' FLASHBACK '67 '
PIRATE RADIO EXHIBITION
PIRATE BBC ESSEX EVENT - 2007
"Pirate Memories" teamed up with BBC Radio Essex for this event, which
re-created the sound of offshore 'Pirate' radio from the 1960's.
Presenters on board the radio-ship included Emperor Rosko,
Dave Cash, Johnnie Walker, Norman St.John,
Keith Skues, Tom Edwards, Ed Stewart, John Kerr,
and a number of BBC Essex’s own staff.
The BBC set up internet feeds so that the station could be heard around the world, and local listeners were able to hear their programmes
on three frequencies in the Essex area.
On board, the DJ’s used vinyl records and vintage technology
to get the authentic sound which also included an echo machine
on the presenters voice, a gimmick used by many
of the offshore pirate stations.
The shows were presented in three hour segments,
using the same kind of news and weather formats pioneered by the pirates.
The only difference between ‘Pirate’ BBC Essex and its 60’s counterparts
were the many hundreds of people who were e-mailing the station
with comments and requests, and these were being read out
on a continuous basis by the presenters.
On Land, at the Ha-Penny Pier Centre at Harwich’s ‘Old Quay’
there was an opportunity to see the “Flashback 67” exhibition,
presented by Pirate Memories.
With over 4000 people through the doors by the end of the weeks activities,
this exhibition proved to be a focal point for the happenings
on the Ha’Penny pier, where DJ’s Johnnie Walker and Keith Skues
signed books, and the on board DJ’s came to sign autographs
and have their photos taken with a regular stream of fans.
The BBC was also selling ‘Pirate’ Essex T-shirts, and
Commemorative ‘Pirate’ Essex Mugs.
The Café on the Pier did a roaring trade, and the ferry taking listeners out
to the radio ship for a closer look, was busy every day.
On Tuesday August 14, the weather dawned grey and windy.
As the day progressed,
the situation deteriorated and the ferry was replaced
by a harbour tug, which brought several members of the BBC team off the lightship for safety reasons.
As the weather got worse, and the station went off air at 3.00 p.m.,
it was time to bring the DJ’s from the vessel back to shore,
and whilst they all got off safely,
there was some concerns about them arriving on the pontoons
near the pier which were pitching and rolling some 6 feet up and down.
Once on shore, the DJ’s made their way to the exhibition centre,
and the room was soon full to bursting with damp fans,
and soaked presenters.
After about half an hour, people began to move out,
but it seemed that no-one wanted to leave,
such were the feelings that were running high from the last few days.
"Pirate Memories" would like to thank the many people whom we spoke to during the event,
for their time, their patience and above all their recollections.
We met everyone, from a member of the breaches buoy crew
which took the DJ’s off the stricken Mi-Amigo in January 1966,
to a gentleman who brought us a huge amount of pirate radio memorabilia
for our exhibition.
We spoke to a number of ‘celebs’ and to many ordinary folk,
who just wanted to be there to soak up the atmosphere.
You were all truly amazing!
Thanks to the chap who brought us copies of the ‘Radio News’ articles
from 1967, thanks also to Jan, Paul, Drifter Bill, Steve, Ron, Steve B, Alan,
Mr Fletcher, Cari, and the many dozens of others who spoke to us,
but didn’t leave their names…..
Thanks to Mike on the Pier, Alan on the Ferry,
and Tony and his staff on the radio ship.
Also, our grateful thanks to Shaun who helped us find our way around Harwich,
and to Carly for helping us put up the exhibition on the Tuesday night.
We hope you all enjoyed the exhibition as much as we did presenting it…..
Finally, thanks to everyone who gave or sent pictures to us
for the Pirate Memories website.
Thanks also to Chris and Mary Payne,
Dave Knight and Tom Campbell,
for their permission to show a number of the pictures.
Recently added to the Flashback '67 Exhibition is this amazing "Radio Caroline Club" Car Bumper Badge, found on E-Bay.
We know that there was also a badge with "Radio London" in a similar style,
so we're now on the lookout for one of those.....
We found one at auction last year, but the bidding was so intense,
we missed out.
Perhaps if you have the Radio London badge, or know of one,
you might contact us....
We'd love to have it in the Exhibition.
Additions to the Flashback '67 Exhibition : November 2011....
8 postcard size DJ photos of the original Radio London DJ team: