Monday August 14th 2017
Organisers: Chris and Mary Payne
We started with a short clip from the Big L '97 broadcast, recorded for TV. It was appropriate to follow on from our 'Absent Friends' toast, because it featured two people who sadly are no longer with us (Ed Stewart and Chris Elliot) and two who were unable to attend Offshore 50, Tony Brandon and Mark Roman.
Caroline South and Britain Radio's, Gary Kemp/Gordon Bennet
I had hoped to be at the August whoopee, and was just about to contact you to say "yes'" when lo! I was contacted by a previous station and offered a new job - at the age of 82! Well, what would you do? Yeah, and that's what I did. So, alas, I won't be there for the big occasion in person, but in spirit you can be sure I shall. My regards to all the old geezers who made up the watery days of the 60s and to your splendid selves for keeping the memories alive.
Radio Invicta's Bob Graham
I wish the organisers the very best of success in the celebration. My thoughts are with you, so sorry that I cannot attend, but am looking forward to seeing the results of your hard work.
Manfred Sommer, former chief radio engineer on Caroline North
Thank you so much for your invitation to Offshore 50. I would like to join you but my general state of health wouldn't permit me to make such a complicated journey.
Please transmit, (ever the engineer!) my special regards to all my friends I worked with on Caroline North: Gord Cruse, Trevor Grantham, George Hare, Martin Kayne, Jerry Leighton, Tony Prince and Dave Lee Travis. I enjoyed so much working with them on Caroline.
With cordial greetings, Manfred Sommer
Martin Green (Groenhorst)
I wish you a fantastic meeting! Lots of Radio City employees will be present that day!
Greetings from Martin Green (Groenhorst).
Mary received this message from Mark Roman
At 3pm London Time on 14th August, it will be exactly 50 years since the transmitter went silent, and thanks to you and Chris, people still remember.
To coin a personal tribute.
FRIGGIN' WELL DONE!
(Being Mark, he did actually use a different word to 'Friggin''!)
"Mary, I so deeply regret that I will be unable to join you after all.
Much to my dismay, one of my major cases has been called to trial with a special sitting on August 14 (of all days!). Please convey my best wishes to all.
Mary, I send special appreciation and love to you. I simply can't thank you enough for all you've done for everyone.
Even though you won't see me at Offshore 50, you will see me within the next 18 months because I will make myself head your way. If nothing else, just to escape the insanity on this side of the pond. Promise! Grey"
A tribute to Mary was paid by Ben Toney, Radio London's original Programme Director:
"What can we say about Mary that has not already been said? Not very much. She has kept Radio London and other pirate stations to the forefront of British Broadcasting History for many years.
She has made superstars out of all of us, whereas we might have been forgotten and only remembered as a flash-in-the-pan. I am sure that the late Don Pierson and the late Tom Danaher, as well as all the Dee Jays would like to give you a thank you and a big hug for all you have done on their behalves.
On a personal note Mary, thanks for retyping my autobiography. I am really proud of this piece of work on your part.
Mary responded with a toast to everyone else who keeps the memory of offshore radio alive. She certainly doesn't do so on her own!
Graham Gill was unfortunately unable to join us from the Netherlands because of ill health. Alex van den Hoek very kindly filmed a message from Graham for his shipmates from the Galaxy and Olga Patricia at the Rockart Museum. We hope to add this to the site at a later date.