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Offshore radio DJ and engineer Robin Adcroft (Robin Banks) has died

DATELINE   Cheltenham, 16th  September  2018

Robin Adcroft was born in Cheltenham in 1950. His early involvement with offshore radio was as a volunteer with the Free Radio Association and he eventually became the Association's Photographic Officer and later pursued an early career in the film industry.

While working in the film industry, Robin also became involved with land-based pirate radio, in particular Radio Free London and broadcast as ‘Roger Lane’ on two other land-based pirates, Channel Radio and Radio Kaleidoscope.

In 1972 when Radio Caroline returned to the air from a position off The Netherlands  Robin was invited to join the station as an engineer and was soon also presenting programmes.

In August 1973 Robin moved to Radio Northsea International (RNI) as an engineer and again he also presented programmes, under the name Robin Banks. However, a year later  Dutch legislation outlawing offshore radio came into force and RNI closed down.

The owners of the RNI  ship  (Mebo II) had plans for it to continue broadcasting in the Mediterranean as Radio Nova International and Robin was employed to prepare the studios and transmitters, but Radio Nova  never made it onto the air from the Mebo II.

Robin then  joined his colleague Spangles Muldoon (Chris Carey) working in his electronics company and for a while he was also employed by Rank Xerox.

After a short spell as a DJ in Duch clubs Robin returned to offshore radio when he joined the Voice of Peace off  the coast of Israel.

When he left that station, Robin spent some time on the Mebo II in Libya (the ship had by then been sold to the Libyan government) looking after the technical side. Here he arranged occasional test transmissions from the ship featuring familiar voices or pieces of music from RNI and Caroline and on 14th August 1978 the last English-language programme was broadcast from the ship when Robin and Prinz Holman co-hosted an hour long show to mark the anniversary of the British Marine etc Broadcasting (Offences) Act.

Robin continued to work in broadcast engineering, installing equipment at stations all over the world. He was also  involved in land-based pirates in Ireland and, briefly, with Laser 558 in the 1980's.

While compiling a series of photographs of the 1960s offshore stations for the FRA Robin had become particularly interested in Red Sands Fort, (home to Radio Invicta, KING Radio and Radio 390), and he never lost this fascination - becoming one of the leading players in Project Redsand, campaigning to restore and preserve it as a structure of historical interest.

Robin died on 16th September 2018  at the age of 68 after a battle with  kidney cancer.

(Additional material courtesy of the Pirate Radio Hall of Fame)

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