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Tribute to Dorothy Calvert

March 1928 - February 2010

Issue : 2 Updated : 6th June 2010

With pictures from the family albums

It's with great sadness to report the death of Dorothy Calvert on Sunday 21st February. Dorothy had long been unwell and recently decided to have a follow up operation for her heart condition, from which she didn't recover. Dorothy very much behind Reg with the concept and his ambitions to have an Offshore Radio station. She supported him through the difficult times at Radio Sutch & City, a task that was to prove bigger than even they'd anticipated. The stations were though unique, fresh, and daring & picked up legions of followers throughout their time on air. After Reg's death, Dorothy took over Radio City until forcibly closed by legislation on 8th February 1967

Reg & Dorothy Calvert 1966

1. Reg & Dorothy Calvert aboard Harvester 1 off Shivering Sands in 1966

Mother had a heart bi-pass operation some 30 years ago and decided to have another operation on the slim hope of a few more years, but sadly did not manage to pull through this time. Over the years she has done many things, organising dances, managing pop groups, running a pirate radio station, having a music publishing company. She got very frustrated with being old and frail as she always thought she was still 21 and going to live forever - Susan Moore

Daily Express June 1966

2. Dorothy makes headline news in the fight to get Radio City back on the air after the death of husband Reg following the raid on the Fort in June 1966 (Martin Kayne Archive)

I met Dorothy when I was on Radio City, we maintained telephone and later Email contact over the years. Dorothy was a fiesty lady who knew her own mind, what she wanted & more often than not how to get it. Underneath her sometimes frosty exterior she was a lovely person, such characters these days are rare & she'll be sadly missed - Bob Le-Roi (Radio City)

Dorothy at granddaughters wedding in 1995

3. Dorothy Calvert at her granddaughter Andrea's wedding to William Harris with Susan Calvert & husband Lyndon Moore in 1995

Boat race at henley

4. Grandson Alexie, daughter Candy & Dorothy at Henley-Upon-Thames Royal Regatta in 1998

I was saddened to learn of Dorothy's passing. My thoughts are with her family My memory of Dorothy is of sitting on the end of her bed while she interviewed me for the position of news reader on Radio City. Much to my surprise the next day I was 'packed-off' to Whitstable with directions from Candy on how to get there and meet the tender, to join the 'crew' on the station in the middle of the 'mouth' of the Thames. With four years radio experience in regional Australia behind me in 1965 I set-off by ship with a one-way ticket for the UK to join the 'pirates'. I had no luck at Radio London or Caroline until it was suggested Radio City might have a vacancy. I approached the small Office in 'tin-pan-alley' and was advised I needed to see the 'boss' Mrs Calvert. I then headed off to the residence which I think was in Cavendish Place? where I met Dorothy and Candy. I remember Dorothy being very kind and encouraging. I don't remember ever seeing her again until the demise of the Tower of Power in 1967 when we all met for a wake - Ross Brown/RWB (Radio City)

Holiday in Caen

5. Dorothy on Holiday in Caen in 2003

I was a Clifton Hall artist back in the early 1960's. Reg and Mrs Calvert were instrumental in starting my career in pop music. They have both often been in my thoughts throughout the many years since I left England to pursue my career in the USA. I visited Mrs Calvert (at her antique store) in Coventry a couple of days before I moved permanently to America in 1971. As always, she was ever optimistic as she wished me well "good luck Johnny and be careful" She was one of a kind and all the alumni of Clifton Hall will miss her. My thoughts are with Candy and Susan & their families - Jon Washington (Pinkerton's Assorted Colours)

Dorothy flys the London Eye

6. Flying the London Eye birthday treat in 2003

Very sad to hear of Dorothy' death, warm regards to the family - Lisa Gray

Regards this sad information please send my condolences when possible - Cliff Cuttelle (Radio City)

Sad news. Even though I never got to meet up with her again after Radio City closed she will always be in my memory as the lady who showed immense strength and courage when her husband was murdered, (because, let's face it, that's what it was), and kept the station going until we were forced to close when map boundaries were redrawn. In a way it's the end of a very important era in the history of British pop music. Ian MacRae (Radio City)

New year's eve presents

7. Presents Christmas 2007

It was with great sadness to learn of the death of Dorothy Calvert. She showed, directly after the loss of her husband, that she was a powerful woman. She took over the running of Radio City as well as promoting and managing several pop groups and artists. Next to that running a publishing company and a mother caring for her children. A second heart operation in a few years was heavy for her. I was in contact with her a few times when writing my book on Radio City in the eighties. It was a warm contact in which she related information that hadn't been published before. May she rest in piece - Hans & Jana Knot (Media Journalist)

Dorothy's 80th birthday party

8. Dorothy with grandchildren Alexie & Christopher Christmas 2008

I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Dorothy Calvert I have great appreciation for Dorothy and her husbands work which was an inspiration - Robin Adcroft (Radio Caroline/RNI)

Very sad I never got to meet Mrs Calvert. She must have had some amazing stories about the pirates and 60's musicbiz - Alexander McKenna, Beef Magazine

I have always admired Dorothy Calvert a very brave and inspirational lady. May she never be forgotten for her contribution to radio and her courage in dreadful circumstances. Rest in Peace Dorothy - Francies (Radio City Fan)

New year's presents  with Candy

9. With Candy on New Years Eve 2008

Please pass on our sincere condolences to the family and friends. Dorothy was a great encouragement to me as a self-styled 'worthless new disc jockey'. I have fond memories of her and their lovely daughter 'Madam Madison' remembers her as 'Candy' Dorothy gave me the name, 'Mac Peters', and when I left she said, "Don't worry, keep trying and when you feel like giving up, try again" R.I.P. Reg and Dorothy, my first radio employers - Peter Madison 'The Teenage Pensioner' (Radio City)

I was sad to hear the news that Dorothy Calvert passed away Sunday. Reg and then Dorothy, changed the face of broadcasting by extending the competition away from London/Caroline, offering a distinctive and powerful sound. City, as the leader, encouraged many more as a result. My condolences to the family - Keir Argent - Keirson International (Communications Specialists)

Dorothy's 80th Birthday in 2008

10. 80th Birthday in 2008; foreground with daughter Susan left & granddaughter Kirsty right, standing granddaughter Andrea, and great grandchildren Emma, Clara and daughter Candy

A great loss indeed, it is always sad to see the passing of people behind the inspiration such as pirate radio. If it were not for these dear folk the World would be a much sadder place. As a Caroline follower since the 60's I applaud the Calvert's contribution and my sincere condolences to Mrs Calvert's family for their loss - Graham Newton (Radio City Fan)

On behalf of all members of Radio Caroline North Triple F, may I say that we are saddened by the news of the passing of Dorothy Calvert. Both Dorothy and Reg Calvert fought hard for Radio City and Offshore Radio, and made a vital contribution to Radio. RIP and Respect, to Dorothy Calvert

I do a regular "Airpack", usually a programme telescoped from Caroline North. In view of the passing of Dorothy Calvert, I decided to put something together in honour of Radio City in my Airpack 12 - John Bennett

Dorothy & Alexie

11. Dorothy dancing with her Grandson Alexie at his wedding on 11th July 2009

A Tribute To My Mother, an era has ended and all the memories have gone with her. My mother was special, as only a mother can be, and I will always remember her for the real love she showed to me and her family, especially her grandchildren, in order, Andrea, Kirsty, Alexie and Christopher, and great grandchildren Emma, Clara and William who lit up her life.

Many things have been written about the public life of my mother and father, Reg. We all know the strength of Dorothy, who after Reg's tragic death, marched on to start with her business partner, her music publishing business that continues to this day. Radio City was still running and I was allowed to compile the charts each week and visit the station whilst my mother also ran dances in the Midlands at weekends. Life was very busy

Dorothy in 2009 with grandson & daughters

12. Grandson Alexie, & daughters Candy and Susan in 2009

My Mother lived her life in many places and some people will hold clear memories with certain towns. In the late 60's she moved from London back to the Midlands, where Susan my sister lives, she opened an antiques shop in Coventry and joined a drama group, making new friends and helping Susan with her first grandchild. And had her first dog Scampi, he was a scamp! It was here 33 years ago that she suffered her first major heart attack. In the 80's she moved to Blackpool with her dog Sacha, who was her companion and friend for 9 years. She made several new friends, including becoming a part time Nana for Nadine, my dear friend's daughter. My children have many fun memories of a lively Nana in Blackpool, walking the dog with her in their holidays; eating fish and chips; playing on the sand dunes; and seeing the Illuminations on the open top buses. Happy memories.

My mum spent 8 years near Harrow, where I live. I loved her being near and we often went out shopping, she loved to shop. My husband and I had a house in Normandy and Mum would love to visit it and eat oysters and seafood in Honfleur and dreamt of being able to buy her own home there. Every year I took her to Henley to see my son Alexie rowing. Five years ago she returned to the Midlands, where she found her lovely bungalow in Nuneaton. Here she was close to her great grandchildren who brought her so much happiness.

She loved to travel, go on cruises, holiday with Susan and trips to our house in France.

She also loved to cook, especially Chinese and toad in the hole. And when unable to cook, takeaway crispy duck was her favourite. And from the days of Clifford Street, chocolate éclairs only with fresh cream! She was generous and helpful to her grandchildren doing as much for them as she was able. My Mother was tough, strong willed and determined and to the end was really astute, smart and had a superb memory. But above all, she was loving company - Candy

Dorothy's funeral herse

13. Dorothy's funeral

The funeral was at St Peters, Dunchurch, near Rugby on Friday 5th March 2010 at 13.30 where Dorothy was fittingly buried next to her husband Reg the wake afterwards was at the Dun Cow in the village

6th March 2010 - Pinkertons Tom, Sam, and Tony came, it was good to see them after so many years.
It all went as well as these things can on a beautiful sunny day. The white horses and carriage caused a stir in sleepy Dunchurch - Candy

29th March 2010 - Sad news hearing of the passing of Dorothy Calvert. Although I never met her, I was fascinated and intrigued (at the time) by the murder (and I echo the previous correspondent's view that this is the only word fitting to describe Reg Calvert’s death) of her husband. It has already been documented that when Reg was shot, it’s highly probable that this incident sparked the death knell for the offshore pirates. Dorothy fought to keep Radio City on the air despite all the odds being stacked against her, true pirate spirit if ever there was. Sincere condolences to her family. John Kenning - Radio Sovereign

12th November 2010 - I was saddened to hear of the passing of this lady. I once spoke to her on the phone in 1967, before City left the air, regarding wavelengths for a school project and I was amazed that she knew all the information without having to refer to anyone else. What a strong character she must have been - CJ Sullivan

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There are several pictures of Dorothy in our Radio Sutch & City series navigate from ScrapBook Index

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