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User:Robbie Dale

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Robbie Dale was born on the 21st April 1940 in Lancashire as "Robbie" John Robinson. Breta Riley, a primary school teacher at St Josephs School Heywood wrote of the 11 year old, "John is a talented boy who likes to talk a lot.His reading and writing remain poor, getting words mixed up. Dispite not being able to correctly spell English, he writes sensitive poetry". The same teacher wrote, "I predict that John Robinson will be a success in later life, one day maybe a wealthy businessman" and to John in 1954 she wrote "If one day you may famous be then think of me who encouraged thee". After a number of jobs and a 5 year spell in the army serving in some interesting places including South East Asia within SEATO member counties. He dicovered a natural talent for picking up languages, soon speaking Malay and a mixture of Chinese dialects. Returning to London in 1963 to find 'The swinging sixties'. He Became a DJ known as Robbie Dale later to work with Radio Caroline, Radio Veronica, TROS Television, Hilversum 3 & 2 in the Netherlands, getting to grips with 'double dutch' which became a trademark. In 1980 co-founded Sunshine Radio Dublin Ireland. As a former senior dj in charge aboard Radio Caroline South the title "Admiral" was bestowed by fellow dj Dave Lee Travis because Robbie insisted that everything be ship shape aboard the MV Mi Amigo a former Scandinavian coaster, home to Radio Caroline South. Robbie Dale's broadcasting career began in early 1965. Working in London's Portobella Road with extraordinary antique dealer John Dale. Specalizing in late Georgian, Regency and Victorian furniture. Spending evenings as a disc jocky at the fashionable De Vere Club in South Kensington. Calling at the Radio Caroline's head office he met radio producer Gerry Duncan and Public Relations officer Frances van Staden who arranged an introduction to Radio Caroline's founder Ronan O'Rahilly. Robbie recalls meeting the Caroline boss in his 1st floor office at Caroline House, Chesterfield Gardens in London's Mayfair. "The job interview lasted a couple of hours, I sat on one of the two large black leather couches.The phones on Ronan desk which also sported a bronz bust of John F Kennedy rang constantly. I sat and listened to him dealing with one thing after another,in between the calls we had a Q & A session. Finaly Ronan asked if I could start the following week, "get the train at Liverpool Street rail station on Monday,I like your voice. Get the rest of the details from Gerry Duncan" Robbie joined Radio Caroline South, taking over the nightly Caroline Club Requests Show, later to be renamed "Robbie Dale's Dairy". In January 1967 senior dj Tom Lodge moved from Caroline South and Robbie was asked to take on the job. As "The Admiral" Robbie founded The Beat Fleet, a Free Radio Supporters Association with the purpose of drumming up support for the fight ahead. Alongside the thousands of listeners who became members, many top pop stars of the day where enlisted and awarded Honorary Comissions in The Beat Fleet. Edward Short, then Postmaster General in the Harold Wilson Labour Govenrment, published the 1966 Marine Broadcasting Offences etc Act. It went through Parliament and too effect at midnight on August 15th 1967. Minister Short was under constant pressure from the BBC and determind to put an end to the so called offshore pirate radio stations. By the 15th of August most of the stations around the coast of Britain had complied and closed down broadcasting opperations. Ronan O'Rahilly had promised the listening public that the Labour Government would not succeed with its dragonian killjoy policy and that Radio Caroline would continue.

Aboard the morning supply tender "Offshore Two" returning to the Radio Caroline ship on 15 August. Robbie Dale, friends and colleagues Johnnie Walker and newsman Ross Brown returned from a 7 day break in London. Finding all the other radio staff packed and ready to leave on the Offshore tender now returning to shore. Leaving behined Johnnie, Ross,Robbie and one other English speaking person hired the previous day, Chris Carey aka Spangles Maldoon. Later that day Robbie Dale confimed on air at 3pm that Caroline's biggest competitor the popular Radio London Big L had closed down with great style, and in a blaze of glory. Radio Caroline continued to broadcast. At midnight Johnnie Walker played "We shall overcome" and annouced to listeners that Caroline had entered a new era as Radio Caroline International. In preparation Ronan O'Rahilly and Sales Director/Consutant Terry Bate had arranged to move Caroline's head office from Chesterfield Gardens in London's West End to Amsterdam Holland. Terry had rented part of a big canal house at Single 160 in the heart of the city and employed English speaking Dutch secretary Pinky Sedenburg to run the office. Weeks passed by before any of the ships crew or radio personel made official trips back to shore. Robbie recalls a very welcome visitor from that period. Jimmy Houlahan, a Ronan sidekick, came out to the ship in a motor boat one cool and misty September night. He brought news and good tidings from the boss, new records and £100 pounds each as a bonus gift from Phil Solomom and thanks to "those who had stuck it out". Despite every effort things did not get any better and paid for plays grew week by week making it impossible to put a good show together. The 10 to 16 hours boat journey across the North Sea for shore leave often through gale force winds and high seas made life tough but did not stop the return of Roger Day. Things generaly appeared to be looking up. Listenership figure had rocketed by many millions across the United Kingdom, Ireland and Europe. Regular supplies of fresh food,water and bags filled with listeners mail arrived regularly to both North and South ships. But because of unpaid bills for marine crew, fuel and supplies the Wijsmuller tugs arrived alongside the ships at the crack of dawn on the 3rd of March 1968. Both ships were boarded by the Wijsmuller tug crew members. The anchor chains cut and dropped over the side. MV Mi Amigo and the MV Fredrica were towed to Holland. At the time of the tow away Robbie Dale was on a holiday on the Costa del Sol. Johnnie Walker telegramed "Caroline has gone". JW.

The previous September Robbie had met his future bride in Amsterdam Stella Regina, celabrated fashion boutique owner in the city. Having decided to stay in Holland as the only remaining employee on the Caroline payroll, Robbie helped to clear out and close the office at Single 160.

In June Robbie joined the famous Dutch "pirate" Radio Veronica resulting from a chance meeting in the city centre Hotel American with programme manager and popular DJ Jan van Veen. Jan invited Robbie to the Veronica studios in Hilversum to meet the station owners the brothers Verwey Dirk, Jaap and Hendrik aka Bull the brother responsible for day to day running. Robbie's self operate style and zany double dutch presentation proved not only popular with station presenters and co-workers but also a smash with listeners both in Holland and the South of England, a region which become a strong part of Radio Veronica's wide ranging lisnership. 1969 Robbie joined the rapidly developing Dutch national television network TROS. His first job in television, presenting the teenage music magazine "JAM", becoming the top music show of its kind in the country. The station management wanted Robbie on radio so with a sad heart he moved from Radio Veronica to Hilversum 3 to make programmes exclusively for the TROS network. By 1970 "Jam on Radio" proved to be another success. Robbie was invited to take part in a light entertainment programme on Hilversum 2 working alongside top entertainer Jos Brink. TROS ratings continued rapidly up and new membership subcriptions to the stations voting shares took TROS to the (status A) highest status in the democratic Dutch broadcasting system thus greater participation on the two television channels and across all the three radio networks.

In 1972 Robbie with Stella and family returned to London. His long absence had left him out in the cold. BBC Radio One was up and running and the first of the IBA local radio franchises had been appointed. Leaving the radio business and joining a commercial cleaning company as manageing director Robbie was responsible for developing sustained growth at Executive Cleaning Services. Ironically the company contracted to clean the Capitol Radio studios and offices at Euston Tower. Robbie was involved in the unsuccessful Ulster Television/Belfast Telegraph IBA local radio application. Then in early 1980 a proposed radio ship project in Germany would re-unite Robbie with Chris Cary and Philip Solomom. This led to Sunshine Radio but the three later parted company. Robbie stayed and developed " Sunshine Radio on 539 & 101 FM" in Dublin Ireland. This was the most challenging and rewarding project Robbie had attemped. He involved his wife Stella and family, participating with determination, putting everything on the line. After surviving and overcoming the mountainous and creative competition from Radio Nova during 1981-1984, Sunshine Radio eventually took over as the undisputable top rated position in Dublin. Robbie Dale's distinctive voice became internationally known on radio and TV. One of the more famous on Irish radio on his daily morning radio programme on Sunshine 101, 1980 to 1985 and the hundreds of commercial voice overs he made whilst in the radio business. Not an easy task for a dyslectic child from St Josephs School Heywood. For more go to "Irish Radio the super pirates" "My belated thanks to Breta Riley who instilled in me courage and inspired me with faith in those early years". I dedicate this page to my loving family and many friends everywhere. Robbie and Stella contiue to enjoy life together.And are in the holiday hotel business in the sunny Canary Islands.