Some Happy Kneeunions – and some sad goodbyes

Page Six, Oct 2002 – August 2004

October 2002
Martin engineered them all!

Martin Newton, who worked as an engineer on Caroline North and South, Radio England and Radio London (in that order) sadly passed away only a few months after sending this message:

I've not been far off the known track – for the last 30 years, people like Dick Morecraft (sadly gone a little while ago), Duncan Johnson, Keith Skues, Freddie Ryder, and Hermione have always known how to get in touch.

If Bob Stewart has an email address I would like to renew acquaintance as he was a great guy - we even did a few days on the North DJ swapping 24 hours a day when all the other DJ's skipped off and the new lads somehow managed to miss the tender. I wrote down what the transmitter readings should be and he would get out of his bed on his off shift to check and then tell me if they were wrong.

I was on Big L during the life of England, and although England at times were not too friendly, the tender was shared, and occasionally England would allow us into their mess, and very occasionally their technical gear.

If you want a potted history of my time with the pirates and beyond, remember that I finished with Big L when it closed, then did a short time in Holland refurbishing the Caroline studio equipment. Then friends of the Home Office whispered in my ear, and that was the end of the pirates for me.

I later got involved in ILR, but was disgusted by the barrow boys that ran them and the total lack of broadcasting spirit - which was my reason for leaving the BBC for Atlantis. From shit to shit in a few short years, with Caroline by far the best laugh, and Big L the hardest trier at being professional.

All the best, Martin Newton

Is Roger in Kent?

Caroline's Dave West has been in touch about a missing RNI jock:
Whatever happened to Roger Kent of RNI 1974 fame. Nobody I know has the faintest clue what happened to him and yet he was on Mebo 2 for its last few months. One for you to track down

October 2003
Russ is in the UK
Russell Tollerfield's friends Alan Bateman in Australia and Aldona Satterthwaite, in Canada have, with our assistance, spent considerable time searching for clues as to his whereabouts. Between us, we have now discovered a current UK address for Russ. He did not appear to be keen to talk to the Radio London webmasters, but Alan and Aldona are now hoping to hold a reunion with him in 2004.

Aldona's account of flat-sharing with Russell and feeling decidedly off-colour during a trip to the Galaxy, has been added to Mini-Memories.
Bill Berry – Found in New York State!
In early September, a knee-mail arrived from Dave Supplee, in Harrisburg, PA, giving details of how we could contact Radio England's Bill Berry, via a radio station he co-owned. Of course, the Radio London webmasters had no idea if this was the same Bill Berry, or even if he would want to talk to us. Luckily for us, it was and he did! Bill replied:

Hi Mary,

I am, indeed, the Bill Berry you seek. It was fun to hear from you as I thought the Pirates had long been relegated to the dust-bin of history. I've often amazed disbelieving friends over the years with swash-buckling stories of London and the Pirates in the Swinging Sixties!

I quickly lost track of all the guys except to hear that Boom-Boom Brannigan (Radio England) was killed in a motorcycle accident shortly after returning home.

As for me.. briefly... I married an English girl (divorced ten years later, no kids), graduated from Penn State University, bought my first radio station in 1975 and, at one time, owned five stations in Pa. and NY. I'm now down to my last two stations WHHO and WKPQ where you found me and preparing to enter my second career. I deal in world-wide paper ephemera... especially US stamps and covers, as well as books, art, records and coins. No web page as yet, but one is being constructed and I'll keep you informed.

I enjoyed browsing through your well-constructed pirate web page and was sorry to hear I missed the first two or three reunions. Please stay in touch as my fiancee and I plan to be at the next one (I've been single since '75...typical, irresponsible, Pirate behavior).

Almost forgot: When I was still on the air doing a morning show I changed my name (not legally) from Bill to Wolf. So about half my friends now call me "Wolf".

(In the initial contact message, we explained that Jonathan at the Pirate Radio Hall of Fame also wanted to get in touch, so that he could compile an up-to-date entry.)

I'm thrilled to be a member of a Hall of Fame. That is NOT for eccentric and inappropriate behavior (or is it?)!

Warmest personal regards, Bill "Wolf" Berry.

Bill co-owns WHHO 1320 AM (news and talk) and WKPQ FM 105 (music mix 80s - current), Hornell, New York, "the 50,000 Watt beast known as Q105 – The Quest", as it says on the station website. There is no photo of Bill on the site, but he says, "I have many memories and some memorabilia that I'd be glad to share". We're looking forward to it, Bill!
March 2004

(Photo courtesy of Hans Knot)

Carl Mitchell – a genuinely nice guy
The ex-Caroline crew, the Radio London website, Hans Knot, the Pirate Radio Hall of Fame and numerous others, have been appealing for information about Carl for several years, but to no avail. Now his ex-shipmate, Roger 'Twiggy' Day, has finally discovered that Carl, sadly, is deceased. He died in New York in 1991, after a long illness.

Carl, whose real name was David Carmichael, also used the name Steve Michaels. He was known aboard the Mi Amigo as the Weird Beard. Carl originated from the New York City area, but attended Syracuse University, as did fellow-DJ, Bud Ballou. Thus the two shipmates found they had much in common. "He and I spent many hours talking about 'home'," recalls Bud. The two Americans also found they were the only guys on the ship who appreciated Indonesian cooking (the others preferring less-exotic fare) and peanut butter!

Bud tells how Carl's cabin, situated in the foc'stle, beneath the antenna, became the Caroline social club. The floor was painted black, with a red-and-white eye in the centre. The lighting was red, to compliment the red walls, and there was always incense burning. Accessible only by a ladder, it was named The Bag of Nails, after the famous London club.

Roger remembers his friend Carl as, "a genuinely nice guy with a wicked sense of humour".

Where's 'heart-throb' Steven?

Bob Glen has asked for a new addition to the list for an RNI jock.

I was listening to a recording of RNI recently and wondered, where is the Aussie DJ and former heart -throb Steven Ladd? Can anyone throw any light on his current whereabouts?

May 2004
Jason Wolfe
We met George Hare, who was the on-shore agent for Caroline North, at Roger Day's Caroline 40th Anniversary reunion. 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, which we have added to the Caroline scrapbook. George, Penny and Jason were also great friends with the late Guy Blackmore, from Caroline North.
Laser Hot Hits' Brandy Lee
Paul Johnson is looking for an Eighties DJ.

Looking through the Missing Offshore Personnel, which I found very interesting, I thought I would mail and ask if you could add one of my favourite presenters to the list. I would love to know where former Laser Hot Hits presenter Brandy Lee is these days and if she is still working in radio? I would like very much to contact her and tell her all about the mv Communicator being restored

August 2004
Cathy Spence gets in touch with the Radio Scotland Clan
Thanks to Jonathan at The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame, Cathy has been put in touch with Tony Currie. She's living in Aberdeen and Tony is hoping to meet up with her on her next trip to Glasgow. Ben Healy says:

Cathy got to interview all the stars who came to Radio Scotland, Gene Pitney, Rolling Stones, Four Tops – in fact Jonathan has some pictures of her on his site with Gene Pitney and a host of others. She did the Clan Ball show with Stuart Henry every Saturday afternoon on Radio Scotland. Cathy is a great person and she and I hit it off very well. It would be great to hear from her again and perhaps she would join us on our next reunion.

Tony tells us Cathy is still in touch with Gene Pitney. Gene was, of course a great supporter of the offshore stations, which gave him the airplay that greatly contributed to his huge success in the UK.
Don Lydon
In March 2004, we met George Hare, who was the on-shore agent for Caroline North, at Roger Day's Caroline 40th Anniversary reunion. George has now introduced us to Don Lydon, who was a Direct Advertising Sales Executive for Caroline in Ireland in the Sixties. Welcome to the Offshore Family, Don!
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