A WALTON boatsman who skippered a pirate radio ship in the 1980s has described life onboard the craft.

The first pirate radio ship was moored off the Frinton coast in 1964 to transmit Radio Caroline over the airwaves.

An event was held in Walton on Friday celebrating 50 years since the inception of the offshore pirate radio trend.

Tony Haggis, of Station Street, Walton, took control of the Ross Revenge in the 80s and 90s, one of the later ships used to broadcast Radio Caroline near Frinton.

He said: “When it came to being out there and broadcasting it was all a lot of fun and very exciting.

"Most of the crew had code names to protect themselves from the authorities. They were always breathing down our necks.

“We affectionately called the Ross Revenge ‘the lady’. We used to have different songs to play to send secret messages back to the shore.

“If we played Lady in Red it meant we were in trouble, and there were songs to signal that we needed more oil and things like that.

“It was a privilege and a pleasure to be a part of an iconic part of music history.”

Read this week's Clacton Gazette for more onboard experiences from the pirate radio crafts.