Radio Veronica Studios : 1970

Radio Veronica was probably the longest running of all European offshore radio stations, broadcasting primarily to listeners in Holland from 21st April 1960 until 31st August 1974 when Dutch government legislation came into force.

Broadcasting on 192 meters (later 538 metres) Medium Wave from the m/v Borkum Riff, later m/v Nordeney, Radio Veronica in its heyday became the most popular of all radio stations in the Netherlands.

During its 14 year existence, Radio Veronica encountered several other pirate competitors including Radio/TV Noordzee broadcasting from the REM island, as well as ship-borne Radio Dolfijn and Radio 227 (ex Radio England & Britain Radio), Radio Nordsee International (RNI), Radio Caroline, Radio Atlantis and Radio Mi Amigo.

In contrast to most other European offshore stations in the 1960s, which originated their programmes from ship-borne studios, nearly all Radio Veronica’s output was pre-recorded on land at studios located in Hilversum, Holland.

The photos below were made when CIB’s Fred Bunzl visited Veronica’s studios in Hilversum’s Utrechtseweg in July 1970. Fred well remembers his visit: “The thing I remember most was the almost total lack of security. Nobody knew in advance that I was going to visit — I simply walked in the front door and asked the girl at reception if I could take a few photographs. She just smiled and told me to go upstairs where the studios were located. I took a few photos and I remember meeting Lex Harding who happened to be recording one of his programmes at the time. I also made a recording of interviews with some of the technicians and with Lex Harding… The sad part is that very recently, when I tried to transfer the recording to .mp3, the old cassette refused to cooperate and turned to spaghetti – lost for ever 🙁

After closure some ex Veronica staff set up a new organisation (VOO) and were granted a broadcasting license in December 1975.


The picture above of Radio Veronica’s studio building is provided thanks to Jelle Boonstra of JingleWeb.nl. More info about Radio Veronica here and here.

 

 


 

Click here for:
Radio Veronica Trip Souvenir Pictures.
Radio Veronica Recordings.

The REM Island – August 1972

REM Island was a marine platform originally located in international waters about six miles off the Dutch coast near Noordwijk and anchored to the sea-bed. The REM island‘s purpose was for offshore “pirate” radio and TV broadcasting by Radio & TV Noordzee which had been founded a year earler, in 1963.

REM is an acronym, standing for Reclame Exploitatie Maatschappij, which means advertising exploitation company. Commercial broadcasts aimed at the Dutch market commenced in mid August 1964 with a radio programme on 1400kHz and TV using Channel E11 (System B).

The Dutch authorities took action against the station by passing the REM Law on 12th December 1964, which designated the sea bed under the REM Island as Dutch territory. Five days later Dutch authorities boarded the platform and ended broadcasting. About one year later, Radio Noordzee resumed transmissions legally, on land, as the TROS.

Meantime the REM Island itself was abandoned and was for some time used by the Dutch government to measure sea temperature and salt concentrations. In 2004, after a failed attempt to sell the REM, it was eventually dismantled in 2006.

Since March 2011 the REM platform has been located in the harbour of Amsterdam and serves as a restaurant.

More information about the REM island is available here and here.

Pictures of the abandoned REM island shown below were taken by Fred Bunzl during a sight-seeing boat trip in August 1972.


All photos © Fred Bunzl

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