Radio Hauraki

I have just watched a documentary about the New Zealand offshore station Radio Hauraki. The first time I became aware of the station was a recording on an LP which was issued by Paul Harris

The film was available on this URL at the time of posting this information

As many anoraks know the excellent Azanorak site has recordings of many offshore archive for download there – if you don’t know the password to unlock their zip files please email with the heading Azanorak, because all my email on that account goes into the Junk folder of that email account   


Wikipedia tells the story:

Early years

Radio Hauraki was originally broadcast offshore from New Zealand in the Hauraki Gulf.

The concept of Radio Hauraki originated with a group of journalists who felt dissatisfied with New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation (NZBC) radio stations, and with the politics involved with broadcasting in New Zealand. Private stations were able to apply for licences to operate, but the New Zealand Broadcasting Service (NZBS) stonewalled all applications. A small group involving David Gapes, Derek Lowe, Chris Parkinson and Denis O’Callaghan[2] decided, with legal assistance, to start a private venture operating in international waters, outside of the confines of the monopolistic government departments of the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation, which ran all land-based radio stations, and of the New Zealand Post Office, which managed the radio spectrum. Gapes, Lowe, Parkinson and O’Callaghan eventually broke the radio monopoly, thus allowing private radio to become widespread in New Zealand.

The four men bought a boat and tried to make it seaworthy, however the Marine Department continuously rejected their application for a warrant of fitness for the ship. So in 1966 the crew set sail anyway without the WOF. However the ship got caught on a drawbridge in the Auckland Viaduct and the crew were arrested. When they went to court the judge ruled in favour of them and in late 1966, the Tiri, the boat chosen to carry the transmitter, anchored in the Hauraki Gulf outside the 3-mile territorial-water limit. The station broadcast on the frequency of 1480 kHz – well outside the range of frequencies used by the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation. After testing the transmitter with a broadcast from pirate announcer Bob Leahy, and having to replace the mast after winds of more than 30 knots knocked it down, Radio Hauraki officially started broadcasting on 4 December 1966.

Pirate radio

Radio Hauraki, Top of The Dial
Radio Hauraki: Home of the good guys
Here to rock, not to shock
Rocking the Boat for 40 years
Classic rock that rocks
New Zealand’s real rock station
Just great rock
We Endorse This Music
Its Different
Louder Communities Together

During the next 2 years, the crew on the Tiri would endure adverse weather conditions, fatigue, and continued efforts to shut down the station. On 28 January 1968 disaster struck as the Tiri attempted to negotiate its way into Whangaparapara Harbour on Great Barrier Island in foul weather. The ship ran aground on rocks, with Radio Hauraki disc jockey Derek King keeping listeners up-to-date with running commentary. The final broadcast from the Tiri was “Hauraki News: Hauraki crew is abandoning ship. This is Paul Lineham aboard the ‘Tiri’. Good Night.” followed by a station jingle. The “Tiri” was later towed back to Auckland and the broadcasting equipment was salvaged. However, the Tiri herself was beyond repair and was replaced four days later by the Kapuni, christened Tiri II by her new crew. A month after the loss of the Tiri, Radio Hauraki was back in international waters and broadcasting again.

In April of the same year Tiri II found herself beached again at Whangaparapara Harbour, a victim of the same storm that resulted in the Wahine disaster. After repairs she was back at sea in five days. Between this time and June 1968, Tiri II would end up beached at Uretiti Beach and caught several times broadcasting from New Zealand waters by radio inspectors. Just before Christmas 1968, Radio Hauraki became New Zealand’s first 24-hour broadcasting radio station. Radio Hauraki was not live radio. The studios were land-based and most programs were recorded on reel-to-reel tapes in 1/2 hour segments approximately one week prior to their broadcast. This meant that while contests, current top tunes, etc. could be accommodated, news and weather were more of a challenge.

Tiri was owned by AG Frankham Ltd and was registered as a barge. After running aground at Whangaparapara on 28 January 1968, it was laid up at Limestone Island near Whangarei. The search and rescue boat Marauder was owned by Bill Gibbs and Tryphena. Kapuni, also owned by AG Frankham Ltd, became known as Tiri II only during Hauraki service from 1968 to 1970. It was laid up on Rotoroa Island in the Hauraki Gulf.

Legal radio

In mid-1970, the state monopoly on radio frequencies was broken, with the New Zealand Broadcasting Authority finally allowing Radio Hauraki to broadcast on land, legally. The Radio Hauraki crew had spent 1,111 days at sea. The final broadcast from the seabound Hauraki Pirates was a documentary on the station’s history until that point, finishing at 10:00 pm when Tiri II turned and headed for Auckland playing “Born Free” continually. During their final voyage back to shore, announcer Rick Grant was lost overboard.

Radio Hauraki began FM transmission in 1990 on 99.0FM, and the 1476 kHz frequency was subsequently acquired by a local community group to broadcast the BBC World Service. During the late nineties Radio Hauraki was networked into other regions around the North Island of New Zealand and in 2003 Radio Hauraki was networked into the South Island in Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill. Veteran pirate announcer Bob Leahy remained a newsreader for The Radio Network right up until 2009, which saw him remain on-air on Radio Hauraki some 40 years after he helped begin the station.

After several changes in ownership Radio Hauraki is now operated by NZME Radio becoming a radio network broadcasting across New Zealand. Up until 2012 Hauraki played a mix of classic and mainstream rock music from the ’60s til now. In 2013, Hauraki changed its music content playing modern rock and alternative music from the last 25 years, also changed their positioning statement to “It’s Different” to coincide with their change in format. Current hosts include high-profile personalities such as: Matt Heath, Jeremy Wells, Mikey Havoc, Leigh Hart, Jason Hoyte, Steve Simpson and Tim Batt. The station claims its recent changes have resulted in a substantial increase in listeners.[3] A film dramatising Radio Hauraki’s early years, 3 Mile Limit, was released in 2014.[4]


Hauraki Breakfast

The breakfast 6 am – 10 am slot is hosted by Matt Heath and Jeremy Wells. News, sport and weather scoured from the NZME newsroom is heard every 30 minutes, read out by Ash Thomas and traffic reports are heard every 15 minutes in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

Other programmes

Radio Hauraki’s Daytime shows are presented by Georgia (10 am – 2 pm) and Greg Prebble (2 pm – 4 pm). Bhuja (4 pm – 7 pm) is hosted by television personalities Leigh Hart and Jason Hoyte. Nights (weeknights 7 pm – midnight) are presented by Matt Ward.

Former hosts

Previous Radio Hauraki hosts include Len McChesney, Christopher Parkinson, Ross Goodwin, Paddy O’Donnell, Bob Leahy, Mike Parkinson, Gavin Comber, Dave White, Robert Taylor, Thane Kirby ( Duke of Rock) Dave Gray, Ian Johnston, Barry Knight (Simeon), Aaron Ironside, Ian Ferguson, Paul Lineham, Lynnaire Johnston, Rick Grant, Colin Broadley, Carl Olsen, Keith Ashton, Andy Faulkner, Michael Gammon,Trudy Rana, Phil Gifford, John Hawkesby, Ian Magan, Leah Panapa, Brian Strong, Peter Telling, Dean Lonergan, Fred Botica, Mark Perry, Dean Butler, Willy De Witt, Dean Young, Mel Homer, Nick Trott, Nik Brown, Mark Woods, Mike Currie, Martin Devlin and Laura McGoldrick.

Phillip Schofield was a host Radio Hauraki in 1983, a year after becoming the host of youth music programme Shazam! in 1982.[5] He left the station in 1985 to return to Britain and become one of Britain’s most well-known television personalities. During almost 30 years as a BBC and ITV presenter, Schofield has been the first continuity announcer for Children’s BBC and the host of Smash Hits Poll Winners Party, Dancing on Ice, All Star Mr & Mrs, The Cube and, most recently, This Morning.[6]

Former breakfast host Kevin Black became New Zealand’s highest-paid radio DJ, and served as breakfast host for Solid Gold between 1997 and 2009 before his death in 2013.


North Island frequencies

Market Location Frequency
01. Northland Kaitaia FM 93.2 MHz
02. Northland Bay of Islands FM 93.2 MHz
03. Northland Whangarei FM 93.2 MHz
04. Auckland Auckland FM 99.0 MHz
05. Waikato Hamilton FM 96.2 MHz
06. Bay of Plenty Tauranga FM 91.0 MHz
07. Rotorua Rotorua FM 87.6 MHz
08. Gisborne Gisborne FM 105.3 MHz
09. Taupo Taupo FM 92.8 MHz
10. Taranaki New Plymouth FM 90.8 MHz
11. Hawke’s Bay Napier AM 1584 kHz
12. Wanganui Wanganui FM 87.6 MHz
13. Manawatu Palmerston North FM 87.6 MHz
14. Wellington Wellington FM 93.3 MHz

South Island frequencies

Market Location Frequency
01. Nelson Nelson FM 90.4 MHz
02. Marlborough Blenheim FM 94.5 MHz
03. West Coast Greymouth FM 105.1 MHz
04. Canterbury Christchurch FM 106.5 MHz
05. Canterbury Sumner FM 89.3 MHz
06. Otago Dunedin FM 106.2 MHz
07. Otago Dunedin AM 1125 kHz
08. Southland Invercargill FM 93.2 MHz



  • Monks, John, 2007 Radio Hauraki: The Pirate Years: 1966 to 1970
  • “Radio Hauraki”. Offshore Radio Museum. Offshore Radio Museum. 2014. Retrieved 2015-01-09. Management[:] David Gapes, […] Wendy Gapes, Derek Lowe, Chris Parkinson, Denis O’Callaghan (Technical)
  • “Radio Network number one nationwide in talk, music and sport”. 4 April 2013.
  • 3 Mile Limit on IMDb
  • “Shazam! series”. NZ On Screen. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  • “Phillip’s Biography Page”. Retrieved 3 February 2009.
  • “Radio legend Kevin Black dies”. NZ Herald. 19 February 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2013.

“Broadcaster Kevin Black dies”. TVNZ. 19 February 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2013.




A great view of the Ross Revenge

In case you have missed this gem of a video,  I proudly present a drone view of the Ross Revenge.  It is a tribute to the volunteer team that have kept her floating, ship shape and Bristol fashion!

The wireless waffler salutes a marvellous ship which has played out tune after tune

Split in Croatia

Recently we had a lovely break in the City of Split in Croatia

The first slideshow is of the area that we stayed in on the outskirts of town, surrounded by mountains.  There is then pictures of the city of Split, the Market and Old Town

Wikipedia fleshes out the history of the town

Split (Croatian pronunciation: [splît] (About this sound listen); see other names) is the second-largest city of Croatia and the largest city of the region of Dalmatia. It lies on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea and is spread over a central peninsula and its surroundings. An intraregional transport hub and popular tourist destination, the city is linked to the Adriatic islands and the Apennine peninsula.

Home to Diocletian’s Palace, built for the Roman emperor in 305 CE, the city was founded as the Greek colony of Aspálathos (Aσπάλαθος) in the 3rd or 2nd century BC. It became a prominent settlement around 650 CE when it succeeded the ancient capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia, Salona. After the Sack of Salona by the Avars and Slavs, the fortified Palace of Diocletian was settled by the Roman refugees. Split became a Byzantine city, to later gradually drift into the sphere of the Republic of Venice and the Kingdom of Croatia, with the Byzantines retaining nominal suzerainty. For much of the High and Late Middle Ages, Split enjoyed autonomy as a free city, caught in the middle of a struggle between Venice and the King of Hungary for control over the Dalmatian cities.

Venice eventually prevailed and during the early modern period Split remained a Venetian city, a heavily fortified outpost surrounded by Ottoman territory. Its hinterland was won from the Ottomans in the Morean War of 1699, and in 1797, as Venice fell to Napoleon, the Treaty of Campo Formio rendered the city to the Habsburg Monarchy. In 1805, the Peace of Pressburg added it to the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy and in 1806 it was included in the French Empire, becoming part of the Illyrian Provinces in 1809. After being occupied in 1813, it was eventually granted to the Austrian Empire following the Congress of Vienna, where the city remained a part of the Austrian Kingdom of Dalmatia until the fall of Austria-Hungary in 1918 and the formation of Yugoslavia. In World War II, the city was annexed by Italy, then liberated by the Partisans after the Italian capitulation in 1943. It was then re-occupied by Germany, which granted it to its puppet Independent State of Croatia. The city was liberated again by the Partisans in 1944, and was included in the post-war Socialist Yugoslavia, as part of its republic of Croatia. In 1991, Croatia seceded from Yugoslavia amid the Croatian War of Independence.

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As you may know I like to take pictures of classy graffiti on holiday abroad and this break was no exception

split croatia june 2018 (10)split croatia june 2018 (7)split croatia june 2018 (8)split croatia june 2018 (9)

We also went on a 90 minute boat cruise around the coast there are lots of pictures in this set. One of the big mansions in the slide show was President Tito’s home, and the one on the end of the coast with a pier is an Oceanographic Research Centre. There are hardly any beaches in this part of Croatia and there are pictures of people swimming off the rocks in the sea here.

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On all my holidays I alway do recordings of radio stations. I have recently been making these on a very inexpensive Tividio radio, that does mp3 recordings if you want them.  I have a lot of detective work from my notes to identify all my recordings.

I hope you enjoy my occasional travelogues




Radio Newsbeat


mansell forts 4

Welcome to another radio related post.  There was something rather magical about the radio stations that came from the forts in the 1960s.  It is sad to see that they are left rusting in the North Sea and Thames area.  One good source of information about the forts is the Bob Le Roi site. This link will take you to the story of Radio City on 299!

The You Tube Video below tells the story of the forts including the unfortunate shooting of Reg Calvert, owner of Radio City and Pop Impressario.

A reminder also that Radio 1 from the BBC has a long history now as well

Finally Capital Radio on 539 metres launched in London in 1973. The first music and entertainment station in the country, other than Manx Radio on the Isle of Man. This video features Kenny Everett – well worth a look. The station is situated in the ground floors of the Euston Tower, and not in Leicester Square where it is now. Capital Radio now seems a bland radio station aimed at youngsters, such a pity. Capital Gold (Gold) continues but as a computer driven music jukebox.


News specially selected from the Radio Today Site

analogue automobile car car interior

Greg James and Nick Grimshaw swap Radio 1 shows
Beats Bakery Posts
Nick Grimshaw is coming off the Radio 1 breakfast show after six years to host drivetime in a direct swap with Greg James.

Greg joined Nick live on air this morning to share their news with listeners.

Nick began hosting The Radio 1 Breakfast Show in 2012 and this week, he became the second-longest running breakfast show presenter in the station’s history after Chris Moyles. Now he is passing the breakfast show baton over to Greg, who joined the BBC from student radio.

They will start their new shows on Radio 1 in the Autumn.

Nick said: “It was always my dream to do the breakfast show and I’m very grateful that I got to live my dream every day for what will be nearly 6 years. But 6 years is a long time and this isn’t a forever job. I had the time of my life. I’ve decided it’s time for a change and a new show. I love Radio 1 and can’t wait to get on with the new time slot and the removal of all alarms from my house. I’m so happy to be swapping shows with my friend and yours Greg James, and can’t wait to wake up to him each morning. Not literally. Just on the radio. Unless he’s up for it.”

Greg said, “I am completely beside myself that I’ve been given the chance to present the most famous radio show in the world. It really doesn’t get any bigger than this and I really want to build on the great work Grimmy has done. The listeners have become like mates during the ten years I’ve been on air, so to be there when they wake up is a real honour. They’re always front and centre and this will of course be the case on the new breakfast show. It’s going to be the most enjoyable challenge I’ve ever undertaken and I can’t wait to get started.”

Ben Cooper, Controller of Radio 1, 1Xtra and Asian Network said, “Greg gets his childhood dream, Grimmy gets a lie-in and the Radio 1 audience gets two exciting new shows with the biggest and most popular youth presenters in the country. I’m so proud that Radio 1 produces and nurtures the best talent in the industry – I gave Greg his first show when he joined us from student radio and now he’s getting the most famous radio gig in the world – it’s going to be fantastic.

“Grimmy’s done a brilliant job reinventing the feel and tone of the breakfast show by connecting with new audiences in new ways in the digital age.”

The announcement is part of reinventing Radio 1 and follows the recent news that Fridays are now officially part of the weekend. The new weekend schedule will include shows from Dev and Alice Levine, Maya Jama, Matt Edmondson and Mollie King plus Scott Mills and starts next month, ahead of Nick and Greg’s new shows starting in the Autumn

Scott Mills will be one of the first people to end a show on Radio 1 and start a show on Radio 2 at the same time.

He’s hosting his usual weekday afternoon programme from 1 till 4pm on Bank Holiday Monday, 28th May, then he’ll be on BBC Radio 2 from 4 till 7pm with a specialist “Remix” show.

Both programmes will be live – although we’re expecting the first link on Radio 2 to be pre-recorded just in case Scott doesn’t make it from Radio 1’s studio on the top floor of New Broadcasting House, to Radio 2’s studios in Wogan House just around the corner.

By our calculations though, it should take Scott less than 60 seconds to walk from one to the other, assuming the lift is waiting for him on the 8th floor.

The only time we are aware of this happened before is when Tony Blackburn broadcast live on Radio 2 then went to Radio 1 to celebrate 50 years of the two stations last September.

When asked about Scott broadcasting on both stations on the same day, a spokesperson told RadioToday: “Scott is the right talent to present a special Bank Holiday show for Radio 2 on songs that only became a hit after they were remixed.”

Scott’s Radio 2 show is described as “Scott Mills showcases the power of the remix – featuring tracks that needed that remix sheen to become a hit, alongside celebrated alternative takes on well-known classics.”

Bauer’s new national station Hits Radio has created a shortlist of 5 songs for listeners to choose which should be the first track played on 6am next Monday.

Key 103 in Manchester is rebranding, and becoming the first national commercial station to broadcast from outside London.

In an online poll via the Manchester Evening News, listeners can pick from Ed Sheeran & Pharrell’s Sing; You Got The Love by Florence and the Machine; Get The Party Started by Pink, Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop The Feeling; and Greatest Day by Take That.

Voting closes at 10am on Friday, ahead of the station’s launch on Monday 4th June with the new breakfast show of Gemma Atkinson, Gethin Jones and Dave Vitty.

UKRD station Spirit FM in Chichester has hit its £50,000 target to raise money for a local man with disabilities after listeners donated more than £7,000 on Local Radio Day last week.

Audiences took a pound to work or school to support the station’s Together for Tyler appeal, with the money going towards building an extension to improve the living conditions for local 21 year old Tyler Murphy. He suffered a brain tumour and stroke during childhood. The fundraising total for the Spirit FM appeal now stands at £54,600.

Tyler’s mum Jan said: “The support from local people and Spirit FM has been overwhelming. This is going to make such a huge difference to his life. Tyler was robbed of his childhood, but now we can give him his twenties.”

Content Director of Spirit FM Stuart McGinley added “The whole idea of Local Radio Day is to show how proper local radio stations like Spirit FM can really engage with the local community they serve and change people’s lives. I’m so thrilled for Tyler and his mum, and immensely proud of my team for another unforgettable Local Radio Day!”

Spirit FM also took on a team from BBC Sussex in a general knowledge quiz, hosted by David Hamilton at the BBC studios in Brighton. The team from BBC Sussex was crowned winners over their commercial rivals. Assistant Managing Editor Mark Carter said: “Both BBC Sussex and Spirit FM have their roots firmly in the local community and share a passion for truly local radio. Local Radio Day shows how both stations can work happily side by side!”

AM and digital station Love Sport Radio has announced a partnership with the London Nocturne cycling event later this month.

The Nocturne – this year sponsored by Mr Porter – has been running since 2007 and will see riders racing on folding bikes, penny farthings and fixed gear bikes – with both amateur and elite professionals competing. Around 20,000 people are expected to attend on Saturday 9th June.

Love Sport Radio will be supporting the event through exclusive interviews, spot advertising, live reads, competitions, social media and live updates from the event itself.

Gold winning Olympian and Nocturne racer Ed Clancy will feature in the interviews along with Grant Young, from the founding family of Condor Cycles and members of various teams such as Rocket Expresso, one the world’s best fixed gear teams.

Kurt Edwards, Commercial Director of Love Sport Radio told us: “This is a great event in the heart of London and one that we are really proud to support. This is celebrating cycling in one of the greatest cities in the world so what’s not to like.”

Laurent Gauthier, CEO, Redwood Sports “We are excited to be working with Love Sport Radio Radio who will be supporting the event in many ways. MR PORTER NOCTURNE is growing every year and Love Sport Radio allows us to talk about the event in a unique way using interviews of riders and people that are at the heart of the MR PORTER NOCTURNE.”

Ofcom has handed out two new community radio licences – to Radio MAC in Bradford and Rush FM in Farnborough.

At the same time, the regulator has announced that it has considered but rejected five other applications from groups wanting an FM station in Bradford, plus another in Hampshire.

The winning applicants of 5-year licences are:

Radio MAC (Media Arts & Culture Limited), Bradford
Contact name: Humair Shahid
Radio MAC will broadcast a community radio service to the Muslim and wider ethnic communities of Bradford. The group has been running FM RSLs in Bradford since 2005.

Rush FM (Rush FM Limited), Farnborough, Hampshire
Contact name: Tim Newman
Rush FM will be a community radio service for young people aged 30 and under in Farnborough and its surrounding areas.

Applications from the following six stations were rejected.

All Islam Radio (All Islam Radio Limited), Bradford
Bradford Asian Radio (Bradford Asian Radio Limited Company), Bradford
Festival Radio (Bradford Asian Community Associates Ltd), Bradford
Radio VOB (Voice of Bradford Ltd), Bradford
Xpression FM (Xpression Media Limited), Bradford
Heath Radio (Heath Radio CIC), Fleet, Hartley Wintney, Yateley, Farnborough and Camberley
Absolute Radio 70s is coming off DAB in London and being removed from its slot on Sky TV too.

Bauer is advising listeners to tune in online instead, saying there is only limited amount of space available on DAB and they are making way for “some new stations”.

Kerrang! Radio has also been removed from London DAB – its last remaining terrestrial broadcast channel.

Absolute Radio 70s is the least popular of all the decades stations still in RAJAR, with 251,000 weekly listeners. Absolute Radio 60s and 00s are also only available online (apart from inclusion on the Inverness local DAB mux), whilst 80s is on D2, 90s is on D1 and Classic Rock is on a London DAB mux.

The station says: “As of 23rd May, we will be [no] longer be available on digital radio or digital TV. Don’t panic though, we’re not disappearing completely and you’ll still be able to listen to us in all of the following ways:

Online at
Our free mobile apps, available to download on iOS and Android phones and tablets
Smart speakers/voice activated devices (E.g Amazon Echo. Say “Alexa, play Absolute Radio 70s”)
WiFi enabled internet radios
Smart TV and Apple TV apps
“If you already listen to us in one of those ways, great – nothing is changing for you! We’re having to make this change because there’s only a limited amount of space available on digital radios and there are some new stations coming. We’re making way for some new people, but we’re still here bringing you loads of pop, rock, soul and disco in all of the ways listed above.

“If you’re a fan of Sarah Champion and Chris Martin (who isn’t, they’re brilliant) you’ll still be able to hear them elsewhere in the Absolute Radio family. Sarah will be on Absolute Radio 90s on weekday evenings from 7pm and on Absolute Radio on weekend mornings from 11am. If you’re a night owl, then Chris will be on before the new Dave Berry Breakfast show on Absolute Radio. He’ll also be hosting a new drivetime show on Absolute Classic Rock on weekday afternoons from 4pm.”

Arqiva has announced the Sound Digital Limited national DAB multiplex is to expand to an extra four million people.

SDL will add transmitters in the South West, East Anglia, Wales and North of Scotland to grow the number of people who can listen to the 19 radio stations, including Absolute 80s, Fun Kids, Kisstory, Jazz FM, talkRADIO and Union JACK.

19 new transmitters are being added to the existing network, increasing Sound Digital’s household coverage by over 1.6m new households in areas such as Devon, Cornwall, South Wales, North East Scotland, East Anglia and Kent.

News of the expansion was made by Steve Holebrook, Managing Director of Terrestrial Broadcast at Arqiva at the Radio Festival in London. He said: “This agreement to expand
the reach of Sound Digital is further evidence of the continued success of DAB radio in the UK, and the fact that more and more people are making it their digital radio platform of choice. This week’s RAJAR figures are widely expected to show that for the first time ever, the majority of radio listening is through digital means and within that, DAB is by far the largest contributor.

“We are delighted to be bringing Sound Digital’s diverse range of content to almost 4 million new listeners for the first time.”

Entries are now open for the third UK Community Radio Awards which will takes place in September.

Volunteers and stations are being urged to enter the best of their output from the past year, and consider those team members deserving of special recognition.

Martin Steers, awards chair, said: “We had more than 350 entries from 70 stations last year, and I am constantly amazed by the breadth and depth of broadcasting from the UK’s community radio stations.

“The awards provide an opportunity for sharing of best practice, developing ideas, and most of all, recognising the great impact community radio has on its local communities.”

Philippa Sawyer, programme director at Wycombe Sound, last year’s station of the year, says the award has had a truly positive impact on the team.

“Being ‘Station of the Year’ is a fantastic accolade and I recommend all stations aim for it. It forces you to take a close look at all of your output and to think about everything the station does on-air and off. It’s great to focus on all the good work we do in our sector, and be proud of it.”

Submissions are open until 5pm, 18h June. Entries will be checked and sorted in July, when the judging process starts. A shortlist of 5 for each category will be produced and published prior to the ceremony.

The Awards ceremony will take place at Sheffield Hallam University during the evening of the Community Media Association’s conference, on 15th September 2018.

boy sitting near radio holding white catalog
Photo by Ba Phi on

Sardinia – the City of Cagliari

We visited Sardinia a few weeks ago a great place for a holiday.


Sardìgna/Sardìnnia [sarˈdiɲɲa]/[sarˈdinja], Sassarese: Sardhigna, Gallurese: Saldigna, Catalan: Sardenya, Tabarchino: Sardegna, French: Sardaigne) is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (after Sicily and before Cyprus) and an autonomous region of Italy. It is located in the Western Mediterranean, to the immediate south of the French island of Corsica.The region’s official name is Regione Autonoma della Sardegna / Regione Autònoma de Sardigna (Autonomous Region of Sardinia),[3] and its capital and largest city is Cagliari. It is divided into four provinces and a metropolitan city. Its indigenous language and the other minority languages (Sassarese, Corsican Gallurese, AlghereseCatalan and Ligurian Tabarchino) spoken on the island are recognized by the regional law and enjoy “equal dignity” with Italian.[4]

Cagliari is the capital and we stayed in the town, about 4 miles away from the centre.  Close to our apartment was a lovely patch of grass and wild flowers – see the slide show below

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I encountered a harmless snake on the pathway through the grass one morning



In the main town the Graffiti was basic and spoilt the views in some parts of the city.

I however did admire some of the more artistic offerings in town and would like to share these with you

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In an area that I passed through there seemed to be a mass of art work like this and in the middle of  this was a cute garden as a memorial to a saint


The first trip we went on was to The Nuragic Complex of Barumini  which is the most important archaeological site on the Island of Sardinia (in the Province of Cagliari).
Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site“Su Nuraxi” di Barumini is the most complete and best-preserved exemplar of the Nuraghi (a type of prehistoric architecture); it is also evidence to the capacity for innovation and imagination of those that built it, in terms of the types of materials and techniques available at the time.

Below are pictures I took whilst there and also feature scenery on the way to this site which is up in the mountains, and you need a car or a guide to take you there from Cagliari Town.  The amazing thing is that the inside of the buildings survive to this day, and were only discovered in the 70s.  The outsides are no longer there but below the slide show below  is a picture of what the village would have looked like in the Bronze Age.

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This is how they think the village would have looked like – the video also shows a Palace and a museum we visited – all the artifacts in the Museum are genuine Bronze Age found on the site, the tools are from much later in history, and are in a separate museum.


Graphic reconstruction of nuragic village Su Nuraxi (Barumini) / Unesco Word Heritage

We also were able to see the Flamingos that occupy the Salt Plains in the city, there are several lakes as well.  We also viewed them near a canal and also from the hills in town.

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The town is large and so is the country – here are some roof top views from one of the hills there

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We also went into the Cathedral in Town

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We also saw a building that had a Spanish and British cannon ball stuck in the wall. The city never fell to enemy attack it was well protected.  Also a tower which was one of the gates to city, called the Elephant Tower, after the stone carving on the wall itself

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Our final trip was to the market. Downstairs Fish, and upstairs Vegetables and Fruit and Meat!

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The big yellow cheese in the slide show is made from Sheep’s Milk, they use their sheep to provide milk and meat.

Cagliari is the main city and nearly all the residents live there so it is very busy and sprawling.  Well worth a visit and taking time to take trips out.

We can recommend this courier to take you on the trips detailed above.  I get no commission for mentioning this.  We booked these trips whilst we were there, but probably an idea to book them before you go!


But first here is a reminder of one of their parody songs

Neil Innes and pals take to the road in May and June

Veteran Beatles parodists The Rutles have announced a rare UK tour for May and June.

Original members Neil Innes (AKA Ron Nasty) and John Halsey (AKA Barrington Womble) will be joined by ‘Rutling’ Ken Thornton, Phil Jackson and Jay Goodrich.

According to the press release, “They will be bringing their own unique brand of musical ‘Pork Pies’ to the beleaguered and bewildered British Isles. No other ‘Tribute’ band distributes joy or writes their own songs or tops the charts of ‘Make Believe’ quite like these jolly foot-tapping Economists of Truth. By ‘Popular Demand’, these Grandees of Delusion will be Taking Back Control of Bare-Faced Fibbing, saluting the Sovereignty of Silliness and ceremoniously reinstating the Obvious.”


Pirate Radio in the USA

From the Inside Radio Site:

This could mean bankruptcy for pirates, what happens in the USA eventually reaches the UK?  I wonder if it will extend to Internat Radio?


Pirates Would Face $2 Million Fines Under Congressional Proposal.

Pirate 2016

The cost of being a pirate radio operator could soon be significantly higher. After several months of gathering input from fellow lawmakers, a bipartisan group of lawmakers has introduced and cosponsored the Preventing Illegal Radio Abuse Through Enforcement Act or “PIRATE” Act. The proposed bill would allow the Federal Communications Commission to fine someone who “willfully and knowingly” operates an unlicensed radio station up to $100,000 for each day they’re on the air –  up to a maximum $2 million per incident. The current maximum fine is $19,246 per day for each violation or each day up to a statutory maximum of $144,344.

Not only would the pirates themselves be subject to stiff fines, so would landlords and any business providing “physical goods or services” to the unlicensed station. That would include not just a place to house the station but also financial assistance, an indirect deterrent aimed at advertisers buying time on some of the more sophisticated pirate stations.

Under the proposal, the FCC would be required to conduct at least twice-a-year enforcement sweeps in the top five radio markets—New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Dallas—for the purpose of “identifying, locating, and terminating such operations and seizing related equipment.” And as for the rest of the year, Congress would direct the FCC that it wouldn’t be allowed to “diminish regular enforcement efforts.”

House Communications and Technology Subcommittee vice chair Leonard Lance (R-NJ) said the FCC has proven itself to be “able partners” in recent months as it has cracked down on pirates. “This bill will give the FCC even more tools to take down these illegal broadcasts,” said Lance, who co-sponsored the bill with Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY).  

Our communities are better served when broadcasting is governed by the rule of law,” said Tonko, the lead Democrat on the measure. The bill has so far also attracted a dozen co-sponsors.  The only change from a draft that was circulated in March among lawmakers is the final bill doesn’t require the Enforcement Bureau to dispose of any equipment it seizes from alleged pirates within 90 days.

A selling point among members of Congress has been how the unlicensed stations can interfere with legal stations, a critical problem when Emergency Alert System (EAS) messages need to reach the public. “We have to clean up the airwaves to make way for public safety announcements, Federal Aviation Administration conversations and other important information,” Lance said.  “Radio frequencies are not toys for unlicensed broadcasters.”

Florida and New Jersey have already made operating a pirate station a felony under state law, while it’s a criminal misdemeanor in New York. In hopes of encouraging other states to follow those states’ lead, the proposed legislation specifically empowers state and local governments to enact laws and ordinances that would impose additional civil or criminal penalties on pirate radio operators and their enablers. In New Jersey, for example, it is a fourth degree felony to operate a pirate radio station, with penalties of up to $10,000 in fines and a maximum of 18 months in prison. That could be a powerful tool in cities like Miami, New York and Boston where unlicensed stations have proven especially difficult for the FCC to silence.

FCC commissioner Michael O’Rielly has been lobbying for expanded legal authority in order to help field agents better tackle the pirate radio epidemic. The former congressional staffer said in a statement that he thinks the bill has a “great chance” of becoming law. “While prevalent today in only certain markets, pirate radio ‘stations’ are harmful for listeners as well as our nation’s licensed broadcasters,” O’Rielly said. “This bill rightfully increases the penalties, requires regular enforcement sweeps, and augments the tools available to the Commission, which are woefully inadequate and outdated, to deal with illegal pirate broadcasters.”

Broadcasters Support Proposal

The National Association of Broadcasters said it “strongly supports” the legislation. “Pirate radio is a real threat to public health and safety, causes interference to legal radio broadcasts and flouts the rule of law,” spokesman Dennis Wharton said.

The New Jersey Broadcasters Association has been pushing for fines to be raised for several years and NJBA president Paul Rotella applauded the introduction of a bill that recognizes the harm caused by pirate stations. “This is a significant national enhancement of penalty and enforcement for those who would violate our airwaves and should give such offenders pause,” he said.  Beyond acting as a deterrent, Rotella thinks it’ll give “real teeth” to the law and help put pirates out of business, rather than allow operators to simply pick up and move to a new location once FCC field agents pay them a visit.

The New York State Broadcasters Association, which has also been plagued with pirates in the New York City metro area, also “strongly supports” the bill. “For too long the citizens of New York have endured the harm caused by illegal pirate radio stations,” NYSBA president David Donovan said. “The PIRATE Act will give the FCC the tools to protect consumers and take illegal pirate operators off the air.”

The bill has been sent to the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, where several lawmakers expressed support for raising fines during a hearing earlier this year.