Shortly before the owners of Britain Radio and Radio England, Pier Vick Ltd., went into voluntary liquidation in March 1967, Britain Radio’s Managing Director, Ted Allbeury and associate John Withers had formed Carstead Advertising Ltd. They successfully negotiated with the Receiver to take over operation of the two radio stations on the Laissez Faire, which by then was in Holland undergoing repairs to her aerial mast after sustaining damage during a storm off the Essex coast. Carstead Advertising was to pay all profits from the two stations to a new company, Laissez Faire Ltd., which had been formed by new American backers.
After repairs had been completed to the Laissez Faire the ship sailed back to the British coast and Carstead Advertising announced plans to re-
However, the format change became a cause of dissent amongst the station's staff. A number of ex-
After a few weeks of operating the Radio 390 style of programming format Ted Allbeury realised that it was not as successful as he had hoped and his co-
This change in programming style worked and, despite the station's initial difficulties and its relatively short life-
On 3rd July 1967, a distress call was received from the Laissez Faire saying that a man on board had assaulted the Captain and was threatening murder. The incident had occurred following a visit to the Laissez Faire by guitarist Jose Felicano, who took part in a one hour live broadcast on Radio 355 that afternoon. After the broadcast one of the crew members from the tender boarded the radio ship and attacked the Captain, Colin Lukenhurst. He subsequently held the Captain and Programme Director, Tony Windsor, captive for 16 hours, threatening them with a knife.
Essex Police decided that they had no jurisdiction to act in response to the distress call because the incident had taken place on a Honduran-
The Marine etc. Broadcasting (Offences) Act received the Royal Assent on 14th July 1967 and Postmaster General Edward Short announced that its provisions would come into effect one month later, on 15th August 1967.
Ted Allbeury, announced that Radio 355 (and Radio 227) would be closing before the Marine etc. Broadcasting (Offences) Act came into effect -
Additionally Ted Allbeury was 'warned' that he was under surveillance by the authorities and that, as a British citizen, he should not contemplate operating the stations from abroad while at the same time expect to slip in and out of the country without being stopped once the Marine etc. Broadcasting (Offences) Act was in force.
On 2nd August 1967 it was announced that Radio 355 would be closing at midnight on 5th August 1967. The station's final two hours were hosted by Programme Director Tony Windsor and all DJs who were on board the Laissez Faire at the time also took part. Managing Director Ted Allbeury made a closing speech pointing out to listeners the restrictions on personal liberty and freedom contained in the Marine etc. Broadcasting (Offences) Act. This final programme actually over-
Both stations operated by Carstead Advertising had closed before the effective date of the Marine etc. Broadcasting (Offences) Act because insurance for the Laissez Faire was due for renewal and it was not considered worthwhile extending that cover for less than two weeks.
Announcement of Radio 355 closure
Radio 355 closing down, 6th August 1967
Click on picture to enlarge
Laissez Faire undergoing repairs to her mast in Zaandam, Holland
4th July 1967
5th July 1967
Radio 355 DJs coming ashore for the final time, August 1967
Photo: Andy Cadier
Tender approaching Laissez Faire, 1967
Photo: Andy Cadier
Ship and Location