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Radio 270 - History (3)

As the Parliamentary process with the Marine etc Broadcasting (Offences) Bill continued during 1966 and 1967  the stations themselves came to realise that arguments about freedom of expression and rights of democracy would have little impact on the Government and the Bill was almost certain to become law before the end of the summer. Consequently, feeling that they had nothing more to lose, individual radio stations gradually became involved in politics in various ways - something which they had all previously avoided.

Radio 270 aRadio 270 booklet covergreed to accept advertisements from political parties for candidates standing in the 1967 local council elections. The Young Conservatives at York University bought time and the station planned to transmit its first political broadcast on 1st May 1967, featuring Mr. Patrick Wall, then the  MP  for Beverly and members of York University Conservative Association.

A further party  political broadcast by Harvey Proctor, then Chairman of York University Conservative Association was transmitted over Radio 270 in June 1967 again featuring Patrick Wall MP talking with Mr. John Biggs-Davidson MP about the Government's handling of foreign affairs in Rhodesia, the Middle East and Israel.

Then, just days before the implementation of the legislation to outlaw offshore stations there was another political broadcast, again sponsored by York University Conservative Association, featuring three MPs criticising the Government for closing the stations.

This appeared to harden the Labour government's resolve to deal with the offshore radio stations. Postmaster-General Edward Short stated about Radio 270 that "It is the first time in peacetime that this country has been subjected to a stream of misleading propaganda from outside our territorial waters and I do not think this is a matter for joking".

The Marine etc. Broadcasting (Offences) Act received the Royal Assent on 14th July 1967 and Postmaster General Edward Short announced that its provisions would come into effect one month later, on 15th August 1967. Radio 270's Managing Director, Wilf Proudfoot, announced that the station would close at one minute to midnight on 14th August 1967, saying "we have not broken the law up to now and we don't intend to in the future." Even before Radio 270's closure the station's vessel Oceaan VII was put up for sale through  a local firm of estate agents.

Radio 270 planned a final hour which was to have included all the station's DJs broadcasting live from on board the Oceaan VII. However, rough weather prevented those DJs on shore leave travelling to the ship to join their colleagues but unofficial arrangements were made for a helicopter to drop a tape containing their farewell messages onto the deck of the Oceaan VII. This arrangement was made by Radio 270's Deputy Programme Director, Mike Hayes who persuaded a friend at RAF Leconfield to take the tape on a helicopter 'training flight' over the North Sea. Because on the unofficial and unauthorised nature of the delivery the tape was accompanied by a message instructing those on board the Oceaan VII not to mention on the air how it had arrived.

Unfortunately when the tape and accompanying message were dropped from the helicopter they landed, not as planned on the deck of the Oceaan VII but in the sea. Those on board the radio ship, knowing nothing of the secretive nature of the mission, announced to listeners that an RAF helicopter was hovering over the Oceaan VII and thanked "the boys at Leconfield" for coming out to see them on their final day! The RAF authorities immediately launched an official inquiry into this completely unauthorised 'training flight' and it was reported that Prime Minister Harold Wilson demanded to see a personal copy of the report  on the incident.

Radio 270's final hour then went ahead with those DJs on board Oceaan VII, as well as the Captain and crew reminiscing about life on the station. Unfortunately studio equipment  during that final programme suffered from surges in power due to the ship's continuing problem with jelly fish which were being sucked into the generator cooling system. The station's final programme also contained farewell messages from Leonard Dale, Chairman of Radio 270 and Managing Director Wilf Proudfoot  both expressing  the hope that eventually they would be able to return to the airwaves, from a land-based station. After playing the National Anthem, the station left the air for the final time at 11.59pm.

The DJs and crew who had been on board the Oceaan VII left the ship immediately after the station closed and arrived in Bridlington Harbour  at about 1.15am the following morning, 15th August 1967, where they were met on the quayside by a crowd of about 600 fans.

The Oceaan VII itself, which had already been offered for sale by  local estate agents, sailed to Whitby where she berthed later that same afternoon.  With no buyers the ship languished at the quayside for several months, but nearly became a base for Radio Caroline in April 1968, a plan that was scuppered by advance publicity in the press.

Radio 270 closing down, 11.59pm 14th August 1967

R 270 closedown 14.08.67 12 (2) midnight.mp3

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The Times

12th May 1967

The Times

16th August 1967

The Times

15th May 1967

Scarborough estate agents Tuckley & Co advertised the Oceaan VII for sale

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Transistor Radio Offer

Radio 270 transistor radio offer.mp3

Disc and Music Echo

13th April 1968

Ready Milk

commercial - Ready Milk.mp3


Key Dates

Ship and Location




Key Dates Ship and Location Technical Staff Programmes

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