What really did keep Radio Caroline on the air financially after 14th August 1967 was the heavy promotion of Major Minor records featuring artists such as David McWilliams, Raymond LeFevre and his Orchestra and the Roberto Mann Singers, as well as a large number of relatively unknown Irish folk singers. These 'plug' records -
Although financially necessary the directive from Philip Soloman (who was now effectively running the Caroline stations) to include these records in the station's output caused much resentment amongst DJs, particularly on Caroline South whose reception area contained hardly any audience for such material.
A number of dummy 'announcements' and 'advertisements' from British companies were also broadcast at this time in an attempt to confuse the authorities, who were known to be monitoring the station's output. These dummy commercials also provided cover for any true advertisers who, it was claimed, had bought enough airtime to keep the station operating for at least six months.
The fake advertisements which were broadcast included products from various large British companies such as Horlicks, Nestle and Beechams, who all strongly denied that they had bought airtime on the station in contravention of the Marine etc. Broadcasting (Offences) Act.
A spokesman for Beechams said, "All our contracts with the station ended last November. All they are doing is using old commercials and putting them out without our permission." Similar denials were issued by cigarette manufacturers Du Maurier, Peter Stuyvesant and Consulate as well as Swiss watch manufacturers Bulova, whose promotion continued to be aired at the top of each hour preceding the station's news bulletins.
Although much of what these companies claimed was true -
One advertiser, Derek Gardner Photographics of Leatherhead and Epsom, had run a campaign on the station during the early summer of 1967 which included promotional offers available until the end of September 1967. When Radio Caroline South continued to broadcast these commercials after 15th August 1967, again in fulfilment of its contract, Derek Gardner visited the Amsterdam headquarters to deliver a personal protest to the station's management.
Another company, who had hardly ever advertised on offshore radio -
Officially Radio Caroline denied that they were transmitting any free advertisements and claimed that contracts for these international products had been entered into quite legally before the Marine etc. Broadcasting (Offences) Act became effective.
Despite Radio Caroline's gesture of defiance in continuing to broadcast after the implementation of the new Act the authorities in Britain were determined to enforce the legislation and prevent any further stations taking to the air. The Post Office placed advertisements in over 70 newspapers and magazines warning potential advertisers and suppliers of the provisions of the Marine etc. Broadcasting (Offences) Act and the penalties which could be imposed for contravening it. A full page advertisement was also taken in the American magazine Time, in a bid to dissuade any foreign-
The initial euphoria which surrounded Radio Caroline's defiance of the Marine etc. Broadcasting (Offences) Act soon subsided as practical operating difficulties came to the fore. By September 1967 both ships were (theoretically at least) being tendered from foreign ports -
Programme material, and in particular new release records, also became more and more difficult to obtain and deliver to the ships so quite quickly the station had to dispense with its Top 50 chart, although it tried to maintain the illusion of a chart for some weeks after August 15th 1967.
Essential items of equipment and supplies were also in short supply and Caroline South in particular suffered from frequent transmitter breakdowns and periods off the air. Eventually, on 26th September 1967, Radio Caroline South reduced its transmission hours from 24 hours a day to a 5.30am-
Tenders visited the two Radio Caroline ships sporadically, often failing to bring essential items or sometimes even a replacement crew, a reflection of the difficulties of operating long distance supply routes. DJs spent many weeks at a time on board and the cumulative demoralising effect of this lifestyle came to be reflected in the station's programme output, dictated as it was largely by the Major Minor 'plug list'. Significantly neither those on board the ships, nor the station's listeners realised at this time that revenue earned from the constant playing of these 'plug list' records was not being used to pay Radio Caroline's bills.
‘Fight for Freedom’ speech by Johnnie Walker
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16th August 1967
5th December 1967
8th December 1967
Johnnie Walker being critical of a rather long -
‘Warning notice’ advertisement placed by the GPO
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Ship and Location