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REM Island

REM Island Police raid on REM Island Police raid on REM Island Police raid on REM Island Police raid on REM Island

Photo: jingleweb.nl

Above and left: Four views of the Dutch police and Navy raid on REM Island, to silence Radio and TV Noordzee, December 1964

REM Island derelict 1971 REM Island just before being dismantled 2006

Left: REM Island, derelict and abandoned (but still with its massive aerial tower), 1971

Above: just before being dismantled at sea, 2006

Below left: the process of dismantling the structure begins

Below right: the accommodation cabin arrives in Flushing harbour

Refurbished REM Island as a restaurant in Amsterdam Refurbished REM Island as a restaurant in Amsterdam Refurbished REM Island as a restaurant in Amsterdam

Left: the refurbished REM Island at its new location as a restaurant in Houthaven, Amsterdam

This artificial ‘island’, resembling an early oil or gas drilling rig in its design, was the only purpose-built structure used by an offshore broadcaster.

In 1964 Dutch businessman I. P. Heerema and Rotterdam shipbuilder Cornelius (Cor) Verlome, together with business colleagues Joseph Brandel and M Minderop formed a company - Reklame Exploitatie Maatschappij - more usually known as REM - to operate an offshore radio and television station serving Holland.

The company's main objective was to provide an offshore commercial television service for a large area of Holland, hence the need for a stable structure from which to operate. Their oil platform style structure, which became known as the REM Island, was unique in offshore broadcasting history, being purpose designed and built in prefabricated sections, using the shipbuilding experience and facilities of a yard in Cork, Ireland owned by Cor Verlome.

The prefabricated sections  were towed into position in May 1964.Once at the location off Noordwijk, Holland, the hollow legs were filled with concrete and a two story cabin was constructed on top. The main platform containing the living accommodation and studios was 40' above sea level, with the huge transmitter mast towering over 360' above sea level. The whole 'Island' measured about 40' x 80' (12.19 x 18.28m) with a helipad situated on top of the accommodation building so that supplies and programme tapes could be brought out to the station even during rough sea conditions.

BEFORE OFFSHORE  RADIO

Location

In international waters off Noordwijk, The Netherlands

Positioned

May 1964

Post offshore radio use

Abandoned for ten years from 1964-1974

Used by the Dutch government as a  sea monitoring station 1974-2004

Put up for sale 2004, but no purchaser found

Dismantled and brought ashore 2006

Purchased by developers and refurbished 2008-2011

Opened as a restaurant 2011

Stations Housed

Radio Noordzee

TV Noordzee

After Radio/TV Noordzee was forcibly closed in December 1964 REM Island lay derelict for ten years. Between 1974 and 2004 the Island was used by the Dutch government to measure sea temperature and salt concentration.

After offering  the island for sale in 2004 without finding a buyer, the government dismantled it in September 2006 and brought it ashore to Flushing Harbour, where it remained for over two years.

In 2008 housing association De Key came up with a plan to save the REM Island and transform it into a restaurant. With approval from Amsterdam Port Authority the developers purchased and completely renovated the now dismantled REM Island at Feerwerd in the Province of Groningen, with a plan to include it as a key feature in the Houthaven development project.

The Houthaven (literally, wood harbour) was formerly used to store and transfer wood. It is being transformed into a residential area, with some 2,000 houses built on artificial islands, together with schools and retail space. The REM island now forms part of the redevelopment and opened as a restaurant in July 2011.


AFTER OFFSHORE  RADIO REM Island being transported from Ireland

Above: prefabricated sections of the REM Island being transported from Ireland, May 1964

REM Island being transported from Ireland

Sea Structures

Thanks to Martin van der Ven for allowing us to use some additional information from the Broadcasting Fleet section of the Offshore Radio Guide  in this Gallery


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