Pirate BBC Essex 2009: the ship is coming in.

At Easter 2004 BBC Essex marked the fortieth anniversary of offshore radio in Britain by launching their own short-term ship-based tribute station, Pirate BBC Essex. It was a huge success. (See here.) The following year a smaller-scale version of the station returned for just one show. In August 2007, marking the fortieth anniversary of the closedown of Radios London, Scotland and 270, Pirate BBC Essex was back. (See here.) Most people thought that this would be the final broadcast but over Easter 2009 it returned to the air one more time.
Once again the station was based on the LV18, an old light vessel, but this time she was not out at sea. The ship was tied up alongside Harwich's Ha'penny Pier.


The LV18 in Harwich.

Former offshore broadcasters of the sixties taking part included Mike Ahern, Paul Burnett, Dave Cash, Roger Day, Tom Edwards, Emperor Rosko, Keith Skues, Norman St.John, Johnnie Walker and, for the first time, Tony Blackburn, Paul Freeman, Steve Merike and Alan Turner.
Steve England and Dave Owen represented the seventies era and, from the eighties, there was Ray Clark, a BBC Essex presenter who previously worked on Radio Caroline as ‘Mick Williams’. They were joined by other BBC Essex broadcasters over the four days of the Easter weekend.
Johnnie Walker's Saturday evening show was also broadcast on Radio 2 as part of his Pirate Johnnie Walker series.

Stevie Merike
Steve Merike on the LV18. Photo courtesy of John Sales.
Mary Payne and Keith Skues
Mary Payne of the Radio London website with Keith Skues outside the Pier Hotel.
Tony Blackburn arrives
Tony Blackburn arrives and meets up with some of the BBC Essex people.
Tony Blackburn
Tony Blackburn signing autographs. Norman St.John (in the hat) waits on the LV18 for his old friend.
Dave Cash
Dave Cash comes ashore after finishing his show.
Roger Day
Roger Day, right, being interviewed by Charlie Salvidge of Bristol community radio station BCFM.

More photos on next page.

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