Leith FM Attempts to Nab Pirate Ship
Community radio station, Leith FM, is to make an audacious attempt to bring the home of pirate radio to the town’s docklands area. Radio Caroline, which once upon a time broadcast from the ship, Ross Revenge, and which launched the careers of such household names as Tony Blackburn and Johnnie Walker, could soon be moved from its current home in the Thames, to Leith Docks.
The cost of such a project is said to be around £50,000, but if successful, it is said would not only provide the local station with magnificent new broadcasting studios, but also deliver a tourism boost for Leith as it would be moored close to the Royal Yacht Britannia, already a major tourist destination.
The chairman of Leith FM, Stewart Lochhead, said; "If we were to get the Radio Caroline boat, not only would it do Leith FM good, but it would give the area a bit more of a bohemian edge, bringing a different kind of tourist to the area.
"I remember the days of Radio Caroline in the 60s and this would be a great move for the station," he continued. "Our current offices are a touch cramped and to broadcast from the Radio Caroline ship would be something very special.”
Raising the funding for such a project could be difficult, however. Leith FM was only recently awarded a five-year broadcast licence and is not expected to be on air full-time until May 2007 when the annual Leith Festival begins.
Ross Revenge, which is currently lying unused on the Thames, would have to be towed north. It is maintained and owned by the Radio Caroline Support Group, who in the past have stated their intention to move the boat to a permanent quayside location in the UK.
Radio Caroline still broadcasts online and digitally from on-land studios in Maidstone, Kent. Proprietor, Peter Moore, said; “The ideal solution would be to keep the boat in the south of England, but if a good enough offer came along we would have to listen.
"It's an expensive business moving such a vessel all the way to Edinburgh, and I've not been approached by anyone from Leith FM about this as of yet."