Back on May 1, 1964 a promotional announcement about Woburn Abbey being opened to the public was broadcast over the original 'Radio Caroline' station.
Once again it was Ian Cowper Ross who told anoraks that he was the person responsible for what they heard over the air in support of the Duke of Bedford. It was claimed as the first commercial broadcast by 'Radio Caroline', but no one seems to have asked 'WHY'?
Of course the chorus of absurd anorak voices will arise to tell themselves it was because advertising works and the Duke of Bedford needed more fee-paying customers to keep his own venture afloat. But the Duke of Bedford, and Woburn Abbey?
Why not 'Queen' magazine, or a bakery in Harwich?
We can see an insider's joke, and we can see it because we know who some of the people were who put money into creating this secret PYE operation managed by John Stanley, son of Charles Orr Stanley. If you don't understand the joke, then you don't know what we are referring to regarding our reference to "some of the people". If this includes you, then you will have to wait until we are ready to explain in detail, the actual story behind the creation of 'Radio Caroline'.
It all goes back in time, way back, back to the dawn of the previous Century and the origins of what would become the 'war' between BBC and PYE during the early Nineteen Sixties.
To understand how and why this 'battle' took place, it is necessary to understand who the players were that masterminded the actions of the two entities labeled BBC and PYE, and the foundational drive that they both used to misdirect and conceal what each one was doing. Their playbooks had the same root authorship, and they were both the products of typically British reliance upon deceit in order to win.
At the beginning of the Nineteenth Century, the rumblings of radio as a means of mass communication had not begun to be heard, but by the dawn of the Twentieth Century they began to send waves of warning signals to the press barons who controlled British publications. Those early events turned into a pitched battle between new sounds transmitted by ethereal electrical signals, and the ink-on-paper reading impressions of newsprint, which by the middle of the Nineteenth Century were becoming firmly established and creating print media empires. Some saw it as a fight to the death of one of the parties in this war of mass communication methodology.
Their comparative methodologies within the field of mass communication did not take place in a sterile world. Their fight was fought against the backdrop of a world at war. The First World War, called 'The Great War', because there never could be another one like it, or so its observers claimed - merely bled over into the Second World War.
Both world wars were fought to confound, to deceive, to confuse, to mislead and to make a mockery of diplomacy where vital issues of the day are discussed and then resolved around a table, or two, or three, or as many tables as peace talks take to achieve their goal. Politicians were, and still are, similar to media rivals who resist new ideas, rather than relate to new ideas, and often, the press barons are also the politicians.
Politicians were and are pig-headed, vain and essentially stupid people. They huff and they puff in order to build themselves up, but knowing deep-down that they are all born to die. Not as a group, but as lonely individuals. As a group they are not immortal and they were not born with unlimited knowledge of everything that once was or that now exists. They are not even a unified body. They are but groups of individuals who individually come and go on Planet Earth.
This is our message and 'we' are but three individuals who seek knowledge to share, because knowledge and not propaganda is the path to human understanding of both past and current events. We are sharing our knowledge base with you, free of charge. There is nothing for you to join or buy.
Fear mongers hate knowledge and so do vested interests, and both attack the perceived messengers rather than the messages they are perceived to have delivered. However, while the human messenger will eventually die, their message lives on. Truth survives like a seedling in a forest ravaged by fire. Soon the seedlings appear above ground for all to see. The arsonist or lighting strike that began the blaze, is long gone from the scene.
In terms of what happened with the Pilkington Committee at the dawn of the Nineteen Sixties, Charles Orr Stanley who bought out the original PYE company and turned it into a group of companies, had begun his own attempt to show that there was room on the British radio band for many stations. To prove his point at the close of WWII, Stanley hired America's top experts to produce a plan to make this idea work. It was immediately shoved aside by the government of the day.
PYE found it easier to force open the television market by getting the government of the day to create an alternative channel to the monopolistic BBC, and thus ITA, the Independent Television Authority was born. It was one service, not many, and ITA controlled all of the television transmitters. Then in a game of smoke and mirrors it created the illusion that British viewers now had multiple choices in programming, but they did not.
The ITA merely franchised off both its programming and advertising sales in its various regions. That gave the impression that there were many 'Independent TeleVision' (ITV) stations for viewers to chose from. If a viewer lived close to the edge of more than one region it was possible to see more than one region's programs, and providing that the programs were not networked (shared), then there was a degree of choice for a few. But ITV as such was a myth, it never existed, even though it became commonplace to say that it did.
However, the same practice was and still is going on over at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) who currently claim to have been on the air for 100 years. They haven't. They have been on the air for 95 years, but the current BBC wants everyone to forget that there was an earlier BBC.
So when it came to advancing the cause of radio in the Nineteen Sixties, PYE dusted off its old paid-for American survey of the late Nineteen Forties and put a new cover on it with a new name. They called it the 'PYE Plan'. They gave a copy of it to the Pilkington Committee who shoved it to one side. So PYE created a local radio station called 'CBC Radio Cambridge' and put it on the air to prove their point.
This station transmitted on the grounds of the Royal Show of 1960, and when it was over, the station was moved inside an exhibition hall and rebranded as 'Radio Westminster'. So the BBC executives became alarmed, and they built temporary studios inside a variety of buildings such as hotels in which the BBC executives could demonstrate that they could also create local stations - even though they were merely studio and not radio stations.
The Crown Pilkington Committee then slammed the door in the face of the PYE executives. But Charles Orr Stanley would not fade away quietly. Just as he built a transmitting station on the private grounds of the 'Royal Show' in 1960, he began assembling a team of retired BBC engineers to put a radio station on the air from outside British jurisdiction. The location was not a foreign country. It was a ship riding at anchor.
This is the raw background story to the station that became known as 'Radio Caroline', but the anoraks want to believe in a myth instead, and so for their own pig-headed reasons, these mainly aging guys with no real assets of their own, began to wave flags in support of a fake tale about a young and broke anarchist named Ronan O'Rahilly. It was O'Rahilly who claimed that the perception of money is as good as money, and so with a pocketful of mythical money. he created the first mythical British offshore radio station.
The only problem with the O'Rahilly myth is that the ship was real. So who paid for it with real money? Who bought the studio equipment, and who paid for all of the work necessary to put 'Radio Caroline' on the air?
The best that the anoraks can come up with is a person they call 'Jimmy Ross'. So where is the proof that 'Jimmy Ross' even existed as a real person?
Well, there is one mention in one paper of a person with a similar name in connection with the financing of 'Radio Caroline'. So where are the documents in support of this newsprint reference?
They don't exist.
Now jump ahead many years to 1990 when Ian Cowper Ross wrote a novel about a man named Jim Shaw and his son Paul Shaw. In the novel the mother of Paul calls her husband "Jim", and later, another person addressed the father of this fictional character named Paul Shaw, as "Jimmy". That's it.
Then in 1991, the author of the novel began to assert with growing frequency that the novel he wrote contained bits that were factually autobiographical and therefore true. The first problem with that explanation years and years after the supposed event, is that Ian's father is not named "Jim", "James", or "Jimmy". It is Charles Edward. His last name is not Shaw but Ross.
Keeping in mind that it is Ian Cowper Ross who spread this silly story about 'Jimmy Ross', years after the event, you also need to remember that it was Ian Cowper Ross who told everyone about the Duke of Bedford and Woburn Abbey. This leads us to the possibility of an inside joke as being the real reason for that announcement over 'Radio Caroline'. If true, then it shows that the real people behind the scene had a somewhat interesting sense of humor that told the truth while hiding its meaning in plain sight.
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