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Radio Northsea International

Updated: 9th August 2009 Issue: 1

Engineer/DJ Robin Banks recalling his time in the 1970's working on board the Mebo 2

A consortium of businessmen had been working to use the former Radio London ship Galaxy for Radio Gloria, but the German Marine Offences Act became law on 2nd July 1969 & the projects backers ran short of money so the project floundered

Two of the group, Edwin Bollier & Erwin Meister continued with their own plans & purchased the 124' long 374 ton Norwegian ship the Bjarkoy, the first Mebo was named using the first two initials of her owners surnames

It soon became apparent that the Mebo was too small so a larger vessel was purchased

Mebo 2 port side full view

The RNI ship was built by De Groot & Vliet in 1948 at Slikkerveer in Holland, first named the Silvretta the 186 foot 630 ton ship was converted by the same Dutch yard to became the radio ship Mebo 2


Mebo 2 Starboard sky shot

Mooring off the Dutch coast the garishly colourful Mebo 2 came on air as RNI with a German on short wave in January 1970

Followed by English on medium wave & later programmes were heard in Dutch

Funnel side view with Robin Banks

By the funnel on the ships port side


Robin Banks Programme RNI 29th March 1974

Ship walkway

Interior ship walkway

Mens engine room! Galley at night

Night shot of the Mebo 2 galley with Rudi Kagon & Gerrit de Winter

Brian MacKenzie in mess room

Brian MacKenzie taking tea in the mess room before his programme

Bob Nokes inspects a filter

Bob Nokes compares used & new transmitter tubes

Ships propulsion engine with Rein

Crew member sailor Rein at the ships main engine

Don Allen's cabit door with Brian MacKenzie

Brian MacKenzie on the walkway by "Daffy" Don Allen's den of iniquity. Every space including the outside cabin door & walls were adorned with his collection of glamour pictures

Captain on bridge

29th August 1974 Gerard Smit presents 'Buitengaats' live from wheel-house with captain on bridge

Peter Jager was panel operator in studio below deck during this program from 18.00 - 20.00 all the Dutch DJ's accompanied by hunderds of RNI supporters arrive onboard to present their final programs

Studio panel with Gerrit

Gerrit de Winter listens to the panel output

Brian MacKenzie on air again

Brian MacKenzie makes his first link, you can hear Brian in RNI with Robin Banks Pt2

Transmitter hall Robin Banks in background

Robin Banks in the transmitter hall

On board the Mebo 2 there were 5 transmitters, a main 105kW transmitter for Medium Wave: RCA BTH 100B serial 002. A 10.5kW standby Medium Wave: RCA BTA 10J formerly used by Radio 390. A 10.5kW for 31 metre band Short Wave: RCA BHF 10B. A 10.5kW standby Short Wave: Brown & Boveri Corporation used for 49 metre band. A 1.2kW Rhode & Schwarz 100mHz FM

Bob Nokes at 49 metre band SW transmitter

Bob Nokes setting up the RCA BHF 10B the 10.5kw 6210mhz 49m short wave band transmitter

49 metre sw transmiter close up with Bob Nokes

Bob Nokes completes his final adjustments to the RCA BHF 10B with a screwdriver that's just a tad too big for a trim pot

Shot across the sea

Rudi Kagon with Roger Kent & Peiter

Brian MacKenzie on air again again

Same cigarette surely not the same link

Don Allen outside his cabin

"Daffy" Don Allen leaves his cabin cuddling toy bear "Louise"

Louise worked at Manx Radio on the Isle of Man & it was Don that talked her into recording links for the overnight Skyline Programme


Rudi Kagon in the wash room

Don Allen preps his programme

"Daffy" Don prepares for his Country & Western Jamboree

tape machine going over side

Bruno Brandenburger lowers a temperamental tape machine to a watery grave with Bob Nokes looking on

Don Allen on air

Don Allen the hot seat


Daffy Don Allen with King Kong Drop In

Mess room group

Will the cook the Captain, Bobby Schmitz, Rudi Kagon & all but hidden John de Mol, Roger Kent & Brian MacKenzie

Navy ship passes astern of Mebo

Navy ship passes astern

Robin Banks with Roger Kent on deck

Robin Banks with Roger Kent on the port side stern, note the bicycle on deck above

Fishing from stern of Mebo 2

Bobby Schmitz doing a spot of fishing over the stern

Robin Banks cabin

Robin's in his cabin self named "Banks' Bungalow"

Mebo 2 stern sky shot

Like the brightly painted ship, the station was to have a colourful time RNI was jammed, became embroiled in politics, had writs issued against her, was fire bombed & even accused of being a spy ship

Just logged onto your site. Very nice to see that you are keeping the great stories alive, as you may know I was one of the Directors, PD & DJs on RNI & Caroline - Larry Tremaine

Radio Northsea International in the 1970's continues in RNI with Robin Banks Pt2

Plus Radio Northsea International in RNI 1999 & RNI 2001

The RNI Documentary CD Mebo Memories is available from the Offshore Shop along with other Offshore Radio related items

Thanks to John De Blok for additional information

[HOME] (c)Bob Le-Roi 2003