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Pirate Radio ship, Radio London, Essex coast

Pirate Radio ship, Radio London, Essex coast


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Pirate Radio ship, Radio London, Essex coast

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Media ID 7244359

© Mary Evans Picture Library 2015 - https://copyrighthub.org/s0/hub1/creation/maryevans/MaryEvansPictureID/10583398

1966 Anchor Anchored Broadcasting Essex Illegal Naze Pirate Radio Tyres Walton


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EDITORS COMMENTS
This evocative photograph captures the Pirate Radio ship, Radio London, anchored off the Essex coast in 1966. The ship, a former Dutch cargo vessel named the MV Swanhilda, was used as a pirate radio station broadcasting pop music to the UK audience before the Official Reception of Pirate Radio Stations Act in 1967. Located in the North Sea, near the Naze Tower in Walton-on-the-Naze, the ship was a hub of excitement and defiance during the 1960s. Pirate radio stations, like Radio London, provided an alternative to the BBC's radio programming, which was criticized for being too conservative and staid. These stations played the latest hits, often before they were released, and offered a more youthful and rebellious vibe. The ship's anchor was dropped in the water, securing its position amidst the choppy waves. The vessel's tires were used to stabilize it against the currents, and large speakers were set up on the deck to broadcast the music to the surrounding waters. The ship's distinctive red, white, and blue stripes, along with the "Radio London" sign, were visible from miles around. Despite the illegal nature of their operations, pirate radio stations like Radio London were a significant cultural force during the 1960s. They helped to shape the music scene and paved the way for the commercial radio stations that would eventually replace them. This photograph is a fascinating snapshot of a bygone era, when the Essex coast was home to a thriving pirate radio community that defied the establishment and brought the latest music to the masses.

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