Happy Birthday to our friends at Radio Caroline

Fifty-five years ago last Wednes­day, on 27 March 1964, Radio Car­o­line began test trans­mis­sions from a ship, the MV Car­o­line, moored off the Essex coast, on 1520 kHz, announced as 199 metres, and start­ed reg­u­lar broad­casts the next day. It was the  begin­ning of one of the most live­ly peri­ods of broad­cast­ing – and music – in British his­to­ry: the era of off­shore sta­tions broad­cast­ing from ships and dis­used sea-forts around the British coast: the so-called “pirate sta­tions”.

Ulti­mate­ly, after many years on and off the air involv­ing a great many peo­ple from many aspects of British broad­cast­ing, changes of ves­sels and broad­cast­ing tech­nolo­gies, the ship run­ning aground and being board­ed and oth­er tri­als and tribu­la­tions, Ofcom award­ed Radio Car­o­line a com­mu­ni­ty licence to broad­cast to Suf­folk and north Essex on 648 kHz with a pow­er of 1 kW. On 11 Novem­ber 2017, test trans­mis­sions com­menced from an omni-direc­tion­al mast (for­mer­ly used by the BBC World Ser­vice) at Orford Ness, Suf­folk. Com­mer­cial pro­gram­ming com­menced at noon on Fri­day 22 Decem­ber 2017.

We’d like to wish our friends at Radio Car­o­line a very hap­py birth­day, with a spe­cial shout-out to Patrick who is work­ing with us to devel­op our new roy­al­ty track­ing sys­tem. Thanks for many years of qual­i­ty broad­cast­ing, with many more to come.

The pho­to shows the Radio Car­o­line South (for­mer­ly Radio Atlanta) radio ship, the MV Mi Ami­go, tak­en in the 1970s dur­ing a fan vis­it to the ves­sel. Author Alber­toke at Dutch Wikipedia

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