We’re back!

The LV18 will be open for visitors from Saturday 25th May, returning to our customary hours of 11am to 4pm.

Visitors are welcome to come aboard the LV18, walk around the deck and go down below to see how the lightvessel crews lived during their months at sea. There’s also a history of pirate radio and examples of radio over the last century.

Most of the vessel is open to the public apart from a small area which is still undergoing refurbishment.

Please note that the ship was not built for those who need additional accessibility.

Our enforced closure was due to the disastrous arson on 2nd Feb. The clean up that followed has also delayed our normal winter maintenance activities – a few of these remain so please bare with us!

We welcome donations to our restoration fund


Since the devastating fire back in February, on board Lightvessel 18, (the home of RADIO MI AMIGO), We still need to raise more funds in order to have enough to get the restoration work completed, as well as replace some of the lost historical artefacts of the 1900’s, as well as vintage radios & other rare maritime items.

So if you can make it that day (29th June 2024 in Chelmsford), not only will you be filling your ears with some top Festival bands, you’ll also be helping our cause, to fully restore the LV18 and keep RADIO MI AMIGO ON AIR! 😉

Garry Lee

Tickets : https://dice.fm/event/79m37-all-day-fundraiser-for-radio-ship-mi-amigo-29th-jun-hot-box-chelmsford-tickets

Companionway progress

The clean-up continues on the lower deck and the main companionway/gangway will be next for the red floor paint treatment. The mid/aft section of this companionway (first photo) was just outside the worst fire damaged area.

Several of the doors along here were damaged by the heat. The worst of these will need to be replaced but the remainder will bear the scars of the arson damage.

Cleaning and restoration continues

Our professional contractors have now left the ship after making the worst areas safe for us to access, with caution! Cleaning and restoration now continues with the help of our volunteers. One key mark of the progress we’re making was when we painted the floor in the forward compartment area during the past few days. This area suffered heat and smoke damage but thankfully was spared the fire. Painting the floor is truly the last step in restoring the space to normal use, although we do have to wait for it to dry thoroughly!

The paint in question is a special marine paint from Akzo, and PPE was necessary given the enclosed space.

A new page, After The Fire, has been started on this site to mark our progress in restoring the ship. New content will be added as we hit more landmarks.

Fire damage

Nine weeks after the fire that devastated the LV18 we can now show some photos of the most severely damaged area, after they have been mostly cleared of debris.

From the quayside the worst area is clearly visible, concentrated around the starboard aft cabin area.

Within the ship, anything combustible was destroyed. This included cabins and all the electrical equipment.

The damage to the electrical systems was throughout the ship and every cable, socket and distribution panel has needed to be replaced. That included the studio, located in the ship’s lookout.

The studio was unusable until just a few days before the broadcast. Every item of equipment was damaged beyond use due to the smoke.

Most of the studio vinyl collection was damaged beyond use

Essex Police have opened a criminal investigation into the fire.

What a weekend!

Easter Weekend was a blast, with our visiting celebrity DJs and BBC Essex’s live broadcast from the ship on Easter Saturday, as well as the show at the Electric Palace on Easter Monday.

We were marking the 60th anniversary of UK offshore and independent radio and were delighted that we could have Keith Skues and Roger ‘Twiggy’ Day in our studio during the weekend.

Roger is reading Keith’s latest book

Our thanks to Keith & Roger for agreeing to spend the weekend with us.

Otherwise we had shows from Stephen ‘Foz’ Foster (formerly BBC Suffolk, Radio Orwell and more!), Garry Lee, Chris Cooper, Paul Windsor, Rick Marks, Olly KInvig, Dave Kent, Jim Fourniadis and Duke Anthony.

Duke was in Harwich on holiday when he heard about the fire and offered to help put the studio back together. A day or so later he was presenting a show!

The Easter celebration of radio had been planned for many months before the devastating fire and it was only due to hard work by many people that we were able to proceed with the weekend.

With the generosity of the New Bell Inn, Electric Palace Trust and Scruton Wyatt Media we have added a substantial amount to our regeneration fund.


Easter Report

The following was sent to the Harwich & Manningtree Standard for the 5th April 2024 edition.

Radio Mi Amigo was broadcast from historic light vessel LV18 in Harwich Harbour over Easter Weekend, with fans flocking to Harwich to help mark the 60th anniversary of offshore broadcasting. Radio Caroline started the radio revolution in 1964 just off the coast of Harwich, and were soon joined by other ships. The guest DJs, on board the LV18, for the weekend included Keith ‘Cardboard Shoes’ Skues and Roger ‘Twiggy’ Day who were both on Radio Caroline, and other ships, in the mid 1960s.

Radio Mi Amigo was also supported by visiting DJs Stephen ‘Foz’ Foster, Garry Lee, Olly Kinvig, Paul Windsor, Chris Cooper, Rick Marks, Dave Kent and Duke Anthony. Duke had arrived in Harwich to help put the studio together but ended up in the studio chair hosting several shows!

One highlight of the weekend was when Keith Skues and Roger Day shared the studio to talk about their lives afloat sixty years ago, before they headed to the Electric Palace as guests of BBC Essex presenters Steve Scruton and Ian Wyatt. The proceeds of that show will be donated to the LV18 Restoration Fund, along with a donation from the Electric Palace Trust from film revenue over the Easter Weekend’s 1960s film festival.

BBC Essex was broadcast live from the LV18 on Easter Saturday, with Steve Scruton interviewing the DJs, fans who had gathered on the quayside and members of the public.

The Pharos Trust, which owns and operates the LV18, also hosted a visit by three member of the Tendring District Council Economic Development team, which has been working with the Trust on a community radio project over the past six months.

It is hoped that the ship will re-open to the public by the end of May, once the immediate restoration work and clean-up have been completed. A further live radio weekend is being planned for August.

The Pharos Trust thanks everyone who helped put together the wonderful weekend in the LV18’s floating studio and would especially like to thank those who helped raise money for the continuing Restoration Fund.

Press Release 27-03-2024

Radio Ship Back On Air For 60th Anniversary of Pirates

The LV18 will be able to take part in the 60th anniversary of offshore broadcasting after a mammoth effort by contractors and volunteers to prepare and repair the ship following the horrendous fire on 2nd February, The work has been gratefully supported by the community and businesses, including the New Bell Inn and Electric Palace, who have raised money for the Pharos Trust to help the ship’s restoration.

The Radio Mi Amigo studio was ready on Thursday to ensure that shows will be able to be broadcast from the LV18 over the Easter weekend. This weekend marks the date 60 years ago when Radio Caroline started a radio revolution just off the coast from Harwich.

Two original 1960s pirate DJs, Roger ‘Twiggy’ Day and Keith Skues, will be broadcasting from the Mi Amigo studio over the weekend, and will also be appearing at the Electric Palace on Monday for a live show about pirate radio, hosted by Steve Scruton and Ian Wyatt of BBC Essex. Other DJs taking part include Stephen ‘Foz’ Foster, Garry Lee, Paul Windsor, Olly Kinvig and Chris Cooper.

BBC Essex will be also be broadcasting live from on board the LV18 on Easter Saturday with Steve Scruton and Ian Wyatt between 2 and 6. Steve is also hosting a fundraising show for the LV18 restoration at the Electric Palace on Bank Holiday Monday. The cinema is also showing a dedicated weekend of 1960’s films, including ‘Dateline Diamonds’, some of which, was filmed in Harwich and on board the Radio London pirate ship in 1965. The cinema is donating a proportion of the proceeds to the Pharos charitable trust, which owns and operates LV18

Tony O’Neil, chairman of the Pharos Trust, said he was delighted that the ship’s studio would be available for the weekend, and this was a testament to the efforts everyone had put in and to the enormous support the charitable trust has received from voluntary efforts and community involvement alike. There is still much work to be done to finish the restoration work and a crowd funder has been set up to assist in this. It is hoped that the unique heritage vessel will shortly be reopened to the public.

Easter Schedule


Please note that the schedule may need to change due to DJ availability.


(Easter programmes begin at  07:00)

07:00-09:00 Olly Kinvig – Rock’n’Roll Breakfast

09:00 Danny Lawrence

10:00 Pete Nightingale

11:00 Gordon Bathgate

12:00-14:00 Duke Anthony

14:00-16:00 Paul Windsor

16:00 Chris Morgan

17:00 Rick Marks

18:00 Chris Cooper

19:00-22:00 Garry Lee – The Stonehenge Disco

22:00 Chris Morgan

23:00 Chris Morgan



00:00-03:00 Dave Kent

03:00-06:00 Paul Windsor

06:00 The Reverend Rabbit

07:00-10:00 Olly Kinvig – Rock’n’Roll Breakfast

10:00 Pete Nightingale

11:00 Chris Morgan

12:00-14:00 Keith Skues

14:00-16:00 Duke Anthony

16:00 Jeff Martin

17:00-19:00 Paul Windsor

19:00 Chris Morgan

20:00 Pete Magnetic

21:00-00:00 Dave Kent



00.00 Jim Fourniadis

01:00 Robin Dee


03:00-06:00 Chris & Rick Double Header

06:00 Chris Morgan

07:00-10:00 Olly Kinvig – Rock’n’Roll Breakfast

10:00 Chris Morgan

11:00-14:00 Steven Foster

14:00-16:00 Keith Skues

16:00 Jeff Martin

17:00 Pete Nightingale

18:00 Paul Windsor

19:00 Jim Fourniadis

20:00 Jeff Fitzgerald

21:00-00:00 Garry Lee – The Stonehenge Disco


00.00-03:00 Paul Windsor

03:00-06:00 Chris & Rick Double Header

06:00 Chris Morgan

07:00-10:00 Olly Kinvig – Rock’n’Roll Breakfast

10:00 Gordon Bathgate

11:00 Pete Nightingale

12:00 Roger ‘Twiggy’ Day

13:00-15:00 Rick Marks

15:00 Garry Lee

16:00 Paul Windsor

17:00 Robin Dee

18:00 Chris Morgan

19:00-21:00 Paul Windsor

21:00-00:00 Garry Lee – The Stonehenge Disco

At Midnight all shows will continue from our Overnight Service,

Please note that the schedule may need to change due to DJ availability.