on. Radio One, the BBC's belated answer to pirate radio, came later, after I'd left.

Graham Forster - Orwell 59-67: Loved Caroline. I remember in 1964 there was an announcement that they were going to play a new release by The Animals and a group gathered on Orwell side with a trannie to hear 'House of The Rising Sun'. I then rushed back to the house to work out the chords on my guitar - Happy days!

Richard Cyster: Yes, Graham, I remember being driven almost mad that summer by the opening riff being played (generally badly) wherever I went in the school.

Louis Parperis - Orwell 63-70: Radio City had a special request section in which they would smash on air any record the DJ thought worthy of obliteration. One day in the first term of my second year, a request was read out to smash 'Have I The Right' by The Honeycombs for, “Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones and the second form of Orwell House at Woolverstone Hall.” To this day, I can't stand the bloody song!

Graham Forster: I have to agree with you; it goes into room 101 with 'Chirpy, Chirpy, Cheep, Cheep'.

Richard Cyster: Yes, I also have a memory of a dedication being read out on air to a number of the masters, using their nicknames - "for Shaky, Shakeshaft, Stretch Poole' etc. It even included Mr Podd who got a special "Hullo, Mr Podd".

Louis Parperis: Not guilty! I suspect Jim Wild or the Twins Templeton.

Peter Warne - Corners 66-73: And as the 1970 general election approached, I asked an 18+ 6th-former who he was going to vote for. 'Conservatives'. I was astonished and dismayed that anyone could vote for the party of oppression and our parents' generation, And why?
'Because they are going to legalise pirate radio'. In that instant I understood the meaning of 'useful idiot' and popularist opportunism in politics. And then came four years of Edward Heath.

Chris Snuggs - Berners/Halls 58-64: Terry Ashcroft had a crystal radio in Berners in 1st yr 1958. We both had bunk beds in the first little dorm as you entered from the washrooms courtyard. Terry had a top bunk and the others in the dorm - four or five - used to huddle alongside his bunk while he tried to get Radio Luxembourg - which he sometimes managed to do! The development of technology in our lifetimes has been astonishing.

Harvey Angel - Hansons 64-71: Two memories of Radio Luxembourg. Firstly, I too listened to it in bed on a transistor radio with earphones. Secondly, we'd listen to it on the house radio in the common room. The signal had a habit of fading out and then fading back in again - normally just when they were playing a favourite song.

Thomas Newsham - Johnstons 54-59: Horace Batchelor.

Chris Snuggs: Horace Batchelor of K E Y N S H A M!

Chris Jenkins: That's the man - listened to him under the covers in the late 50's in Corners House. Those were the days.

Louis Parperis: Horace Batchelor was the man responsible for leading Harvey astray. The poor soul was misled by the surname into thinking he was tuning in to a programme about techniques for growing organic crops, but he became overexcited under his blankets by the racy descriptions of perms, and was soon enmeshed in the vice with which he has lived ever since.

Harvey Angel: Speak for yourself, Louis! What you may have got up to (excuse the pun) under your blankets at school after lights out bears no resemblance to my activities. There's a distinct difference between growing organic crops and growing things for orgasms! I used to go to sleep.

Geoff Weighill - Corners 64-69: Some great memories of pirate radio! I remember we listened to one of the stations playing the entire Beatles double white album when it was released in late '68 - not sure if it was Luxembourg or one of the pirates.

Chris Archer - Corners 66-71: I remember that as I was writing home at the time. My parents asked what I wanted for Christmas. I initially said I didn’t know/mind, but by the end of side 1 I had changed to say a copy of the album (which they bought and listened to with me). I also remember that Paul McCartney was on that show commenting on the tracks.

Peter Warne: The next year (69) I listened to 'Abbey Road' on my trannie (that used to be a radio, Louis) under the covers after lights-out, also played all the way through by a pirate station. Then it got to 'Octopus's Garden', and I wondered if this was worth a slippering. But then it got back on track, and I made it through unslippered.

Roger Friend - Johnstons 58-63: I remember that Radio Lux didn't start till 7.00pm and always signed on with Duane Eddie's 'Because They're Young'. The DJs I recall were Kent Walton, David Jacobs and Jim, among a host others I have forgotten.

Harvey Angel: Kent Walton also did the commentary for Professional Wrestling (ITV, Saturday afternoons).

Roger Friend: Yes, I recall that Harvey. I used to like wrestling but could never find a bookie that would accept bets on bouts! Funny that ....

Chris Snuggs: REMEMBER THIS??? (“Out Of The Blue”)

Chris Snuggs: 1963 Radio Luxembourg hits