From Lauren O'Quinn, in Florida, who had just received a recording we managed to get for her of her father, Ron, on SRE in August 1966
I just got your package in the mail - I can't even tell you how much I appreciate it! I haven't had a chance to listen to the whole thing - I plan to do that tonight - but the small portion that I've heard is really exciting! I've told you that my younger brother, Adam, is also a disc jockey. Well - you wouldn't believe how much he and my father sound alike on this tape! Adam is 20 now - and my dad was 23 on this tape - and the similarities in their voices and manner of speaking is just amazing! My dad's voice has deepened over the years, so I didn't realize how much they sounded alike...
I told my dad about the tape - and the fact that it was recorded the day after he got back from the Beatles tour (and only a week before he left the country) and he can't wait to hear it. It was truly so nice of you to go to all the trouble for me!
I look forward to hearing from you soon...
From Dave Cash
I've just visited your website. GREAT!! Well done you...
I'm going back tomorrow to visit the prep site etc.
Nice piece from PY. You may like to know that PY had another name in the politically incorrect 70's. We proudly called him the 'Rockin' Rabi' from which came his famous line 'Welcome to the top 40 to you 39 an a half'! It was short lived on-air, but great fun while it lasted.
Tap soon, DC
From Peter Young
Dear Chris & Mary,
I'm just dropping you a line to let you know how much I appreciate the work and attention to detail put in to the Radio London Website.
As a devoted fan of the best radio station we've ever had in this country, it's nice to know that there are still people out there who feel the same way that I do and are prepared to keep those precious memories alive.
Apart from anything else, it brings all us like-minded individuals together, so we know we're still a force to be reckoned with.
My favourite Big L DJs were TW, The Double D, Kenny and Cash and Ian Damon! Who could forget those immortal words "Hi there you there, good afternoon evvvvverybody!" What an absolute legend!
It's a shame that the kind of radio we love no longer exists, apart from the odd RSL. So your lovingly-created website is the nearest thing we have to 'the real thing'.
I still hang on to the "dream", as I'm sure we all do, that one morning, I'll turn on the radio and instead of Wogan, Evans or whoever's presenting the Radio One breakfast show this week, we'll get Pete Brady, TW, Dave Dennis, Earl Richmond and Kenny... and it'll be late December '64 all over again! (Not forgetting "Paul Kaye reporting"!)
"Lots of happiness to you cousin",
a "pussycat who's still where it's at."
What PY doesn't mention is that he's actually worked with the Double D, Kenny and Cash (see Dave's comment above) and Ian Damon!
From Radio Scotland and Radio City's Ben Healy
Your website is such a treat to visit and the information you put on it is so great that it almost seems like you take people back to the 60s with your very good writing skills. I received your questions and I will reply to them this weekend and send them back right away, the questions you ask are very good and will give me much food for thought. I read your e-mail regarding Chuck Blair and it had a very sad tone about it but it was very well written. Thank you once again for your wonderful website and the very hard work you put into it.
Ben is the unsung hero of Offshore Radio, but that's rectified with our exclusive Radio London interview with him in the Radio Scotland section.
From Howie Castle (For new listeners, Howie was 'Bud Ballou' on Radio Caroline)
YOUR WEBSITE. It takes a while to go through it all, but I've scoured it thoroughly and I'm up to date. I enjoyed Keefers' "Behind the Door" story on DLT's This Is Your Life episode. Loved the picture of Chris interviewing Traffic in January '68 (when I was on Caroline). And I'm looking forward to listening to the RNI RSL broadcast on the Internet in April.
CHUCK BLAIR. The ultimate "Man of Mystery". The man of many names. I'm sorry the news wasn't good. Obviously a very intelligent and talented individual. What an amazing story.
OFFSHORE DAZE WEBSITE. I used the link on your site to access this and I was blown away that there were air-checks of "Radio Caroline International" that included most of those with whom I had worked. There's even a brief one of me at the end of the American Countdown show. It includes the weather jingle I brought with me and edited to remove the call-letters (WNDR, Syracuse) as well as the PAMS Sonovox weather elements (this one says "cloudy"). God, I sounded young!!! But, of course, I was only 20 at the time. That's the first air-check I've heard of myself on Caroline in about 30 years.
Well done, Vince of Offshore Daze!
From Jenni Baynton
Dear Mr & Mrs. D. Tective Knees,
May I say how much I enjoyed reading the intriguing but sad story about Chuck Blair. You really have written and presented it sensitively and brilliantly - well done!
From Pauline Miller
CONGRATULATIONS on the latest update to the website. We're looking good! CK is particularly pleased with how his contribution is looking and is thrilled to pieces at his first appearance on site. Mine isn't bad, either, and what can one say about Jenni's contribution? All great stuff and I hope you get lots of feedback on the new bits, I know how much hard work you both put into all of this.
From Tony Currie
The Chuck Blair story was very absorbing; pity it has such a sad ending. But it sounds like he enjoyed cooking and the kitchen/restaurant environment just as much as radio. Actually, so do I!
The site gets better and better by the way. TONY
Tony's knees are suckers for punishment and are booked for another personal appearance on the RNI RSL from April 15th-22nd.
From Clint Hough, who devised the awesome Kyndamagic site
Thanks for keeping me updated regarding your site content, it's much appreciated. I am spending so much time trying to (ha ha) 'finalise' the content of my own pages that I really am not spending time doing anything else at the mo and I hope to get a chance to examine your knees more closely when I eventually have something online :) -
Have had quick looks at your pages from time to time though, and it is a truly wondrous thing!
I have scanned something like 1300 pictures in the last couple of weeks, plus every time I research something it seems to add 5 pages to what I want to do - I'm sure you know the problem!
Gonna start building the pages in about a week and should be live in 3 or 4, with a prevailing wind.
Keep the jolly roger flying!
From John Burch
Long time no speak. I thought it was about time I said hello. I can't remember whether I told you that I was back on line or not, but anyway here I am. I am now settled in North Devon, but I have to admit that I am still heavily reliant on cardboard boxes!
I have had a chance tonight to have a look at your site for the first time in ages. There just don't seem to be enough hours in the day do there ?! I enjoyed some of the new stories on your site and think that changing to the Radio London domain is an excellent move. It will certainly be very well supported I'm sure. The majority of people realise that you have Lil at heart and that you will be by far the best person to keep the station in high profile on the net.
The Bristol Channel is very choppy today - not a nice place to be especially if you're on a radio ship !! I can see why there were never any offshore stations down here. Dave/Keith Rogers (featured on your RNI pages) hails from South Molton nearby and was I believe once a warden on Lundy Island off the coast down here.
From John Preston in Australia
Thanks for sending e mails to keep me up to date, although the site is in my faves list it's always good to be updated, so thanks!
John has also assisted us with some new info regarding Graham 'Spider' Webb
From David Skeates
Hi Chris and Mary, My name is David Skeates and I had the pleasure of visiting the Yeoman Rose and meeting Chris Elliot and of course you, Mary. It was a great couple of hours chatting about Big L and I am writing to say how much I enjoy reading your web-site. I have only just started using the computer so this a labour of love as you can see. Anyway keep up the good work, it is great stuff. All the best, David
Another star of the Radio London website surfaces! We kneed photographs, David!
From John Sales: (Anorak and all-round enthusiastic nice person)
Well, what can I really say about Chuck Blair? I think that your website
article says it all! I have just printed it out as I always prefer to read something
as detailed as this from paper rather than from a computer screen. Needless
to say, I am very sad to hear that Chuck is now deceased and also that this
event happened some eleven years ago. Of course, this now, sadly, makes the
number of original "Big L" DJs who are no longer with us, four. The others are,
of course, Kenny Everett, Paul Kaye and Tony Windsor.
At the time of the Radio London recreation in summer '97 we all believed, of course, that it was in fact just three, since we didn't know anything about Chuck Blair. Chris Elliot and Keith Skues obviously didn't have this information to hand either, at the time that they both wrote their respective books on the subject of Offshore Radio.
Finally I can only congratulate you both on producing a superb piece of research work for the benefit of us all. You will have spent much time and trouble over this; we all wish that the outcome could have been a rather better news, but at least we now all know the truth and the mystery of the last remaining "Big-L" DJ has now been solved. Well done !!!
Love and Best Wishes, John
From Mike Grant
Brilliant site... lots of great info and I often visit to see what's new.
I wonder if you could include me on your swap shop page for swapping tapes?
Many thanks Chris. All the best, Mike
Pleased to assist, Mike. You're now on the Swop
From Swinging Radio England's Ron
I have been nominated and added to StarPages and I need your vote. Please visit my website and click on the "VOTE" icon on the first page. Also, please sign the guestbook while you are visiting.
We have duly voted for Ron's site, Memories Unlimited, and hope you will too. While you're at it, please vote for Radio London, which also appears on StarPages. You can vote for us here, or from the icon on our home page.
I was surfing the web to see if there were any sites that mentioned my father,
Ron O'Quinn, and I found you guys! What a cool site! I was born in 1977
several years after my father's career at Radio England ended, but I've always
been fascinated by the interesting life that he led and the people he encountered...
From Ron O'Quinn's daughter, Lauren
The coolest things that he has from his days in England are tapes of all
the Beatles (and the Rolling Stones, etc...) saying things like "Hi, this is
John Lennon on the Ron O'Quinn show." Hearing those tapes and knowing
my father actually KNEW all of those people was always SO cool to me
and was also a great source of pride.
He has to be prodded to share stories about his experiences back then but this site confirms my long-held suspicion that he was having a GREAT time at Swingin' Radio England! And thanks so much for showing me that he is remembered!
From a star of Caroline, Big L '97, and RNI '99, Pete MacFarlane aka Kevin Turner
Thanks for your latest...the site looks great.
Sorry I've been so slow to respond but life is hectic: bad excuse I know..will try harder in Y2K!!
BFBS keep me busy, and I'm covering shifts at The Bear in Stratford, and even some right here in Aylesbury at Mix 96 ...can't ask for anything more convenient really.
When I get some time to myself I'd love to look around the studio...maybe you can help me re-master a few old tapes onto something more permanent? I know some of the old aircheck cassettes I have of Sovereign/Caroline are beginning to fail...the pressure pads are falling out on a rather too regular basis !!
All the best
From Vince Marks, who has some great airchecks on his site Offshore Daze plus, a poll, where you can vote for your favourite offshore station
Many thanks for visiting Offshore Daze and taking time to sign my guestbook. I hope you managed to listen to some of the audio files. I was suprised that I had not visited your website before. However, I have visited tonight and I have to say that I am impressed with it. Keep up the good work and long may the name of Big L continue.
From Clint Hough, whom we have recently assisted with some offshore radio info for inclusion on his terrific Sixties site, Kyndamagic. Below is only a selection of the topics that Clint proposes to cover in future. All I can say is, the site looks great already, so it can only get better!
I can't thank you enough for your email and the trouble you took to supply me with the correct information. I am trying to make sense of the many conflicting pieces of information I am uncovering about the various pirate stations and your info will help immensely!
The pages you have seen so far were my first attempt at web pages, using subjects that interest me. I am currently constructing a MUCH larger site, dealing with many aspects of the Sixties and would have great pleasure in linking to your site if it's OK with you?
The scope of the site under construction is quite wide-ranging. Some of the subjects I've covered so far are, to a greater or lesser extent:
Brit music charts, stats and trivia (to be expanded to include LPs), Fashion and Art, Dance crazes, Movies:- Pop and youth culture films, Elvis films, Carry On Films, James Bond films, Hammer films, Man From Uncle films, Science fiction/fantasy films, TV History.
My intention is (with the exception of the chart databases) to provide an interesting and useful Sixties resource with a general (or slightly better) overview of the various areas and some less well-known facts (and pictures) I hope to find more excellent sites like your own which deal with the particular areas in detail and provide links to those sites for people wishing to acquire more in-depth information than I am providing.
Re: being a Big L D.J. you have succeeded in impressing me! I hadn't realised that I was in the company of a demi-god! I am not worthy! Seriously, thanks for all your help and look forward to hearing from you so I can alter the almost inevitable errors. I've already put a link to your site from the page as it is now so hopefully you may get a few hits from it.
Very best regards,
A request from The Illustrious Sea Poodle (aka Tom Collins): (ex-Falklands Broadcasting, Big L 97, Reading 107.2 and Battersea Dogs' Home)
How about a transcript of the infamous Christmas Knees message from Queen
Mary (I always thought the Queen Mary was a big boat - where were her knees?)
for those poor people who do not have audio in their offices?
Oh the shame of confession, NO I am not on a Mac! For some strange reason,
I sit before an inferior PC, infected with Bill Gates software and op system
NT (which stands for Not Trustworthy), the shame of it all!!!! And no, we do
not have RA in this office yet.
With this PC kit I think I'd be better off with a quill pen and paper at times! Otherwise all is well here, nice place despite the infernal PCs.
Unfortunateknee, time ran out before we were able to comply with this request for Christmas '99. Still, there's always next Christmas, when the old Poodle will still be barking...
From Peter Messingfeld. Although this time he's not commenting on our site, we thought you should have all his links. If you look carefully in the photos he has published of Reading 107, you'll see Chris with ex-Caroline Chief Engineer George Saunders.
Hello offshore friends,
Just before the end of the year I have managed to complete the last page of my "Summer-Series" for 1999. You can reach the start page with a overview of all pages at: www.radiolink.net/offshoreradio or members.xoom.com/PeMe/summer/sum_0f.htm
The new page is of Sarah Miles and Graham L Hall at the Maidstone studios in October 1999:
I hope that the year 2000 will be just as eventful as 1999 regarding offshore radio. My thanks go to everybody involved in setting up the various stations and putting a lot of work into it and especially to those that gave me a warm welcome during my visits and thus enabling me to take the photographs you can see on my internet pages.
For all of you and your relatives and friends my best wishes for a MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR.
Peter Messingfeld, Clara-Schumann-Str. 32a, 41352 Korschenbroich
...and we thought it was bad enough having one web
site to deal with...
From Peter O'Connor
Great to hear from you fantastic site!!!
Stay well, best wishes
From Juul Geleick, former technician at Radio Veronica
Nice to see all the Radio London things!!! I worked for Veronica during the 'High Sea' period! Between 1966 and 31st August 1974. I was a technician at our land-based studios in Hilversum.
We're hoping Juul will assist us in rectifying the fact that we have no items about Veronica on this site.
From Radio Scotland and Radio City's Ben
I have been in North Carolina for the past month, I just got back and I am looking over your website. I had not seen Brian Matthew since l967 and it was wonderful to see him again. I had appeared on Thank Your Lucky Stars in 64 as a guest panelist and Brian treated me with great respect. He put me in touch with the powers that be at Radio Luxembourg and he gave me a lot of encouragement to go into radio. It was also great to see Chris Farlowe, Alan Price and Paul Jones. I would like to thank you and Chris for the many memories that you have rekindled over the past year and to wish you both a very Happy Christmas and a great New Year.
Best Wishes to you both
Time has beaten us again, but we do promise a feature on Ben IS planned for the site.
From Paul, who works for Russell Thompson's Global FM
Thank you very much for your time, I had a read through Gary's account of the BIG L '97, quite amusing. I will print out and take those pictures in tomorrow, I can't wait to see Russell's face!!!
He's a nice guy, I'm getting some DJ training from him at the moment... :-)
Best wishes, PAUL
If you happened to take a photo of Russell's reaction when you showed him the pics, do let us have a copy for the site, Paul!
From Big L and Caroline's Keith Skues, co-host of
the August 2000 Brighton Sixties
I send you Greetings this Christmas Day with the hope that you will have
a Very Merry and Peacful Festive Season and a Happy YK2 (Millennium).
As the butcher said to a customer "I'm getting a little behind in my work"...but the annual Christmas Skuesletter should be with you later in the month of January. You just can't get the staff!! If this fails to materialise, may I be one of the first to wish you a Happy Easter.
All the very best
From a star of Big L '97, and RNI '99, and clearly a sucker for punishment, Tony Curried-knees
I've agreed to return to sea in April on the Mebo 3. Might see you again
Happy Christmas to you and Chris.
From Andy Barnes, who runs the Colin Blunstone fanzine, 'Photograph'
Glad you enjoyed the concert!
I liked your Web site - you look great with Colin and the chaps...!
Colin will be doing some more concerts of his own in May 2000 (with Rod Argent). Will keep you informed in Spring edition of "Photograph".
Cheers and Best Wishes for Xmas.
From Caroline's Bob
It's Christmas Eve in Texas.
Give me 30 secs of your attention please. What I'm about to tell you is not a joke, and you will do a lot of good if you do as I ask.
Log on to, www.hungersite.com
Press the little button......and you'll feed the hungry and it won't cost you a cent. That's all. That's it! It's a U.N. web site and it's already generating 100 tons of food a day! The UN organizes and corporate sponcership pays. That's as simple and as helpful as it gets.
Just want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a fabulous New Year 2000. God Bless us all.
Bob, Cynthia & Michael
From Thomas Schulin in Sweden
Yes, I think it's a good idea if you offered an opportunity to put people together who are interested in swapping
tapes. It's not very easy to find new swapping partners. They're either not quality-conscious enough or if they are, they
don't have the time to copy and send stuff over.
Keep up the good work with your website!
The page is there, as requested, Thomas. Your wish is our command!
From Chris Dannett
I first heard Big L in the summer of '65. I could, and would, like to recount
some of those days if you have a week to spare to swap anecdotes!!! Seriously,
I owe everything I am now doing to Big L. I caught this bug when I was 11, and
Radio that was once a hobby, is now my career. I have been making commercials
for the last 11 years!
In the best Tony Blackburn tradition, I too have a very large picture of the Galaxy on the wall in my lounge, as I don't want to forget where I came in.
From Mike Goodearl of the UK's, another Wycpop group who influenced my formative years. I still treasure one of Mike's broken guitar strings, and a lock of his hair!
Thank you very much for your latest and thanks also for ALL your hilarious
and fascinating emails during 1999.
Did I ever thank you for the tape of the John Wheeler interview? I hope I did, otherwise it's slapped knees for me! I really enjoyed the "trip down memory lane" experience and found it all a bit overwhelming (sniff, sob, sigh, gasp). Happy days back in the 60s.
Anyway I must leave you to go and cook the turkey-knees and chips (with
kneeberry sauce, I trust?) for Crimbo.
Have a Great New MillennKneeium!!!!!!!! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!
Love from Mike the ex UK.
Radio London interviewed John Wheeler of Wycpop duo
Shirley and Johnny, for Robbie Owen's 'Jukebox Drive-in' on Eleven-Seventy am,
broadcasting in the county of Buckinghamshire. One day, we shall be unleashing
the whole Story of Wycpop upon the world, but in the meantime, you can get a
taster of the talent of High Wycombe in Mary's article about Rainbow
From Caroline's Steve Young
Dear Chris and Mary,
If I've been noticeable by my absence it's due to a busy schedule and a computer changeover which didn't go too well. I wanted to drop you a line to tell you how much I appreciate all the work you've been doing to keep the spirit of the Pirate Radio Stations alive. I'm constantly amazed at how many people still hold the concept of "Free Radio" dear to their hearts.
Sorry I missed your birthday Mary, I hope that turning that milestone wasn't too traumatic for you...don't forget that life only really gets revved up once you reach 50.
I'm wondering if you might do me a favour. I'm trying to re-establish contact with Mike Ahern who seems to have disappeared into the ether somewhere. I was in pretty regular contact with him for several years and then, this past summer, he simply vanished. If you could put the word out for me I'd sure appreciate it.
I've been in touch with Mick Luvzit in Vancouver and we're going to attempt a get together over the Christmas holidays. I spoke to Keefers the other day and he's busy finishing up a move into his new home. I've been busy doing a variety of things (it keeps life interesting) and am now looking forward to a Christmas break followed by a few weeks in the sun on the Mexican Riviera.
In closing I'd like to wish you a very, very happy Christmas and all the very best in Y2K (too). Please keep up the great work you've been doing as I'll be checking in frequently in the weeks and months ahead.
All the very best
Steve Young The Curly Headed Kid in the Third Row
P.S.We had our first snow on Vancouver Island today ...do I hear sleigh bells ringing??
No, Steve, it's the Paynes' ears ringing at the sound of such lovely compliments. It's great to know you appreciate the site so much, and I'm sure we can help you find Mike.
From Big L's Roman Ruler, who has finally abandoned his quill pen and acquired a PC!
Congratulations! What a good thing to do. This is
my first tentative approach to the electronic world, once I have got the hang
of it and my new PC, hopefully I will become as adept at these things as you.
Keep up the good work,
Up the LILS!
Yours as ever,
Maybe when I'm more competent at this it will be a bit longer!
From Big L and Caroline's Keith Skues, co-host of the August '99 Brighton Millennium Festival
Thanks for all the news via the Internet.
It was great to see you at Brighton, looking more gorgeous (is that possible?) than ever. Looking forward to a similar event next year. We will most certainly rectify the "happy snap" situation when next we meet, even if it is in a year's time in Brighton.
I shall no doubt be visiting your site (on the web) again in the near future.
Speak to you soon.
Lots of love
Mr Shoes xxx
From John Sales: (Anorak and all-round enthusiastic nice person)
Dear Mary and Chris,
Congratulations on the obtaining of the Radio London domain name. This is really excellent news and can only serve to strengthen future support for our favourite offshore radio station.
Very well done, indeed!!! I shall continue to return
to your website as often as I can.
Best Wishes and Kind Regards,
From Jon Myer (producer, 'Pirates of the Airwaves')
(see Mary's 'Walton Time-warp', Part
3 for a stunning pic of Jon)
Dear Mary & Chris,
Although I was more of a Radios Caroline and City fan, it's good to see the old Big L name back in action. Long may your Radio London prosper and your new server's a great improvement much quicker.
Did you see the first episode of "The River" on BBC-2? It included a few nice shots of the sea-forts and a couple of archive clips I hadn't seen before of Radio Essex/BBMS.
Keep up the good work with the site.
All the best, Jon
Jon went on to offer useful assistance which can be found on the 'Jocks Lost and Found' page.
From Howie Castle (Ex-Radio Caroline. See 'He's a Caroline Flashback!')
...Enjoyed Mary's article in Record Collector (my
sympathies for the added first paragraph).
Must go now I have some voice work to do at
KNSD-TV. Oh by the way major congratulations on the Radio London
From Pauline Miller: (Big L 97 Shop Assistant, and author of one of our exciting features on dirty weekends on the Ross Revenge)
Dear Mr and Mrs Knees,
VERY WELL DONE on the new site, it's a real biggie, a brilliant move and fantastic that Radio London has a proper presence on the web. God, you must have been really busy these last few weeks, goodness knows how you've kept up with everything with all the preparation going on for the move. Hopefully this server will be more reliable than Net Direct.
From Pauline Halford (Famous columnist from 'Caravan' magazine and Frank Ifield's biographer.)
Pauline has been
quite overcome by the above description!
Dear Mary and Chris,
Congrats on the all-singing, all-dancing new website with its en-knee-getic knee-gression of knee-fusive outflowings. I was quite overcome with my grand new appellation in there, though. I'm so over-awed by me now, that I find myself constantly knee-ling before me! However, I can't but regret the demise of 'studioanorak', with its quirky off-beat connotations so worthy of its authors. There's something solid, almost 'establishment' sounding about 'radiolondon', even though we all know different!
Have no fear, Pauline, 'studioanorak' may be a dead parrot, but Radio London lives, and we promise to continue to be as quirky and off-beat as ever. Chris's family name being 'Quirk', it's Quirk by name
From a genuine member of the Royal Family, Pete Royal. Pete, who with his then wife, Jenny, officially opened the new Studio Anorak. The Royals were also Founders of Stoke Mandeville and Milton Keynes hospital radio stations.
Your Big L domain looks quite a daunting task, good
luck with it.