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Even Stevens - Part 1

A Tantalising Taste of the Worlds largest library of Offshore Radio Photographs

We present a small selection of "low definition" samples of pictures taken by Martin Stevens Photographer of the Pirates between 1964 - 1974

Sreaming Lord Sutch

The first radio fort front man David "Screaming Lord" Sutch launched Radio Sutch from the abandoned Shivering Sands Army Fort on 27th May 1964

There's more of David Sutch & Radio Sutch on the Shivering Sands Fort navigate from Sutch & City Part 1

Martins story - Having trained as a photographer at Medway Collage of Art, unable to find a job Martin pursued the biggest & most local story around - Pirate Radio. Setting off for the Shivering Sands Forts to take pictures of the then infant Radio City with plans to sell them to Fleet Street

Shivering Sands South Buoy

Rounding the Southern Buoy final approach to Shivering Sands the middle G1 Gun Tower was the only one in use at the time

Photograph above is from the series of superb high quality colour pictures shot by Martin between 11th-17th January 1965

Caught out by foul weather he was stranded on the forts with Dick Dixon & Alexander Dee between the 11th & 17th of January 1965. With filler tapes run out, Martin was press ganged into presenting a few shows

Unbeknown to him at the time the experience was to be repeated as he'd taken his pictures in colour when Fleet Street were at that time only using Black & White

Martin Stevens in Studio

Martin Stevens gets the hang of the basic studio during his second visit


Martin Stevens thrown on-air whilst on a visit to take press photographs!

Martin there after pestered Fleet Street with all manner & number of Pirate Radio related stories, his pictures often finding their way into the headline press

Brian Roberts climbing Knock John Dolphin

Engineer Brian Roberts clambering aboard the Navy Fort Knock John home of Radio Essex in 1965. The ladder was to be removed for increased security later, with crew & supplies being manually hauled up from the derelict landing gantry

Meanwhile across at the Knock John Fort from mid-March to April 1965 some controversy ensued with hostilities between two radio gangs. Roy Bates hadn't bargained for Reg Calvert's designs on the fort or finding a crew from Radio City onboard

For Radio Essex/BBMS & Knock John navigate from Radio Essex 222

Shivering Sands Fort in 1966

The Southern approach from the Harvester

Radio City's 240' rented mast in all its glory heralded the "Tower of Power" catch phrase

The informal relationship struck up by Martin Stevens with the Pirates blossomed as Martin became very much part of the scene

Paul Elvey & Tony Pine man handle oil drum Fred Downs & Harvester 2

Paul Elvey & Tony Pine man handle a drum of diesel oil into the generator room at deck level as Ian West looks on

Coming ashore; entering Whitstable harbour at low water isn't possible so beaching the Harvester to the west was the only option if you wanted to get ashore before flood tide

Fred Downs Harvester owner skipper carries passenger Fred Downs carries landlubber ashore

Skipper Fred Downs carries some soft Pirates ashore!

For all the Shivering Sand features & more on the Harvesters navigate from Sutch & City Part 1

Often Martin was privy to all manner of dubious information finding himself at confidential meetings, simply because people were used to him being around

Red Sands Fort in summer 1965

Red Sands too has a new radio mast erected in the summer of 1965

For more on Red Sands Fort & it's Radio Stations navigate from Red Sands Rendezvous

Red Sands Radio 390 mast from catwalk

For Radio 390 that launched on 23rd September 1965, mast viewed from a catwalk

Radio 390 Mast Close Up

Close up of the 297' mast on Red Sands Fort

More from the Martin Stevens collection as this feature continues in Even Stevens - Part 2

In the meantime for more detail on Martin Stevens & some of the other Radio Sutch & City Boys see Sutch & City Re-Union

For the Roughs Tower & Sealand navigate from Sealand 1

For a brief history of all the Thames Estuary Forts see Fort Fax

For a range of documentary CD's, the Sealand VCD, books, & a video on the Army & Navy Forts go to Offshore Shop

[HOME] (c)Bob Le-Roi 2006