Monday, January 23, 2017

Remembering the DPRS

A few weeks ago I came across something that caught my eye on the Facebook page of a Finnish pirate enthusiast. It was a bulletin from the Dutch Pirate Radio Service from the mid-1990s.

The DPRS was run from Preston in the north-west of England by Derek Taylor, a fanatic of the Dutch pirate scene who knew everybody and everything. If you had a question about free radio from across the North Sea, Derek was your man. He even once appeared on the Radio Netherlands show Media Network talking about his pirate passion.

As well as running the DPRS, which put listeners in touch with the pirates and even sent out qsls on behalf of the stations who did not acknowledge reception reports, Derek also offered his address for letters connected with my Pirate Chat magazine.

I met Derek several times and even spent a day at Blackpool with him and Dutch MW pirate Technical Man about 20 years ago. I can remember sitting in a bar on the Pleasure Beach talking about all things radio and also playing some of the slot machines on the Golden Mile. I still have some photos of us all somewhere.

Derek suddenly disappeared from the scene some years ago and nobody has managed to get in touch with him. I know that Radio Barones, for one, has called various numbers but with no success. Perhaps he will reappear at some point. Radio seems to be like that... people come and go but often come back again. And that was what I thought as I read through his bulletin from July 1996.

Have a look yourself and you will see many names from the pirate scene who are still going strong today. Stations like Blauwe Piraat, Blauwe Ster, Driland, Electron, Noordzee, Scotland can still be heard. Some are no longer with us having sadly died - stations like Nooitgedacht, Tijdbreker and Pelikaan - three stalwarts from the Acterhoek who would regularly be heard back in the day. Some stations have gone from the radar, but perhaps they will be back.

I had a bit of a blast from the past myself on Sunday morning when I was tuning around at about 0730 local time and heard Radio Curacau for the first time in several years. When I first became interested in the hobby in the early 1990s he was a regular on the band but I have heard him on only one other occasion since I starting listening to the pirates again in 2011 after a lengthy break. It's great when these stations pop up on the band... a reminder of yesteryear, a voice that you had forgotten that you know again in an instant. 

Time for my latest logs. Have a look and see which of the stations listed were active in 1996. A fair few as it happens.

Monday, January 23, 2017
1651       1710       Vrijevogel 25222-35333 music programme
1620       1752       Jonny Camaro 25222-35333 music programme
1625       1754       Derdeman 25222-35333
1625       1807       Digitaal 45444 qsoing
1625       1827       Spanningzoeker 55444 qsoing
1611       1833       Blackstone 24222-34333 qsoing
1645       1905       Oldtimer 45434 music programme
1629       1918       Monza 45444
1611       1925       Jonge Boer 24222-34333 music programme
1647       2220       Noordzee 35333-45444 music programme

Sunday, January 22, 2017
1630       0728       Curacau 23422-33433 qsoing
1615       0739       Mike 24422 music programme
1610       1630       Anton 23432-33433 music programme
1629       1632       Duranza 25322-35333 music programme
1647       1632       Witte Tornado 45434 at 2022 music programme
1620       2015       Santana 33333-44444 music programme
1628       2017       Barones 44444-55444 music programme

Friday, January 20, 2017
1630       1612       Anton 45444 music programme
1620       1626       Sterrekijker 25222 music programme
1655       1713       Dikke Betta 45333-55544 music programme
1646       1718       Zwarte Bizon 35333 report for Anton
1629       1721       Monza 35333 testing
1636       1842       Dolfijn 25222-35333 music programme
1655       1856       Relmus 35333 music programme

Monday, January 16, 2017
1630       1649       Digitaal 35333 qsoing
1652       1655       Turfsteker 25332 qsoing
1629       1715       Friese Piraat 25222 music programme
1657       1734       Digitaal 35222 qsoing
1617       1800       Mike 35333-45444 testing antenna
1636       1827       Admiraal 24222-34333 qsoing
1650       1840       Kristal 44444 music programme
1629       1845       Zwarte Arabier 45444-55555 music programme
1640       1854       Veronica 44444 music programme
1645       1900       Oldtimer 35333-45444 music programme
1648       1910       Admiraal 34333 report for Kristal 
1611       1914       Zwarte Boer 33433 music programme
1655       1937       Batavier 34333 testing
1620       2011       Malibu 34433 
1620       2014       Blauwe Piraat 34433 report for Malibu

Wednesday, January 11, 2017
1635       1715       Digitaal 35333
1625       1727       Johnny Camaro 25222, 45444 at 1812 music programme
1637       1734       Skywire 25222 music programme
1647       1734       Telefunken 25222 report for Digitaal
1646       1739       Digitaal 35333-45444 qsoing
1611       1815       Utopia 35333-45444 short music programme
1645       1830       Turftrekker 25222-25442 testing
1655       1903       Telefunken 25222
1643       1911       Nachtzwerver 25222 testing
1645       1942       Paradiso weak signal qsoing 
1646       1954       Digitaal 35222-35333 report for Nachtzwerver
1642       2007       Digitaal 35222-35333 music programme

Monday, January 9, 2017
1640       2110       Veronica 35333 music programme


  1. Hi David - great article. Wow, now there is a blast from the past! I remember the enigmatic Derek being mentioned in the 90's on MW(and sometimes SW) on countless occasions. Regards.

  2. Hi, Great guy. Any chance you could scan and upload the old Pirate Chat mags? Lost all mine years ago.

  3. I was thinking maybe I should do that. I will see what I can do!

  4. Hi John,
    Many thanks for that,I'm still around,retired now but occasionally listening to Dutch Pirates and the odd bit of DXing.I would like to see some old copies of Pirate Chat uploaded if possible? Cheers Derek

    1. Hi David apologies for name error old age lol

  5. Hi Derek. Superb to hear from you. I've been trying to track you down but with no luck. Can you send me an email and we can get back in touch.

  6. Great to hear Derek is still DXing.

  7. Would love to see the technical talk series that Dave Martin did for you. Especially the shortened dipoles.