Forty-five years ago today the BBC monopoly in the UK was challenged as Radio Caroline started broadcasting from a former Danish passenger ferry off the Essex coast. Since that day British broadcasting was changed forever and one "pirate" after another took to the airwaves. During the three years which the stations were on the air British listeners got accustomed to a continous diet of music 24 hours a day and the BBC had to follow suit by establishing its own pop channel, Radio One.
The m/v Caroline, previously Fredericia, home of Radio Caroline in 1964.
Forty-five years later BBC Radio Essex is celebrating the memory of the start of offshore radio by special broadcasts from the former lightship LV18. Many wellknown names from the golden days of offshore radio are participating. At the time of writing I am listening to good old "Cardboard Skues", Keith Skues, who in the 1960s could be heard on both Radio Caroline and Radio London (BigL).
If you want to enjoy some real radio nostalgia you can listen in to Pirate BBC Essex over the web. You may also be able to pick up the signal on MW 729, 765 or 1530 kHz although these frequencies are pretty crowded. The transmissions will continue until April 13. Incidentally, the LV18 is also featured as a broadcasting vessel in thed current film The Boat that Rocked the World.
Tune in and turn on!