"My ex-woodwork teacher always placed me bottom of his class..."
So John Bennett stopped wasting his time building pipe-racks and constructed a model of the original Caroline ship, Fredericia

(Above) The components of the 'Main Studio' which lies beneath decks, and which plays 3 hours of discs, ads and jingles from Caroline North

I read with interest about John S Platt's model of the MV Galaxy. Some 15 years ago I built a model of the MV Fredericia (MV Caroline), as Radio Caroline North was my station; the one I grew up with.

I had no knowledge of model-making beforehand, indeed my ex-woodwork teacher always placed me bottom of his class – I argued that pipe-racks and lamp-stands were nothing to get excited about, but if given a free hand to make what one wanted...

Many years later I put this argument to the test and thus built the Fredericia. I had no blueprints so it's not exactly to scale.

My model took some 2 years to build and is complete with a working anchoring and lighting system. The lighting complies to the maritime requirements for a stationary ship at sea.

Top superstructure, hinged to allow access to 'The Studio'

View from top of the mast

The model features a working "studio" in that a small cassette player is below decks, with 3 hours of music, jingles, commercials and programme excerpts from Caroline North, 1964-1967. This has been mixed to provide authentic crackles, fades and heterodyne whistles which used to afflict the 259m wavelength after dark.

MV Fredericia, renamed MV Caroline, late 1963

1930, by Frederikshavns V & F A/S, in Frederikshavn, Holland

14 knots

LENGTH: 188 feet

BEAM: 18 feet

: 763

Served as ferry-boat on the Baltic until 1963.


After refitting in Greenore, Eire, commenced radio service on Easter Sunday, 1964, anchored off the Essex coast under the callsign, Radio Caroline.

Some months later, the MV Mi Amigo dropped anchor within a few nautical miles of the Fredericia, and commenced broadcasting under the call sign, Radio Atlanta.

In June, 1964, the 2 organisations merged. The Mi Amigo stayed at the Essex anchorage, with the callsign Radio Caroline South. The Fredericia sailed under her own power to a position 3.5 miles of the coast of Ramsey Bay, Isle of Man, and commenced broadcasting to the north of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Scandinavia under the callsign Radio Caroline North.

She was pirated from this anchorage at 5 am, Monday March 3, 1968 by a tugboat operated by the Weismuller Salvage Company. This action was almost certainly at the behest, and payment by Harold Wilson. – JOHN BENNETT

Many thanks to John for sharing the photos of his beautiful model Fredericia. John's memories of listening to Caroline North can be found here
View other offshore radio ship models via the Model Ships Index Page.

Photographs and text © John Bennett 2002