PART SIX: The party's over.

Radio City promotional postcard. DJs pictured, clockwise from bottom left: Ian MacRae, Eric Martin (not the same man mentioned by Johnny Flux), Alan Clark, Tom Edwards, Paul Kramer, Phil Jay and Ed Moreno. These last two recorded their shows on land and did not work on the fort.

At the end of the week, the boarding party departed. The shell-shocked Dorothy Calvert, Reg's widow, announced that she would keep Radio City going. She already looked after the programming side of the station but now she had to deal with the business side as well. She discovered that City's finances were not in good shape, with numerous debts dating back to the unsuccessful partnership with Caroline South. She immediately cut staffing, clamped down on expenditure and, despite various religious advertisers deserting the station after the incident, she managed to get things under control.
In late 1966 both of the other fort-based stations, Radio Essex and Radio 390, were prosecuted under the Wireless Telegraphy Act for broadcasting inside territorial waters. It was only a matter of time before the same happened to Radio City. However, although the future looked uncertain, City appeared confident on the air. Recorded shows by American disc-jockeys Gary Stevens and Ralph Cooper were imported and broadcasting hours were increased from 13 to 18 a day.

click to hear audio Ralph Cooper getting funky on Radio City, 12th January 1967 (duration 4 minutes 45 seconds)

Radio City Programme Schedule, January 1967.
Monday - Friday Weekends
6.00am ‘Early Bird show’
7.30 ‘Voice Of Prophecy’ (repeat)
8.00 ‘Breakfast Break’
8.30 ‘Allen Revival Hour’
8.45 ‘Up And About’
10.00 ‘Just Go’ (incl. 10.45-11.00 ‘Coffee Break’ and mon, wed, fri 11.00-11.15 ‘Radio Doctor’)
12.00pm Gary Stevens
1.00 ‘Breakaway’
5.00 ‘Five by Four’
5.30 ‘Sixty Minute Special’
6.30 ‘Voice of Prophecy’
7.00 Ralph Cooper
7.30 ‘City by Night’
(Friday 8-9pm ‘The Auntie Mabel Hour’, repeat)
11.00 ‘Late Date’
12.00am closedown
News: On the hour 8.00am-8.00pm
6.00am as Mon-Fri
4.30pm ‘Discamania’
5.00 as Mon-Fri
12.00am closedown
6.00am ‘Early Bird show’
7.30 ‘Voice Of Prophecy’ (repeat)
8.00 ‘Breakfast Break’
9.30 ‘Basildon Request Show’
11.00 ‘Just Go’
12.00pm ‘A La Carte’
2.00 ‘The Auntie Mabel Hour’
3.00 ‘Breakaway’
4.30 ‘Discamania’
5.00 ‘Cobweb Corner’
5.30 ‘Release Date’
6.30 ‘Voice of Prophecy’
7.00 ‘City Top 20’
8.00 ‘City By Night’
11.00 ‘Late Date’
12.00am closedown
Information from Offshore Radio by Gerry Bishop, published by Iceni Enterprises.

Press advert for Radio City, mentioning the 500th ‘Five By Four Show’. There is an extract from the 200th edition on the second page of this feature. Cutting kindly provided by Hans Knot.
click to hear audio ‘The Auntie Mabel Hour’ was normally presented by Ian MacRae and Alan Clark but both were on shore leave when the programme was broadcast on 18th December 1966. Adrian Love and Paul Kramer deputised. Both clips are part of longer recordings made available by The Offshore Radio Archive (duration 2 minutes 51 seconds)

In January 1967 the station moved into bigger offices, just off Bond Street in London's West End. But it did not have much time to use them. Within a month Radio City, like the stations based on the neighbouring forts, was prosecuted under the Wireless Telegraphy Act. Six months earlier the police had told Mrs. Calvert that Shivering Sands was outside the territorial limit and they could not help her get the raiders off the fort. Now, apparently, it was inside UK waters after all.
On Wednesday 8th February 1967 a Southend court found Dorothy Calvert guilty of broadcasting without a license. She was fined £100. That night, at midnight, Radio City closed down.

click to hear audio Tom Edwards, Ian MacRae and Alan Clark get a bit political during the final hour of Radio City (duration 2 minutes 33 seconds)
click to hear audio Tom Edwards and his colleagues close Radio City down for the final time. Both recordings kindly provided by James Pringle (duration 1 minute 53 seconds)

Tom Edwards again:
“I decided that, for the final hour, all of us should be in the studio to talk about what our dreams were for the future. An emotional sixty minutes and I chose Shirley Bassey singing The Party's Over as our last record. Which it was. The rest as they say is history.
We all went our separate ways. Some of the lads are no longer with us. Those of us who are left are much older now. I'm told that to look back and live off the memories of life is maybe wrong. I don't think so. What fun we all had - but also touched by tragedy. I'm so glad I sent that seven minute tape to Reg all those decades ago. Little did I realise what fate had in store. And you know what? I wouldn't have missed it for anything!
I got the nickname of ‘Mother’ on Shivering Sands ......... and it sticks to this very day! I used to fuss and cluck about. Old habits die hard.”

That final show was a sad farewell but the station was professional to the end. When it was all over, the City DJ team split up. Alan Clark joined Radio 390, where he became known as Christopher Clark; Adrian Love and RWB worked on London 67, a syndicated radio show they hoped to sell round the world; and three City men - Paul Kramer, Tom Edwards and Ian MacRae - went to Radio Caroline. Eric Martin left broadcasting altogether.
Radio City claimed an unconfirmed audience of three million. It was never one of the big boys but there was something special about it. The technical quality may have been a bit dubious, the high turnover of DJs may have meant that occasionally the on-air polish slipped, but it had an enthusiasm and excitement all its own. Many Radio City presenters went on to enjoy long careers in broadcasting. It was a first rate training ground, had some genuinely innovative programming and was well loved by its listeners. It would be greatly missed.

Our grateful thanks to all the former Radio City staff who have shared their memories.
Back to previous page.
On to some City memorabilia.
Some City Sixty charts.
Radio City's 50th anniversary reunion.

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