RIP Ronnie Nolan

Ronnie Nolan, the man behind one of the most powerful Medium Wave pirate radio stations in The Netherlands, died a few days ago.
Ronnie Nolan (aka Jan Jakob ) lived and operated Radio Nolan for over 15 years from his home in Vlagtwedde in the North of The Netherlands, just South of Groningen and only a few miles from the German border.
Jan took up pirate radio after the closure of the Dutch offshore stations in 1974. Operating on Medium Wave with powers up to 1KW and also on shortwave. The format was rock based which was unusual for a high powered Dutch Medium Wave station. Because of the power used Radio Nolan was well known by European radio fans.
I was lucky enough to get to meet Jan a couple of times in Vlagtwedde and he was a genuine good guy. He totally loved radio. Ian Harling and myself were lucky enough to meet up with Jan again in Vlagtwedde (after over 40 years), just before the COVID lockdown. He was fit and well and very happy in life.
He took us up to his very large attic area and showed up a great collection of his old radio stuff. Which had not been used since the 90’s. Historically, Ian had broadcast some shows for Radio Nolan back in the 70’s and I was lucky enough to get the use of the powerful Radio Nolan Medium Wave transmitter for a relay of my Atlanta Radio station in 1979.
Jan battled against the Dutch PTT for many years and in the end after 3 convictions for operating an unlicensed station, he became one of the few people ever to spend time in jail simply for operating a radio station.
Jan Jakob died of a heart attack on the 17th May.
Farewell Jan, I am sure that those powerful Radio Nolan signals are bouncing off the ionosphere and coming down to you in Radio Heaven right now.
Here is Jan back in the 70’s in the early days of Radio Nolan along with a picture of one of the many Radio Nolan transmitters.
The whole fascinating Radio Nolan story is here on the old Radio Nolan website.

Info via Mark Stafford on Facebook