Offshore 50

14th August 2017

During the summer of 2016 The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame began receiving emails from former offshore DJs, asking if anything was being organised to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Marine Offences Act which was coming up the following year. The MOA was the law which forced the closure of most of the pirate stations and which Radio Caroline bravely defied. It was going to be the last major anniversary of the sixties era of offshore radio and, from the correspondence we received, it seemed that there was considerable interest in marking it.
 
We began asking around and, at that time, it appeared that nothing was being planned, so we joined forces with Chris and Mary Payne of Radio London, and our mutual friend Alan Hardy, to organise Offshore 50 - a grand reunion for the pirates of the sixties.

Offshore 50 logo

Logo designed by Mary Payne.

We were fortunate to be able to secure The Stateroom, a function room on board the Tattershall Castle. This former Humber ferry is moored on the Thames, opposite the London Eye, and now serves as a floating pub and restaurant. We booked it for 14th August 2017 - exactly fifty years after the closedown of Radios London, Scotland and 270. Invitations were sent to every surviving former pirate of the sixties that we could trace. The response was immediate and very positive. Around a hundred former offshore DJs, engineers and on-shore personnel wanted to attend - with a number flying in from far-flung corners of the globe.
 
Photos taken by the official photographer Sylvan Mason will be appearing on the Offshore 50 website. There are more to be seen on the Radio London site, the Offshore Radio Guide's Flickr page and Ben Meijering's website but here are a few that we took on that memorable Monday afternoon, augmented by some kindly supplied by contributors and others we found on social media:


Offshore 50 group shot

Group shot of mainly Radio Caroline personnel, kindly provided by Mike Barraclough. Front row, left to right: Colin Berry, Keith Skues, Steve Young, Tony Prince, Tony Blackburn, Bud Ballou, Mark Sloane, Robbie Dale, Graham Webb, Caroline House staffer Carolyn Bristow and (chopped off in his prime) shore liaison man George Hare. Middle row: John Edward and Jerry Leighton. Back row: John Ross-Barnard, Martin Kayne, Dave Lee Travis, Martin Stevens, John Aston, Mi Amigo engineer George Saunders, Bryan Vaughan, engineer Patrick Starling and Keith Hampshire.

Steve Young
Steve Young.
Keith Hampshire
Keith Hampshire.
Mitch Philistin and Chris Cross
Radio London steward Mitch Philistin with Radio City's Chris Cross in the background.
Martin Stevens and Chris Cross
Offshore photographer Martin Stevens and Chris Cross.
Radio 270 group shot
Some of the Radio 270 men. Photo kindly provided by Gerry Zierler. Left to right: Roger Scott, Noel Miller, Jeff Jones, Mark West and Guy Hamilton.
Pete Brady and Dave Hawkins
Radio London colleagues DJ Pete Brady. left, and engineer Dave Hawkins. Photo kindly provided by Martin van der Ven.
Mark West
Mark West, with Tony Blackburn and Jerry Leighton in the background. Photo kindly supplied by Gerry Zierler.
Radio Essex group
A group of Radio Essex colleagues. Photo shared on Facebook by Noel Miller. Left to right: Dick Dixon, engineer Mike Brereton, Roger Scott, Chris Stewart (as he was then known), Guy Hamilton, Mark West and Michael Cane (as he was called on Radio Essex).
Tony Prince and Keith Skues
Keith Skues, left, and Tony Prince. Photo posted on Facebook by Tony.
Robbie Dale and Keith Skues
Robbie Dale, left, and Keith Skues. Photo by Martin van der Ven.

More photos from the party over the page.


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