Re: Is it all over for Caroline Maidstone?
On 15 Oct 2007 17:13:44 +0000, Alan Milewczyk <(Address removed)> wrote:
.... Reading your
reply the thought that goes through my head is the sheer irony that an act
of "piracy" was used to gain control of Britain's first "pirate" (a term I
hate), or should I say "offshore" radio station.
I came to this forum after reading on the Radio Caroline Fan Mailing List
that anti-Caroline (Maidstone) comments were being made here. I've since
read about PM registering the name "Radio Caroline" in the UK but didn't
know of the circumstances, of what happened and why.
Okay, time for another history lesson then Alan.
Let's concentrate on how and why Peter Moore registered the trade
mark. This is not PM's
version, I have never spoken to him about it, it is mine.
Let me take you back to the very early months of 1992, Caroline was
not broadcasting anywhere. The Ross Revenge had just arrived in Dover harbour a couple of months earlier.
So, a couple of people thought that they would "steal" the Caroline name and broadcast as Radio Caroline. Plans were put in place and
Astra satellite airtime acquired. To add authenticity, former Caroline presenter Dave Asher was chosen as the figurehead and spokesman. But, he wasn't in charge of the management of the project.
Instead, it was our very own Chris England who was seeking to "steal" the Radio Caroline name for this project (along with a businessman who's name escapes me) without the permission of Ronan or his "right-hand man" Peter Moore, or the crew of the Ross Revenge, which included Steve Conway and Neil Gates. Who, at that moment in time were "safekeeping" the Ross in Dover harbour.
The group's satellite station was Euronet, which as many will know
this became Chris's project for many months after the failed attempt
to steal the Radio Caroline name.
In an effort to avert a war, John Burch head of the Caroline Movement, sought to hold a meeting on his boat the Galexy. A bunch of radio people were invited to attend, and I was one of them. I produced a radio magazine at the time so I attended principally as a reporter.
Pete Moore attended as Carolin's representative and so did Neil Gates and Steve Conway.There were around twenty or thirty people there. Then to every one's surprise Ronan turned up.
As the night progressed Dave Asher was the spokesman for the group and it became clear that they did not have Ronan's backing. Furthermore, Ronan made it clear that he was not going to give it. At which point, the group stated that they would come on the air using the Caroline name with or without permission. I will always remember Ronan's
amusing quote at this point along the lines of the fact that he had fought Harold Wilson and he won and he would fight them.
Peter Moore joined the discussion and stated that he held the Caroline name on behalf of Ronan and that neither he nor the crew of the Ross had been asked to be part of the project. Ronan acknowledged this to
be the case and accepted Peter as his "right-hand man" Steve Conway stated that he was angry that he and the Ross Revenge crew did not
even know about the project.
Because I had previous legal experience in the trade mark area,
through my work, I was able to help Ronan when the subject of "passing off" (as in attempting to pass yourself off as something you clearly were not, as Chris England and his group were attempting to, to the public) came up. I remember Ronan's classic line, that they (the CE group attempting to steal his station) could go to a solicitor and something like "give him 20 guineas and they will tell you that you
are breaking the law by stealing the Caroline name" ! Being an anorak
I was proud to help the great man with a bit of legal advice.
The meeting ended, and because Steve Conway and Neil Gates did not
have a lift back to Dover and I lived there, I offered to take them back. First time I'd met them properly, turned out they were two nice guys and in return they offered me a quick tour of the Ross in Dover. But when we got there, I remember there was a generator problem and
the ship was in darkness except for a few dim lights from candles or torches. That was soon fixed and I got my quick tour.
Life went on, the Chris England project became Euronet.
But, at long last, here's the answer to why the name was registered. Because, if you check the name was registed in May 1992 and it takes a few months to do it. So, after the meeting Ronan would have seen how vulnerable the Caroline name was and nominated PM to register it.
So, it was an attempt to hijack the name by people trying to steal it for their use against Ronan's wishes that resulted in the registration happening.
This story was a little grey in my mind, but today I spoke to that honest and reliable fellow John Burch (at the time head of the
Caroline Movement).Between us we pieced a lot of the information together. I filled in some of his memory holes and he helped me with mine.
He confirms that Euronet (managed by CE and his business partner) were in charge of the project and were seeking to use the Caroline name and HAD NOT GOT RONAN'S OR ANYONE IN THE CAROLINE TEAM'S PERMISSION.
John should know, he organised the meeting, invited everyone and later went on to present shows on Euronet. At the time he supported the project, so he's not a biased but an honest witness.
Given someone was out to steal your name, what would you do, other
than rush out to register it.
Now, what do we think about people who attempt to steal radio
station's from Ronan !
Until this weekend, I'd almost forgot this meeting. But, having gone over it and consulted my notes at the time and spoken to John Burch. It's all very clear now. Once a reporter, always a reporter. Came in handy this time !
Currently it is taking a significant time to get my posts through as I am being moderated. So, I am posting this to the main Caroline forum
to ensure it is posted at the soonest moment and to ensure fairness.