Where and when were you born?
Prestwich, Manchester, in December,
Where do you live now? Horwich,
Bolton, Lancashire, a few miles away
from the Winter Hill TV mast!
your favourite part of the UK? Fife,
How did you get interested
in Radio? I began by listening in the
early 60s to Pick of the Pops with Fluff
Freeman and Jack Jacksonís Decca Record
Show on Radio Luxembourg at 7pm on
What's your favourite
food? Hollandís Meat and Potato Pie and
chips with gravy!!
What was the first
record you bought? Atlantis by The
Shadows with I Want You To Want Me on
the b-side! - on Columbia, DB7047!!
is the most famous person that you have
met? Princess Margaret. She was opening
our local youth club at St Margaretís,
Prestwich and I was the Head Chorister
in the choir at the church service to
commemorate the opening.
What do you do
for your day job? I work in a
call-centre for a German utility
What are your earliest memories
of Caroline? My Dad told me about a ship
that was sailing round from South-East
England with a radio station on board.
It duly turned up in the Irish Sea, a
couple of days later with Tom Lodge and
Jerry Leighton. They seemed to play I
Get Around by The Beach Boys quite a
bit! I also remember Roger Gale apologising for the hammering and
bashing in the background as they were
constructing a new record library whilst
he was broadcasting during a couple of
evenings in late July 64.
How did you
get involved with the restoration work
on board the Ross Revenge? I went to
Dover in July, 1993, for a week helping
to start painting the ship on the port
side using a hammer, wire brush, 2-inch
paint brush and paint. I painted from
the start of the port-side back deck
overhang, forward to opposite the TX
hatch down to the waterline standing on
a wooden ladder and a small boat. Over
the next 12 years I helped to paint the
Ross Revenge in various other locations
such as Bradwell, Chatham, Southend and
Queenborough. I eventually joined the
Restoration Crew in August, 2005, in the
Port of Tilbury. I think there have only
been Alan Beech and Acting Chief
Engineer Peter Clayton who have worked
on the ship for approximately the same
length of time as I have.
When did you
first join Caroline? I did my first
programme on 13 July, 2008 with Phil
Meek, another Restoration Crew member. I
always thought that I didnít have a
voice for radio (and some say that is
still true!) and it took some persuading
from Phil. So I gave it a go and did
occasional programs on the Bank
Holidays from the ship. Eventually I was
given my first regular programme on 13
What's your favourite
station other than Caroline? It used to
be Radio 2 until they started messing
around with the presenters. Their aim
seems to be bringing in TV personalities
to present programs and although that
might seem popular nowadays using
celebrities, to me it isnít radio.
influenced you the most? Alan Freeman,
Tony Allan and Bob Harris.
What is the
best and worst thing about radio today?
As said here before in previous
interviews, the worst is the
narrowcasting of radio. The lowest
common denominator now is money and how
cheap you can do it with as few people
as possible. Also the drive to DAB,
which sounds crap, but people put up
with it. Another is the reduced
playlist. At the time of writing, the
total number of tracks being played over
a 30-day period by Heart in London, is
558 (rather ironic!) and the Gold
network has 972. I donít know about
Caroline as you would have to count
them! In theory, if you played 13 tracks
an hour over 30 days it is 9,360 if you
played them all once!!! So you have to
strike a balance, but it doesnít have to
be that restricted. The best is the
internet radio stations, with the
diversity of the stations. There are
some opinions that Caroline should have
a Gold station. Why? There are so many
on the net and also on the radio. If you
want to listen to one in particular, try CCRN.
How much music freedom do you have
on Caroline? It is quite relaxed and
whatever you wish to play, within reason
and using common sense. I have a broad
taste in music and I hope my programme
brings that across.
What do you dislike
doing the most? Being told to do
something which is morally wrong but you
have to do it or you have no job.
other Radio stations are you involved
with? FC United of Manchester. The
football club has its own radio station
that broadcasts its own football matches
but has music programming the rest of
the time. Eventually they are hoping to
try for a community radio licence. Iím
on at 1pm with Dadrock and Dance!
the most important thing that you learnt
about Radio? Donít waffle (where
possible!) donít come across as Smashie
and Nicey (notí arf!) but try to play
music that listeners may not have heard
either for some time or at all.
your favourite bands and who is your
hero? Favourite bands are numerous,
Beatles, Rolling Stones, Who, etc and
also have a soft spot for The Enid.
Heroes are anyone in the armed forces
who are fighting where they shouldnít be
and all the crews and presenters of all
the offshore radio stations either on
boats or structures over the past 46
years. For them to go out and sit on
whatever, in all sorts of weather, just
to play music, with the equipment they
had is unbelievable. Because of
technology, I have it easy compared to
what they all endured.
What are your 5
most iconic tunes? Too many to list.
What plans have you for the future?
Considering what Iíve been through over
the last 18 months (cancerous tumour,
chemotherapy, left leg amputation, leg
prosthethis and physio) I think it would
be staying alive to be perfectly
Thank you John for answering my
questions. I am sure you will be playing
the tunes for a long time, notí arf!