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Radio Sutch & City in Pictures & Audio

Part 4

Updated: 28th August 2009 Issue: 6

Harvester 2 off Shivering Sands Fort

Welcome back to Shivering Sands as Fred Downs stands off the fort on Harvester 2 one of his fishing boats & Radio City tenders

Whitstable Fishing boats including then the Harvesters F121 & F122 respectively carried the port of registration prefix for Faversham that being the local licensing authority

Shivering Sands Gi Gun Tower

An Leaving a lonely sole climbing the G1 Southern Gun Tower in 1964. Just visible the hoist hook not yet pressed into service for lifting personnel aboard. You can also just make out the ariel scaffold poles, feed came out of the centre of a transmitter room rear window on north western side


Audio Break

Christmas 1964 on the Towers with seasonal Fort custodian guard Roy Daley a Birmingham contact & friend of Reg's

Chris Cross on base of G1 Gun Tower

Waiting to climb Chris Cross braves the breeze on the first level of the landing platform in a coat he virtually lived in on the fort

Gi Tower platform to Control Tower

Looking towards the Control Tower from G1 3.7 Gun Tower

Catwalk Design Plan

Original design section of Catwalk showing support & sliding bearing arrangement

Delapidated Catwalk

This was the rotten catwalk that was to be condemned to the deep to be replaced by the famous "Jungle Walk" see the pictures in Sutch & City Part 2

Catwalk Elevation

Elevation through Catwalk

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

For a range of books on the building of the Army & Navy Forts go to Offshore Shop

Dick Dixon on air

Dick Dixon as usual dressed in his black roll-neck

Radio Sutch ex-Halifax Aircraft TX

Let's talk transmitters for a moment above the original "Halifax" aircraft transmitter used by Radio Sutch on 197 metres, it survives to this day

The frequency was in fact 187 metres but David Sutch and Reg Calvert made up the slogan 'You're in heaven on 187' later used by Swinging Radio England on 227

General Electric TCK-7 TX

Replaced by the former US Naval General Electric TCJ-7 Transmitter nicknamed "Big Bertha" on 299 metres shown above before being joined by a surplus MoD Airforce Cossor transmitter to run 188 metres

26/12/07 - The General Electric TCJ medium wave TX covers 300 to 600kc, 837 master oscillator, 807 Intermediate power amplifier with a pair 813s in the final amplifier. CW and MCW modes, 400 watts output at 1800V on the plates - 73, Rob Flory

Radio Sutch Promotion

Station promotion a little wide of the truth!

Don Witts & Dick Dixon

First Chief Engineer Don Witts with Dick Dixon at the 299 Transmitter

The glow of its 813 valves was monitored through the studio window in an effort to prevent overload

Dick Dixon & Don Witts

And now alongside the additional Cossor 188 metre medium wave outlet, turned on daily at 19.00 hours for our main advertisers, the many Religious & Evangelist Broadcasters

Later the Cossor transmitter from Shivering Sands was to go across to Knock John when that fort was considered for a second outlet

When Roy Bates set up Radio Essex it was stripped of some parts then unceremoniously dumped overboard despite having been perfectly serviceable

A lethal wooden monstrosity was made by the so called transmitter engineer on the fort

This proved to be hopeless & was cannibalized for parts

Navigate for more on Radio Essex & Knock John from Radio Essex 222

Radio Sutch Promotion


Audio Break

Chris Cross on the first test transmisson of Religious Programming

Chris Cross makes tea

Whilst the tapes of religion plays out Chris Cross returns to the galley for a brew. Cooking was originally on a "Baby Belling". One regular stable meal I recall was the meat puddings steam cooked in a bucket of boiling sea water

Stable food consisted of lumpy mash, not much potato left after the eyes had been removed with processed peas, this along with the tinned meat pies kept most of the fort stations going, all washed down with tea laced with sickly "Fuzzels" canned milk after the nasty sterilized stuff had run out

Alex Dee on air

Back to music, Alexander Dee spins some tea time tunes

An electric kettle appeared, but it was never used switched on during the day. Our first small "Lister" generators just weren't capable of providing enough power, if the kettle or the electric hoist was used the record decks slowed down! so tapes were played during tendering

G2 Gun Tower from G1

The 3.7 G2 Gun Tower from G1 platform

Martin Green on air

Radio City boasted the first Dutch DJ Martin Green pictured above during a programme in 1965

Trinity House ship Patricia

Whilst the "Patricia" passes by on her way towards the Queens Channel

There's another picture of this Trinity House service ship in Sutch & City Part 1

Radio City 1966 QSL card

QSL Card depicting the 1966 line-up; Alan Clarke, Ed Moreno, Tom Edwards, Phil Jay who never once set foot on the fort rather recorded "Discomania" on shore, Dennis "the menace" Strankey, Ian MacRae & Paul Elvey

Radio City programme schedule

The Radio City programme schedule through early 1966

Big L Logo

Radio London

Visitors from Radio London popped over to have a look at the set-up in 1966 but thier representatives Kieth Skues, Duncan Johnson & Engineer Martin Newton were not impressed so negotiations to take over Radio City's 299 output ceased

Tom Edwards on air

Tom Edwards in the Control Tower studio towards the end. The 3" tape reels above the panel were commercials & jingles still being played out from the old "Brenell" tape decks

Radio City T Shirt Promotion Script

To Tom's right for reference this station Memorandum shown in section for clarity was pinned on the studio wall

Some Tower of Power T' Shirts also survive to this day!

Radio News Promotion Script

As well as dog eared copies of The London Weekly Advertiser

Raiders on Shivering Sands

A close-up view of the platform following the raid of June 1966. In the early days under normal circumstances there were seldom more than three or four people on the fort at any given time

Radio City Programme Schedule

Also from the studio wall this was to be the final programme schedule

Shivering Sands in 1992

Finally this time some contemporary pictures of Shivering Sands taken in the summer of 1992 during an Invicta Radio broadcast with listeners whilst sailing around the forts

Shivering Sands in 1992

Even to this day the Radio City logo is still prominent testimony to some good paint!

Shivering Sands in 1992

One of the four Whitstable fishing boats on the cruise sailing north westerly around the fort cluster

Grateful thanks to Dick Dixon for some of the early photographs, & the recently discovered recordings of Roy Daley at Christmas 1964 & the Religious & Cultural test transmission

Terry Vacani for the Radio City printed data retrieved from Shivering Sands in 1967

Pete Collison for the colour photographs from 1992

And the pictures we had at the Radio City office believed to have originated from Eric Jay

This story continues from Sutch & City Part 5

To view these pictures in superb detail see & for a surname A-Z biograghy of the Radio Sutch & City Jocks The Pirate Hall of Fame

I would like to thank you for your website. I acquired a TCK-7 transmitter the same model you Radio City guys used. I'm in the process of building a high level plate modulator which the original TCK-7 did not have. I plan to get it on the air this spring.
Thanks again from your friends across the pond, Bob Bartola

Well what can I say? except what a truly informative and bloody good site Bob! the Radio Sutch & Radio City stuff really captured my imagination, listening to the audio clips and looking at the photos was great. Cheers! Steve Hibbert from Ealing in London

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

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

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

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

For detailShivering Sands in 1992s 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 2003