A MAJOR event will be held to commemorate the 50th birthday of the birth of pirate radio off the Walton coast.

Local boatsman Tony Haggis, who skippered a pirate radio ship in the 1980s, has been working to set up the showcase celebration.

The ships were first launched in the 60s, broadcasting pop music from the sea to avoid regulations – even after the Government introduced legislation in a bid to ban it.

Tony, of Station Street, Walton, worked on the Ross Revenge, a ship anchored near the Essex coast to broadcast pirate station Radio Caroline.

He wants pirate radio to be remembered in the area with a huge celebration.

Tony said: “Our area was heavily involved in pirate radio. It is a big part of our heritage and should be remembered.

“Several boats were anchored near here and they used to run tripping boats out to the ships from Walton. This was the birthplace of it all.”

Radio Caroline started its first transmission off the Essex coast in March 1964, while a host of other stations were created around the same time.

The birthday celebration will take place in Walton on March 28 from 10.30am, and will include live bands playing 60s music, refreshments, stalls and fireworks from the end of the pier.

People can email captaincampbell319@gmail.com for more information. More details will be released nearer to the event.