Radio Mi Amigo, based on the light vessel LV18 on Harwich Quay, has celebrated over 50 years of offshore radio with a nine day broadcast.
The station attracted 35 DJs and presenters from Scotland, Ireland and England, including Roger ‘Twiggy’ Day, Tony Prince, Alan ‘Neddy’ Turner, John Ross-Barnard and Emperor Rosko. The schedule also included Enda Caldwell, Sally Moon, Stephanie Hirst and Programme Director Tony Currie.
This tribute to the offshore pirate radio stations celebrated the likes of Radio Caroline, Radio London and several others that appeared off the coast of Harwich in the 1960s.
The annual event is a fundraiser for the Pharos Trust charity, which owns and maintains the ship.
This year, the station could be heard on FM in the Harwich area, on the internet and on shortwave. It claimed to attract an audience of 20,000 for the mix of music, interviews, news, chat and surprise guests – including sixties stars Sylvan, Clare Mills and Katch22.
BBC Essex presenter and Harwich resident, Liana Bridges went out and about during the sea festival to interview the master of HMS Pickle and local business folk. Guest newsreaders were Sybil Fennell (Classic FM), and Charles Nove (BBC). Every opportunity was taken to promote the Harwich area, which has recently been awarded assisted area status, in terms of business and tourism regeneration.
Tony Currie told RadioToday: “It’s been a roller coaster of a fortnight. We’ve had laughter (lots), tears (a good few), exhilaration, frustration, thrills and fears. Throughout it all, we’ve kept out promise to bring the very best radio that we believe we can deliver to the community in Harwich and beyond.”
Station Manager and LV18 Trustee, Tony O’Neil, added, “We are delighted with this year’s broadcast which has attracted many visitors to the town to meet the DJ’s. This would not have been possible without the support of local business advertisers and the input of 60 people, including broadcast professionals and local volunteers, who were in involved in the project, each giving their time and expertise free of charge to help enable this exciting annual event.”
Paul Turvey, Radio Mi Amigo Public Relations manager said: “We were delighted to hear from listeners throughout the broadcast, many of whom were in the Tendring area. We are also grateful to the many businesses that sponsored Radio Mi Amigo, their support enabled the broadcast to be a success.”
Radio Mi Amigo will be continuing as a radio stream via its website.
Photos: Paul Turvey / Pharos Trust