Posted by Mark Stafford on March 29, 2018, 11:00 pm, in reply to "Re: caroline"
How long do we have to put up with these endless conspiracy theories about how the current Caroline team, headed by THE EVIL Peter Moore, STOLE Caroline from Ronan?
It is utter drivel!
My story begins in the last few weeks of 1991. Just after The Ross was towed into Dover Harbour. During this time, a small group of ex Caroline people were looking at setting up a Satellite radio station and with the current situation regarding The Ross being captive in Dover and Caroline’s future being uncertain, this group were looking at “pinching” the Radio Caroline name for their project.
The group was represented by Dave Asher as a spokesman and Chris England as part of the people behind it. It would eventually morph into Euronet by way of LaserRock!
BUT, it was an uncomfortable situation with Caroline people fighting Caroline people. So, John Burch (then Head Of The Caroline Movement) stepped in (looking for a peaceful solution) and set up an emergency meeting onboard his Galexy boat. I was producing a Radio Mag on tape called The Radio Tape at the time and John kindly invited me to the meeting as an impartial reporter,
So, we had the Euronet – Caroline “Wannabies” represented by Dave Asher on one side and on the other….surprise surprise… we had Ronan, Peter Moore and NEIL GATES and Steve Conway, all aligned and singing from the same Hymn Sheet. Neil was more than happy to stand alongside PM and Ronan and let PM speak on his behalf on the night. If PM was stealing the Caroline name, this was surely a night when he could have shouted it out loud and backed the other team.
I recorded all the audio and have it to this day. It captures PM defending his people and Ronan backing him. Ronan saw Dave Asher and Chris England as trying to steal his station name from him and PM. Ironic isn’t it! Being strong on Trade Marks in my real job, I stepped in and helped Ronan defend his claim to the Caroline name (at the meeting) under the area of “passing off”.
At the end of the night I drove Steve and Neil back to The Ross (as they did not have transport and I lived in Dover) and I got a guided tour!
Fast forward, just over 7 years. Caroline is now in its early months on satellite from the Maidstone studios. It is Easter 1999, I am looking after the music on Caroline and we are playing an Easter Top 500 Countdown. I am in the studio and my show happens to fall at the end of the Top 500. The countdown finishes (we closed at 9pm then) and everthing falls silent. A couple of phone calls go by and the phone rings again. IT IS RONAN. We talk for over 20 minutes, he has been told by PM that I am looking after the music now. He thanks me for the music over the Easter weekend which he says he has enjoyed very much.
He quizzes me on how big I think the satellite audience is and what the future could be. In true Ronan style, we wander down avenues and discuss the idea of more world music and country music on Carolime. Those people who believe that Ronan would opt for a Hot Hits format on 648AM, DO NOT know Ronan’s eclectic tastes in music! I am sure if Ronan was more involved now he would influence the station to be an awful lot more left field and non commercial music wise than it is currently on 648.
At the end of the call. Ronan invited me to meet him in London if I was ever up there, but I was “star-struck” and never did! I spoke to him briefly on the phone at the Maidstone Studios on two or three other occasions over the years, when he called the studio knowing that PM was down in Maidstone.
I don’t need a history lesson, I am only involved on the fringes of Caroline now. I have no reason to lie or distort history. The current Caroline is the true successor to the sea based station. The Radio Family Tree would show the continuation. I have no idea why Neil Gates dropped out over the years, But, Steve Conway and PM led Caroline into the Satellite era along with Johnny Lewis and Nigel Harris and Ronan backed it 100%.
That is good enough for me. Time to move on. History book closed,
Posted by Incredulous on March 30, 2018, 11:00 am, in reply to "Posted by Incredulous on March 30, 2018, 11:00 am, in reply to "Re: caroline"
Mark, thank you for taking the time to share your experiences here. As someone who was involved in a support group in the late 80s and early 90s, I can concur with your observations about PM and Ronan. We were fortunate to have Ronan attend one of our meetings and he was highly supportive of Peter and grateful for the help that our group had been able to give. Despite the fine efforts and generosity of the group members, there was never really enough money generated to make more than a token contribution to the ongoing costs of keeping the ship at sea. But we did the best we could and PM did all he could in an increasingly desperate and unsustainable situation.
After the shipwreck, a couple of us went down to Dover to take some food and drink for the crew that were still aboard at the time. Despite PM informing Neil that we would be visiting and that he should let us on board, it seems that by this time Neil had fallen out with Peter and he refused to let us go onto the ship. He was however quite happy to accept the supplies that we'd brought with us. At the time I thought this was a rather petty and ungrateful action on Neil's part, but you know what? In the overall scheme of things it really doesn't matter - Neil and the other guys on board had been through a horrendous, not to mention dangerous, time in the final months at sea and I respect them all for that. But what I do find sad and disappointing is that Neil is unable to put his bitterness behind him, it can't be doing him any good and we're talking about events that occurred over a quarter of a century ago for crying out loud.
All of us who have some kind of connection with Caroline, be it as a listener or with more direct involvement, feel in some way that it is 'our' station, and whilst there is no physical ownership involved we all have our views and desires as to what the station should/should not be doing. This is natural, but with a station that has such a long history they are never going to please all the people all the time. Just look at the discussions about the modulation of the 648 signal, not to mention the endless arguments about formats. So many opinions that are mutually exclusive. To me it is understandable that these disagreements will occur, but the very disappointing thing is that some people are unable to express their opinions without making sneering, disparaging, and sometimes downright nasty comments about those currently involved or those who dare to express their liking for what Caroline is doing now.
It would be nice to think that at this time of year at least, we could all just agree to disagree and respect each others' rights to our opinions.
Happy Easter to all - Caroline continues!
Posted by Mark Stafford on April 3, 2018, 10:58 pm, in reply to "Re: caroline"
How many more years is this pointless discussion going to go on.
As always, it has wondered off course. The original point of the discussion (and many similar ones) was that soon after the Ross Revenge came into Dover Harbour, PM stole Caroline from Ronan and took control of it against his wishes.
No more, no less!
A very small handful of people (mostly anonymous or fake with the exception of Neil Gates) have joined in from time to time. But, I can not remember ever seeing any other ex Caroline presenters putting their name to statements like this in public.
So, it is really a one man crusade as far as ex and current Caroline presenters are concerned.
Yes, there are of course many people like the Quasar group and others who have quit Caroline over the years. But, that is irrelevant to the original point. People come and go in any radio station and we are talking over 20 years here, Some will of course go unhappily. Yet, none have ever gone around spouting crazy theories like Neil's.
So, lets all consign this to the bin.
Surely, we all have better things to do with our lives than spend any more time on a half baked theory dreamed up by one single guy in an organisation that has had well over a couple of 100 people involved with it in the time in question,
Come back with a load more ex Caroline people who want to go public and add their names to endorse the theory or let us all put it to bed forever,
Posted by Mark Stafford on April 4, 2018, 8:40 am, in reply to "Re: caroline"
Admiral Rusty Ship
You have misread my post, the very long list of Caroline presenter which I posted the other day was not a list of people who consider Peter Moore to be the greatest human who ever walked the earth. It was a simply a list of a massive amount of seabased Caroline personnel who have done many programmes on the landbased Radio Caroline and therefore surely give the incsrarnation of Radio Caroline that has operated since the late 1990's an endorsement of authentisity.
Again, we are being steered down backwaters and away from the key point. The smokescreen is blowing across and smoke and mirrors are being used to attempted to disguise the simple facts...which are: 1. Until his health declined, Ronan was in regular contact with PM and stood alongside him at a number of public Caroline related functions and also spoke regularly to a number of Caroline presenters at the Maidstone studios over the years. FUurthermore, far from seeing him as the devil who stole his precious Radio Caroline from him, he actively endorsed him as the guy that he backed to look after Caroline. 2. A massive amount of former seabased Caroline presenters have worked on the current version of Caroline, surely that very action states that they DO NOT share the twisted blinkered vision of the current Caroline tauted by Neil Gates.
In closing, okay I accept that you may have a valid reason to want to stay incognito. But, that can not be true for everyone. So, let us make it nice and simple. Just find me 7 or 8 reasonably long serving Caroline offshore presenters and bring them here and let them clearly post without remaining anonymous (we all could create an army of fictitious Captain Pugwash type names to endorse ourview of truth if we wanted😁😁 their support for Neil's fantasy that the current Radio Caroline is a total fraud. I am not interested in posts claiming they know a Caroline presenter who agrees, let us have some votes from REAL CAROLINE PRESENTERS ONLY.
Posted by Captain Pugwash on April 4, 2018, 9:14 am, in reply to "Re: caroline"
Well said Mark. All this this "he-said, she-said" about events in the now distant past is ridiculous, pathetic even.
One thing that has always puzzled me about the grounding though. I wonder if anyone on board the Ross Revenge on the night she lost her anchor and ended up on the Goodwin Sands regrets going to bed instead of keeping an anchor-watch (basic seamanship) during an extremely bad gale.
To remain asleep during the 15 mile drift when the Ross would have been tossing around in a very unusual manner, not hear the noise of a helicopter overhead and only waking up after she actually made contact with the sandbank takes a special kind of stupidity. It was only luck people did not die that night.
Personally as a practical seaman, I'd be ashamed of myself, even to this day. Perhaps blaming Peter Moore for everything that's happened since is an attempt to distract from the shame of that stupidity when it really mattered.
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