"I was not there on the fateful day the ship was towed away. I came ashore about three days before the towing and was replaced aboard by Roger Scott (Greg Bance) whom I knew from Radio Essex. I said a few choice words, like, "You will like it here", and left on the Offshore III for Dundalk a 10-hour horrific journey in the bumpy waters of a brisk force 6 wind.
The deejays had an apartment in Dublin that we shared, and I spent the night
there and then flew to Gatwick, convinced the DTI/GPO did not know my real
identity. They clearly did not, but my brother gave me a press cutting from
the Daily Sketch newspaper all about Radio Caroline, featuring some photos.
One was understandably of Ronan and the other, taken by a freelance photographer
at the IoM, was of ME! Clearly taken using a telescopic lens from one of the
pleasure boats that drove past us at close quarters while the Anoraks threw
requests aboard. They were issued with plastic bags containing a stone to
assist the "air mail" to land safely on the deck.
It was the next afternoon while I was in my mother's flat in London that I saw the early-evening news and saw the ships under tow. Over the years I have lost the odd job or two, without actually being fired as such, but I have never had my place of work towed away! It came as a total and utter surprise, as we'd had the feeling that things were actually improving.
The only thing that did not improve was the music, there were some misgivings about the quality of some of the plug records we were required to play and listeners did complain of the mediocre Major Minor tracks that were being aired. I suppose Freddie (Parrot Face) Davies and his 'Sentimental Songs' still haunts me to this very day! Of course, some did make the charts, like the Dubliners' 'Seven Drunken Nights' and the Equals' 'Baby Come Back'. Even Raymond LeFevre (of 'Soul Coaxing' fame) did experience huge sales of his LP.
As we were denied the chance to say goodbye to listeners, we did hold a couple of Caroline disco events, one at Ramsey on the IoM and the second in a nightclub at Cleveleys near Blackpool which had been a regular advertiser with Radio Caroline North.
One very enterprising middle-aged lady who was housebound after having had polio, actually discovered my real name and traced me, she sent me a letter to my home address in Folkestone. I almost fell through the floor!"
© Andy Cadier & Radio London 2002
"The disc jockeys didn't seem to know what was going on, or why they were moving, but they seemed pretty pessimistic about the future"
Click on the headline to read the full newspaper account of the event (believed to be from the Daily Mirrror, dated March 4th)
The Marine Broadcasters site contains photos of the two ships berthed together in Amsterdam.
(Original Mi Amigo picture taken by Radio Caroline's Keith 'Keefers' Hampshire)