Peter Moore speaking of Radio Caroline North

Radio Caroline operates via radiocaroline.co.uk and is the same organisation that has control of the radioship Ross Revenge, the last home of Radio Caroline at sea as an ‘offshore radio station’.  The registered trademark holder and accepted ‘owner’ of Radio Caroline in the UK is Peter Moore.

Peter has been writing about Radio Caroline North and so I thought it would be useful to stitch together what he has said to explain the relationship between Radio Caroline and Radio Caroline North.

Peter Moore writes:

This is NOT sour grapes just a factual explanation. Seemingly John Dwyer had an idea for a Caroline North tribute about 18 months ago and mentioned it to Bob Lawrence who said to contact me, but John did not.

Then maybe a year went by and he mentioned it again to our engineer Peter Clayton and again he was advised to contact me, but he did not.

Then around November time 2013 he did make contact almost with a fait accompli i.e. ‘ we’ve got a ship and a licence and it’s all going to be great so can we have your blessing and off we go ‘.

I noted very clearly that there seemed no intention to involve the actual Radio Caroline nor invite any of our broadcasters, nor discuss music or co-operate with publicity.

So, at the least it was very cheeky and I guess I could have got on my high horse with an injunction and stopped the whole thing dead.

But then I would be spending our supporters money that I would rather spend on the boat and many of you would be calling me a rotten spoilsport.

So I had some frank discussions with John and an arrangement has been made that I expect him to honour as a gentleman. On that basis and on the basis that we are stretched too thin to put on an event in the North I did not object.

But, yes, When BBC Radio offered an interview John made no mention of the present Radio Caroline nor said that an interview was in the offing. I heard it first on here. John said that he was ‘ very tired ‘ and did not like to contradict the reporter who stated ‘ of course Radio Caroline is not on air right now ‘.

Again I was not informed of the BBC TV feature, but found out and rushed Peter Antony up there. And, as been stated, Tony Prince aside from making a total fool of himself did not let Peter Antony get a word in.

One thing that does p–s me off is when people like Prince who have done nothing whatsoever for Caroline at any time in 50 years aside from enjoy the fame, turn up and hog what should be our publicity. He is not the only one.

Back to practical things, our sales chap Albert Hood drove to Liverpool on Sunday with a load of our merchandise that John has offered to sell for us. When/if I hear that all this is in place then we may well promote the event, assuming also that it can be heard.

John has promised to air every four hours, an announcement admitting that this is a tribute station, stating that the actual Radio Caroline is on air full time and giving our web details. Then toward to final days of the event I am sure the presenters will direct listeners toward us.

Some of my colleagues are roasting me for being too tolerant, but some things have to come down to trust.  And !!! It’s only an RSL.

At one time i.e. 23 years ago, we were fascinated by the possibility of having a temporary licence to broadcast from Dover and we got awfully excited and took it all so very seriously, but several RSL’s later we got to see them for what they are, overpriced, underpowered and soon forgotten.

That is not to say we will NEVER do another for a specific purpose such as to say ‘ if we got a full time frequency, this is the sort of service we would provide ‘.

But as you only have 28 days, you have to make each hour count and ( whether you are strictly permitted to or not ) to test that everything is working before the big opening moment.

Link transmitters are vulnerable, as both we and BBC Essex found out, to pranksters finding the frequency with a scanning radio and putting on their own link either with more power or closer to the TX site.

But link licences are readily obtained and could be tested in advance prior to the broadcast, or better still why not use a broadband connection.

Good idea maybe to take 28 days but announce the start date as being a day or two days later and get everything right.

Further, as the world and his wife seem to find it easy to get an internet signal streaming, that could have been in place days/weeks before ( in Liverpool I mean ).

I will not suggest for a moment that we have not f—-d things up in the past, but in his determination to paddle his own canoe 100% John missed the chance maybe to ask us where we went wrong before, so as to avoid doing the same thing himself.

Equally he could have asked for help.

So, I very much hope and indeed expect that he will soon sort it out and only waste say 8/10% of his licenced time.

Obviously, if it does descend in to a multi coloured f–k up some of the merde will rub off on us.

Never mind, here’s hoping.

Peter Moore.

7 comments

  1. What a load of bile. I was the one who told the BBC of your existence and put them in touch with Peter Antony my only contact to get to you. You received the most national exposure you have ever received because of that you ungrateful man. What do you expect me to do for Radio Caroline? I owe you nothing, not once have you invited me to do a show for you, My debt to Caroline was paid 1965 – 67. Did you ever climb a 100ft mast in a force 9 to help put the station back on air?
    Shame on you Peter.
    Tony Prince.

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  2. The Radio Caroline story is not just about the personality’s in the sixty’s (they were great times I know ) When ever BBC or anyone else talk about Caroline they use the same old black and white scratchy film from that time as if it all ended then. J Walker said Caroline continues in sixty seven and continue it did thru the seventy s and eighty’s teaching the BBC and local radio a thing or two. Caroline on the Ross Revenge was raided in the early 90s and was severely injured and never really recovered .I salute everyone from the 60s to the 90s who had anything to do with radio Caroline at sea especially the engineers and the support staff and obviously Ronan Thank you —- Mark Birtles

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  3. This is for Tony,
    Tony, they say never to let the sun go down on an argument, but I only saw your response this morning.
    Anyway, when the chaps were planning the Caroline commemoration in Liverpool, they probably did not know that Chris England was lurking and waiting. He is hugely critical of what he sees as ‘ bad ‘ radio and so they only needed to put one foot wrong to incur his wrath.
    Presently, though I have not yet tried to listen this morning ( Wed 2nd ), they seem to have put a lot of feet wrong and Chris has jumped on them delightedly, including taking my comments and joining them together, causing your reply.
    However, let me set out my stall. The only thing I am interested in is to spread knowledge that Radio Caroline is still operating today. When I achieve this I get more listeners. I don’t care about anything else.
    In my view ( and Ronan’s ) there were two types of Caroline staff, those who got the ideology and those who wanted career advancement. Now, Keith Skues and Blackburn, to give two examples, have never ever suggested that they wanted to strike any sort of blow for freedom etc.
    Blackburn says that the Pirate’s were simply intended to cause there to be Commercial Radio in the UK and so when he saw the next career step he took it.
    Ronan never forgave those who jumped ship a heartbeat before the 1967 law came in. This was demonstrated to me when he saw just such a deserter ( not you ) at a social event. His eyes narrowed in to slits of fury and he said to me ‘ Do you see that f—-r over there ? I tell you what, as soon as the going got tough that f—-r was gone baby’.
    Now, as for the 50th publicity, I stressed on Anglia TV and Meridian and The Voice Of Russia, even the BBC Arabic TV channel and various press and radio, that the real story was that we survived in order to entertain people today. Each time I achieved this at least to a degree, since everyone wants to major on black and white footage of a beatnik with a transistor.
    So when the Liverpool coverage happened I watched John Dwyer and mentally begged him to say something current to 2014, but he did not. Then I watched you in the next sequence and begged you to make some mention, but you sang a puerile song ( which you then had to explain ) and talked about maritime heroism.
    The final sequence gave Peter Antony a chance, but no sooner had he started to speak than you interrupted him, and sabotaged those few moments that he was given.
    The only positive thing was that the BBC flashed our web site up on the screen.
    So, in summary, you were paid to broadcast on Caroline ( and why not ) and maybe took a risk once in a marine sense. We have all risked our limbs and lives over the years. Then you moved to pastures new as young men do.
    Years ago I tried to always gather ex Caroline people back since there was the credibility of the ‘name.’ But when I saw what they had become with the passage of time, I stopped.
    No, I never have invited you, but why should I ?
    So, I doubt that we will exchange Christmas Cards any longer and, on a personal level, I do not wish to be bad friends with anyone.
    But, like Ronan I am only concerned with Radio Caroline and with my tunnel vision if people get angry and offended ‘ Hey baby, that’s just the way it is ‘.
    Peter Moore.

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  4. Tut Tut…..What a shame to see the internal squabbles of the once mighty Radio Caroline.I suppose things never change, internal politics always seems to raise it’s ugly head in radio.All publicity whether good or bad is always just publicity and works to everyone’s advantage.I wonder how many people who saw the Caroline North footage on various news programs social networks/forums etc has got an awful lot of people talking about Radio Caroline in general and that can only be a good thing whether it’s about North or South.I’m currently listening to Caroline North on 87.7 and I’m enjoying the output.Why? because Caroline North is what Northerners listened too all those years ago.I will add this though after it went to none stop music last night I decided to check out the official Caroline streams and I have to say I was slightly disappointed there was so many of them all doing something different that I was left confused to what was what.I would of thought it would be best to do one Station well aimed at one particular audience instead of aiming for lots of different ones and doing them badly.I do understand the upset caused when Caroline North had it’s major problems,even more with their very poor excuses,then ignorance.It was a fiasco.They do seem to have got there at together now with live Jocks and streaming all be it 3days too late and admittedly it’s rough around the edges,but it’s on but only just.The modulation on their F.M transmitter is very poor and the signal could be a lot better.Happy broadcasting to both parties, try and work together and keep the Legend that is Radio Caroline alive!I love you both xx

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  5. Peter, the casual reader will interpret your message completely the wrong way. You make me look like some kind of traitor. My life has been about the DJ, not a specific station, although after 16 years with Radio Luxembourg my loyalty to 208 is immeasurable, a little like yours with Caroline. In Amsetrdam at Radio Day, when interviewing Johnnie Walker, I did make the comment that ‘the real heroes of pirate radio were those like Johnnie who continued after the Marine Offences Act. I also admitted ‘I wimped out’. By the time the act became law, Phil Solomon’s footprint had killed any passion most of us had for free radio, people thought we liked The Dubliners ‘7 Drunken Night’!!! Soloman had been my agent, I left him at Chris Moore’s behest, to get the job. Solomon joined Ronan and immediately sacked me. What warmth might I have had for the organisation under that rule?
    My life after 208 led to the birth of DMC, the Disco Mix Club which has been working on behalf of the club DJ/Producer now for 31 years. I stopped listening to radio after a brief spell on Cap Gold and the breakfast show on XTRA AM. I may be the only DJ who ever resigned a job under Richard Park, playing the same repetitive 200 golden oldies drove me insane.
    At an early DMC Convention I organised a radio panel featuring Tim Blackmore as mediator, Johnny Beerling, Keith Skues, Tony Blackburn, Aidan Day and…Jonathan King (who berated Radio 1, driving Johnny Beerling to write me a letter damning me for inviting him).
    My heart therefore was always in radio as the early editions of Mixmag, which I published and edited, will reveal. Then the club DJ took our central focus at DMC/Mixmag and our remixing days began.
    After the Capital Gold experience I had no desire to return to any radio station.
    Even so, I did work hard to help Gordon Mac bring KISS FM to legality and served on his board. I had no ambition to broadcast myself but wanted radio to spread it’s format wings to which end KISS was quite unique and remains so today (even under EMAP).
    Today I am producing a TV documentary to counter-balance the comedy ‘Boat that Rocked’ (‘Pirate Radio’ as it was called around the world). Richard Park is one of many people I have interviewed and his anti-BBC comments are a revelation.

    So lastly, back to your original comments. I was the one who told the BBC Breakfast researched about your efforts, I also told them that Ros Revenge was still out there with an army of enthusiastic supporters. To contact your organisation I put them in touch with Peter Antony and offered to take him with me to Liverpool. I knew little about John Dwyer’s plans other than he had a little boat rechristened Caroline North for a month which plucked at my heart-strings. Caroline North was to me the greatest of all the pirates, Liverpool, where our head office was, has always meant so much to me. So when I met John in Amsterdam at DJ DAY, without knowing any of the politics, I agreed to do a one-off show for him which I will do on Bank Holiday Sunday. The BBC approach took me prematurely to Liverpool, Peter Antony came in my car on my fuel and we had a joyous night out together.

    The following day we journeyed back south with a great feeling of accomplishment having promoted the legend RADIO CAROLINE. By the way, at no point during the interviews were we made aware how long we would be talking and as Peter had launched into serious mode, I felt I had to interject to keep the mood one of celebration. But everyone who watched knows that Peter made his point and told the viewers how bad playlists were these days and how free Caroline’s is.

    I understand your passion and commitment. You just undermined mine.

    Keep the flag flying and good luck in the future. Let’s let the world know how much we both love what Ronan O’Rahilly created, he is the ultimate free radio hero and everything we do is in his shadow.
    Tony Prince.
    DMCWORLD.COM

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  6. Hello Tony,
    I am going to jump subjects here, but maybe you will indulge me.
    I’m very lucky in that I don’t have to work and I have a lovely little cottage down a lane that is rarely used and the house has a pretty garden and even a river. In the sunshine , it is idyllic.
    Yesterday I stepped out in to the lane and saw two sweet old guys approaching and trailing behind them was a dog that was obviously in some distress. One man said ‘ do I need to carry you ‘ and scooped the dog up. I thought that the animal may have hurt itself, stepping on something sharp. so I went up to the men and offered them a lift. It was only then that I saw that the man carrying the dog had tears in his eyes.
    He said ‘ It’s OK, we’ve just come from the vet and found that she has cancer, he’s given us some tablets but ‘. For a while he could not speak but then he said ‘ We’re taking her around all the places she loves’.
    The other man managed to say ‘ she’s our favourite you know’ and then he could not say any more.
    I apologised for having intruded and then men walked on carrying their beloved little pet. The incident only lasted maybe a minute but it was so terribly, utterly sad.
    I came back in to my house and cried and cried and cried. Actually I am typing through tears as I write.
    Then I thought, what in the blue blazes am I doing picking arguments over Radio bloody Caroline ?
    So, I’m waving a white flag down here and maybe you will do the same and then we can start again with a blank sheet of paper ?
    Best wishes,
    Peter.

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