News of a Caroline event in Felixstowe

From the East Anglian Times

Radio Caroline’s place in Felixstowe’s history to be marked with clifftop memorial

PUBLISHED: 18:30 03 April 2017

Tony Blackburn on board the Radio Caroline ship Mi Amigo off Felixstowe in 1965

Tony Blackburn on board the Radio Caroline ship Mi Amigo off Felixstowe in 1965

Pirate radio’s most famous station is to be commemorated on the Suffolk coast where listeners first heard the sounds that caused a broadcasting revolution.

The rescued Radio Caroline crew outside the Portobello hotel, Walton on Naze the moring after the ship ran aground at Frinton in a storm. 
From left: Carl Thompson (radio engineer), Norman St John (DJ), Patrick Starling (radio engineer), Tony Blackburn (DJ), Thys Spyker (crew), Graham Webb (DJ), Tom Lodge (DJ), Bill Scaden (Radio Caroline's liason officer), Dave Lee Travis (DJ) and George Saunders (radio engineer).The rescued Radio Caroline crew outside the Portobello hotel, Walton on Naze the moring after the ship ran aground at Frinton in a storm. From left: Carl Thompson (radio engineer), Norman St John (DJ), Patrick Starling (radio engineer), Tony Blackburn (DJ), Thys Spyker (crew), Graham Webb (DJ), Tom Lodge (DJ), Bill Scaden (Radio Caroline’s liason officer), Dave Lee Travis (DJ) and George Saunders (radio engineer).

It is 53 years since Radio Caroline started transmitting from its ship off Felixstowe, sending shockwaves through the radio world which led to a flotilla of similar stations, Government action to outlaw the pirates with the creation of Radio One in its wake.

But Caroline, which began broadcasting on Easter Sunday, 1964, from a ship near the Cork Anchorage, has always held a place in the hearts of radio fans for its pioneering and rebellious spirit.

Now, thanks to the hard work of a group of enthusiasts, its place in broadcasting history is to be recognised with the unveiling of a memorial on the cliffs overlooking the sea from where it broadcast in those heady days of the Swinging Sixties.

Brian Nichols, of the Felixstowe and Offshore Facebook Group, said the ceremony would form part of a celebration of offshore radio in Felixstowe over the weekend of September 9 and 10.

The original Radio Caroline ship, which was moored off Felixstowe, not far from the Cork lightship, in March 1964The original Radio Caroline ship, which was moored off Felixstowe, not far from the Cork lightship, in March 1964

He said: “There will be a stone unveiled in recognition that Radio Caroline became Britain’s first offshore radio station, whilst moored off the town.

“This stone is the next in a series of stones and plaques put in place by the Felixstowe Society, marking historic events in the town’s history, and in this instance has been prepared and paid for by the East of England Co-operative Society.”

The idea for the stone was put forward in 2014, following two successful exhibitions on offshore radio during the Heritage Weekend.

Mr Nichols paid tribute to the work of Felixstowe Society chairman, Roger Baker, town and district councillor Mike Deacon, and historian Phil Hadwen, who died in 2015 but had been part of the project team, in getting the stone, which will be laid in the Wolsey Gardens viewing area, above South Cliff Gardens, next to Felixstowe Town Hall.

The Radio Caroline ship the Mi Amigo ran arground in January  1966. Coastguards recued the crewThe Radio Caroline ship the Mi Amigo ran arground in January 1966. Coastguards recued the crew

Along with the unveiling of the memorial, there will be a Felixstowe and Offshore Radio event at Trinity Methodist Church Hall, featuring the Flashback 67 Exhibition, a display of vintage radios and technology, Radio Caroline merchandise, and also a record and CD fair, along with some special guests.

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