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Britain's Better Music Station

Part 2

Pictures originally taken by Guy Hamilton in the Summer of 1966

Discovered on a rubbish tip they appeared in the public domain in January 2019 and were passed to us by former Radio Essex Staff

We've retouched and cleaned them up to reproduce here as a Copy Free Archive, left click for large images

Rough Seas Winch Motor

Gale force winds lash Knock John
Winch Motor

Guy says a severe storm shook the Fort all day they were fearful the submerged remains of the dilapidated 'Dolphin' would be swept away. Guy never's remembers the winch working

Mark, Ton and Van Van, Dick and Tony

Mark Wesley, Tony Mandell and Van Sterling
Van Sterling, Dick Palmer And Tony Mandell

Dick found all of the light switches had been removed, the only way to light the Fort was to twist the bare wire ends together

Tony, Dick, Van BBMS Aerial

Tony Mandell, Dick Palmer and Van Sterling
Scaffold Pole antenna

Roy Bates gave contrived names to almost all his DJ's taken from early Cinema Greats Ian Stroud became Tony Mandell,Neil Pritchard was Van Sterling, Gerry Zierler became Guy Hamilton and Mark Wes Gobels, Mark West later Mark Wesley and Greg Bance, Roger Scott later Arnold Layne, John Hatt was Chris Stewart, David Vincent became David Sinclair, Andy Cadier was Martin Kayne, Dave Belasco became Dave Baron for some reason Richard Palmer escaped the name baptism

Dave up the pole Dave pole dancing

Dave Baron connecting antenna

Van Sterling picked up the nick name of 'lavatory legs' as he was always dashing around the Fort, Chris Stewart 'Tea Set', David Sinclair 'Sinkers'

BBMS Antenna BBMS Transmitters

Antenna Feed insulator
BBMS Transmitters

Left Radio Essex ex-United States Air Force 1kW RCA Victor Beacon Transmitter run at around 25 watts

Right later BBMS RCA ET 4336/ET 4332 Series

Dave Baron Mark West

Dave Baron on-air
Mark West in Production Suite

18 year old Mark was once of the first to join Radio Essex, a pal of Vince Allen he ventured out to the Fort under the watchful eye of Roy Bates, who relented saying to Vince 'He's your boy, your problem'

Bedroom Mike Brereton

Bedroom
Engineer Mike Brereton at the studio door

Below deck at level 2 original bunks had been removed, sign reads 'Studio 1' there was only one studio

Tony Mandell Dick and Mark

Tony Mandell on-air
Dick Palmer and Mark West

Tony Mandell

Tony Mandell on-air (Colour by Harm Koenders)

Mike and Dave Tony Mandell

Engineer Mike Brereton and Dave Baron
Tony Mandell

Above they appear to be recording a record, out of tobacco Tony rolls a 'tea' cigarette

Dave Baron TV Lounge

Dave Baron in Production Suite
TV Lounge

Little's known about the 'heath-robinson' production area, no one can actually recall it working?

Note in right hand photograph the heavy rivets to left of the door

Dave and Mark Tony Mandell

Dave Baron and Mark West
Tony Mandell in Production Suite

Recreation area Mark West

Recreation area
Mark West on-air

3.7 inch deck gun Wires everywhere

BBMS 'Big Gun'
A Galaxy of wires

Antenna Fort Deck

Antenna top whipping in the wind
Deck from the Dolphin

Antenna from Dolphin Knock John Radio Crew

Antenna arrangement
BBMS Crew

Navigate from ScrapBook Index for details on all the Radio Essex/BBMS features and information on the Thames Estuary Forts see Fort Fax

For an audio visual tour of a Naval Fort a two part documentary on Radio Essex/BBMS and book 'Making Waves' Offshore Shop


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