Ship details: A 60 foot fishing trawler

Radio station: Radio Sutch is reported to have broadcast from the vessel in May 1964. On 25th May 1964 David ‘Screaming Lord’ Sutch unveiled Britain’s third offshore radio station when Radio Sutch was launched, in a blaze of publicity, on board the trawler Cornucopia. The exact details of what happened next are a matter of some dispute. Sutch himself, in an interview with Offshore Echo’s, claimed that he broadcast from the Cornucopia for a fortnight “off and on” but the boat was not really suitable as it was still being used for fishing. 

Sutch: “First of all we started from an old boat. (…) We rented that when it had finished his rounds of fishing so he was fishing and trawling in the mornings and then 12 o’clock onwards it was a radio station. The only trouble was it was covered with fish scales and it stunk to heaven and when all the reporters and press people come on they nearly all killed themselves skating about. But we used that for quite some time until the trawler had its insurance taken away because they said that they insured it as a fishing boat and not for a commercial radio station. The guy panicked and said ‘You’ve got to get another boat’, or something, you know. We tried to get some other boats round the same harbour, but had no luck. So in the end on one of our last broadcasts out at sea we noticed these disused forts. We said ‘Well why can’t we go on them?’ and he said ‘Well I don’t know, I don’t know who they belong to’. We made some enquiries and found out that they were ex-government forts, which hadn’t been used for many years. It’d been abandoned out there as far as the government was concerned, so we just took them over and claimed squatters’ rights. .” 

So Sutch moved onto Shivering Sands, a disused war-time anti-aircraft tower off the Kent coast.

Location: Four miles off Shoeburyness, Essex

Sutch on the Thames 1