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April 21, 2020 2:58 pm  #2


Re: Radio Caroline's Ronan O'Rahilly

I can connect two topics with one comment. I was child in London at the heyday of the pirate stations. I was home in my room recovering from firstly measles, and then mumps. Each time it was a fevered existence with hallucinations lasting several weeks. Reading was out of the question due to the nausea, but I had a transistor radio of the period. My waking time was consumed with dialing around to find the many pirates that reached London. It was an antidote to the sweet orchestral sounds of the BBC. The only other alternative was the powerful Radio Luxemburg with its fluctuation long wave signal.  I can imagine modern day sufferers also seeking the spoken word, except now the opportunity to discover through the internet, stations from far afield. I wonder how many distant radio stations are proving comfort to GTA residents. I remember the PAMS jingles that each station played – image differentiation mattered even then. In a later time my younger brother became embroiled in land-base pirate radio, using low power transmitters from varying locations in the capital. They had short broadcasting schedules, usually several hours at a known time on the weekends. Unless, of course, the Post Office technical team managed to track them down sooner! Possession of a hot transmitter was evidence, so some effort was made to remote the transmitter from any physical presence. Also, quick removal and destruction of the valves rendered successful prosecution more challenging. In the end, pirates became obsolete with the launching of commercial radio in the UK. Many of the ship-borne DJs then found instant employment on land with their well honed and previously demonstrated competencies.