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Laser Hot Hits - Part 2

2008 Issue: 2 Dated: 22nd December

Laser Hot Hits 576 Sticker

The story of the resurrection of Laser 558 as Laser Hot Hits 576 with newly discovered archive material

MV Communicator on Stour 1 MV Communicator on Stour 2

Approaching the MV Communicator on the River Stour

Mac on mast Mac below with geni!

Paul MacLaren working aboard the Communicator up the mast & making a friend of Geni'

We concluded part 1 with the news that on Monday 5th January 1987 the forward antenna mast had fallen in gale force North Easterly winds

Laser 558 broken forward mast

"Flashback" - Laser had lost a mast before here's the 1985's tangled antenna from a picture called 'Half Mast' by Erin Kelly

With a jury rigged antenna constructed from spare sections Laser Hot Hits returned to the air on Thursday 22nd January, throughout March the station was on-air sporadically

In April the Communicator moved again North to the Galloper Sandbank off Harwich as yet more materials & mast sections were taken out from Sheerness by Murray Tugs on the Isle-of-Sheppey & a new antenna was erected & the station resumed normal programming

Roy Lindau Business Card

Roy Lindaus business card

On the 26th April 1987 Laser Hot Hits was off-air critically low on fuel cash & supplies, the crew hadn't been paid for a month & feared the ship would be snatched

By Tuesday 12th May many of the American Jocks left the ship leaving a skeleton crew aboard, a week later the Communicator was towed to Walton Essex by a Belgian Trawler

Charlie Wolf's USA Business Card

Charlie Wolf USA business card

Stories 'drifted' around that creditors had taken the ship over, others that the vessel was being moved by new investors ahead of changes to Britain's Territorial sea limits

The Communicator did move to the French coast then on 15th August the ship was moved to inside the Gabbard Sandbanks, about fifteen miles off Harwich & within sight of the MV Ross Revenge, so that potential buyers could see the ship


First links from John 'Rock n Roll' Day two of testing on Wednesday 3rd December 1986 at 17.00 GMT (327/1 - 329/1)

Rumours came that 'Starforce 576' with a second service called 'Harmomy 981' plus outlets on FM & Shortwave & that some of the former Laser 558 Jocks were coming back to the ship

During September the old aerial masts were taken down

Pilotage Dues

A bumpy time on 16th October as storms lashed the North Sea the Communicator ran her main engine steaming into heavy seas to keep on station, never the less she dragged 20 miles

Signals as Radio Sunk were transmitted for a short time as the ship languished on the Eastern Seaboard

Pilotage Dues Account

"Flashback" - Pilots Fees for moving the ship from Harwich after refit before she came on-air as Laser Hot Hits

On 30th October the MV Communicator was anchored 3.5 miles from the Sunk light vessel

On the 12th November the ship had returned to her mooring, a spokesman claimed "Laser had clients well versed in the Marine Offences Act we've enough money even if advertising goes drastically wrong"

CSI TX Plate

Laser 558 CSI Transmitter plate

But on the 12th January 1988 following a struggle guards put aboard by Communicators Panamanian owners were displaced by a contingent of representatives of one of the stations backers. American Evangelist Steven Morgan the man behind 'Harmony 981' who'd previously taken time on Caroline's Viewpoint 963, felt he'd been financially 'ripped-off' by Laser Hot Hits

1988 Writ on Bridge of Communicator

More Writs

One plan was to sail the Communicator to the Balearics & broadcast dance music to the holiday islands. The ship though wasn't safe enough to undertake the trip

1988 Writ on Bridge of Communicator p2

Fate cast it's hand again on 3rd February with the loss of the anchor the Communicator sailed under her own steam back into Harwich Harbour & tied up at Parkestone Quay

1988 Writ on Bridge of Communicator p3

Two days later the vessel was moved to Edwarton on the Stour close to where she'd been a year earlier, studio equipment was removed from the ship, along with the transmitters, returned disabled later by the DTI

MV Communicator on Stour 3 MV Communicator on Stour 4

The MV Communicator back on the River Stour

MV Communicator at Mistley

Communicator beached at Mistly Marine Salvage

On 6th February the MV Communicator was at the Mistly Marine Salvage & Breakers Scrapyard on the south bank of the River Stour near Manningtree

MV Communicator at Mistley

Awaiting her fate

1988 Writ on Bridge of Communicator p4

DJ Rosta

Brandy Lee, D.L Bogart, John Allen, John Anthony, Paul May, KC, Jim Perry/Bill Reid, Andrew Turner & later Paul Jackson on News

Ships Crew & Engineering

Captain Hughie (Ray), Johnny Lewis, James Day, Danny the Cook, Dave the Engineer & Dennis the Bus

John Catlett Laser Hot Hits 576 Business Card

Grateful thanks to Paul MacLaren & Terry Vacani for their extra pictures of the MV Communicator on the Stour

The Laser Story will continue in Communicat Holland

If you were in anyway or part involved in the Laser story we'd be pleased to hear from you, pictures & details added as received, full credits assured - ED

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