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Liverpool Daily Post
27th March 1989
Caroline 558 daily opening announcement
Close of Viewpoint and start of Caroline Overdrive
Announcing the suspension of Caroline 558 daytine service, July 1988
Radio Caroline 1980s -
Caroline's technical staff thought they had found the answer to reintroducing a second medium wave service using a revolutionary new carbon fibre mast from Canada, known as a 'Valcon' aerial -
The new 135' (41m) Valcon mast was finally installed on the Ross Revenge in mid-
The new aerial mast (and a new generator) on the Ross Revenge was in preparation for the launch of a Dutch language service on 819kHz. In readiness for this new service some Dutch DJs arrived on board the Ross Revenge during April 1988 and presented a few live programmes, in English, on Caroline 558.
From late May 1988 Caroline 558 programmes were simulcast on 819kHz as test transmissions for the new Dutch station -
A number of lattice-
This double pressure led to a dramatic change of schedules on 9th July 1988 when Caroline 558 gave up its frequency during the daytime to the Dutch language station, which now broadcast using the call sign Radio 558.
This arrangement continued until 22nd October 1988 when tuning tones were again heard on 819kHz. When Radio 558 came on the air later that day the programmes were relayed in parallel on both 558 kHz and 819kHz and an announcement was made that, after three months on its temporary frequency, Radio 558 had now become Radio 819 once again. Radio 558 programmes continued to be broadcast on both frequencies until midday on 5th November 1988 when Radio Caroline was able to resume 24 hour programming on 558kHz.
The Caroline Overnight alternative service was reintroduced on 819kHz in January 1989, but during February the station (along with Radio 819), was off the air for various periods while a team of specialist riggers constructed new aerial masts on board the Ross Revenge.
Radio Caroline celebrated its 25th Birthday over the Easter weekend of 1989 with a Top 1001 countdown broadcast throughout the weekend using both frequencies.
On Easter Sunday, 26th March a group of over 500 Caroline supporters took part in a trip organised by the Caroline Movement on the Olau Britannia ferry between Britain and Holland, sailing close to the Ross Revenge on the outward and return journeys. Radio Caroline's founder, Ronan O'Rahilly, joined the supporters on the voyage.
DJs on the Ross Revenge had planned to speak to fans on the ferry from the deck of the radio ship as she passed by on the return journey. Unfortunately, this had to be abandoned because foggy conditions meant that the Olau vessel could not sail as close to the Ross Revenge as had been hoped.
From early July 1989 DJs and crew on board the Ross Revenge began to suspect that the radio ship was under surveillance by the authorities once again. Although nothing was said over the air on either Radio Caroline or Radio 819 the Ross Revenge crew monitored a small patrol boat anchoring near the radio ship for periods of three or four days at a time throughout July and early August.
On one occasion when a Dutch fuel tender did arrive at the Ross Revenge and tied up to transfer its cargo two British police boats together with a DTI vessel drew alongside and warned the crew of the Dutch ship that they were breaking international law. Meanwhile officials on board the police and DTI launches photographed and videoed the radio ship and anybody who appeared on deck.
Further filming of activities on board the Ross Revenge took place during the following weeks from a light aircraft and a helicopter, which hovered low and close to the radio ship in an attempt to obtain shots of the on-