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WiT Walk

A Walk Round Pirate (Radio) Alley

27th July 2016

A copy free feature

Whitstable Improvement Trust (WiT) invited Bob to organise a walk around the town taking in relevant radio landmarks

Walk Poster

1. Walk Poster

Press Release - Whitstable has always been a Pirate Alley!

From May 1964 the town played unlikely host to the strange goings on of Screaming Lord Sutch. Parading from offices at ‘The Record Centre’, 20a Oxford Street to the harbour in his top hat & purple cape, he certainly turned a few heads as boarded Fred Downs‘s ‘Harvester II’ to go out to the abandoned WWII Army Forts on Shivering Sands from where Radio Sutch broadcast. Later that year David Sutch passed control to his manager & the station became Radio City

In June 1964 Radio Invicta had launched from the adjacent Thames Estuary Forts at Red Sands. They too were serviced from Whitstable by Vic Davis's fishing boat 'The Mullard' serviced the Fort throughout its manifestations as Radio KING & Radio 390

When Offshore Pirate Radio was outlawed in 1967 the town 'helped out' supply the last remaining 60's station Radio Caroline, a relationship that endured until the sea act became law in 1990

From 1983 unbeknown to most in the town ‘The Punch Tavern’ in Harbour Street was coordination base of Laser 558

A number of the town’s flats were billets for Lasers American crew, engineers, & DJ’s. Service runs were made to the Laser ship ‘The Communicator’ up until early 1987 when it closed as Laser Hot Hits

Pirate Alley wasn’t lost completely as in 2007 the Red Sands Fort was re-equipped for broadcasts by Red Sands Radio. Coming ashore the station broadcast from studios at the harbour

Come along for a nostalgic walk around ‘Pirate Alley’ at 10.30 AM on Wednesday 27th July 2016

Walk Key Point Map

2. Key Points Map

A – Meet at ‘Whitstable Improvement Trust’ Shop (WiT) Taking in Red Lion Lane & The Price Albert (Lord Haw Haw!)

B – 20a Oxford Street formerly ‘The Record Centre’ (Radio City Office)

C - 31 Island Wall formerly ‘The Guinea’ pub (Radio City Watering Hole)

D – 15 Island Wall formerly ‘Pines General Stores’(Radio City Supplies)

E – ‘The Wall Tavern’ run by Harold Wood (Radio City Pre-Tender Departure Call)

F – ‘The Horsebridge’(Barge Landing Point)

G – ‘The Harbour’ built in 1830, the ‘Crab & Winkle’ railway (Railway to Canterbury)

H – ‘The Steam Packet’ originally wooden built in 1882 (Red Sands Radio Studios 2009-2014)

I – ‘The Forts’ Designed by Guy Maunsell in WWII (Radio, Sutch, City, Invicta, KING, 390, Essex, BBMS)

J – ‘Whitstable Castle’ (Folly)

Interspersed with Local Town History

Walk Group 1

3. Walking Group 1


Whitstable's reputed WWII Radio Broadcasting link ...

William Joyce

4. William Joyce

Of Irish descent, American by birth Joyce was a member of the British Union of Fascists, he formed the breakaway National Socialist League. From the outbreak of WWII in 1939 he made Nazi Propoganda Broadcasts nicknamed 'Lord Haw Haw' by Daily Express Journalist Johan Barrington

Its long been said that Joyce lived in a year in Whitstable, but this hasn't been substantiated. What is certain is that Joyce's sister lived in Whitstable & his first wife came from nearby Canterbury

Foresters Hall, Whitstable Museum

5. Foresters Hall entrance to Whitstable Museum & Gallery (1st December 2016)

Foresters Hall

56 Foresters Hall entrance to Whitstable Museum (30th November 2016)

Joyce spoke in the Foresters Hall in 1936, the Grade II listed building is now Whitstable Museum, 5a Oxford Street, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 1DB

Prince Albert Pub

7. 'The Prince Albert' Public House

It's said he drank in The Prince Albert, Sea Street, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 1AN on the corner of Red Lion Lane

Awarded the War Merit Cross by Hitler for his broadcasts, partial to a drink he was drunk whilst making his final relay on the transmitters of Hamburg, Bremen, Luxembourg, Hilversum, Calais, Oslo & Zeesen on 30th April 1945

He was arrested on 28th May 1945 & sentenced to death, post appeals was hanged on the 3rd January 1946 at Wandsworth Prison

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