John Stewart Hatt

(also known variously by on-air names John Stewart, Chris Stewart or John Aston)

March 1943 - December 2017


When I came to compile this tribute page to John, I pondered whether or not to use a station logo as a backdrop. However, it was impossible to choose any one logo, as John could rightly claim to have worked for more Sixties sea-borne broadcasters than anyone else. His voice was heard over the airways from ships and forts under various guises. In no particular order, John worked on King Radio, Radio 390, Radio Essex, Radio Caroline South, Radio Caroline North, Radio 270 and Radio 355.

Dinner on the Mi Amigo. (l to r) Tommy Vance, Steve Young, Mike Ahern, Robbie Dale, John, Johnnie Walker
Photo: Eastern Daily Press, Norwich, supplied by Keith Hampshire

John was proud of his offshore radio career and loved to stay in touch with the friends he made during his stints on various Sixties stations. If a radio reunion was held, you could be sure that John would be there, so we have paid tribute to him by compiling a collection of photos from many of the offshore gatherings he attended and enjoyed.

Some of the Caroline jocks at our 35th Anniversary Reunion in 2002:
Mick Luvzit, DLT, Keefers, Dave Williams, John, Graham Webb, Gord Cruse, Nick Bailey

On the day after our 2002 reunion, a small party assembled in London to visit 6 Chesterfield Gardens. John came prepared with stickers reading 'Caroline' and 'House' to attach to the pillars either side of the doorway, before we posed with them for photos, (no doubt to the bemusement of the current residents).

John restoring 6 Chesterfield Gardens' proper name
Caroliners (clockwise from top left): Mick Luvzit, John, Gord Cruse, Graham Webb, Bud Ballou

Just around the corner from Chesterfield Gardens, the Caroline group with Kenny Tosh outside the Red Lion, Mayfair

In 2004, Roger Twiggy Day organised Caroline's 40th Birthday Party at the Red Lion. Being close to the offices of several stations, the pub became the watering hole of choice for those on shore-leave. John is busy here decorating the bar with Caroline memorabilia in the company of engineer George Saunders and Simon Dee.

Outside the pub: Paul McKenna, Caroline Founder Ronan O'Rahilly, Dave Williams, John & Nick Bailey

In 2006, Grey Pierson chose The Red Lion as the venue for a 40th Anniversary Reunion of those who served aboard his father Don's second offshore radio ship, the Olga Patricia, aka Laissez-Faire.

From left: seated with John are Dave Gilbee, John's wife Christine and Svenn Martinsen.

No more reunions for The Red Lion as, sadly, it closed and remained empty for some years, but has now been redeveloped from public house into a luxury residence.

Employed in the film industry for many years, John had plenty of tales to tell of the models and special effects he produced for blockbusters such as Star Wars and Alien. He was responsible for building a replica of the Radio Caroline North studio for inclusion in an exhibition about the station staged at the House of Manannan in Peel on the Isle of Man, in 2008.

John's studio mock up for the Manx 'Pirates of the Irish Sea' exhibition in 2008/9

A London mini-reunion.
(l to r) Big Ben, Keith Skues, George Saunders, Bryan Vaughan, John

It was rare for John to miss a radio reunion and in the years following his devastating Alzheimer's diagnosis, his loving wife Christine ensured that he was able to join his friends on as many occasions as possible.

At the 2014 Amsterdam Radio Day, John bravely announced the news of his illness to the audience as he accepted his well-deserved award for Outstanding Contribution to Offshore Radio.

Mark Sloane exhibits an original teeshirt

Joking with shipmate Steve Young about the 'Dinner on the Mi Amigo' photo above

The Radio Day panel combining staff from both North and South Caroline ships:

( l to r) Back Row: Mark Sloane, Bud Ballou, Steve Young, Brian Vaughan,
Twiggy Day.

Front Row: John, Gord Cruse, Wally Meehan,
Ross Brown
John thanks organisers Hans and Martin for his well-deserved award for
Outstanding Contribution to Offshore Radio

In July 2015, Roger Scott organised a Radio Essex 50th Anniversary Reunion in Whitstable

( l to r) Back Row: Keith Martin, Martin Cane, Roger Scott's partner Lorraine, Roger Scott

Front Row: Guy Hamilton's wife Roma with Cousin Moosie, Mike Brereton, Guy with a photo of Knock John, David Sinclair & John

The last time many people saw John was at the Offshore 50 reunion on August 14th and the Sealand 50th Anniversary dinner which was held shortly afterwards.

The Radio Essex gang at Offshore 15, 14th August 2017.
(l to r) Dick Dixon, Mike Brereton, Roger Scott, John, Guy Hamilton, Mark West, Martin Cane
(Photo: Martin van der Ven)

At Offshore 50, John chats to Mark Sloane, his friend with whom he shared many offshore adventures
(Photo: Martin van der Ven)

Our sympathy to Christine and John's family.

He will be loved and remembered by his many friends.

Cheers John, and smooth sailing

Mary & Chris

The Pirate Radio Hall Of Fame Tribute

The IMDB listing for John's contributions to movies

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