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 More info about Radio Veronica here and here.




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

The World Tomorrow’s Version Of 60s Offshore Radio History

With the recent 2014 50th anniversary celebrations of the start of Radio Caroline and Big L Radio London, it’s worth remembering that nearly all the 1960s offshore radio stations derived not insignificant revenues from sponsored religious programmes such as “The World Tomorrow” and the “Worldwide Church of God”. For Radio London the income from religious programs is said to have amounted to £300.00 per show which helped to cover many of the station’s costs.

Of course it’s well known that these religious programmes were not only unpopular with many listeners but also hated by many of the DJs, such as Kenny Everett who was famously sacked by Radio London for making repeated disparaging remarks about what he referred to as “plastic bibles”.

But what is less well known is how Garner Ted Armstrong and his father, Herbert W. Armstrong, thought the offshore radio stations had originated.

UK listeners first heard “The World Tomorrow” programmes over 208 Radio Luxembourg in 1953, but the sponsors were unhappy with the results largely because of poor reception (fading) and its late evening airing (11.30 p.m. to midnight).

Things changed however when Radio Caroline and the other offshore pirate stations started in 1964 and in due course nearly all the offshore stations accepted religious sponsors such as The Allen Revival Hour, The Herald Of Truth, Oral Roberts, The Voice of Prophecy and probably the best known, The World Tomorrow, presented by Garner Ted Armstrong or his father, Herbert W. Armstrong.

In a book entitled “The United States and Britain in Prophecy” by Herbert W. Armstrong, he states that in:
“the first week in 1953, God’s Message started getting in to Britain from Europe – when The World Tomorrow program began going out on the superpowered voice of Radio Luxembourg!”
Is it a coincidence that this is mentioned on page 208 of the book?!

But there is more…

On the same page, Herbert W. Armstrong claims that:
“When Radio Luxembourg was no longer effective for this Message, God raised up broadcasting stations on ships, anchored just outside Britain’s jurisdiction. The World Tomorrow was then thundered over all of Britain daily, on seven of these ships. They were NOT illegal. They violated no law of man. They DID proclaim faithfully the Law of God! But the British authorities falsely called them “pirate” ships. They were NOT pirates. They were not marauders. They did not invade the land and pillage or steal. They harmed no one! But most governments of man want to control what their people could hear or not hear!”

Well, thank you Mr. Armstrong, now we know what really happened!

More about “The World Tomorrow” Radio Broadcasts to the United Kingdom 1965-1967.

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