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 Post subject: The Pirate Radio Days
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 10:34 am 
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In the early 60s, "Pirate Radio" became popular in the UK due to the thirst for popular music which wasn't catered for by the broadcasting monopoly that was the BBC. Stations began broadcasting on the medium wave to the UK from offshore ships or disused sea forts. This, at the time, was legal since they were in international waters. Radio Caroline was the first to broadcast in 1964. By 1967, 10 pirate radio stations were broadcasting to the UK to a daily audience of 10 - 15 million. Later, land-based pirate stations took to the air.

By 1966, pirate radio stations were selling advertising worth an estimated £2 million a year, which, in those days, was an enormous sum.

In response, BBC radio was restructured and Radio 1, 2, 3 and 4 were formed. Radio 1 even recruited pirate DJs. The UK Government also closed the international waters loophole via the Marine Broadcasting Offences Act of 1967. This caused most of the pirate radio stations to close down.

Throughout this period, Radio Luxembourg continued to transmit their English service during the evenings so we were still able to get our fix of 'pirate radio pop' although, strictly speaking, Radio Luxembourg was not a pirate radio station.

I was under the impression that the DJs made their programs live out in the Grand Duchy. Radio Luxembourg certainly didn't do anything to dispel that assumption that many people had made. Apparently the assumption wasn't true. Today I found out that many of the programs were made in London, taped and then transported out to Luxembourg from which they were transmitted. There goes another of my bubbles.

Anyways, if anyone wants to share any tales from the days of pirate radio, please feel free to post them on this thread.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hulUQv7zGE

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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 6:17 am 
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The big difference between Radio Luxembourg and other stations, especially those controlled by the BBC, is that Radio Luxembourg was a commercial radio station in that it advertised products whereas other radio stations didn't. The adverts on Radio Luxembourg were almost as famous as Radio Luxembourg and the programs themselves.

Let's take Horace Batchelor for example. He advertised his 'Famous Infra-Draw Method' for winning money on the football pools which was the National Lottery of its day.

As far as I understand, Horace Batchelor didn't have a system for picking the football draws. However, he wasn't dishonest either. If people who invested with him didn't win, they were given their money back. As far as I know, there were no complaints. People did get their money back.

So what did he do and how?

From memory, on a standard football pool coupon there were 52 matches each Saturday. The aim was to select 8 games that would end up as draws. If you were correct, you won. The pool money was shared amongst the week's winners. If there was only one winner, then, that person became rich overnight.

I lived 3 doors down from Keith Nicholson when he scooped the Pools jackpot (£152,000+) back in 1961. Keith was the husband of Viv Nicholson of 'Spend, Spend, Spend' fame.

As far as I know, Keith wasn't a customer of Horace Batchelor.

Horace became quite famous because he always seemed to be advertising on Radio Luxembourg. He was even mentioned in several Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band's songs (Into Outro and You done my brain in).

During the advert, he spelled out the Keynsham of his address very slowly and very deliberately. The town became an in-joke for quite some time.

So what was Horace's system?

As far as I understand it, he simply wrote out a full perm of 8 from 52 matches and sold lines to his customers. That way, no matter what the results were, one of his customers won because he had all of the matches covered. It must have taken him forever to do the full perm. When he'd sold all of the lines in the full perm, he had nothing else to sell and so he quite advertising.

He took a percentage of the winnings from those who won and those who lost, he simply gave them their money back. This left him with a profit. He must have done well because in his will he left over £150,000 in cash which, for those days, was a tidy sum of money.

Horace Batchelor took a simple idea and worked it in an honest way. Good luck to him.

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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 10:43 pm 
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Another product that was advertised on Radio Luxembourg was the perfume Aqua Manda.

Aqua Manda was introduced at just the right time to perfectly capture the spirit of the late 60s/early 70’s. It’s packaging suggested oranges and flowers which resonated perfectly with the era.

Aqua Manda is remembered as a perfume associated with the youth of the day. It was the definitive scent of a generation and as much a part of the backdrop of the late 60's and early 70’s era as the music and the fashion.

Douglas Collins was a Mayfair-based perfumer who started the DR Collins Ltd company in 1932.

In 1937, he changed the company name to Goya and launched Aqua Manda in 1947.

In 1962, Goya was sold to Reckitt & Colman.

In 1964, Douglas Collins bought the company back.

In 1965, Douglas’s son, Christopher, joined the company and ran it.

From 1968 to 1973, Aqua Manda was advertised on Radio Luxembourg using the voice of Christopher Collins and sold over 120,000 bottles during the period.

From 1969 to 1975 it was a very popular perfume brand and was sold in most department stores and chemists such as Boots.

In 1975, Goya was sold to ICI who eventually discontinued it.

From 2008 – present, thousands of on-line messages have been posted to bring back Aqua Manda.
It was relaunched in November 2013.

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