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volume 3
september 2000

Rare pictures from radio's past


  Radio London: 19. The Galaxy in Hamburg
by Gerry Bishop, Hans Knot and John S. Platt
  The Galaxy was sold to a new Greek owner and sailed for Hamburg on 19th August 1967 arriving there two days later. Here she was to be dry-docked, refitted and sold as a going radio station. However, on examination it was found that she was only being held together by her paint and an enormous amount of money was needed to get her back to a sellable commodity. Business being business dictated that the investment was not viable and the project was abandoned. After several court cases regarding the ownership of the ship, she was sold for scrap in 1970 for £23,000 and moved to Kiel. Prior to that the ship was robbed of almost anything valuable.
Make up to midnight, followed by London after midnight

The Galaxy in Hamburg harbour (1968)


The Galaxy in Hamburg harbour (1968)

  The studio was robbed of everything in 1972
4 Radio London was the most powerful of all the radio ship transmitters. As well as covering most of the British Isles, the sound of Big 'L' was heard across Europe. This was due to a 75 kW transmitter designed and maintained by RCA and linked to a 212 feet mast. Power for the transmitter was produced by three diesel generating plants — one GM, one Cummins and a Fairbanks. The transmitter was continuously serviced by one of the three engineers on board. A 24 hour watch was maintained on all generating plants aboard the ship to ensure that everything was in top working condition at all times. A great deal of care was also taken with studio equipment. There were two main studios so that recording work and broadcasting could proceed simultaneously. The studios were a panel-controlled operation, custom designed for the needs of each DJ. The DJ's used RCA cartridge machines, three Gates turntables, one Ampex of the latest British design and Scully play backs. It was possible for more than one DJ to operate the panel at any time, with the extra inputs which had been built into the console. To ensure correct fade-in, fade-out of sound, the latest design of Elkon faders or tenuators had been fitted. Radio London believed that to give his best, a DJ must work in pleasant conditions. For this reason a completely new ventilation system had been installed, which changed the air every four minutes and maintained a constant temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit. In Hamburg the ship was robbed of all this equipment. In 1972 the studio looked like this (see photo above)
  The ship's corridor between the studios (1972)
  Studio (1972)

Transmitter (1972)

  The sound fragment on this page is copyrighted. It is used here according to the rules of fair use and academic quoting. Look here for other pictures and documents of Radio London (1964-1967).
  2000 © Soundscapes