Thursday, August 14, 2008

This man will never forget - August 14th 1967


August 14th is always a date I remember with sadness. Because August 14th 1967 was the date most of the Offshore Radio stations operating around the coast closed as a result of the Labour Government’s Marine Broadcasting Offences Act.
Although I was only young at the time, it soon became clear to me that much of the justification for this law was based on misinformation, exaggeration, and more than a few ‘dodgy dossiers.’
The attitude of the political establishment to its citizens at the time was incredibly patronising, and music radio was considered something to be rationed and controlled. These stations from ships and forts may have been short lived, but they were a key element in the growth of the British music industry in the ‘60s and 70’s.

Radio Caroline refused to die on August 14th '67 and carried on broadcasting from the North Sea right up to 1990. It continues to this day, and can now be heard without fading and interference via satellite on Sky channel 0199, and over the world wide web: http://www.radiocaroline.co.uk (I’m listening to it as I write this). The station’s founder Ronan O’Rahilly has always been one of my political heroes. “I’ve been fighting government’s for years, that’s the reality,” he once said....I’m sure a lot of us know how he felt!

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