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volume 2
april 1999

Rare pictures from radio's past

 





  Scandinavian Offshore Radio
  by Hans Knot
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  The links below give access to no less than twelve pages filled with pictures of Radio Mercur (on air from July 1958 till July 1962), the short-lived Danish Commercial Radio (DCR) (on air from September 1961 till January 1962), Radio Nord (on air from February 1961 till 30th June 1962) and Radio Syd (on air between February 1962 and 20th January 1966).

English Scandinavian Offshore Radio: Radio Mercur (1) (april 1999). Radio Mercur was on air from 11th July 1958 till 31st July 1962 (frequencies: 88 and 89 MHz) and used three different transmission vessels: the Cheeta I, the Cheeta II and the Lucky Star. The transmission vessels were anchored at a position between the islands of Funen and Zeeland, Denmark. The adventure of Mercur started with the small vessel Cheeta I.
English Scandinavian Offshore Radio: Radio Mercur (2) (april 1999). Radio Mercur had a male as well as female broadcasting staff. Most of the programs were taped on forehand on land in studio's in Copenhagen. The tapes were brought to the ship either by a tender ship or, when the weather conditions were not too good, by the company's own small private airplane. On 31st January 1961 broadcasting commenced from the Cheeta II.
English Scandinavian Offshore Radio: Radio Mercur (3) (april 1999). Radio Mercur was the first offshore station to fight the law. The Danish Government decided that the offshore stations had to be closed down at midnight 31st July 1962. Indeed Radio Mercur closed down but a part of the former broadcasting staff came back on air on 13th August 1962. The Danish authorities decided to act and on 15th August 1962 a force of armed Danish police boarded the Lucky Star.
English Scandinavian Offshore Radio: Radio Mercur (4) (february 2000). Recently Jan van Heeren bought an old issue (12th July 1959) of the Dutch television magazine "TV" at an auction and found ten previously unknown photo's of Radio Mercur, taken in the middle of 1959.
English Scandinavian Offshore Radio: Radio Mercur (5) (december 2001). Erik Lindhardt now lives in Australia as a retired Licensed Aircraft Radio Engineer. Forty years ago he worked as an engineer on board of the MV Lucky Star. He sent us some nice photographs from that adventurous period.
English Scandinavian Offshore Radio: Radio Nord (1) (march 2000). Following the example of Danish Radio Mercur the Swedish Jack Kotschack made plans for a Swedish offshore radio station. In 1959, with the help of Americans Gordon McLendon — owner of Dallas radio station KLIF — and Bob Thompson he bought the MV Olga and transformed this ship into the MV Bon Jour. At the end of 1960 the ship seemed ready to start transmissions. Due to technical and metereological problems it took some months before Radio Nord came on air.
English Scandinavian Offshore Radio: Radio Nord (2) (march 2000). Radio Nord went on air in February 1961 on 606 Khz / 495 M, shifting the next month to to 602 Khz / 498 M — because of interference with Radio Lyon. Advertising and jingles, however kept the 606 calling.
English Scandinavian Offshore Radio: Radio Nord (3) (march 2000). Radio Nord closed down on 30th June 1962 after the Swedish Government passed a law against offshore radio that was to take effect on 1st August. The MV Bon Jour sailed on to become the MV Magda Maria and — still that same year — the MV Mi Amigo.
English Scandinavian Offshore Radio: Radio Syd (1) (april 1999). In 1962 a new offshore station began to air its programs to the Swedish people. This station was called Radio Syd, transmitting on 88.3 and 89.6 mHz and using some of the same ships as Mercur. The station was on air between February 1962 and 20th January 1966. The station was owned by the legendary Mrs Britt Wadner.
English Scandinavian Offshore Radio: Radio Syd (2) (april 1999). Radio Syd made fame with its programs and several artists — among them the Rolling Stones — visited the ship. For some time the organisation even entertained the idea of starting a television station.
English Scandinavian Offshore Radio: Radio Syd (3) (april 1999). Despite the illegality of Radio Syd, the station remained extremely popular. Something had to be done against the owner and the Swedish justice brought Mrs Wadner into court. In october 1962 she was fined for breaking the recently introduced law. More fines followed and in 1964 she was sentenced one month jail.
English Scandinavian Offshore Radio: Radio Syd (4) (april 1999). After the station closed down forever for the Scandinavian market, the radioship was hired for a while to the Caroline organisation. Next, the ship went to one of the Canarian Isles to be rebuilt into a luxury night club. This never happened. In the autumn of 1968 the ship anchored in the harbour of Bathurst, Gambia. Here the station restarted its programs from land for the several Swedish people who are living there.
   
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