April 6th Meeting

 

The April meeting of the Radio Caroline Southampton Support Group took place on Wednesday 6th April at The Hamble Club, Beaulieu Road, Hamble-Le-Rice, near Southampton. Presenters who visited included Martin Fisher,Steve Bishop, Phil Meek an Dave Foster.

Brian Bailey reports

The meeting was reasonably supported, given that since the last meeting the cost of living cost of fuel may have had an impact and put off people travelling, also Covid is still circulating.  

The two main events of the evening was a talk by Alan Beech on the Orfordnest site, and the sourcing of the Harris AM transmitter from Holland and the transportation of the transmitter from Holland to the UK and the complications Brexit caused and customs documentation and costs importing the transmitter into the UK.  

Allan also mentioned about the tuning issues of the Harris Transmitter to operate on the 648 wavelength and modifications that required some metalwork by some backroom people of Caroline, which after a lot of effort and hard work in the re-tuning of the Harris Transmitter it was found that the technical manual was incorrect, Alan then emailed Harris in America who then supplied the correct version of how to re-tune up the Transmitter for 648, also Alan talked about how they had to obtain a large number of fuses (which were of American origin) at a cost effective rate, and the replacement of some very expensive electrolytic capacitors.  

Alan then took questions from various people, over the power increase and the cost of running the 648 transmitter, based upon OFCOMs requirement that they measure the field strength at a distance of 1Km from the transmitter the Harris transmitter is actually running at 6KW (given cable and aerial losses) this actually represent a transmitted power of 4KW. There was talk about the possible further increase in power and asking OFCOM if they would consider that with the increase in audience and more listeners re-discovering Caroline on the Medium Waves , and that both the BBC and Independent  commercial radio are now vacating the MW bands due to costs of running services on FM and DAB, this could be in Caroline's favour in terms of higher power.  

Alan then gave a brief history of the Orfordnest site formally known as Cobra Mist - when it was used in the 1970's as the UK's early warning over the horizon radar site (OHR), which closed down and the site reverted to the BBC world service transmissions site having two aerial arrays one for 648 and the other for 1296 which were beamed into Europe.  

Alan's talk was followed by Albert Hood who showed a very interesting video taken back in the late 1990's showing the Ross Revenge in Chatham dockyard (dry dock) and showing the underside of the Ross bottom and some damage sustained to the stabilizers when the Ross was stranded on the Goodwin sands in the early 1990's. The Ross was undergoing maintenance to the bottom which was last done in the early 1980's - with the removal of sea barnacles, and the repainting the underside of special marine anti fouling paint.

April 2022 Photos

 

 

A few well known faces including Phil Meek at the back centre, Albert Hood front right

 

Dave Foster centre and Phil Meek right

 

Mandy Marton, Roland Beaney and Christine Hatt

 

 

Martin Fisher

 

Alan Beech with the 648 transmitter

 

Alan Beech

 

 

Albert Hood showing video of the Ross Revenge when in dry dock

 

Albert Hood showing video of the Ross Revenge when in dry dock

 

Albert Hood showing video of the Ross Revenge when in dry dock

 

Albert Hood showing video of the Ross Revenge when in dry dock

 

Alan Beech, Dave Foster, Mandy Marton, and Steve Bishop

 

 

 

 

November 24th Meeting

Report from David Webb

Thank you Roland Beaney for putting on the very interesting and enjoyable radio meeting in Hamble this evening. It was good to catch up with a few old friends once again, and alsp purchase a Radio Caroline Calendar for 2022, they seemed to be selling like hot cakes.

It was good to see several of the 'original crew' from the early days of these meetings some 37 years ago, William Smith, Tony Chenery, David Williams and Alan Watts albeit too briefly, and good also to talk to several others who I either don't know the names of or have simply forgotten. It was especially good to be in the company of Phil Meek for the evening who very kindly gave me a lift home enabling me to stay to the end but getting me home earlier than the train would have.

We had a very interesting talk and question and answer session with Albert Hood about the Mi Amigo and Ross, tendering etc. We also had a phone call to Alan Beech in a hotel near Orford Ness about work going on at the 648 transmitter site, its resilience and upgrading

November 2021 Photos

Albert Hood addressing the guests

 

Rob Ashard talking to Roger Bowan

 

Georgena Hood, Roland Beaney and Albert Hood

 

Rob Ashard, Dave (Smudger) Ray Copeland and Roger

 

DJs from The Flash in Portsmouth

 

 

 

 

Rob Ashard organising a link up with Alan Beech in Suffolk

 

DJs from The Flash in Portsmouth

September 29th 2021 meeting

 The Radio Caroline Southampton support group held another meeting at the Hamble Social club, Hamble Le Rice Southampton on 29th September, although many couldn't attend due to the availability of fuel many still came along to meet Caroline DJs Dave Foster, Alan Watts, Phil Meek, Andrew Austin, Rob Ashard and John Ellery.

It was also nice to meet Kevin Turner once again. They all came up to the stage and shared some interesting stories and news about their recent activities. Then Alan Beech our transmitter engineer came to the stage and gave an update on the new 648 am transmitter, answering the many questions that were put to him from the audience.

David Cornwallis brought along the Radio Caroline Racing car and gave us an update of the Race meetings he has attended, everyone then went outside to have a photograph taken alongside the car that was parked outside by the main door.


 

Alan Watts

 

 Rob Ashard, John Ellery, Kevin Turner, Andrew Austin, Alan Watts, Roland Beaney and Dave Foster

 

Alan Beech, Alan Watts, Andrew Austin, Dave Foster, John Ellery, Kevin Turner, Kevin Turner and Rob Ashard

 

Grand gathering outside with David Cornwallis and his Radio Caroline Racing car

 

June 30th 2021 meeting

The Radio Caroline Southampton support group meeting returned on Wednesday 30th June at the Hamble Social Club, Hamble Le Rice and everyone was glad to be back. Originally we thought the restrictions would have ended but unfortunately they were extended shortly before our meeting so we had to keep to the latest guidelines to prevent Covid infection. We were grateful to the Hamble Social club for all the work they had done to allow our meeting to take place. Alan Beech took the microphone to answer a lot of technical questions put to him by the audience and Albert Hood told us some very interesting stories from the last few years that Caroline broadcast from the High seas. The well stocked sales stall was kept busy selling all the latest kit and thanks to everyone that came along and bought stock or made donations to go towards the work to support the station.  It was great to see so many new faces and I hope to see you all at the next meeting at the end of September when we hope the restrictions will be lifted.

 

Mandy Marton and Alan Beech

 

Caroline BMW car

 

 

David Cornwallis with his pride and joy

 

One and all with the Caroline car

 

 

 

Peter Chicago centre

 

Bill Smith (right) founder member chatting to John Ellery

 

 

 

 

 

Peter Chicago

 

Rob Ashard, Dave Foster and Alan Beech

 

 

Dave Foster

 

 

Alan Watts, Dave Bowen and Geri Hampshire

 

Chris Cooper with his booklet

 

Dave Webb and Phil Meek

 

Alan Watts and Dave Foster

 

I think the buffet is ready

 

Radio Caroline BMW sports car

 

 

"Suit you Sir" Geri Hampshire doing what she does best

 

 

Welcome return of Albert and Georgena Hood

 

Keith Curtis checking in visitors

 

Another decade has started and the Radio Caroline Southampton support group meetings have continued to grow. The group was formed when Radio Caroline and Laser 558 were broadcasting from sea but when the broadcasts from the ships closed the group numbers began to drop although a few kept it going by having meetings in their houses. When I took over we found a club in Netley called the Netley Victoria club where many of the original members lived nearby and we were given a small room. We outgrew that room and moved to the main part of the club when numbers grew to over 60.

We have now moved to the Hamble Social club for the year 2020. This has proved to be a big success with numbers increasing even more. We now have a much bigger room with a stage and alcove for our buffets and more room to park. We've hope to have some very special guests this year including DJs and engineers that kept the generators going back in the days the station broadcast from the high seas.

Thank you to everyone that have joined us over the years some travelling many miles from Wales, Yorkshire, Cornwall in fact from all over the country and some from abroad.

The group that now meets in The Hamble Club Beaulieu Road, Hamble-Le-Rice, near Southampton SO31 4JL is thought to be the only appreciation group in the south and its four meetings a year attract people from far and wide. Two regularly travel from Wales, some from Manchester and Leeds a couple of ladies from Ireland, a lady from Belgium arrived at the March 2017 meeting having heard it mentioned on the air and occasionally a man from California has been known to make it over.

Although the group is a meeting of minds, a chance to share memories and talk about the station and radio in general, fundraising plays an important part. The station still has its own ship, the Ross Revenge, now moored in the River Blackwater in Essex and all money raised at the meetings goes towards the restoration of Caroline's ship. The group has purchased a lot of equipment and money is raised through selling memorabilia and merchandise as well as raffle tickets and donations. Albert and Georgena Hood now bring along a large collection of Caroline merchandise for sale during the evenings.

The group has its roots going right back to the days of the Free Radio movement as the Southampton branch. They then had what you might call a resurgence during the Laser 558 era but membership fell away when Laser closed down. The group continued to meet for a long time in members homes and then they contacted the station during a request show. We started promoting he meetings on Caroline and eventually we had to find a bigger venue and we found the Netley Victoria club. With the help of promotions on Caroline we've now got 8 times more people coming along and we grew too big for our side room so the club offered us the main room where we can now expand even further.

All supporters are very welcome to join us and meet Caroline DJs and restoration staff and hear all the latest news about the station and its ship the Ross Revenge. A £5 donation includes a buffet and all proceeds go towards the cost of work on board our ship Ross Revenge.


In 1986 members of the Southampton Support Group went to visit the Ross Revenge in the North Sea. Armed with a couple of VHS video cameras they recorded the journey and videoed quite a few DJ's in action. DJ's on board included Tony Christian and Peter Philips. Members who went included Bill Smith, David Webb and David Williams. The VHS tapes have now been digitised and available on YouTube. Many thanks to David Webb for the recordings. Warning, its nearly one hour long.

You can view the video by clicking thumbnail above. Then find No. 50 on the playlist

 

Presenters past & present who have visited

Tim Allen

Andrew Austin

Steve Anthony

Peter Antony

Alan Beech

Steve Bishop

Nick (Carter) Bolland

 

Mike Brill

 

Rob Ashard

 

Paul Brown

Tony Christian

Ray Clark

Chris Cooper

John Cronnolley

Ray Copeland


John Ellery

Steve Essex

Richard Evans

Martin Fisher

Dave Foster

Clive Garrard

Marc Griffiths

Barry James

Dennis Jason

James Kay (R.I.P)


Alec Lamb

Phil Meek

Phil Meek

Ian Miles

André van Os


Chris Pearson

Jim Richman


Steve Scott (R.I.P)

Lee Shuttlewood

Keith Skues

Todd Slaughter

Derek Taylor

Alan Turner 

Kevin Turner

Alan Watts

 

Mike Watts

Suzi Wilde

Suzy Wilde

Jerry Wright

Gary Ziepe

 

 

       

Visitors & members past and present

Roland Beaney

Tony Chennery

Bill Smith

Andrew Webb

David Webb

David Williams

 
Trevor Adams

Keith Aggas

Alan from Derby

Alwyn Anthony

John Armstrong

John Armstrong

Jeanette Atkins

Ashley Atkins

Mike Barrington 

Chris Beeching

Elaine Beeching

Roger Bowen

Morgan Bowler

Linda Britain

Steve Britain

John Burch

Rosemary Byatt

An De Cooman

Keith Curtis

Steve Cooke

Peter Chicago

Louise Davis

 

 

 

 

Graham Diggens

Valerie Diggens

David Esp

Dave from K.O.T

Reg Eden

Sally Eden

 

Cathy Gallagher

Rita Gerrard

Tommy Gerrard

Richard Graham

Driver Man

Phil Heap

Roger Hewitt

Morris Hillier

Albert Hood

Georgena Hood

Dave Hutchings

Graham Hodgekiss

Stuart Hobbs

John Ingram

Jenny from Derby

Julian

Robert James

 

Martin Kirby

David Legge

Christopher Levy

Dave Lockyer

Mike Mack


Derek May

Mandy Marton

Chris Manion

Chris Martin

Tim McClellan

Chris Mould

Paul Newman

Norma

Kim Peters

Derek Pipe


Tommy Rivers

Ray Robinson

Robin

Dave Romberg

 

Roseleen

 

Steven Rowlandson

 

Steve Royffe

Lawrence Scordellis

Lawrence Scordellis

Peter Smith

Terry Spittle

Keith Stimpson

Ann Swallow

 Steve Swallow

Sylvan

Roger Taylor

Mike Terry

 

John Whetton

Steve Whitehead

 

Ritchie West

 

 

Steve Wilson

Lynda Worrell

Stephen Worrell

 

 

 

 

 

 



The Venue is at the  Hamble Club, Beaulieu Rd, Hamble-le-Rice Southampton SO31 4JL Phone: 02380 452213 

Driving Directions From M27 Exit 8


 

 

 

 

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