“It’s like a living time capsule” - Pirate radio favourite to ride the waves again as Ofcom grants licence
- Credit: PA
It was part of a ground-breaking movement that changed the way we listen to music.
And now the famous ship-based pirate station Radio Caroline - founded in 1964 - has finally been granted its first AM waveband licence.
Peter Moore, who runs Radio Caroline, said he was delighted that the bid for the Ofcom licence, which began in 2010, had been successful.
He said his ambition was to broadcast from Radio Caroline's ship, the MV Ross Revenge, on the River Blackwater in Essex.
Mr Moore said he planned to broadcast similar material to what Radio Caroline was famous for in years gone by, so fans listening in would feel they were 'living in a time capsule'.
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He said: 'It's our intention to broadcast to the same people we used to when we had the ships off the Essex coast.
'It will be the same sort of service they would have heard in the past delivered in the same way and presented in many cases by the same people as before.
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'It's like a living time capsule.'
Radio Caroline was launched with the intention of playing pop music all day in a time where broadcasting was dominated by the BBC and pop was played for just an hour a week.
And in 1967 the Marine Broadcasting Offences Act was passed with the goal of scuppering the pirate broadcasters.
But their continued popularity forced politicians and BBC bosses to cater for younger listeners, and Radio 1 was founded that same year. Radio Caroline continued to broadcast until the Ross Revenge was shipwrecked off the Kent coast in 1991.
The vessel has since been repaired, and Radio Caroline had been operating as an internet and digital radio station in recent years, and it can be heard on DAB in Norwich and a handful of other cities across Britain.
The station was immortalised in the 2009 film The Boat That Rocked.
The new AM licence covers Suffolk and northern parts of Essex.
It is one of five new community radio licences for medium wave AM services announced by Ofcom on May 19.
An Ofcom spokesman said: 'Community radio services are provided on a not-for-profit basis and focus on delivering specific social benefits to a particular local area or community of interest.'