The fans' memorabilia

A visit to Radio London, 1967

In July 2023 John James posted on Facebook. He'd been sorting through his belongings and found some fascinating photographs. He wrote: “This is 4 contact sheets of photos taken on the way to and on board Big L. I think they were taken in '67. I got them from the photographer at the time and have no idea if they were ever published. One thing to note is that BBC presenter Robert Robinson is in five of them. Would anyone like them?”

contact sheet

As you can imagine, a number of people responded. The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame put in a bid, as did offshore radio historian Hans Knot, Brian Nichols from the Felixstowe & Offshore Radio Facebook page and Chris Dannatt who operates the Flashback '67 exhibition - but we were all beaten by Michael Bollons. He was the first to reply so John gave him the contact sheets. Fortunately for us, Michael has very kindly shared them. He allowed Brian Nichols to scan the pages and pass the scans on to the other people who expressed an interest.
We didn't have a date for the photos but it was possible to narrow it by which DJs appear in them. Tommy Vance joined Radio London on 23rd July 1967 and Ian Damon presented his last show on 7th August so the visit must have been some time between those dates. Brian Long's book The London Sound mentions that Tommy, Ian and Willy Walker were are all on board during the first week in August and that Chuck Blair was off the ship for three days from 5th. As we see him going ashore with the visitors in the pics, our guess was that they were taken on 4th or 5th August 1967.
And that has now been confirmed. It was the 5th August. Mike Barraclough found a cutting from the Illustrated London News which identifies the main visitor and confirms the date. The man with a dark jacket who features in most of the photos is André Potier. At the time of his visit he was one of three councillors representing the borough of Hillingdon on the Greater London Council. He was a Conservative. Presumably the other visitors are either his associates or journalists covering the trip. As John says above, one of them is broadcaster Robert Robinson. If you can identify any of the others, please get in touch.
Because they have been scanned from contact sheets, they are not perfect quality, but we hope you find them of interest. We have omitted a few that are very dark or too similar to those we have published.

GLC Councillor André Potier outside his local London tube station.

There are a number of photos of Mr. Potier on the train. Here is one of them.

End of the train journey.
boarding the tender
Boarding the tender Offshore 1, in Felixstowe.
Robert Robinson Robert Robinson
André Potier meets up with other visitors on the tender, including Robert Robinson (right).
boarding the Galaxy
Boarding the Radio London ship, mv Galaxy, from the tender.
meeting Ian Damond, Willy Walker, Chuck Blair
Posing with some of the disc-jockeys on the deck of the Galaxy. In the centre left to right: Ian Damon, Willy Walker and Chuck Blair.
meeting Ian Damon, Willy Walker, Chuck Blair
The same people in a slightly different order.
Paul Kaye
Paul Kaye, centre, with the guests.
Paul Kaye shows them round Paul Kaye shows them round
Paul Kaye conducting a guided tour.

More photos over the page.
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