Page Nine
The first part of this page consists of stories from 2004, when we first met George Hare who introduced us to Penny Bowskill.
The later part is about a surprise gift that Penny received in 2015

Remembering Jason Wolfe

Another contact made at the Caroline reunion was George Hare, (left) who was the on-shore agent for Caroline North. George very kindly put us in touch with a good friend of his, Penny Bowskill. Penny is the widow of Chris Bowskill, known to offshore fans as Jason Wolfe, who sadly died in 1986.

Penny has taken the trouble to write about Jason's post-Caroline career. Although she does not have a scanner at home, is hoping to be able to send us some photos at a later date.

Penny's article reveals how small the world of offshore radio is. Penny, George, and Jason were also great friends with the late Guy Blackmore, from Caroline North. She also recalls a meeting with Bud Ballou in the States. Jason had been one of the first people Bud had asked us to try and find, when we first made contact in 1999! (See Jocks, Page 1) Bud lost contact with Jason and Penny after their move to San Francisco.

Photo of George by Doug MacKenzie, from 'Radio Caroline' by John Venmore-Rowland

After Caroline by Penny Bowskill

There was a spell, before Jason and I met – the dates elude me now – when Jason was erecting aerials on top of the BBC building in order to broadcast Radio Free London! He had a 'Jason Wolfe Pack' fan club, and was talking at meetings in Trafalgar Square, promoting independent radio. He also wrote articles for Wavelength and Script Magazine, mainly promoting independent radio, but also some quirky stuff.

When I met Jason in 1969 he was sharing a flat with ex-Caroline jock Jumbo Jim Gordon (Guy Blackmore). They formed a company together called Orphean Honk(!) putting discos and dancers into London pubs. Jason himself did The Greyhound every Sunday lunchtime. It was great fun! We were married in 1972 at Caxton Hall – very 70s! He freelanced with the BBC, LBC, Radio Nordzee (with Don Allen) and Capital.

In 1976 we moved to San Francisco (on my Green Card) and Jason freelanced with PBS Radio and had a weekend slot on KALX, the local Berkeley University radio station. Again he wrote articles for local publications, mostly on a variety of nutty stuff and some poems too. Johnnie Walker was in SF briefly whilst we were there, and I think they met up. Before we arrived in San Francisco we did that deal they have in the US where you drive and deliver a car from one coast to another. We drove from New York to San Francisco this way, and on the way met up with Bud Ballou (ex-Caroline jock Howie Castle) in Syracuse, New York, for a couple of days. That was a fun visit. We had also (on our honeymoon I think) met up with Manfred Sommer (ex-Caroline engineer) in Graz, Austria. So Radio Caroline was quite an item in my life, even though it was pretty much all over by the time I met Jason.

So, as you can tell, I was greatly influenced by Jason in this independent radio business. Encouraged by him, I went on to work as PA to Terry Bate who, at that time (1972-ish), was leading the franchise bid for the London News commercial radio station on behalf of The Evening Standard and Beaverbrook Newspapers. Radio Caroline (well, Ronan O'Rahilly) had brought Terry over from Canada prior to this, where he had been quite an innovator at the Radio Advertising Bureau in Toronto, working with Howard Heller. He was appointed Advertising Director for Radio Caroline, bringing with him a wealth of expertise in that field. His franchise for Beaverbrook Broadcasting unfortunately did not win the bid, but I moved on to the people who did, as PA to the Chairman and CEO of LBC. It was a couple of years later that we moved to San Francisco.

We returned to the UK in 1983 with a son and a daughter. BBC Radio Reading actually interviewed Jason live on air about the Radio Caroline Days, which is a bit of a turn around. He worked for Radio Thamesmead back in London and did film-extra work ,whilst taking a year's course at the City Lit in drama, he had lots of small character-parts in film and TV and a couple of TV commercials. He lectured regularly to the police on how to handle radio and TV interviews, and was actually leading quite a stable life at this point! Then his health started failing and in 1986 he died of cancer. Our kids were 4 and 6 years old.

Our son Drummond is now an actor in London, mostly for the love of it at this point, despite 3 years' professional training and an MA! But enjoying life a lot. And our daughter Polly is a groom and horse trainer in the Malvern Hills in Worcester, which she loves. Jason was a great believer in working at a job which you enjoy, life's too short not to.

Jumbo Jim Gordon (Guy Blackmore) went on to be a regular Presenter for Thames Television before he returned to Australia with an Australian wife he met in London. Sadly, Guy also died, a few years ago now. I am in close touch with Wendy Blackmore and also Guy's sister Liz who lives in LA.

Very many thanks to Penny, and to George, for putting us in touch.

The Wolfe Pack Badge
In 2015, our Roving Kneeporter, Keith Milborrow, received a donation of memorabilia from the widow of a late friend, including a badge that became a special gift.

Keith wrote to Penny
Sadly I don't think I ever heard your late husband on the air. Perhaps I did not listen to (or was unable to receive) the radio station/s on which he was heard. I was certainly never a member of the Jason Wolfe Pack. So how did I get hold of the badge? Well, the widow of a good friend of mine let me have all his radio memorabila after he died, mainly magazines and newsletters but the JWP badge fell out of the box. I immediately thought of you, having briefly met you at one of the offshore gatherings. No doubt I may run into you again on a similar such occasion – be sure to wear the badge!

Penny responded
What a treasure, thank you so much for letting me have this lovely piece of memorabilia.

I remember the many stories of Jason's fight for free radio, although it happened before we met. But he set me on the road too and I ended up working for Terry Bate representing Beaverbrook Broadcasting when the consortia were invited to bid for stations, and after the selection I worked for LBC until Jason and I went to the US in 1976. He then freelanced for various stations in the Bay Area and worked for Berkeley University Radio Station as a DJ under his real name of Chris Bowskill. We returned to the UK in 1983 and he kept in touch with the radio scene here and did some freelancing including Radio Thamesmead where he met Chris Pearson and put him in touch with what Radio Caroline were doing at that time, Chris went on from there and now heads up the British Forces radio network and broadcasts for them himself. There are others Jason helped on their way too, sadly in 1986 he died of cancer, as you probably know. It is great though to keep in touch with Mary and Chris and others and have the occasional meet up and reunion.

Thanks again for thinking of me.

All contributions for our offshore scrapbooks will be gratefully received. Radio London scrapbook here.