The Radio London website was ten years old on March 29th. When we launched the site in 1999, Chris and I might have believed that by 2009, we would have run out of things to say on the subject of offshore radio and retired from running it. However, over 1500 pages later, we are far from short of new material and are now seeing a new wave of interest in offshore radio, generated by the Pirate BBC Essex recreations and the release of 'The Boat That Rocked' film.

Ten years ago, Chris and I could never have envisioned the impact of what we were starting, nor the amazing growth of the internet. We certainly had no idea that we would end up as directors of Radio London Ltd! We have been proud to have been instrumental in bringing together many of the original 'Wets' and are delighted to be able to call many of them friends. The site has helped us to forge many friendships worldwide and we are particularly honoured to have been included as members of the USS Density family. The WWII crew members and their relatives have become fascinated by Radio London and to learn of the Density's second life as the mv Galaxy and have welcomed us with open arms.

We would like to thank the many people who have contributed to the success of the site by kindly donating their personal stories, photos and items of memorabilia. If I attempt to name everyone, I am bound to leave someone out, but you all know who you are and you are aware that we are extremely grateful for your contributions. However, I must mention Ron Buninga, son of Captain Bill, and Wijnand Brak, who donated items that had come from the Galaxy, both of them understanding how much it would mean to us to have artefacts from that special ship.  

Grateful thanks must go to 'Fab' Alan Field for donating his Big L Fab Forties. Fab worked hard on preparing his original lists for the website and his own listings subsequently became the starting point for our acquiring the entire set – which involved more work for him! The Fab Forties are undoubtedly the site's most popular feature and we are also indebted to the amazing team of people at Oldies Project who decided to broadcast them weekly via the internet. Nobody could have envisioned that the Fabs' popularity would often overload the servers on Sunday mornings, necessitating a Wednesday evening repeat.

We would also like to thank the other offshore webmasters (and of course Hans Knot), for their friendship and support, which has proved invaluable.

Please raise your glasses to Radio London!


Thank you so much to everyone who has sent birthday greetings. We have attempted to include all your messages, but should yours have been missed from this page, please would you resend it. The volume of incoming mail at Radio London is very high at present and it's possible your greeting may have been lost.

Wonderful Birthday Messages From the Wets (newest messages at the end)

I've just read about your website's 10th Anniversary. I think what you two people have done over the years to keep "Big L" alive is marvellous, and I'm certain that the many involved are humbled by your sincere efforts. As I've said before," Wonderful Radio London" would be only an occasional fading memory without the efforts made by you two" Wonderful People!"
Tom Danaher - Radio London co-founder (Texas)

Wishing you a very Happy Birthday Mary and Chris. Your persistence and determination to reunite many of the ‘old participants ’ and their supporters is truly appreciated by so many.

How little we knew of the future at 3pm on 14th August 1967!

Congratulations and very best wishes to you both.
Alan Keen Radio London Programme Director(UK)

Congratulations on 10 years of WRL. You have both done an excellent job in keeping the memory alive. I hope to see you in Harwich.
Regards and best wishes, Norman St John (Brisbane, Australia)

Happy Birthday Mary and Chris. Your site has been instrumental in allowing me to keep up with all the information and events surrounding "Big L" and many of my "mates" from the old days. I hope you'll enjoy continued success for many decades to come.
The Marshall – Marshall Mike Lennox (Vancouver, Canada)

Congratulations, long may you prosper.
Mark Roman – The Roman Emperor (Spain)

Chris and you have done a wonderful job for ‘Wonderful Radio London’ and all the other offshore stations. Although ‘The Boat That Rocked’ has little to do with the reality of pirate radio, it does capture the times and music of the Swinging Sixties. Your website also has the same feel but is far more accurate about what actually happened. Congratulations to you both.
Bryan Vaughan – Atlanta, Caroline South, Radio Scotland (Sydney, Australia)

Happy 10th, Mary & Chris. Many of us owe you a debt of gratitude. You are an amazing couple and you have served the memory of Offshore Radio in the most wonderful way possible by keeping it alive. You are the best.
All my Love,
Ben Healy – Radio City, Radio Scotland (Edmonton, Canada)

Congratulations....WELL DONE! Enjoyed your BBC interview BTW. Keep up the magnificent work.
Jack Curtiss (Radio England – Adelaide, Australia)

Well done, and happy 10th birthday!
Just 40 more years and you can have a Roman-style Big L celebration...
Gerry – Guy Hamilton, 270, Radio Essex (UK)
(It's going to be a big party, as we'll both be 100 years old! – Mary)

Congratulations on your 10 years on the site, and THANK YOU BOTH! As you say you have made many friends as a lot of us have too, keep up the good work that is keeping us all informed.
Hope to see you pick-nicking again this year.
Love to Both,
George – George Hare (Caroline onshore agent)

Please add my sincere congratulations to you both for your Big L site accomplishments! As they say in parts of America, "You Go Girl!" and for Chris, "Atta Boy!".
Ron O'Quinn - Radio England

From many other kind friends (newest messages at the end)

I would just like to congratulate you both on the occasion of the Radio London Website's 10th birthday! Thanks from me to you both for all your hard work during this period to make Radio London the best Offshore Radio website in the World. I am well aware of the amount of time it all takes, particularly at the present time in the run-up to Pirate BBC Essex 2009 and the general release of "The Boat That Rocked", but please be assured your outstanding efforts are greatly appreciated by many, many, Offshore Radio supporters around the World. 
As to the timing of the 10th birthday, it couldn't have been better! I almost wonder, you know, whether you planned it 10 years ago, when you started the RL site, that there would be a film made about Offshore Radio and a commemorative broadcast from a ship by the BBC in 10 years' time.  It's going to be a "Wonderful" celebration!
So, let's all raise our glasses to Mary and Chris and the Radio London Website. Thank you for the past 10 years and here's to the next 10, plus many more!

John Sales

Many congratulations to you and Chris on the 10th anniversary of the website. And thanks for my special mention for the Fabs. You know it's been a pleasure.
'Fab' Alan Field

Happy 10th Birthday! Indeed you and Chris have achieved an enormous amount with your hard work and enthusiasm. As we have said before, who’d have imagined all the things that have happened since 1999! I know only too well all the problems, heartaches and hardships that have occurred as well. But the website is a credit to you both… and this is proven by the willing contact you have with the original ‘wets’ who are only too happy to help and support you. That honour is yet again highlighted by the fact that Ben Toney has allowed you to publish part of his fascinating memoirs. Your debut of them at this time is well chosen, by the way.
Congratulations! You should both be justifiably proud.

Well done!
Alan Hardy

Wishing the Radio London website a 'kneestastic' 10th Birthday!

Thank you both for maintaining such a Wonderful archive of our national music heritage over the past 10 years. Your hard work, research and commitment is appreciated and enjoyed around the world – long may it continue.

See you at BBC Pirate Essex on Easter Sunday.
Francis Pullen, Cambridge

Congratulations! Certainly I will raise a glass (or two) this evening to Radio London and your wonderful website!!
I hope you will have the same energy in the future to keep up the good work which I think is appreciated by many, many people all over the world, including me of course. I have been making people aware of the site and they were always very thankful and amazed about the content.
I remember how as a 14 year old kid I was struggling to get all the positions of the Fab 40 together and how I managed to get one Fab 40 complete with last week’s positions... that was the chart of July 23rd, 1967, and I remember being very proud that the Dutch group Daddy’s Act were included in the Soul Set with their version of Eight Days a Week. And now, almost 42 years later, I can look at every Fab 40 thanks to your site. (In fact I have been collecting the Fab 40s since the 70s and I could even help Brian Long with some charts and titles).
As we appreciate offshore radio in general, I’d also like to raise a glass in celebration of the start of Radio Caroline, 45 years ago?
Thanks for your wonderful effort to keep a piece of history alive!
Kees Brinkerink

(Kees produces 'Forty Years Ago' the weekly feature for Oldies Project aired immediately after the Fab Forty, which consists of singles released forty years ago in the week corresponding to the date of the broadcast.)

Happy, happy birthday to Big L and to you.
Your site is marvellous and through it I've had a lot of help with music and radio.
I have it on very good authority, that the Caroline North jocks rated Big L as their favourite station to listen to and in preference to Caroline South.

Many North jocks were influenced by the professionalism of Big L, and adapted what they heard for Caroline North. The two stations have a lot in common!
Best wishes, and here's to another 10!
John Bennett (Sloopy, Radio Caroline North)

Many congratulations, what a marvellous historical resource the site now is.
Mike Barraclough

Congratulations to the both of you and that we can go on for many years cheers to you! Thanks for the very nice words.
Hans and Jana Knot (

Congratulations on your success!! It's wonderful - thanks for sharing your good news with us.
Susan and John Brandstetter, USS Density Family (USA)

Congratulations and Happy Birthday!! I caught your interview on Tim Gillett's show... excellent listening!
Sue (Gary Walker's webmaster)

Congratulations from me too!!  I love keeping up with everything, and last night really enjoyed the Ben T autobiog, and am looking forward to the remainder!
John Preston (Brisbane, Australia)

Congratulations on the Big L 10th Anniversary! Whodathunk (or in English, "Who would have thought") your little labor of love would get as big or as popular as it is? It just goes to show what a great thing you have done for the whole world to enjoy!

By the way, Mary – I listened to your radio interview and thought you were GREAT!!  It always seems to me that when you do this sort of thing, NOBODY knows more about the Pirate era than you.

So I've lifted several glasses of fruit juice and electrolytes (can't drink alcohol any more...DAMN!) to Radio London and your WONDERFUL way of making it known.

Again, congratulations to two of the nicest people I know!

Much love,
Ed Ryba (Los Angeles)

You and Chris can definitely be proud of your work for keeping all those Radio London memories alive. Well done, congratulations, I'm admiring your website!

Best wishes and see you soon hopefully,
Martin van der Ven – Offshore Radio Guide (which is even older than the Radio London site!)

Many happy returns.
I know how much work goes into keeping a web site fresh and interesting and you have been adding fascinating updates every week for the last decade. It is an amazing achievement. Congratulations to you both.

Jon – The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame (aged 9)

I want to send my thanks to you both for a really wonderful website. It's been 10 years of wonderful news of offshore gems, you have both kept the interest of Offshore Radio alive, and it's magical, there is nothing in the whole of this world to beat it.

I also believe that Offshore would have died if the website wasn't around with the amount of news items, the hard work behind the scenes and the time that you both put into it. With the film on the go, and massive info for that, no other site has the same dedication on the same scale as yours.

I hope you will keep the site going for many more years to come and I feel you both should be awarded the MBE for keeping Offshore Radio alive on the site and in our hearts.

Stephen Burnham

Blimey! 10 years old. So, what's the future? Another 20 at least?

Carl Dixon