Move to refloat Radio Caroline on AM for East Anglia

Radio Caroline is hoping to get a licence to broadcast on AM from its ship Ross Revenge ANL-171001-163016001
Radio Caroline is hoping to get a licence to broadcast on AM from its ship Ross Revenge ANL-171001-163016001

The former pirate station Radio Caroline is hoping to refloat on medium wave across East Anglia from its ship Ross Revenge.

The owners have applied to Ofcom for a community radio licence on AM (medium wave) but they are asking for the right to use more power than most community stations, which only cover about 5km.

Radio Caroline managing director Peter Moore ANL-171101-092432001

Radio Caroline managing director Peter Moore ANL-171101-092432001

In its application Radio Caroline argues: “We would seek permission to operate at a considerably higher power level outside the ‘typical’ limits suggested.

“Radio Caroline, is not a traditional community radio station seeking to serve a small geographical ‘community of place’.

“Radio Caroline can best be described as a ‘community of interest’ station, with potential listeners spread throughout East Anglia. ”

Managing director Peter Moore, who joined Caroline in 1978, said on Monday that they have been trying to get a community radio licence since 2010 but definitions have been changing so they tried again in October.

This studio on Radio Caroline's ship Ross Revenge broadcast to Holland in the 1980s but is now used for digital  broadcasts over 1368Khz as Radio Caroline North ANL-171001-163028001

This studio on Radio Caroline's ship Ross Revenge broadcast to Holland in the 1980s but is now used for digital broadcasts over 1368Khz as Radio Caroline North ANL-171001-163028001

“There is a hint of a decision in January, but it could be six months,” he said. “The dream outcome would be to have this new venture working by August 14, which will be fifty years to the day since the law was passed to try to stop us broadcasting.”

Their ship Ross Revenge is moored in the Blackwater Estuary, Essex, and the hope is to broadcast across Essex and Suffolk at least as far as Diss.

He added: “The thing about Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk is it’s as flat as can be so the signal can go a long way.

“Where we’re unique is that we don’t have to start a radio station – we’ve already got one. We just need to send the signal in a different way.”

Radio Caroline's ship Ross Revenge in 1986 ANL-171001-163006001

Radio Caroline's ship Ross Revenge in 1986 ANL-171001-163006001

Radio Caroline can be heard on the web, at www.radiocaroline.co.uk, and on DAB radio in the northern part of East Anglia.

Radio Caroline was founded in 1964 to play new popular music which the BBC gave limited air time to.

A UK law was passed in 1967 to close pirate stations but Radio Caroline continued just beyond UK jurisdiction until 1991 when Ross Revenge was damaged and brought in to Britain.

Caroline used satellite broadcasting then, 15 years ago, the Internet.

The station’s full application can be seen at www.ofcom.org.uk