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Historic vessel in Harwich to host pirate radio event this summer

Left to right: Alan Turner (DJ), Mark Platt, (Tendring District Counci chairman),Tony O'Neil (Pharos trustee) and Paul Turvey, (Media manager for LV18). Picture: MICHAEL STEWARD

Left to right: Alan Turner (DJ), Mark Platt, (Tendring District Counci chairman),Tony O'Neil (Pharos trustee) and Paul Turvey, (Media manager for LV18). Picture: MICHAEL STEWARD


A historic lightship will take to the airwaves once again this summer for a big event to mark 50 years since most pirate radio stations were closed down.

LV18 Lightvessel, moored in Harwich, will again be the host for Pirate BBC Essex, which will run from August 12 to August 14, with presenters such as Johnnie Walker, Roger Day, Tom Edwards and Norman St John taking part.

Pirate BBC Essex programmes will broadcast live from the ship on Monday, August 14, from 9am to 3pm on all frequencies for the first time.

There will also be a unique link up with Radio Caroline during the afternoon on the 14th and the day marks the 50th anniversary of the Marine Offences Act, which closed down most pirate radio stations.

The vessel is a star in its own right having featured in the 2009 film - The Boat That Rocked - which was based on the 1960s pirate radio movement.

Organisers are expecting around 6,000 people to visit during over the three days, with a pirate exhibition on Ha’penny Pier and a special screening of The Boat That Rocked also planned.

Tony O’Neil, trustee, said: “This is one of the biggest events Harwich has ever had.

“We are expecting between 5,000 to 6,000 to come along and we have a really great line-up with some big names.”

Mark Platt, the new chairman of Tendring District Council, said: “It’s absolutely brilliant that people will come here for a big event, but it’s the repeat visitors to the area which is also great.

“Once people see what is on offer here, then hopefully they will come back again.”

Alan ‘Neddy’ Turner, who worked on Radio Caroline in the 1960s, and still DJs from the LV18 today, said: “The film was nothing like what went on but it was good fun.

“We were broadcasting to around 6million listeners in the beginning but we didn’t even know it as we were cut off from contact with the mainland.

“A good time was had by all and the guys who were involved, who are still alive, still keep in contact.”

The LV18’s annual celebration of pirate radio takes place from July 21 to July 30 and runs alongside Harwich Lifeboat Week.

Radio Mi Amigo will be broadcasting from 6am to 6pm with a selection of presenters playing rock and pop classics.

For more information, see Radio Mi Amigo’s Facebook page.

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