Radio shack

RADIO is being broadcast to the world today - from a converted summer house in Suffolk.Music fan Shaun Brown has launched a new radio station over the internet, with one of the main aims to pay homage to the pop pirates of the 60s, 70s and 80s.

RADIO is being broadcast to the world today - from a converted summer house in Suffolk.

Music fan Shaun Brown has launched a new radio station over the internet, with one of the main aims to pay homage to the pop pirates of the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Mr Brown - who has set up a small studio near Grundisburgh to share his new station globally - is hoping Radio North Sea Gold will take off so well he can transmit it via satellite TV and on radio eventually.

“I applied for the new licence for a commercial radio station for the Ipswich, Felixstowe and Woodbridge area, but sadly didn't get it,” said Mr Brown, of Bredfield, near Woodbridge.

“We had hoped to broadcast from a ship anchored about four miles off Felixstowe just as the pop pirates did in the sixties.

“But when it didn't work out I was determined to still get a radio station off the ground.

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“Doing it via the internet just seems to be the best way - and it's amazing to think we can be broadcasting to people all over the world.”

Mr Brown, who has been involved in several radio stations and has long wanted to recreate the pirate era and atmosphere, though completely legally, has spent months putting together the professionally-equipped studio, from which the station is broadcasting 24 hours a day.

“The studio is quite small, but I am very pleased with all the equipment and we have been running test transmissions on the web site for a while now just to try and get all the levels right,” he said.

“The studio is very tucked away, deep in the countryside, but should be a lot of fun to work from.

“We will be playing music from the 60s, 70s and 80s and also featuring 'Offshore Classic Clips', recordings from Radio Caroline, recreating the heydays of the pirates.”

Rick Rooney has been signed up as the main DJ and others will join him on-line.

Mr Brown said negotiations were taking place and it was hoped in autumn next year North Sea Gold would be broadcast by the Sky satellite, and also by normal radio from Holland, with the shows sent via ISDN line and then transmitted across Europe from the Netherlands.

WEBLINK: www.radionorthseagold.com

What do you think of radio on the internet - have you heard North Sea Gold? Write to Your Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

FACTFILE: Pirates on the radio

Pirate radio really took off in the 1960s with the boom in rock music and youngsters unhappy that the traditional radio stations would not play much pop and rock at all.

The pirates got their name because the stations broadcast illegally without licences - often from ships a few miles offshore, or from old coastal war forts in the North Sea, Thames and Solent.

Government grew increasingly impatient with the pirates and tried to cut off their food supplies by stopping delivery boats, and then extending Britain's coastal waters to allow the law to be used to close them down and force the pirates out of range.

Radio 1 was launched in 1967 to provide a legal pop and rock music station - killing off many of the pirate stations.

Many top DJs cut their teeth on pirate radio, including Kenny Everett, John Peel, Tony Blackburn, Simon Dee, Dave Lee Travis, Ed Stewart, and Johnnie Walker, before moving to Radio 1 and later legal commercial radio stations.

Radio Caroline was the most famous of the pirates, along with Radio City, Laser 558, Nordsee International, 390, Swinging Radio England, Radio London, Radio Scotland, and Radio Atlanta.

Today the government has expanded the number of radio licences available, while many stations are broadcast legally via satellite TV and the internet to anyone with a computer - reaching a global audience and transmitting 24 hours a day. However, pirate radio still exists with experts reckoning around 50 stations broadcast in London alone.

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