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Caroline Mast Building

Date: 28th August 2009 Issue: 2

More pages from the comprehensive Martin Stevens archive, with a sequence of photographs from 1973 when the Mi-Amigo was fitted with a new mast includes many never before published photographs

Mi-Amigo in 1972 from the air

1. Aerial picture of the Mi-Amigo's broken mast from an image by Jelle Boonstra in the autumn of 1972

28/08/09 - The surviving part of the mast is the bottom part of the original Radio Nord mast. It was second time the bottom part of the Radio Nord mast had survived a mast collapse. The first time was in January 1964 when most of the Radio Nord Mast collapsed in transit in the Atlantic Ocean. The bottom section was used as the base for the mast erected in Greenore in 1964, which was extended, and reconfigured, in Zaandam in 1966 - Ian Anderson

Mi-Amigo off Holland in 1972

2. The Mi-Amigo with the temporary mast constructed in Amsterdam in November 1972

The small temporary mast was finally taken down when finance became available from the hire of the Mi-Amigo to Veronica, from which Caroline also gained new generators & studio kit

Chicago by mast base section

3. Chief Radio Engineer Peter Chicago with the first stage of the mast in place which was erected in Ijmuiden in between December 1972 & the 1st January 1973

Robb Eden & Chicago by mast base section

4. Robb Eden & Chicago

Mast section on the Dolfijn

5. One section loaded on the Dolfijn & destined for the Mi-Amigo

Welding mast base to ship

6. Welding base plate

Welding to baseplate

7. Mast base section

Decide on gin pole position Ready for section 2,  well almost

8 & 9. Making ready the gin pole to lift the second section

Waiting on second mast section Preparation for second section

10 & 11. Making ready for the second section

Mast section transfer

12. Mast Sections going across from the Dolfijn to the Mi-Amigo

The Mi-Amigo's so called temporary mast had given good service between November 1972 until the spring of 1973

Mast section transfer, almost there

13. Mast Section almost there

The somewhat dilapidated Mi-Amigo & the mast survived severe gale force winds that tore the Radio Veronica ship Nordernay from her moorings & beached her at Scheveningen on the 2nd of April

A tricky transfer

14. Maneuvering large heavy steel isn't an easy operation at sea

Now on way to upright

15. Almost vertical

Stuck in the rigging On deck & coming to upright

16 & 17. Over she goes

Positioning A push and a shove

18 & 19. Sections become tangled in fittings & lines

Section lowered into position Fixing section 2

20 & 21. Making off second section

Making off section 2

22. Riggers & crew get to work

17/06/09 - Great pictures. Section one, 2 metres in height, was put on board on 1st January 1973 in Ijmuiden. The section illustrated was taken on board, and fitted, in February hence the darkness in the pictures. After that the mast building ground to a halt because of a shortage of funds. Further payments were not made until the Radio Veronica charter. Then the mast went up in stages, pausing to come on air at certain levels - Ian Anderson

Supplies aboard down below

23. Supplies from the Dolfijn

Reward after a hard nights work

24. Riggers & crews reward

Mast sections ready for loading

25. Three more mast sections delivered to Binnenhaven of Scheveningen which lay there for up to six months. these were eventually loaded taken out on several trips from the quay from the Second Inner Harbour at Scheveningen

Alternative view of 3 mast sections

26. Another picture of the mast sections by Hans Knot in May 1973

Top mast pole on quay

27. Top mast section on the the quay at Scheveningen

Ronan on mast with riggers

28. Ronan joins the riggers up the mast in January 1973 picture by Theo Dencker the final pole section & capacity hat were added between the 26 June & the begining of July

Caroline sticker

29. One of the many designs of Caroline Car/Bumper Sticker

In the evening of the 13th May 1973 a test was conducted on 773kHz, 388m announced as 389m a couple of days later the 50KW TX was fired up on 1187kHz, 253m announced as 259m tests were continued simultaneously

It was announced that an English service Caroline 1, using the 10Kw Continental Electronics 316B, TX fed into a vertical antenna at 8Kw & Caroline 2 in Dutch using the 50Kw CSI 317C TX fed into a 'sausage' aerial slung between the main antenna & aft mast at 15kw would commence

The output was only maintained for a short period until generator failures put paid to the idea of running two services

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