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The Thames Estuary Red Sands Radio Fort

A sailing onboard the S.B 'Greta' from Whitstable on 25th September 2017 with the history of the Red Sands Fort Generators

Middle Sands Beacon

1. The Trinity House decommissioned (Less Top Mark) Middle Sands Beacon

The Middle Sands Beacon was controversially used in 1966 to find the Red Sands Fort within British Territorial Waters, see Fort Fax

Red Sands Fort from Fairlead of S.B 'Greta'

2. Red Sands Fort through Fairlead of S.B 'Greta'

Seven Towers with Red Sands Radio Antenna

3. The full compliment of Seven Towers with Red Sands Radio Antenna

Red Sands Fort looking North East

4. Red Sands Fort looking North East

Looking South into the Searchlight Tower Gun Tower #2

5. Looking South into the Searchlight Tower*
6. Searchlight Tower marked DC 1950

* The doors long gone, inside the Lister Blackstone EV4 with the original WWII Gardner LW Generators rusted beyond redemption

There were four 1943 vintage Gardner 97hp 30KVA LW Generators on board, a pair of 220 volt units which were brought back into service by Senior Engineer Lawrence Bean

Coupled to a transformer to produce 440 volts three phase to run the transmitter, the other two 110 volt Generators were ignored

John Latrobe, a farmer and rally driver of Latrobe and Company, an earth moving contractor of Pluckley helped source from the Weald of Kent the better of two discovered a Lister Blackstone 4 cylinder EV4

Lister Blackstone in a Ships Engine Room

7. A Lister Blackstone in a Ship's Engine Room

The elderly WWII Gardner LW's were very reliable units but noisy and un-economical, the Lister would prove a far more practical proposition

A huge piece of kit owner skipper of the stations tender 'Mallard' Vic Davis helped Lawrence strip it down into two manageable sections to enable the Forts crane rated at 1 ton to lift it onto the Searchlight Tower

Dougie Seymore had brought G1 and the Searchlight Tower Cranes back into service

An incidental fact, Dougies wife Maureen who often put up announcers making their way to and from the Fort, was to borrow Lawrences Cardinal Red Rolls Royce for their daughters wedding

Lister Blackstone in a Ship Engine Room

8. Lister Blackstone Ship Engine Room


9 & 10. Video Clips of Lister Blackstone Generators in use

Radio 390 Lister Blackstone in 2017

11. The Radio 390 Lister Blackstone EV4 in 2017

Once onboard the Lister was modified to start on compressed air and fitted with an automatic voltage regulator, thus providing primary power with the original refurbished Gardner LW Generators becoming back-up units

Once the station closed for the final time on 28th July 1967 John Latrobe tried without success to remove the Generator for personal use

Purchased from our grant and advertising revenue two Kipor HDE 6500T 5KVA (ISO 9001) specification Generators were purchased for the broadcasts of Red Sands Radio commencing from the Fort in 2007

Kipor HDE 6500T Generator

12. Kipor HDE 6500T Generator

Due to their weight the Generators were broken down so they could hauled aboard

Starting Kipor HDE 6500T Generator

13. One of the Kipor HDE 6500T Generators, first start-up

Kipor HDE 6500T Generators

14. Kipor HDE 6500T Generator sets

Originaly one Generator was located inside the main doors the other in the boiler room as shown above

Re-Housed Kipor HDE 6500T Generators

15. Kipor Generators re-housed

Improvements were made with the Generators having purpose made exhausts and placed on pallets to keep them off the damp floor

Hole in Generator Room wall

16. Generator Room hole

Underneath the left window at floor level, taking three days I eventually punched a hole through with a cold chisel to let out rainwater which flooded the Generator Room floor

Southern Gun Tower #1 Southern Gun Tower #1

17 & 18. Two views of the Red Sands Army Forts Southern Gun Tower #1

Container Ship in the Oaze Deep

19. Bofors Gun Tower

Cargo ship making it's way through the mire outbound from Thames Port in the Oaze Deep

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