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Sealand on Roughs

Issue: 1 Dated: 7th January 2010

Roughs SE buoy at Harwich

Welcome back the Worlds smallest island known as "The Principality of Sealand" for the second part of a preview of pictures taken whilst I was on the fort throughout January 2003

Above the Roughs East Cardinal Buoy being serviced on the Trinity House Pier in Harwich in 1999

Roughs position on chart

Chart showing location of Roughs Tower the home of Sealand

First of the Maunsell sea forts Roughs is one of two surviving Navy forts the other is Knock John

The Navy forts were abandoned by the MoD in the late 1940's & by 1958 all the Thames Estuary forts had been left

Knock John became home to Radio Essex in 1965 until outlawed by the British Government

All the equipment was transferred to Roughs during Christmas 1966 but rather than a Radio base Sealand became an Independent Principality

Sealand looking SW

View towards the South West the wooden generator house above

North Deep leg with gantry & crane jib the opposite end over the South Deep leg

Although incomplete Roughs remains to be continually occupied & is the only preserved example of a WW2 sea fort

Sealand & crane hook

The crane hook hangs in readiness to haul the fort tender the RiB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) Sealand 1 up onto the platform

A hand aboard

Jez lends a helping hand - Bless

RiB lowered

Tendering complete the RiB is lowered back into the sea

RiB away

Sealand 1 roars away from the fort to return to base

Gardner 180 generator

One of the two Gardner 180 generator sets

There are four generators on board, three in the generator house on the top, & the last remaining original WW2 Gardner LW 30 KVA below in level 1 (A) of the North Deep leg

Hear a Gardner 180 change-over to "Polly" Perkins during the fort tour in the VCD details above & at the end of this feature

Looking north from crane jib

Dull days view North along the platform from the crane jib under the gantry towards the galley & lounge windows

West Cardinal Buoy a few metres off

View from galley window

Galley/dining room view West not an ideal downpour

High wind blows any collectable water right over the top of the fort a gentle soft drizzle much preferred

From berth 4.2

Looking out of berth 4.2 of North Deep level 4 (D)

The second rung down of the ladder marks mean high water

Low water is around mid-floor of level 5 (E) below

Level 4 to 5 ladder

Naval fort ladder arrangement between floors/biscuits this one from North Deep level 4 (D) looking down to level 5 (E) the high-low water point

Saltwater valve level 6

Saltwater control valves at North Deep level 6 (F) the former magazine room

These were for flooding the magazine separated behind a steel bulkhead & what would have been Flash Doors

Burning waste

Meanwhile up on deck ever green Mike disposes of old waste engine oil

Telephone exchange & power distribution boards

South Deep level 1 (H) fort telephone exchange & power distribution boards

UPS & generator bed south leg

Same level the UPS (uninterrupted power supply) system alongside what was the forts third Gardner LW generator bed, below the bricked up window

West cardinal buoy in force 8

It can get rough, this North Easterly knocked us about for some hours

Unlike the Army forts where wave action is less noticeable, the waves tend to run up between the Navy forts massive legs, until they hit the underside of the platform to dissipate producing a shock wave that reverberates through the whole fort

Harwich lifeboat passing

Harwich lifeboat passes on its way to a shout

Looking towards Dover Court Felixtowe

A cold winters afternoon & the beginnings of snow across the water at Dover Court

South end with boat trailer

A fair sprinkling onboard too here on the South end


Top of the fort showing the Heli-Pad

Michael Bates with helicopter

Prince Michael arrives at the island by the alternative mode of transport

HM Customs patrol vessel passes

HM Customs vessel on patrol

Michael Bates in galley

Michael works at his laptop in the galley

Sealand looking east

Winters morning view East from the tender Sealand 1

Ex Trinity House light ship LV18

On the way to Shotley passing the LV 18 moored at Harwich

See more of the former trinity House Light Vessel in

RNI in 1999 & RNI in 2001

Thanks to Michael Bates the crew & staff of Sealand for their help & contributions towards these web features & the forthcoming VCD

Haven Co logo

For Haven Co the trading arm of Principality of Sealand log-on from here or the logo above

Sealand on Fire Friday 23rd June 2006

This is the second part of a two part feature on Sealand see Sealand One for part one

Note both features include just a small selection of the pictures available

For an exclusive VCD to play on your DVD player with over 150 photographs & soundtrack tour of the whole of Roughs Fort

Additional material provided by Michael Barrington

Article & DVD sanctioned & approved for release by Prince Michael of Sealand

Order your copy today from the Offshore Shop

About 4 hours ago, I discovered you website, & have been sitting here ever since looking through the Sealand pages, & listening to the audio clips &there is still masses more I haven't got to yet. The Sealand pics were very interesting, as I have passed it many times on the ferry from Denmark to Harwich. So many of the passengers on the ferry wonder what the structure is, and think it must be some sort of strange oil rig, I have enjoyed seeing some of the expressions on their faces when I have told them its history. John J - Denmark

Just a long overdue thank you for sending my order for the Sealand VCD. I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoyed it. I wait to see what your next production will be maybe a compilation disc of all your wonderful offshore photos would be very nice. Hope all is well with you. Thanks again Phil Grainger

Thanks for the superb photos on your site about Sealand, what a great place for an offshore broadcaster to visit! The pictures gave a superb insight of this ex navy fort which according to the photos is still going strong. Yours Paul

I wanted to let you know that the Sealand VCD and Radio City posters arrived safe and sound, I enjoyed the VCD tour very much. I had no idea everything would be in such good condition 60+ years on. Alan

21/05/09 - Looking forward to see the Sealand DVD I just ordered, I've watched the Sealand story with great interest for many years. Cheers - Dan Warne

Check out details of other related items in the Offshore Shop

Navigate from from here to learn more about the Thames Navy & Army Sea Forts

Principality of Sealand logo

For the history of the fort & the background to Sealand click here or the logo above

A VCD sanctioned & approved for release by Prince Michael of Sealand is available with over 150 photographs & history soundtrack tour of Sealand to order your copy go to Offshore Shop

For all the Sealnd Features navigate from the ScrapBook Index

Additional material provided by Michael Barrington

Article approved for release by Prince Michael of Sealand

[HOME] (c)Bob Le-Roi 2003