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The offshore radio stations were dependent on regular visits from tenders to deliver supplies, programme material and to facilitate crew changeovers.  In the years before legislation was passed making it illegal to supply offshore stations tenders made regular (sometimes daily) journeys to the ships (and forts) from local ports - and this facilitated the smooth running of their operation.

However, after legislation came into effect it became necessary to run supply tenders from foreign bases, often involving many hours, or even days,  journey times. As time went on, and particularly by the 1980s, many officially organised tender supply runs became less frequent for various reasons, causing problems for those on board the radio ships. Food and fuel supplies ran low, crew changes  often didn’t take place when expected and pre-recorded programme material  didn’t arrive in time for broadcast.

However, those on board the radio ships often benefited from supplies delivered clandestinely by loyal supporters and in defiance of the law. This Special Exhibition focuses on one such clandestine supplier to Radio Caroline and Laser off the British coast in the mid to late 1980s.

Katherine Bracey  contacted the Museum to tell us the story of her father,  Peter Norcott, and how he ran clandestine supply trips to the radio ships  in the Thames Estuary between 1983 and 1990. Katherine had also found a photograph album containing pictures taken by her father on his various trips between approximately 1984 and 1987 and she has kindly donated these to the Museum.

We have pleasure in presenting these pictures in this Special Exhibition - together with the previously untold background story - as a permanent record of the assistance provided by Peter Norcott  to the offshore radio ships.



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