Red Sands 40 - Part 1
Issue : 4 Dated : 27th July 2015
To mark the anniversary of the last programme from the Red Sands & after 40 years the new broadcast beginnings of Red Sands Radio from Army Fort
We reflect on previous times at the Red Sands Fort
Do I have your attention now?
From 1941 "What no laundry?" one of 169 Pin-Ups by artist David Wright published throughout the 1940's in the Sketch Magazine
Radio 390 with its impressive & highly efficient 297' antenna mast!
The mast in fact comprised 15 x 10' sections (150') placed on top of the Towers which are 117' high from the sea bed
At best Radio 390 could have claimed 267' but allowing for tides, more accurately 230' above mean sea water level
Five lots of guys were set every 30' terminating at three anchor points: Bofors, Searchlight & G3
Press Release 4 - PDF File - 6th June 2007
The height of the mast made its 10Kw transmitter sound as loud as Radio Caroline 50kW & Radio London pumping out 75kw
Coming alongside the Southern G1 Gun Tower on a tender run
David Allen taking a walk on the wild side, even in 1967 the Catwalks had become dilapidated & hazardous
Press Release 5 - PDF File - 11th June 2007
The MF transmitter was a RCA BTA 10J shown left, later used in the 1970's by RNI Radio Northsea International onboard the Mebo II
More on the Radio 390 Transmitter arrangement in Glendinnings 2
The transmitter FM right was a Siemans previously owned by Radio Mercur aboard the 'Lucky Star'
Radio 390 Engineer Stephen C Muir-Field tells us this was taken to the * Cheeta II for the Radio 390 North ...
* Chetta II had been Radio Mercur's second ship later bought by Radio Syd
"There were problems changing the frequency, unfortunately the wave guides & cavity tuning meant the unit wasn't very agile"
"Worst still the ship blew her engine gaskets when moved in preperation for broadcasting from off the Welsh coast, thereafter she was impounded with writs nailed to her mast"
There are some interesting photographs on Martin van de Ven's site of Radio Mercur
It's interesting that Britain lagged behind Europe & the USA in the adoption of VHF broadcasting
Early FM tests began in 1949 from Wrotham, Kent & it wasn't until 1966 the 1st regular stereo transmissions started from the site, 5 years behind the USA
Radio Mercur broadcast in FM from the start in July 1958, but it wasn't until late January 1970 that Radio North Sea International provided local FM
The Introduction of FM in Britain
Jack McLaughlin at the desk on Radio 390, Cart machines in background
Radio 390 made best of the wartime plant especially the Gardner LW Generators which were refurbished & brought back to fine working order
David Wright's "Men Only" a reference to being a diesel engineer on Red Sands perhaps
Press Release 6 - PDF File - 11th June 2007
View from a catwalk to the central Control Tower & Antenna
Peter Berkely working in the record library
Rest & recreation Radio 390 style
Press Release 7- PDF File - 20th June 2007
More David Wright - "It sounds good to me"
David's pictures were found pinned above the men's bunks on many of the Sea Forts
Thanks to David Sinclair for identification of Jack McLaughlin & Peter Berkely
29/6/07 -Thanks again for the updates you really do have a great site. Just to say that the artist David Wright is still alive he deserves honours those pictures are really very good indeed - Trevor A Smith
This feature continues in Red Sands 40 - Part 2
For all of the features on Red Sands & its Radio Stations navigate from Red Sands Rendezvous
For a brief history of all the Thames Estuary Forts see Fort Fax
For the full history of Radio from Redsands on CD & the range of our other documentaries, the Sealand VCD, books on the Forts go to Offshore Shop