The Radio Essex 40th anniversary reunion boat trip

Radio Essex car sticker

Radio Essex, the country's smallest offshore radio station, began broadcasting in October 1965. It is the only one whose staff have continued to hold regular reunions since it closed at the end of 1966. In 2006, to mark the station's fortieth anniversary, rather than meeting in a restaurant, they decided to do something special: they went back to their old home, Knock John Fort. Unfortunately fort captain Richard Palmer was unable to attend, following an accident while cutting a piece of marble a few days before the trip, but DJs Michael Cane, Guy Hamilton, Roger Scott, David Sinclair, Chris Stewart, Mark West and engineers Dick Dixon and Mike Brereton all gathered at Whitstable harbour for their day out. They travelled out to Knock John in a 400 HP boat, The Celtic Voyager, taking in another Thames fort and a wind-farm along the way. Unless otherwise credited, the photos on this page are courtesy of the organiser of the trip, Guy Hamilton. Many thanks to him and his colleagues for sharing their pictures with The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame.

gathering on the quayside
left to right: Mark West, David Sinclair, Dick Dixon, Chris Stewart and Roger Scott gather on the harbour front at Whitstable. Roger Scott says: “Here's a fact. No fewer that four of the formerly smooth-skinned hearties now sport beards. If Dick Palmer had gone there would've been five. Sadly poor fort captain Palmer managed to get marble dust in his eye and was temporarily indisposed.”
Michael Cane
Michael Cane, sporting his ‘Radio Essex is my station 24 hours a day’ T-shirt. He also brought corned beef sandwiches with him for old times' sake - corned beef being the staple diet on board Radio Essex!
Guy Hamilton and colleagues
Guy Hamilton announces the day's itinerary to his former colleagues (and their partners). Photo by Dick Dixon.
Chris Stewart
Chris Stewart.
Mike Brereton
Mike Brereton.
The Celtic Voyager
The Celtic Voyager, photo provided by David Sinclair. Michael Cane: “A boat capable of 55 knots. The experience was terrific. If only the old tender had been that quick. The skipper said if he rushed he could make it to Knock John in 11 minutes!”
Guy Hamilton
Guy Hamilton points out the wind-farm. Photo by Mike Brereton.
Thames wind farm
The wind-farm, with Shivering Sands just visible on the horizon, near the centre of the picture. Photo by Chris Stewart.
Shivering Sands Shivering Sands
Second stop, after the wind-farm: Shivering Sands, former home of Radio Sutch and Radio City.
Both photos by Mike Brereton.

More photos over the page.
See also pictures from Radio London's, Radio Caroline's and Radio England/Britain Radio's fortieth anniversary celebrations.

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