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Radio Sutch & City - Part 13

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Issue 3: Updated: 3rd November 2021

A return to Shivering Sands with newly discovered material and a long lost 'Fort Friend'?

David Sutch

Anyone for tea? David Sutch does the honours in this picture taken shortly before his sad and premature death on 16th June 1999

Radio City play-list from 1965

An early Radio City taped show play-list, recorded shows were used when the tender visited, normally on a Monday, Thursday or Friday weather permitting

The Fort generally had a crew of three, seldom more than four, so it was all hands on deck to transfer supplies, fuel and water

The journey took 50 minutes each way in good weather the stay over at the Fort was around 20 minutes before returning to Whitstable picking up previously baited pots on the way back

Later once Tony & Paul had fitted the pallet they'd designed the tender held off & supplies could be taken aboard without the boat coming alongside the Tower in rougher conditions than could previously been attempted

Tranmitter Loss

Transmitter Loss (The Sun 13th October 1965)

The begriming of the end for Radio City and ultimately Pirate (Offshore) Radio of the 1960's

The transmitter supplied by Project Atlanta (Caroline South) was an elderly Short Wave rig procured by Oliver Smedley and the catalyst of the argument for a take over of the Shivering Sands Forts and Radio City

Radio London Delegation in Whitstable

A delegation from Radio London prepare to visit the Shivering Sands in June 1966

Pictured aboard a laden Harvester in Whitstable Harbour Tony Pine second left with Reg Calvert in discussion with, back to camera Senior announcer Duncan Johnson & Engineer Martin Newton

Daily Mail 25th June 1966

The Daily Mail of 25th June 1966

The raid that triggered a series of tragic events

Reg Calvert Oliver Smedley

Press Pictures: Left Radio City's boss Reg Calvert was shot dead by Major Oliver Smedley right

A Raid by Gravesend Dockers had been organised by Smedley of Project Atlanta (Caroline South) aided and abetted by Kitty Blake PDF to protect property he'd dispatched to Shivering Sands Towers in the form of an antiquated Transmitter, one of the cabinets being dropped into the sea and later salvaged

Dorothy Calvert

Dorothy Calvert assumed control of Radio City (June 1966)

Photograph taken at her office behind Paddington Railway Station

Shivering Sand Forts 1967

Shivering Sands (1966)

This picture shows both the large antenna & scaffold poles employed for earlier horizontal aerials

The station advertised a power of a Kilowatt from early 1965 but in reality was 800 watts but with the inefficient horizontally slung aerial signal penetration was variable

With the 200' antenna power the amazing transmitter rebuild by Ian West increased to close on 2 Kilowatt but with such an efficient mast sounded much louder

Note that the Bofor's Tower taking the full brunt of the prevailing Westerly winds had already lost lower landing & fendering

Tender approaching G1

The pallet hoist in readiness for tendering as the Harvester makes its final approach (1966)

Tower of Power antenna

The Tower of Power's 200' antenna points defiantly skywards (1966)

Smedley Court CaseSmedley Court Case

The Daily Mail (18th October 1966)

Catwalk Control to G2 (4)

Dilapidated Catwalk from the Control Tower towards Gun Tower 2 (4) (1969)

Radio City having closed for the final time on 8th February 1967 the Shivering Sands Forts were once again abandoned to the elements & sea birds that make the Towers their home

Several visits by those aspiring to create a hippy commune, believe it or not another Radio Station and those just curious, taking away with them bits and pieces left behind by Radio City

Generator Hall

The Generator Hall at the lower level of the Southern Gun Tower (1) (1969)

The area had been much modified by Paul Elvey to accommodate a Lister and Detroit flat head diesel generators and the pair of original trolley mounted baby Lister's previously housed in what was the men's washroom

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