How long does it take to bring a ship to her moorings? Seventeen years in the case of lightship LV18!
A request for a permanent berth at Harwich docks for this grand old dame was turned down repeatedly in a protracted battle wth the local council; a fight only won once the original councillors ‘left’.
Who knew that a lighthouse boat turned film star could cause such a furore?
By chance my husband and I happened upon this vessel whilst walking along the docks in Harwich one sunny Saturday. How could we refuse the kind invitation issued by 93-year-old Lord Bill of Sealand to climb on board and explore! (He later told us his amazing life story which I may recount in another post.)
Scanning the various signs I was reminded of the start of Superman – what is it? A lighthouse? A Pirate Radio Ship? A museum? LV18 is a unique combination of all three.
Not knowing what to expect I eagerly trod the board to the deck … one unexpected discovery can be read in my earlier post Flowers Ahoy!
Stepping warily, mindful of the odd sway from the sudden swells, I headed to the top deck, past the helicopter pad, right up to the giant light on the top.
The view across the Orwell estuary was beautiful, looking towards Felixstowe on the other side.
LV18 was launched in 1958 and sailed with nine crew and anchored along the coast as a lighthouse boat protecting mariners through the dangerous waters.
This unique historic ship, decommissioned in 1994, is the only surviving light vessel with all its original accommodation still intact, including the crew quarters, galley, mess room … all visible to view but with an additional surprise!
In 1999 a man with a vision, Tony O’Neal, chartered the boat for restoration and LV18 started its second life. This time recapturing the era of the famous Pirate Radios moored in international waters off the East Coast of East Anglia in the 1960s. A couple of you in the comments have already picked up on the Radio Mi Amigo twitter to whom I credited the last photo in my previous blog — the name of Radio Caroline’s ship.
With streaming, youtube, DAB radio readily available with a click, it’s hard to believe there was a time when music, all variety of music, was not easily or widely available. Or even banned and illegal. Try to imagine only three radio stations in the UK which were tightly monitored and served the ‘establishment’ and only permitted up to an hours pop music a day.
In a country hungry for the latest pop songs, the general populace turned increasingly to radio stations outside the country. First Radio Luxembourg, then pirate radio ships. These became the starting ground for many famous DJs including John Peel & Tony Blackburn, all who would embark on small launches from Harwich to take them to the pirate radio boats moored three miles out to sea. At one stage these stations had around 15 million listeners altogether. A very worrying figure for the government of the time. The last pirate radio station was closed in 1967 as pirate broadcasting was declared illegal. BBC Radio 1 started soon afterwards, ironically staffed with a number of ex-pirate radio DJs.
In the first decade of this century LV18 was moored off Harwich and the Radio Mi Amigo days were recreated as well as being a Community radio station for the area. In 2002 its ownership transferred to the Pharos Trust whose patron is Johnnie Walker, ex-pirate DJ from Radio Caroline who was subsequently on Radio 1.
Only in 2011 was LV18 granted a permanent mooring in Harwich and it became home to a permanent exhibition of Pirate Radio memorabilia.
And what about the film star reference? Well, LV18 made a brief appearance in the DVD version of ‘The Boat That Rocked’. Of course, once back home I just had to watch the film. It gives a fantastic exposition of life onboard this wild, on the edge, lifestyle where music played until the very end!
My husband would not forgive me if I did not finish this post with the last song to be played on Radio London which was ‘A Day in the Life’ by the Beatles.
Finally, no day trip in Harwich is complete without a meal at The Pier Hotel & Restaurant where we enjoyed a delightful, early wedding anniversary meal. It was special to look out to the LV18 on which we’d just spent a wonderful couple of hours!
103 thoughts on “THE MANY LIVES OF LV18”
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Thank you so much for leaving your link at the SeniorSalon. Please share and invite your Fellow Bloggers to also participate and if you have a moment, please check out some of the other posts left and share as well. Thanks and I look forward to seeing you again. Shared on FB and RT
My pleasure, Esme and it was a delight looking at some of the other posts! See you again soon … I’m off on holiday this weekend so will try to link up my lastest post next week but after that I have intermittent access to WP … Wishing you a lovely Summer and many thanks again for the interview. The comments/discussion have been terrific! hugs xx
Thanks Annika, as terrific as you. Enjoy your summer time
What an amazing post Annika and what a delight to be invited on the vessel, such history and nostalgia and a perfect end with a beautiful meal for your early wedding anniversary .. Perfect!.. And congratulations upon your Anniversary Annika..
Such a lot of detail and loved reading.. Wishing you and your hubby many more memorable dinner dates 🙂
Much LOVE.. ❤
Dear Sue, thank you so much for those beautiful wishes!! I’m beaming away and your comment has lit up my day! It was a memorable and special anniversary date day … and we’re definitely planing more dinners out. Even got to the stage of thinking of taking a break abroad on our own! Heady with excitement!😀
The visit to LV18 was so special and added to the beauty and magic of the day … and there was even a personal serenade from the now infamous Lord Bill! I can’t wait to visit the ship again and learn more about his amazing life.
Wishing you a blessed and peaceful rest of the week! Hugs & love ❤️
Oh I remember those days of leaving the teenagers on their own when they got to 18 plus.. and going on holiday abroad.. ( I spent half the time worrying though lol, and ringing them up via coin phones to see if they were all ok.. ) 🙂
much to their disgust.. LOL..
You will LOVE it… and yes do dine out more,, We often take ourselves off now we are both retired for a pub lunch somewhere.. 🙂
Oh and Lord Bill, sounds a wonderful gentleman.. 🙂
Take care… ❤
That is amazing, to get invited on board to have bit of a wander around on the LV18. Lord Bill sounds like a very welcoming and nice guy. It really is interesting to hear that once radio was illegal and used mainly to guide ships or some kind of transportation and back in the day the radio was a big blac box and something even bigger too. Interesting to read the LV18 has a connection to community radio – was it actually a community station on board in its later days?
I used to work in community radio here in Australia. It’s amazing the diversity in this section, driven by passion for broadcasting and the arts. Happy anniversary 🙂
Mabel, I’m excited and interested that you used to work in community radio! As you say everyone within the industry must have a passion for it and you connect with such a variety of people. Community radio is also a vital service and even more so I imagine in more remote parts of Australia.
Lord Bill is an amazing man and he told us a snippet of his life story … I was hooked and just couldn’t wait to scribble it down once home. He’s a natural storyteller! The boat is a museum so it was open to visitors but he tempted us on board with his direct invitation and explanation.
It took me a while to get my head around the ship and its history. It was for the main part a lighthouse ship. When it was taken over it was used to send broadcasts. Nowadays it houses the memorabilia from the pirate radio days … as well as playing a part in the famous film about those days! It still occasionally serves as a community station for the area and sails to local ports for visits!
Many thanks for your lovely and interesting comment, Mabel! Hugs xx
You are so right – most of us who are involved in community radio, whether employed or just a volunteer, are passionate about giving back to the community and helping others in general.
Bill does come across as the generous kind, sharing all that history around. Thanks for clarifying. The ship does have quite the history, and perhaps it will have more chapters in the future.
Lovely to come by, Annika 🙂
Lovely piece of social history Annika. Indeed I recall those few years desperately trying to get a decent signal for Radio Luxembourg, and the glorious evening a few of us schoolboys actually got a request played 🙂
Yeah!! Roy, that must have been amazing to have your request played on Radio Luxembourg and I bet you didn’t stop smiling for weeks! A common refrain from these comments is the poor radio signal – I feel for you, desperately trying to listen to your favourite songs but not easy with the poor quality! Great memories by the sounds of it and an important part of social history. Harwich is a natural location for this ship and its memorabilia.
Happy anniversary! Wow very interesting!
Thank you so much! 😀 I tried not to make it over-factual! Xx
What a great way to celebrate an upcoming anniversary! I love surprise days like these – don’t they make life FUN? xo
Yes!! These are the magic moments of life … and it makes you realise that as an adult so much is planned and known beforehand. Days like this feel positively child-like and free-flowing! Perfect anniversary day … our new norm of doing the unexpected! Hugs to you my friend and glad to read you are slowly getting better. I keep checking your blog but saw you haven’t been posting anything new yet … take your time but just know you’re missed. ❤️🌺🌸
Thanks so much. I decided I’m ready and just posted this morning (Friday US East Coast time). Playing with words so my brain doesn’t get stagnant. ;-0
Long-time love/marriage grows with the routines we establish, but stays fresh with the unexpected adventures. ❤
Happy anniversary, Annika! Thank you for sharing your fascinating day trip and the history of this boat. With all the info you shared I think you just may be able to write a short story at least about this boat and Bill. Thanks for sharing! Hugs 🤗 😘
Janice, the first thing I did when I came home from the day was write out Lord Bill’s story as it was still fresh in my mind, almost verbatim. I would love to be able to talk to him again and see if it was possible to share it further … I’ll have to return in the Autumn! I’m so glad you enjoyed learning a bit about the boat -Many thanks for the anniversary wishes … it seems long ago already! Hugs. Xx
Wonderful, Annika. A great experience. I didn’t know about the radio pirate ships; how very interesting. Maybe you should write a book about this.
Thank you, Robbie … it was a brilliant day out and totally unexpected! We had planned to go to the beach for a while but this visit was perfect! All new to me. I think there is definitely a book to be written here about it … but not sure I would be knowledgeable about the music or era to write one. However, talking to Lord Bill and his amazing life I was so tempted to suggest a book based in his life.
You can do some research – what a great excuse to spend all your time finding out lots of lovely new information [wink]
You know me too well!! And just think, the perfect excuse to open a new notebook/file! Maybe one day … when time is not so scarce. xx
Great story, Annika. I was a sailor for many years (most of my childhood) so I love stories about boats and ships. I did not know about this one, or that there was such a thing as a lighthouse boat. So cool!
Barbara, I love that you were a sailor … or are, as I really don’t think it’s something you ever stop being! 😀 I’d never heard of lighthouse boats either and I can just imagine the frightening and treacherous seas they had to patrol and act as a warning to all other all other ships!
I haven’t been on a boat in a long time, but I still feel the lure of the sea! 😉
This was such a fun and informative story about Pirate Radio and this wonderful ship that contributed to the protection of mariners and the enpoyment of censor-free music and DJ antics. And now she continues to entertain by inviting the public aboard to see how it all happened. I look forward to your post about Lord Bill of Sealand. Hoot hoot hooray!
Shari, Lord Bill was wonderful, a real character and he gave us a colourful insight into his life from young, through his first and only love, the war years, life after. I was so moved to hear his story. In the end he sang a few songs for us -a wonderfully memorable day.
The duality of the ship was a bit confusing to start with but I’m glad this was clear in my post … it would have been such a shame if this had all been lost and the fantastic array of pirate radio memorabilia didn’t have this apt location!
Happy Anniversary, Annika! I love the photo of you 🙂 What an interesting and full day you had; even meeting Lord Bill! I must visit this museum next time I’m in Harwich.
Ahhh…thank you so much, Clare! It was a wonderful day with so many surprises! Lord Bill was an amazing character and treated us to snapshot of his astonishing life which deserves a whole book! In the end he serenaded us to a few old songs before we left – he had a fantastic deeep voice! I hope you so get a chance to visit – just check before you visit as the boat occasionally makes trips to other locations for concerts etc.
Thanks Annika xx
What a fascinating piece of history, Annika, and fabulous photos, too. How fortunate you were to stumble upon this boat, not expecting such a treat and history lesson, as well. And thank you for taking us along, also. It was enjoyable and interesting, and, of course, you are the perfect story teller to share its history with us. Happy Anniversary to you and your husband and what a wonderful photo of you! Many hugs, my friend…xo
Lauren, bless you for your wonderful comment and compliment. ❤️ Here was a boat whose stories are crying out to be told, yet there was so much history I wanted to include as the facts of the day are incredible! I wanted to merge the two elements and glad you found it worked. Wonderful to have you along, my friend … I thought I could hear some steps behind me! 😀 I loved the unexpected discovery of the ship on the quay – a place I’ve visited a few times but obviously not for years! Wishing you a very special & joyful Sunday! 🤗🌺🌸 xx
What a fabulous ship with an amazing history, I can’t believe it took so long to give it a permanent home.
Me neither, Andrea! It is such an obvious asset to any sea-faring town, directly relevant yet these years of fighting for permission. The owner of the ship said is was an intensely stressful time for him. Luckily he didn’t give up!
The days of pirate radio seem so long ago, Annika. Wonderful that this ship has been preserved in this way and I can see from the smile on your face how much you enjoyed being there. 🙂 🙂
Jo, you’re right, I had a fabulous day! 😀😀 The unexpected delights of the boat left me with child-like joy – I just about had to be pulled away from the garden! It would have been a great shame if this piece of history was lost … luckily now it makes tours, broadcasts and is used for Corporate and private events!
I’m glad! Kynren was fabulous last night, but it’s left me struggling to catch up and we may be going to Leeds later today. Any luck with unis? 🙂 🙂
Wow! You’re busy, Jo! Glad the show was fabulous … I hope you can post about it sometime! Nottingham Uni wowed us all and my son loved every aspect of it, the campus was friendly and so modern, the course enthralled him and the lecturers were approachable and friendly. The computer science has its own whole building which they are expanding. Up again to Nottingham Trent tomorrow … it has a lot to live up to. What has also happened is that I’ve noticed a huge difference in my son, he’s more motivated than ever to study and can see why he needs those grades! York & Lincoln plus one other left to explore! Perhaps Leeds! Have a great day there. Hugsxx
It’s a big decision and an exciting time in his life. And yours! 🙂 Take care xx
Such a gripping history to LV18, Annika. This is the kind of reporting that retains order and soul, a tough mix to express in writing, which you’ve so eloquently done. I love how you’ve presented this with captivating images and enriching details. “LV18 was launched in 1958 and sailed with nine crew and anchored along the coast as a lighthouse boat protecting mariners through the dangerous waters” – this haunts me in a sweet way. Thanks, and Happy Anniversary. God bless.
Wow! Mahesh, thank you so much for your wonderful comment … I am very touched. I was aware there was a lot of history in this piece yet wanted to ensure my usual style of writing was not overwhelmed by facts. Your words reassure me I found the right balance. Thank you. I’m glad you liked the images as I wondered about some of these as they are rather specific and would probably interest someone with a fascination for the subject much more. I thought a slide show was the best answer for these images and letting a few others stand out by themselves. Thank you for your best wishes and blessings. Wishing you a magical joyful Sunday! 🌺
Wow this brought back memories of listening to Radio Luxembourg in bed at night on my trusty transistor radio. And then in 1964 the Pirate Radio stations arrived and for the next 3 years we wall to wall pop music which made a great impression on a young school boy. But abruptly in 1967 it all stopped and the golden age was over. No longer could we go to Clacton and Walton and see the pirate ships on the horizon – and the reception was far better too.
But that period was enough to instill in me a lifelong fascination with music.
It was great to read your description of the boat and the unexpected garden, and it sounds as if the “Establishment” in the form of the local council was still in fear of the words “Pirate Radio” nearly 50 years after the event. Such was their power. RIP
Mike, I am so happy to trigger these wonderful memories for you – sounds like very happy ones and I hear the sadness as the pirate radios stopped broadcasting! How amazing that you could see the ships from land!! No doubt listening to them at the same time with your trusty transistor!
How wonderful that this inspired your love of music – bet the sound quality is a bit different ie hugely improved since then!
I’m smiling at your concluding paragraph and how the events have come full circle – with the council resisting the boat’s permanent berth! Very true and well-spotted. Luckily the ship and its owner was successful this time as well!
This is incredible Annika! The history behind this. I always think to myself, if only they could speak! The sights they’ve seen. Silly I know. Happy anniversary also. Xx
Not silly at all, Charley! I always think this, try to imagine scenes when visiting older houses etc … a ship is just more unusual. Closing my eyes it was almost as if I could hear the engine. A fantastic slice of social history and one now happily preserved! Maybe you will have a chance to visit yourself if you ever get to this east coast. Hope you have a lovely weekend, enjoying this amazing heatwave. Dont’ you feel as if you’re abroad in the Med?!😀😀
I absolutely do! I’ve been to the sea today and it was lovely. You forget how lucky we are sometimes. Hope you’re well and writing is coming on productively! Xx
Thank you for taking us along your pre-anniversary sojourn to explore this fascinating ship. Who says history is boring! It depends on the story teller and you are adept at making ordinary stories special. I am curious about Pirate Radio Station and why it was closed!
You are looking gorgeous in that picture Annika. Thanks for sharing.
Bless you, Balroop for your sweet comment … you have me smiling away! 😀❤️ It was a magical day, sojourn! I’ve always enjoyed history but this is so much better In real life … and I’m so happy if I can help to bring it alive. As you know, I love stories- whenever their origin! They were declared illegal as the government of the time saw the pop music as immoral and they were worried where it might lead with so many teen revolutions of the time! They didn’t want to lose control!! Wishing you a lovely weekend, Balroop and ready to have you over tomorrow! Xx
I remember watching a documentary on pirate radio at one time, Annika. I wonder if it was the same one you saw. How cool that the ship has a permanent berth. I wonder why it took so long to welcome a piece of history to port. I can’t say enough praise for the brave souls who fought censure and stood up for artistic freedom. Great post. And Happy Anniversary. It looks like you had a great time. 🙂 ❤
The trouble was all local politics and people who didn’t want to see a change! How short-sighted and lack of understanding what draws people to a town and what needs to be saved. Talking to the owner of the boat the battle with the council almost broke him, he said. The stress was so intense, so protracted. I really felt for him but thankfully he never gave up! It is a wonderful piece of history. On board I was even more impressed how they managed to broadcast from the North Sea, not the kindest of waters – incredible dedication and passion. I just love how they were so quickly absorbed into mainstream BBC afterwards. Ahh…thank you for your wishes … we had a magical together day! 😀❤️
We have the same battles here, Annika, between those who embrace possibilities and change, and those who fear them and want everything to stay the same. Often when the change comes, those who fear it find out that it was no big deal after all. ❤
It’s amazing how long some stuff takes. Usually, it’s because of politics–I suppose the fact that the original councilpeople had to leave for this to go through means it was that! We have a few old ships like that on the California shore. Their sense of history is both invigorating and frightening.
Jacqui, you’re absolutely right … it was all about politics! There was a huge resistance for anything new in the area but in the end public opinion was secured to vote out the whole council! But the stress was extreme for the guy who owned the boat and tried to secure the mooring. How wonderful that you have old ships to look around in California and they must be of special interest for you all!
Fascinating story Annika. Wishing you and your husband many more years of togetherness. You look absolutely beautiful dear 💟
Thank you so much, Radhika – that is so kind of you! This was our 19th wedding anniversary so we’re doing well – it’s just amazing how fast the years have flown by! So glad you enjoyed reading about the boat and all its stories!
What an exciting trip inside the ship that had to be! Such rich history. If only those walls could talk! 🙂
I just love boats anyway so a treat to just walk on board – but then to be greeted with three experiences was wonderful! An incredible history and so thankful it was saved and found a place to stay so everyone can enjoy!
And thank you for sharing with us here too. 🙂 x
What an amazing vessel! If only it could talk and whisper all of its stories to you. Wow! I love it!
How true, Jan and I often think this when visiting older houses, centuries old. This ship has so much to tell us … we will just have to use our imagination instead! 😀😀
Thank you for sharing your discoveries Annika. I was unaware of both lighthouse ships and pirate radio!
Janice, I’d only vague knowledge about pirate radio and never heard of light vessels until this visit! It was a two in one adventure / exploration and learnt so much during the two hours!
What a treat! This piece of history is fascinating. Good thing it is now protected and docked.
It beggared belief how long it took to achieve a permanent berth for the ship -it’s a brilliant tourist attraction and a joy to look around! I later learnt it visits local ports for broadcasting expeditions … spreading the knowledgeable of its existence.
Thank you, Annika!
Fascinating history lesson, Annika! Enjoyed exploring the ship with you too… ❤ xo
Thank you, Bette … it is a bit more factual post than my usual, but I became so engrossed in the topic and read up lots around it! Lovely to have you accompanying virtually … alas you didn’t get to hear the wonderful serenading by Bill… a real crooner! Happy Weekend, my friend! ❤️🌻
singing & smiling that your
ship has come in 🙂
Ahh…talking of singing, Bill serenaded all the visitors with old songs! It is lovely to see the ship in its rightful berth!
Thank you for this superb piece of history. I love it and all your photos.
To learn about LV 18 and it’s different ‘ lives’ is fascinating. I do love the lighthouse part very much and also remember the flower garden from last post.
Then to Pirate station 😊 , amazing how what is acceptable has changed.
The film star role…..I definitely have to go and visit this ship, less than an hour away.
You look very happy there at the lunch at The Pier hotel. Belated Anniversary wishes. 💕
Thank you so much for the belated wishes, Miriam! ❤️We had a wonderful lunch at the Hote/restaurant and it has been beautifully refurbished. I hope you have a chance for a meal there soon as well as a chance to see LV18! I love how it was three experiences in one – so much to write about it needed two posts! The lighthouse part alone was very dramatic and it must have been frightening to be moored near dangerous places during the worst storms. The radio memorabilia was fascinating and I learnt so much – the passion of the DJs must have been incredible and glad this history is now being looked after.
What a wonderful place to explore. Thanks for sharing it with us!
A delight to share, Carrie … thank you so much for reading and your comment!xx
Lookin’ good, Annika! I never knew about the ‘pirate radios’. In this day and age, it is hard to imagine such restrictions (come to think of it, adding China and Russia into the picture, maybe not 😉 ). I love that these interesting pieces of history are preserved and shared.
Ahh… thank you so much, Julie! ❤️Although I knew a little about the pirate stations it was fascinating to see all the equipment and other memorabilia in real and to experience what it must have been like below decks! Not quite as primitive as I’d imagined to be honest. It is astonishing that there hasn’t been a museum before this one – so valuable to preserve social history like and this and thank goodness for the vision and passion of the man who made it possible!
Thanks for the history lesson. I was unaware of pretty much all of it. Fascinating.
As was I Staci until this visit and I started to read up around the subject. It is very interesting and in the process learnt there still exists many pirate radio stations, many broadcasting from home! Wishing you a lovely weekend! 😀🌼
Amazing! I had never heard of any of this- thanks Annika. I can’t wait to share this with my tech son- in our internet age,we’ve heard of pirating, but to think it was happening on actual ships! Wow!
Jena, I can’t wait to hear what your tech son makes of this! I bet it seems strange to him. Has he heard anything about pirate stations nowadays? I think I read about them somewhere. I love the idea of these stations from the ships and having often sailed across the North Sea I know how fierce it can become – those poor guys, trying to broadcast in those conditions! Lovely to chat, Jena and wishing you a terrific weekend. Xx
An amazing history of LV18.. so very interesting! And cheers for a wonderful Anniversary, Annika! Have a lovely day… 🍸 😃
It has had a most interesting and unusual history, Iris and this makes it so unique. It is wonderful that they could house the museum about the pirate radio stations here and give it an extra lease of life. I reckon it will become increasingly popular. Thank you for your cheers and I’m having a wonderful week…albeit it extremely hot! Retreating indoors during the day! Wishing you a lovely weekend! Xx 😀🌻
A wonderful piece of history preserved.
Absolutely- and I was impressed it still sails out to visit local ports and hosts many events on board! It feels like it still wants to be useful and loved!
This is such fascinating history, Annika. The black and white photo of the ship is amazing. Happy anniversary to you and your husband! You look so sweet in the photo! xo
Ahh…thank you so much, Jill! ❤️ We had a wonderful memorable day and even better as I could combine with research for a blog post!! 😀I’m glad you like the B/W photo – it was originally colour but looked rather serene and a bit boring to be honest. Without the colour I felt it gives a sense of nostalgia and recalls another era – also it looms rather dramatically against the sky! Wishing you a wonderful weekend, my friend! Hugs xx
happy happy wedding anniversary Annika. lovely photo of you 🙂
Awww… thank you so much, Libby! For both comments ! It was a most special day where everything ‘clicked’ into place!
I, also, watched the movie Ship that Rocked and it was the first time I became aware of pirate radio. It is so hard to believe that the country who gave the world The Beatles and The Rolling Stones couldn’t listen to their music on an English radio station until 1967.
The history is fascinating and I am not surprised the Pirate Radio stations flourished! The film gives a fantastic sense of the era, although I wonder if it was quite so manic and mad? It made me smile how so many involved with the illegal stations soon became part of the very proper BBC and quickly respected DJs for the network! Times change so quickly! It was interesting to learn that there exist hundreds of prate radio stations even nowadays, mostly smaller ones broadcasting from someone’s home!
Not far from my home, there used to be a radical Christian pirate ship!
What an amazing history! I love that it had a part in a movie too. You look great Annika. Happy anniversary. 💐
That’s what I loved about the ship, Brigid – for all its humble looks it’s got a wonderful history. It was like stepping back in time to see all the cabins, mess etc and later fun to see it on the DVD! Thank you so much for your lovely comment … it was a very special anniversary day!
This brings back so many memories for me. I spent many hours with both Radio Caroline and Radio London blasting out of my little transistor radio while I did my homework. That amount of choice was so new to us, with only the BBC to ‘entertain’ us. Radio Luxembourg was a possibility in the evenings, but it sounded as if it was being broadcast through a wind tunnel that kept collapsing! I’m glad they finally saw sense and allowed the floating museum to be created: it is a vital part of our pop culture history.
When I started commuting into London in the mid 70s I went into Liverpool Street station. In those days it was in two parts, one for local traffic and the other for longer journeys, including Harwich. There was a helpful sign with an arrow pointing the way, which read ‘Harwich for the Continent.’ Regular cleaning was required to remove handwritten additions of ‘Frinton for the incontinent’ 😉
Clive, thank you so much for sharing your memories of the pirate radio days. Your comment has me in stitches – first with the ‘wind tunnel that kept collapsing’ sound quality of Radio Luxembourg! After seeing The Boat That Rocks I have a sense how everyone listened to the transitor radios, some even under the pillows and bet the sound wasn’t great at the best of times! I agree, that this is a museum that was much needed and more suprised this hadn’t been preserved before. It takes one person!
Your final sentence had me laughing out loud – Poor Frinton!! A place I love to visit on summer evenings but I fear your words will never be forgotten by me!!
A joy to read your recollections and lovely to meet you here! Have a brilliant weekend and if watching the match today, enjoy! A little party at our house this afternoon, and my poor son is conflicted!
I’m glad you enjoyed my comment! I’ve blogged some time ago about how we consume music nowadays compared with my teen years, and this is a subject dear to my heart. I’ve never seen The Boat That Rocks – I really should look it up!
As for Frinton, I know it well. When our daughters were little we had a fixed site caravan home in Walton-On-The-Naze and often visited Frinton. The two towns do have the air of ‘the land that time forgot,’ don’t they!
Nice to meet you too, and fingers crossed for this afternoon!
Clive, I will try and find that post and I look forward to popping over to your blog over the weekend. You must see the film – you’d love it from what you said about your memories of pirate radio! I loved all the small scenes showing various members of the population listening to the station and becoming more and more involved with the DJs.
How true that those two towns never seem to change … it is like going back a generation or two. The furore when Frinton was finally allowed to serve alcohol. But still no ice cream sales near the beach – Walton and its pier are great for the everyday fun!
I’ve just found the film on Amazon Prime Video and have added it to my watchlist. Many thanks for the tip – I recall it had mixed reviews when first released but probably from critics who were too young to remember those halcyon days! I’ve taken the liberty of looking up my previous post. Like many of mine I have reblogged it, for newer readers. It is called the Listening Post, and to save you searching – if you really have nothing better to do! – you can find it here: https://wp.me/p2FNZK-Hp
We were there at the time of the big alcohol debate. The local paper was a joy to read each week – all the Colonel Bufton-Tuftons spluttering into their pink gins about alcohol being allowed for the plebs! Our caravan was decorated with loads of those little cuddly toys from the crane grabber machines – the kids didn’t let us leave the pier until we’d won some!
As I was reading your post I couldn’t help thinking that it reminded me of a very entertaining movie I watched with friends about a year ago. And lo and behold, I was right. The Ship that Rocked. How wonderful. Loved hearing all the fascinating history. Thanks for sharing with us Annika 🙂
Of course I had to see the film after this visit! It really captured the frenzied time, the passion for music … and a wonderful dramatic ending! So glad this post brought back memories of the film … seeing all the memorabilia beforehand was fantastic and all on the perfect venue! A pleasure to share,Miriam! Hope you have a lovely weekend and it’s warming up for you! 😀🌺
Well, it’s not warming up but I’m still planning to have a lovely weekend. Thanks Annika and you too. Have a great one x 🙂
This is a fascinating story. I remember hearing about the pirate radio stations as a little girl in Canada and couldn’t understand why rock and roll music stations were not allowed in England. It would be fun to visit this boat/museum.
I hope you get a chance to visit sometime, Darlene … it was a great day out and visitors were even serenaded at the end by dear Bill! Very special. I’d also heard about the pirate ships and it was special to see the memorabilia of the time!