TR1989 : Knock John naval Maunsell fort
taken 18 years ago, 17 km ESE of Courtsend, Essex, England
Knock John naval Maunsell fort
This closeup of Knock John naval fort out in the Thames estuary reveals one of the platform's more recent uses since it was abandoned by the navy at the end of the Second World War. Painted on its side are the words Radio Essex 222. This is not a reference to modern day BBC Radio Essex or Essex FM, but to a pirate radio station that operated on the platform between 1965 and 1966, back in the days when the BBC were the only corporation allowed to broadcast in the UK. The operator, Paddy Roy Bates left the platform in 1967 to occupy Roughs Tower, a similar Maunsell fort further north and more importantly outside UK territorial waters. He has since declared it as the independent Principality of Sealand, a claim he and his family still maintain to this day and unlike Knock John, is still occupied by its inhabitants.
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