Baldoyle Public Library 7pm on Tuesday 9th March
Steve Conway Reads from ‘Shiprocked, Life on the Waves with Radio Caroline’
Baldoyle Public Library, Baldoyle Dublin
In his late teens, in the throes of the 1980s depression, Dubliner Steve Conway emigrated to London where he began working in a small computer firm in the South London suburb of Surbiton, providing customer service and installation advice to the pioneers in the office and home computing world. There Steve also began a love affair with the new revolution, spreading across the South East of England – the Pirate Revolution. Before you start wondering, there were no hooked hands involved, no cutlasses and swords, but there was a ship, there was a crew, there were high seas, and waves and a battle to stay one step ahead of the authorities. There was also bandwidth and waves of another type, for Steve fell in love with the pirate radio revolution which battled in this country and in the UK from the mid 1960s until the late 1990s. In Steve’s case, his, although working on a number of stations, his true love was the most famous of all the Pirate Radio Stations – Radio Caroline – which, founded by an Irish Man, Ronan O’Rahilly, sailed the high seas, fighting the battle to bring good and constant music to the homes of the UK and North Europe, (when the weather conditions were right, parts of Ireland) from March 23rd 1964 until the final Caroline Radio Ship, the Ross Revenge, ran aground on the Goodwin Sands in Kent on 20th November 1991.
Steve Conway joined Radio Caroline in February 1987, and rose through the ranks from being an initially very bad news reader to being programme controller on the Station, helping to keep it going through the hurricane that really was in October 1987 and the Great Mast Fall in November 1987, and the life-threatening task of re-building the mast at sea during storms, as they could not risk arrest by bringing the ship in to shore! All this well as generally battling the elements, surviving without chocolate – and almost without food and water at one point – in order to bring consistently good music to the world! There were fine times too – the exploding donuts for one, moonlight jaunts, the ocean liner friends, birthday celebrations and Christmas gifts from shore, for others.
Steve was among the final 5 crew who were air lifted to safety by an RAF helicopter after the Ross Revenge Radio Ship ran aground on the treacherous ship swallowing Goodwin Sands in Kent – rescued only minutes after they overheard the coast guard telling the nearby ships that they may be looking for bodies in the water.
Steve has written of his adventures on the high seas in the best-selling memoir Shiprocked, Life on the Waves with Radio Caroline published by Dublin publisher Liberties Press in March 2009, and with the second printing well on its way to selling out as the book continues to leap off the shelves in Ireland, UK and US.
Some of the wonderful reviews of this book are attached.
Steve will be reading from Shiprocked at Baldoyle Public Library at 7pm on Tuesday 9th March.
Steve will also be signing copies of his book at the reading and a collection box will also be available for listeners to donate to the RNLI.