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Radio Sutch & City - Part 11

Transmitters, Antenna Masts & Bits n Bob's

Page 2 of 2

Tower of Power logo on QSL

The Tower of Power logo on QSL, stationary, flyers & the Radio City infamous T' Shirts

By now records starting at the wrong speed, groaning in & jumping as we had no idea about slip-mats was a thing of the past, never the less many strange things came out of the 299 transmitter

The new vertical antenna was immune to tide, unlike the previous horizontal long wire that caused the transmitter to wander with the rise & fall of tide

Once the new antenna was up & after days of re-tuning the transmitter radio engineers concluded that the Fort didn't actually have a ground earth, it floated 13 ohms above

City DJ's weren't as slick as those on some of the other stations but the 'homely' style won the station a loyal audience

When 'live' reads came to the station some interesting versions of advertisers scripts were broadcast


Sky One Dave Kelly get's it wrong

Martin Green on a mission

Early stages of Jungle Walk construction Martin Green takes a ride across the great divide

Completed Jungle Walk

Completed Jungle Walk from Control Tower roof

RCA Transmitter Covering Letter

Thoughts then turn to a new transmitter, meanwhile everything is cannibalised to make best of what's onboard

Live read by Tom Edwards

A live read from Tom Edwards, the Tape deck is the old Brunel used to play out ads & jingles, from 3" reels above the hybrid panel made by Phil Perkins, the Garrard turntables either side used for programming the 3rd as fall back

The Studio layout was swung from its original position facing the wall 45 degrees towards the windows the new layout gave better light but the DJ had his back to the door

RCA Transmitter Covering Letter - Part 2

Wined & dined by Reg, Ian West tells how Reg persuaded him to cobble together a better transmitter from remnants

See Ian West at the new 299 transmitter

Jungle Walk from Control Tower

Jungle Walk from Control Tower walkway

RCA 10kw Transmitter Quotation

RCA Transmitter Specification RCA Transmitter Specification 2

RCA Transmitter Specification 3

Walking across the Jungle Walk

On the Jungle Walk, not very pleasant in a blow

RCA Transmitter Specification 4

RCA Transmitter Specification 5

RCA Corporation Logo

TCK-7 Transmitter

A word on transmitters from Bob Bartola

Hello my friends across the Atlantic, here's the latest on the General Electric TCK-7 transmitter I acquired 4 years ago. I'm in the process of modifying the unit for high level (high fidelity) modulation & installing an "on board" power supply with other goodies. I noted that this transmitter model is the same as the one used on Radio City on the high seas long ago

I initially fired up the transmitter with an external power supply. Note the two 150 watt lamps lit up with RF power. Now it is undergoing a face lift

TCK-7 Transmitter & the cat

Actually it will become a stretched TCK-7 as you can see above pictured with my cat "FM" roaming near the monster transmitter

Stay tuned for the latest in the TCK-7 upgrade

Bob Bartola - Pottstown, Pennsylvania, USA

More of this transmitter in Sutch & City Part 4 & Sutch & City Part 10

Susan, Dorothy & Candy Calvert along with Kirsty

A finally a family group Susan Calvert, Dorothy Calvert, Candy Calvert & her daughter Kirsty on the occasion of Dorothy's 80th Birthday in March 2008

I remember my father 'discovering' the forts, he'd always dreamed of having a radio station & running it from our home at Clifton Hall then Radio Caroline started. I remember him & David Sutch sitting in the car at night outside the Nuneaton Co-op Hall. He left me to run the dance while he discussed how they could have a radio station. Dave Sutch enjoyed the publicity but was never actually really interested in radio. My father couldn't afford to buy a ship so with lateral thinking studied the charts with fisherman who suggested the abandoned forts. His first expedition to them nearly resulted in disaster, we were on a family trip to the seaside, father hired a boat & without telling us went out to sea to them. I went out with him & stayed on the forts when they first opened & did a sort of show, someone picked up the program & wrote in from Jersey. Best Wishes - Susan Moore (Nee Calvert)

2/3/09 - Chuffed with my feature the Mail On Sunday lots of reaction and the editor was a joy to work with. I've put a few noses out of joint but I spoke the truth & I'm amazed my memory is so good after forty years except I did get 2 song titles wrong but what the hell eh!

With Curtis's pirate radio of the 1960's is coming into another life my one wish is maybe to see the Towers at Shivering Sands just one last time, I'll see. Writing about City brought back good & bad memories, having to write it all down caused me sleepless nights for many days. I had this recurring dream of being hoisted up with Calvert on that bloody cheese crate contraption. We must have all been mad but enjoyed every second. I was a young man then and the world was my oyster it still is. Give my love to Joan (Witt) & all at Whitstable who might remember me! Tom Edwards

16/11/08 - On the night of the 5th - 6th December, 1968 Paul Kramer was killed on Putny Bridge in London. He had left my home in Kensal Rise, at about 9pm to give a friend a lift to somewhere south of the river. He was a Truly lovely guy! I hate to think that he has been forgotten. If he had lived he would have become one of the great names in broadcasting. That night, just before he left my home, he told me that he had been offered a job on Radio Luxemburg...It was never to happen - Terry

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The story will continue in Sutch & City Part 12

Grateful thanks to Hans Knot, Martin Stevens, Martin Green, Susan Calvert, Bob Bartola, Ricardo & the late Mike Bass for their valuable contribution to this feature

For all the Radio Sutch & City features navigate from ScrapBook Index

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

Make sure you also see the NAB "Mystery Tower" the forerunner to Maunsell Forts in Sailing the Solent

For the range of documentary CD's in the Offshore Radio "Roaring 60's" collection, the Sealand VCD, books, & a video on the Army & Navy Forts go to Offshore Shop

Trips to the Maunsell Sea Forts are arranged throughout the summer from Herne Bay & Whitstable in Kent

For details of cruises to see the sights of the Thames Estuary & North Kent Coast see Boat Trips

[HOME] (c)Bob Le-Roi 2008