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Radio Sutch & City Pictures - Part 2

Issue: 8 Updated: 10 August 2020

Radio City tender Harvester 1

Radio City's tenders the Harvester 1 & II in theirs home port of Whitstable, this picture taken by my late brother Mike (1965)

Sailing away from Shivering Sands ort

The tender pulls away at speed (1965)

Dick, Alex & Paul

Dick Dixon, Alecxander Dee & Paul Elvey (1965)

Pictured in the sitting room in the REME room seperated from the sleeping area by a tatty curtain, the unit behind Paul is the Halifax Transmitter used by Radio Sutch which became the Pigeon-Blackbird shore link to either a hand held used by Eric Matin on Tankerton Slopes or Pines General Stores

Radio City headed paper

Radio City headed note paper, the Oxford Street (1965)

The building still sports an interesting array of aerials on its roof

Radio City Manager Eric K Martin

4. Station Manager Eric K Martin and owner of the Record Centre (Whitstable Times 1972)

The Radio City Kent & Sussex office at 20a Oxford Street, (the Record Centre) Whitstable, Eric above holding a rectifier valve from the 299 transmitter


Station Manager Eric K Martin voices Mick Fisher Commercial

A good number of early advertisments and trial commercials were voiced on at the Record Centre using stock tape recorders

You can hear Eric K Martin recalling his role at the station on the CD "The Radio Sutch & City Story" which can be found in the Offshore Shop

Record Centre headed paper

The Record Centre's headed note paper (1965)

The premises has since been a fruit and vegetable shop, a carpet shop currently a book shop

20a Oxford Street can be found next to the former 'Oxford Cinema', later a bingo hall now the 'Peter Cushing' Wetherspoons just before the road becomes High Street

See these Pages 1 : 2 : 3

Army Fort Leg Design Plan

The reinforced fort legs were constructed on hollow pontoons in the shape of an Oxford Picture frame (1942)

Floats for Army Fort Plan

Each fort was slung between two barges the legs were flooded & the fort structure lowered to the sea bed by winch (1942)

Drawings by J A Posford the fort builders from "The Construction of Britain's Sea Forts"

For more details on all the Thames Estuary Forts see Fort Fax

Shivering Sand fort access to gun towers

Southern Gun Tower G1 Personnel entry (1965)

Access achieved by jumping onto the lowest salt encrusted rusty ladder, up onto some old pallets to scramble up the runs to the single man door entrance in the Fort base

Engineer Tony Pine on hoist

Alternatively engineer Tony Pine ascends by bosons chair (1965)

The hoist bosuns chair was replaced by a pallet which made tendering easier in rough weather


Tony Pine on 'Pigeon-Blackbird the Fort to Shore link using the old Radio Sutch TX

At first the link was established by a hand held set on Tankerton Slopes, Tony built a rig into a fireplace at 16 Middle Wall which was intercepted by the GPO, unable to trace the antenna which Tony had cemented inside the chimney

The reports and shopping lists were later made on the main 299 TX after the station closed down

Pictures of the Radio Sutch transmitter can be seen in Sutch & City Part 1 & Sutch & City Part 4

You can hear Tony Pine's memories of the station on the CD "The Tower of Power" which can be found in the Offshore Shop

Barrels of fuel go up on hoist

50 gallon drums of diesel oil go up on the 1 ton electric hoist as the tender pulls away (1965)

ListerJP3 Diesel Generator

Lister JP3 Diesel Generator (1965)

Above generator was eventually hauled up into the Fort on a second try after the hoist had been modified

This was later used at night when a Detroit flat head diesel generator came aboard

N.B The G1 Gun Tower was separated from the original Gardner LV generators on the Searchlight Tower following the Ribersborg collision of 1963 which toppled the G4 Gun Tower

Engineer Tony Pine rests on catwalk during its construction
Tony Pine proudly lounging on his creation (1965)

Expanding into the Control Tower it was essential to replace the old dilapidated WWII catwalk. Tony Pine set about liberating it to the murky depths & constructed the famous jungle walk. Resting above the waves a sofa was carried across a few moments after this picture was taken

Hear that story & more on the CD "The Tower of Power" in the Offshore Shop

Dick Dixon at Record Centre Martin Green at Record Centre Alexander Dee at Record Centre

Dick Dixon, Martin Green & Alexander Dee at the listening booth decks in The Record Centre (1965)

Flamingo Club

London's Flamingo Club designated Radio City Club

The Club was promoted from mid-1965 with a sung jingle by Pinkertons Assorted Colours

Shivering Sands drawing

A line drawing depicting Shivering Sands by Alan Brown (1966)


Dick Dixon, Martin Green, Alexander Dee then Tom Edwards evening station closedown

Listen out for the elbow microphone switch clicks & lack of slip pads in the audio clip, the above nightime station closedown was made the night the boarding party left at 20.15 on Sunday 26th June 1966

A contingent of Dockers aboard the Gravesend Tug 'Vanquisher' had been dispatched by Oliver Smedley and Kitty Black of Project Atlanta (Caroline South) arriving at the Towers at 03.15 on Monday of 20th June

Liverpool Echo 22nd June 1966 Daily Telegraph 21st June 1966

Left Click for Full image - Daily Telegraph (21st June 1966)
Left Click for Full image - Liverpool Echo (22nd June 1966)

Boarders on Shivering Sands prepare to leave

Harvester II alongside Shivering Sands (June 1966)

Shows Paul Elvey accepting sealed orders from the tender following the boarding raid, police officials on the gantry above

Sun Herald 26th June 1966

Left Click for Full image - Sun Herald (26th June 1966)

Removing the transmitter crystal the and barring the crew from the studio, the raiders kept the station of-air, finally leaving at 20.15 on Sunday 26th June

Programmes re-commenced at 22.00 with a spare crystal that had been secreted away by engineers

Fred Downs on Harvester II 1966

Harvester II with skipper Fred Downs awaits off Fort (1966)

Transmitter engineer Ian West

Engineer Ian West Ham Radio G3SZC (1966)

Replaces the transmitter crystal hidden away by Phil Perkins turns 299 back on, all be it briefly

Dave Porter Amateur G4OYX Tricks of the Trade pdf 1 and with Alan Beech G1BXG pdf 2

Tom Edwards in final studio

Tom Edwards (1966)

Press picture taken to commemorate his first year on Radio City known as mother he was to be the last voice heard when the station closed on 8th February 1967

Sky picture shot of Shivering Sands in 1967 with added logo

What might have been the final QSL card by Eddie Austin

Features the Sky Photos aerial photograph of the Fort cluster at Shivering Sands in 1967

This story continues from Sutch & City Part 3

For a surname A-Z biography of the Radio Sutch & City Jocks The Pirate Hall of Fame

ENJOYED the latest scrapbook on Radio Sutch! By the way THANK YOU for the link. Karl, who helped me (the field photo is actually of his wife's parents farm, near St. Louis FAR from here) and I, both got a kick out of how you used the sign with the middle of nowhere. Anyway, I have NOT set up my "Tom's Friends" links yet but AS SOON AS I DO you will be there! Have a good week. THANK YOU! Tom (Konard)

Superb photos from the Shivering Sands I've never seen before. This jungle walk is amazing, could connect the towers once again. Still listen to the old City and 390 tapes, these two on the forts were excellent radio stations, each in its own way. Greetings from Groningen. Paul de Haan

For all the Shivering Sands features navigate from Sutch & City Part 1

For Red Sands Fort & it's Radio Stations navigate from Red Sands Rendezvous

For the Navy Forts & their Radio Stations navigate from Radio Essex 222 & Sealand One

For details on 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

[HOME] (c)Bob Le-Roi 2002