Jingleweb’s Veronica pagina

Veronica, a history of....This is a brief history of Veronica at sea, from 1960 tot 1974, compiled by Jelle Boonstra.

Radio Veronica was one of the most influential radio stations in the Netherlands, inspired by Radio Mercur in Denmark.

Veronica - 1960 - Borkumriff 011They started broadcasting in april 1960 from a nostalgic looking ship.Veronica - 1957 - Borkumriff opgelegd

It was an old lightship, the Borkumriff, near the island of Borkum, that was retired (on this photo under tow to Emden in 1957..


The ship was built in 1911 and served for 46 years in the ‘Deutsche Bucht’, here on a photo from 1934 (notice the nazi flag in top).

Veronica - 1959 - EmdenThis is how the ship looked in 1959 when the group op Dutch radio pioneers bought it.

Veronica - 1960 - Start 014These are the pioneers Bep Slootmans, Max Lewin & Henk Oswald seen while discussing the reception area of the new station.

Aandeelhouders Veronica 1959A unique document with the names of all shareholders, like De Vries & Lampie (wellknown advertisers for their wedding dress business later on).Veronica - 1959 - Emden - Persmap 001This was one of two photos they handed out to the press to show how the ship would look (actually, it was a photo of the Kiel lightship with the word Kiel crossed out).


In reality It took them a lot of effort than expected to change it into a radioship.

Veronica - 1959 - Borkumriff 333Here’s another one of the ship in dock.Veronica - 1959 - Inbeslagname 001And the RCD (the agency against pirate radio stations) confiscated equipment, like here in Oswalds Amsterdam Beursstraat office (at the left is the notorious D. Neuteboom).


But gradually it turned to ‘Veronica’.

Veronica - 1959 - Emden (Cees Baarda)Here the ship was moved to another qua in winter 1960 (photo courtesy of Stichting Norderney).

Veronica - 1960 - Borkum riff ketel wordt opgestookt

The old steam engine was tried on april 16th, before departure

Veronica - 1960 - Borkum riff accuruimte 111This was the old battery room of the light ship – it came in handy for the ship’s lights at sea.

Paraplu-ankerThe umbrella anchor of the ship.


On april 18, 1960 the ship tried to sneak out of Emden.

Veronica ontsnappingIt was only 500 meters from the Cassens werft where it was fitted out.

Veronica - Nesselander-Scleuse-de-weg-naar-zee

They only had to pass the Nesselander Schleuse

Veronica - 1960 - Sluis Emden (1961)But the German’s emptied to dock to stop the ship, like here when the lock was  partley restored in 1974.

Veronica - 1960 - Nessenlander Schleuse 032They put down the bridge deck too.


The ship was seized by the police but the brave English captain of their tugboat Guardsman succeeded to get the ship out.


The ship on its way to the Northsea.

Veronica - 1960 - Onderweg 001Closely monitored from a plane by the new owners.

Veronica - 1960 - Borkum Riff 003

And there it was: on the high seas.


Being an old light ship, the Borkum Riff had a superb anchorage system.

And it took on the sea quite well

Veronica - 1961 - Borkum Riff stormLike it did while it was still a lightship.

Soon their first theme tune became: Ted Heath and His Music – Swingin’ Shepherd Blues.


Bringing out supplies with the first tender: Scheveningen 26 of skipper Jan Groen.

And a crew was found, here in a change of shift.

Veronica - 1961 - Bevoorrading defWhich could be tricky in bad weather.

Veronica-1960-Vertrek-Emden-012The custom office wanted to check every tape before it went out the this devious ship off the Dutch coast.Veronica - 1960 - Bevorrading 343And at sea there was a lot of extra surveyance.

.Veronica - 1960 - Start 011

Here’s Oswald at home in Amsterdam, finally pickup up the first ever test signal of the ship.Veronica - 1961 - Zender 002From this make shift transmitter.

On April 21st, he pushed in the button the start the first ever official program on tape.

Veronica - 1960 - Start 013Ellen van Eck was the first voice officially heared.Veronica - 1960 - Ellen van EckIt’s her again, from an unknown newspaper photo.

Their first – simple studio aboard.

Veronica - 1960 - Studio Cees Baarda & Maarten vd HarstHere´s another on from the same series, with Cees Baarda and Maarten van der Harst (kindly supllied by Stichting Norderney).

Veronica - 1963 - Studio Borkumriff 004Gradually also the studio got better

Veronica - 1963 - Studio Borkumrtiff 001

And the improved mixing board

.Veronica - 1960 - NLF Keizersgracht 16 Amsterdam 001

This is where the first land studio was: in Amsterdam, at the Keizersgracht 16.


This is was the HQ of het Nederlands Laboratorium voor Filmtechniek.


Veronica - 1960 - Max Groen

Max Groen was one of their first announcers.

Veronica - 1960 - Ariadne 001

It didn’t stay unnoticed.


In the first few weeks the station was jammed by a German navy station in Norddeich.

Veronica - 1960 - Norddeich storingen 001-It turned out the Germans did it on a Dutch request.


But soon reception was getting better and a logistic system of tapes from land being played on board was set up.

Veronica - 1969 - Zeedijk 456The brother Verwey took over and from now on programmes were made on the Zeedijk in Hilversum.

Veronica - 1966 - Studio Zeedijk JV 02The building was shared with Universum.

Veronica - 1964 - BriefpapierThe letterhead of the company on the new adress.

Veronica - 1969 - Gebroeders Verweij

Here are Jaap, Bull and Dirk Verwey.

At a later date studios and offices moved to Hilversum – here with Joost de Draaijer – and some soundproofing of the poor.

Veronica - 1967 Tineke 011Here’s Tineke in the same building.

Veronica - 1961 - Tony Vos 003And DJ Tony Vos.Veronica - 1964 - Anouschka 010And Anouschka

Veronica - 1964 - Bob & Brenda 122

Bob (Krijn Torringa) and Brenda.


Their first QSL-card

Veronica - 1960 - Zinken 001

This is how the press looked at Veronica, they didn’t really predict a long an bright future.

Veronica - 1962 - Nur Die 111In 1962 advertisers poored in after a Nur Die commercial had been a convincing success.


And suddenly it was becoming the goldmine that everyone expected. Soon they did charity, like the famous Open Het Dorp (Tony Vos kisses host Mies Bouwman), in which they donated 140.000 guilders, six times the amount of Heineken.

Veronica - 1962 - Borkumriff 004The regular maintenance improved the ship quite a bit.

Veronica - 1960 - Onderhoud 633It was made ship shape.Veronica - 1960 - DekEverything was looked after just fine

Veronica - 1961 - Aankoopbewijs Ger AnnaAnd to secure a regular supply of food they’d bought an own tender too.

Veronica - 1962 - Ger Anna (nog verder voorheen KW77) 008It was the formal Katwijk trawler KW77.

Ger Anna 2010

Still floating by the way in England as a private yaught.


The studios were getting better too, here with technician André de Vries.

Veronica - 1966 - Programmatape 03Jingles and commercials where played from tapes like these.

Copy of Veronica - 1965 - Joost en Harry KnipschildProgram manager was Willem van Kooten (a.k.a Joost de Draaijer), here with R&B DJ Harry Knipschild.

Veronica - 1966 - DJ Jan van Veen 001Ands here’s Jan van Veen on the very same spot, why are the dressed up so nice?

Veronica - 1966 - DJ Willem van Kooten 006Willem van Kooten again, same spot

Veronica - 1966 - DJ Willem van Kooten 001

And behind the microphone.

Veronica got itself a new ship in ’64, secretly fitted out in Zaandam.


Testing the hull – you can tell it was beatlemania in 1964

A stockbroker had offered them two sisterships from Hamburg to choose from: the HH297 – Otto Schubert


This is them, steaming up (it was a steam ship!) the Thames on this fuzzy photo.

And this one: the HH294/Paul J. Müller, which they actually picked (photo from 1952).

Veronica - 1971 - QSL card 001

Here’s a QSL card from 1971.

Veronica QSL 538 meters 1973

And the last one, from 1973.

Veronica - 1963 - Borkum Riff met letters Norderney 001It’s a pity really the old ship hadn’t the name on the side, it would have looked like this.Veronica - 1965 - Bel Borkum riff 001This is the original bell of the Borkum riff.

Veronica - 1965 - Lustrumviering 020In 1965 Veronica celebrated it’s fifth birthday

Veronica - 1965 - Lustrumviering 021

On the ship of Dirk Verwey in the Hilversum yaught harbour.


Veronica was alone again after Caroline had gone in 1968 (photo © Freek Simon)


Establishing itself even further – here’s a staff photo of august 1967.

Veronica - 1967 - Groepsfoto 006

You can tell Tineke suffered from sea sickness.


Veronica - 1968 - DJ's 020The DJ staff in the later half of the sixties.


Meanwhile Veronica was still going stroing with new studios in Hilversum and a new jock, Klaas Vaak (at the left).Veronica - 1970 - Tineke thuis 001

DJ Tineke recorded programs at home after an accident had made her less mobile.

Veronica - 1967 - Berdy Nieuwendijk 143 002Berdie, Nieuwendijk 143 Amsterdam had become one of the main advertisers, a shabby outfit in reality.

In 1969 Veronica got itself this posh office in Hilversum.

The Daily Mirror of monday may 17th 1971

Veronica director Bull Verweij was arrested and was sent to prison for a year

Veronica faced bad luck, their ship Norderney was stranded in april ’73.

The same month the Dutch parliament started to debate the future of the pirates, Veronica director Bull Verweij (l) and program director Rob Out are still in a good mood


But in june 1973 it was decided that the offshore stations had to go, in about a year’s time. Time was starting to tick away.

But for a while it seemde like business as usual, with the ship back at sea


With the DJ taping programmes in Hilversum (here is newcomer Frans van der Beek).

And Cees Man in ’t Veld reading the hourly news bulletins aboard.

And the generators snoring away.