I bought the first edition some time ago and read it from cover to cover, and thought that it was a good record of all things offshore. It is only when I picked up the enlarged second edition I began to appreciate that the offshore world was far from over. It has been commemorated in fine style more than once, and hopefully it will continue for many decades to come. As Keith unfortunately logs in a new section of the book many offshore broadcasters have passed away. He also includes a section detailing what people are doing now, which is very informative and well researched.
It works on many fronts for me. As a book to sit and read from cover to cover. Admittedly over a period of several weeks, for in Keith Skues own words it is a massive tome. It is also works as a picture record of the offshore days if you flip through it casually. Do not do this of course until after having read all the text or you will miss out on so much information. There are also stickers and pictures of other offshore memorabilia included in the book, some sadly that I no longer have in my personal collection.
It is printed on shiny art paper and has an expensive feel to it, and should stand its time as a reference work. I suggest that you fill in a request for the book in your local library as well, to ensure that as many copies as possible enter the public domain for reference. It has a splendid index, which as anyone knows aids research. So many times I am asked by friends and website visitors questions about offshore radio. I always check at least three offshore books I have, but then double check it in Keith Skues book. Thankfully Keith has updated it this year. Sadly other excellent works have never come out in a second edition. One I have in mind is Paul Donovan’s Radio Companion, which covers BBC programmes.
The book does a splendid job in chronically offshore radio from its inception to now. There is splendid information on the many excellent restricted service broadcasts that have been made to commemorate offshore radio. All lavishly illustrated with clear black and white pictures. Overall I am chuffed that at last I now have something in common with offshore broadcasters, but only greying hair sadly! They have stood the test of time well though and many can prove that they are still great radio voices. I noted that on page 147 there is a picture of the Caroline crew rescued when the Mi Amigo ran aground. There is a picture of Norman St John with a hat and and mackintosh on. On page 631 Norman St John appears on Pirate BBC Essex in a similar hat. This must have been one of his trademarks, but to my knowledge not used as a nickname offshore.
On Page 599 there is a picture of Swinging Radio England’s Ron O Quinn, John Ross Barnard and Rick Randall. John Ross Barnard incidentally was my head of department for a small period of time at the BBC!
The Marine Offences Bill is reproduced in the Book, as well as the Broadcasting Act of 1990. It puts the whole offshore business into perspective. So much has been achieved against all odds, very little harm done. British Broadcasting has expanded thanks to audience demand created by these pioneer commercial radio stations.
We are fortunate that a real “insider” not only a broadcaster but manager of radio stations, has taken the trouble to sit down and write this excellent book.
In conclusion a great book, the “Asa Briggs” of watery radio It should be in every public library in the land and sit on anorak’s bookshelves forever.
I tried to get a copy of this book from Amazon and Book Depository but they never seemed to get the book in supply. I ordered direct with Keith Skues, as indeed you can, Please click on the link below to go direct to Keith Skues ordering service. You will get the book for sure here and it will be well packed, and arrive quickly post strikes willing. Say the Wireless Waffler recommended you buy a copy http://www.popwentthepirates.co.uk/