REM island, Amsterdam

Radio Veronica and REM

Amsterdam optional shore excursion to the Radio Veronica ship and the REM Island

Our shore excursion to the REM Island (built in 1964 as an offshore radio and TV station) and the Radio Veronica ship will be hosted by Sietse Brouwer. Sietse is the CEO of Pan European Radio BV and the MD of the Lightship Jenni Baynton, another ex-Trinity House lightship based in Harlingen which, along with Radio Caroline’s Ross Revenge, is one of only two working radio ships still afloat. It is home to Radio Seagull and Radio Waddenzee, with five AM transmitters, two aerial systems and three studios. Sietse has worked in hospital radio, pirate radio (land based), community radio, regional radio and finally radio on a ship.

REM Island, Amsterdam

REM photo: Daan Jansen

REM Island was a platform built in Ireland and towed off the Dutch coast in 1964 as the pirate broadcasting home of Radio and TV Noordzee. Both stations were dismantled by Dutch armed forces in 1964. A year after the raid, Radio Noordzee resumed transmissions legally under the name TROS. After a failed attempt to sell the island in 2004, the government dismantled it with a goodbye radio event with the callsign PB6REM on the platform on June 8, 2006.

Since March 2011 the platform sits in Amsterdam harbour where it serves as a restaurant.

 

Radio Veronica was an offshore radio station that began broadcasting in 1960, and broadcast from offshore for over fourteen years. It was named Radio Veronica after the poem “Het Zwarte Schaap Veronica” — The Black Sheep Veronica — by the children’s poet Annie M. G. Schmidt. After the station’s closure, some of its staff applied for a broadcasting licence and continued as a legal organisation with the same name.

MV Norderney. photo: Maurice van Bruggen

The original Radio Veronica became the most popular station in the Netherlands. It broadcast from a former lightship Borkum Riff anchored off the Dutch coastline. For a short time the station also ran an English-language service under the call letters CNBC (Commercial Neutral Broadcasting Company). Later the Borkum Riff was replaced by a former trawler, the MV Norderney.

During 1965 the station was influenced by English-language pirates like Radio London and adopted a faster format with jingles. When another UK pirate, Swinging Radio England, went bankrupt it was briefly replaced by two Dutch-language successors, Radio Dolfijn and then Radio 227, which targeted Veronica’s audiences, but competition was short-lived because of the British Marine Offences Act which closed most of the British stations by August 1967.

 

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Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Pirate Radio