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Special Feature 1

, probably the most famous radio station in the world, played host to Rob Gould, Nigel Moss and Fiona Ford last week (May 6th 2004). The Fula threesome entertained listeners with renditions of Behind Cold Eyes, Nothing and Everything (all from the 1999 release Dark Matter), preceded by the world premier of Rob Gould's 'Caves of Thunder' Live.

The band chatted with Imagination Show presenter Rob Leighton about all things music and caves! and rounded off the evening chosing a couple of favourite tracks. Rob picked 'Chessboards' from Killing Joke's 'Brighter than a Thousand Suns' and 'Touch Sensitive' by Strangefish, taken from their debut 'Full Scale' cd. Nigel played 'Whisper' by Morphine from the album 'Yes', also 'Desert Drive' from Euphoria's 'Beautiful My Child' cd.


A Brief History
1964 to 2004

Snubbed by the radio and music establishment Ronan O'Rahilly created the legendary Radio Caroline (named after the daughter of John F Kennedy!) to be able to play unsigned and independent artistes and challenge the major labels.

On Easter Monday 1964 presenters Chris Moore and Simon Dee announced 'This is Radio Caroline on 199, your all day music station'. A Rollin' Stones track was played dedicated to Ronan. Caroline was on air and the monopolies of the BBC and Radio Luxembourg were shattered and UK radio was changed forever.

On August 14th 1967 the government brought in the "Marine Broadcasting Offences Act" forcing almost all independent offshore radio stations from the airwaves. However an obstinant O'Rahilly moved the station's ship 'Mi Amigo' off the coast of Holland and continued to broadcast his now pirate operation, gambling that he could get Dutch advertising tenders and corner the market of the 20 million or so UK independent radio listeners. By 1968 O'Rahilly found himself increasingly hampered by costs, hardship and some degree of loneliness. After the 'Mi Amigo' was impounded later that year, Radio Caroline finally succumbed and was forced off the air, to be replaced by the BBCs own watered down Radio 1 pop music service, which had been introduced to appease the population.

In 1972 a somewhat unseaworthy 'Mi Amigo' headed out of Dutch waters and Radio Caroline was back on air. This time promoting 'loving awareness' as O'Rahilly felt not only was there too much hate in the world, but that 'love' wasn't getting a fair crack of the whip. This philosophy is still embraced today as the spirit of Caroline.

By 1980 the 'Mi Amigo'was coming to the end of her life, and on March 19th of that year in heavy seas the crew finally admitted defeat and scrambled aboard lifeboats as the ship's rotting hull sprang leak after leak. DJs Tom Anderson and Stevie Gordon told listeners ' It's not a very good occasion really, we have to hurry this because the lifeboat is waiting. We're not leaving and disappearing, we're going into the lifeboat hoping that the pumps can take it, if so, we'll be back, if not, well we really don't like to say it. I'm sure we'll be back one way or another. For the moment from all of us, goodbye and God Bless'.

A few minutes after the crew were rescued by the lifeboat Helen Turnbull, the ships lights went out as sea water engulfed the generator and Mi Amigo sank. It seemed to all observers that this was the final end for Radio Caroline.

In 1982 Rahilly, on a ship finding mission, discovered Ross Revenge, a massive side trawler in good order, available only because the UK's capitulation in the Cod Wars with Iceland had left her with no work. This was to become the broadcasting vessel until 1990 amazingly surviving the hurricane of '87 and violent and heavy handed attacks from Dutch officials and Britis Law enforcers, sometimes these hostile attacks were relayed live on air to horrified listeners. Every move to re-supply the ship was thwarted and clearly the D.T.I. were mounting close surveillance. Carolines broadcasts became ever more sporadic as fuel and supplies ran out. In the early hours of Nov. 5th 1990 D.J. Neil Gates closed down programmes for the night but the next morning they did not re-start. This was the last broadcast ever made from the Ross Revenge in International waters.

On the evening of November 19th in the middle of a fierce storm the anchor chain snapped. Disorientated by the severe weather the crew had no idea they were adrift until with a terrifying impact Ross Revenge grounded on the notorious Goodwin Sands, sixteen miles from her anchorage. After bravely staying on board their listing, flooded vessel for three hours the crew, concluding that she was about to capsize, agreed to be rescued by helicopter. The Goodwins are a ships graveyard and poor old Ross Revenge was left to her fate.

The ship was eventually salvaged and was indefinately detained at Dover Habour by authorities. After many temporary unsatifactory homes, Ross Revenge now lies off Rocester. Radio Caroline still continues to broadcast to this day via the internet, through the Sky television Service and on WorldSpace.

How to tune in to Radio Caroline via your Sky box

First make sure that your TV is tuned to Sky
Press Services on the remote control and then select System Set Up and then Add Channels.
The screen will then give you tuning options. Use the keypad and the cursor ( triangular ) buttons to make the screen show:
Frequency - 11.390
Polarity - V
Symbol Rate - 27.5
FEC - 2/3
Now go to Find Channels and press Select. The screen will shortly show you the channel it has found. Use the yellow button to Store Channels, this puts a small tick against your choice, then press Select. When you want to listen to Caroline, just press Services and Other Channels. The Caroline option will appear and you just press Select. It's also possible to listen to Radio Caroline via the internet. Follow this link Radio Caroline for further instructions.

Rob Gould. All Rights Reserved.