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Tribute to John Hatt who sadly died of Alzheimer's on 29th December 2017

John worked under several names in his Offshore Radio days: Chris Stewart, John Stewart and John Aston

Red Sands Army Towers

Red Sands Army Forts base of Radio Invicta, KING and 390 (1966)

John first began broadcasting on Radio K.I.N.G the successor of Radio Invicta as John Stewart in 1965, with the new powerful Radio 390 set to launch, staff were told to sign up to the actors union Equity

Reveille Magazine

Reveille Magazine (14th October 1965)

A clash of names with Top of the Pops TV Producer Johnny Stewart he changed name to Chris Stewart and stayed at Radio 390 for a short time until unceremoniously fired for making a faux pas of a live read for Reveille Magazine

Knock John Naval Tower

Knock John Naval Fort base of Radio Essex/BBMS (1966)

Jumping Forts John went to Radio Essex in November 1965 keeping the name Chris Stewart, where Mike Curtis nicknamed him Chris 'Tea Set' Stewart

Chris Stewart

Chris Stewart on Radio Essex (1966)

A brief spell as programme controller John left Radio Essex in May 1966 ahead of the name change to Britain's Better Music Station (BBMS)


Audio

Listen to clips of Chris Stewart on Radio Essex, John Aston on Caroline News, and on Radio 355

To date we've been unable to source any recording of John as Chris Stewart on Radio 390 or as John Aston on Radio 270

MV Caroline MV Caroline MV Caroline

The 'MV Caroline' formerly the Danish passenger ferry 'MV Fredericia' Radio Caroline North (1965)

Taking a short break John was enticed to join Caroline North off Douglas Bay, Isle-of-Man as a news reader, a clash of names with Bob Stewart dictated a final name change to John Aston

MV Caroline Studio MV Caroline

Radio Caroline North Studio and Peel registered tender at the 'MV Fredericia' off Douglas Bay, Isle-of-Man (1967)

MV Laisse Faire

'MV Laisse Faire' the former 'Olga Patricia' (1966)

Returning south John had a spell selling airtime for Britain Radio England that broadcast simultaneously from the 'MV Laisse Faire'

MV Mi-Amigo

The MV 'Mi-Amigo' Caroline South (1967)

A short stint reading news on the 'MV Mi-Amigo' followed before leaving Radio Caroline for Radio 270 off Scarborough

MV Oceaan 7

The 'MV Oceaan 7' Radio 270 (1967)

On Radio 270 he picked up the nickname John 'Action' Aston

MV Laisse Faire

Postcard of the 'MV Laisse Faire' (1966)

John's final Offshore station was the easy listening Radio 355, run by Ted Allbeury who'd resigned as Managing Director of Radio 390, John had indeed come full circle

John Aston Radio 355

John Aston in takes swig of Heinken on MoR station Radio 355

John Aston on Radio 355

John Aston in the Radio 355 studio

John Hatt

Pictured at his family home a serious John Hatt (Early 1970's)

John Swansea Sound John Swansea Sound John Swansea Sound

John on an outside broadcast for Swansea Sound, wearing a 'WASH 921' (Washington D.C radio station) T'Shirt bought by Christine (1975)

Note the Major-Minor LP 'David McWilliams' or even Raymond Lefevre?

John Hatt John Hatt

John Hatt at the Radio Essex Reunion (2003) as a guest at the Radio City 40th Anniversary (2004)

With the radio days behind him John an accomplished technician turned to the Film Industry making special effects and props, one of the most notable and impressive being a replica of the German Code breaking Machine 'Enigma', see Bletchley Park

My own memories of my friendship with John go back many years before it became vogue to meet up for radio re-unions and commemorative exhibitions and shows. John a lover of the sea and coast had always been a firm supporter of the RNLI. Whenever he could he'd turn up at my house and we'd go off for a stroll along our foreshore, he'd gaze out at the Forts and over a pub lunch we'd wallow in our times sailing out to the stations on the high seas - Ed

Grateful thanks to John's wife Christine for the family photographs and Hans Knot for the last Radio 355 clip

Please email any thoughts you'd like to have included in this tribute

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