Feedback from participants and listeners to Radio Mi Amigo 2015 (updated 14/08/15)

A thank you note from PD Tony Currie and Tony O'Neil of the Pharos Trust and the response from participants

Dear Everybody,
Thank you for making our nine days on air such a huge success.

A brief email like this is in reality an inadequate way of expressing the huge gratitude that I and the Pharos Trust have for your efforts.

Many of you - at your own very considerable expense - travelled long distances to be with us and stay in Harwich. Such generosity is touching and does not go unnoticed.

The broadcast was a team effort, and I was delighted by the teamwork that was on display.  Seasoned broadcasters and beginners alike pulled together, helping each other to make it nine days for Harwich to remember.  Great music, great reminiscences, great fun.  Great radio.  Our programmes were unique - a diverse range of styles and music that, perhaps surprisingly in this compartmentalised day and age, resonated with all our audiences and not just a niche.

We have received many emails, Facebook messages and calls expressing delight at what we did and there are lots of listeners out there who are now sad that they will have to wait a year to hear their favourites back on air.

Your efforts were - to quote the title of the very last record we played, chosen with extraordinary perception by the youngest member of our team - "not in vain". The LV18 is now safe for another year, with sufficient money in the bank to maintain the ship. And that's a brilliant result.

You will, like me, treasure your memories of an exhilarating and often challenging period on board a wonderful vessel. Many pictures are on facebook, others will no doubt be circulating. Recordings are emerging of the entire broadcast on bootleg websites.  It's all out there, somewhere!

So thank you once again for being the best people in the world to work alongside.  Mi Amigo team - I salute you!

And it'll be even better next year....

TONY CURRIE, Programme Director, Radio Mi Amigo

Above, right: Tony hard at it in the Mi Amigo studio on the LV18 bridge


From: Sylvan (The Stowaway Girl!)
Sylvan Mason LBIPP

Dear Tony
It is YOU that is the real star of the show! It is quite incredible the amount of hard work, time and talent that you poured into this wonderful event over the past few weeks.

I had the choice of being interviewed by you over the phone, or of coming down to the ship - quite a drive from London - and I am SO glad that I chose the latter!

It was such a wonderful experience to be your guest on Sunday 26th and to be able to chat away so amicably with you - both on the air and off.  You are a wonderful interviewer and made me feel interesting and completely comfortable. Thank you also, for sending me the recording of the show. I shall edit it as a fun thing to play to my children and grandchildren.  

Please do invite me again next year. I would love to come! I have become very fond of the whole crew and would love to spend time with you all again.

In the meantime, warm wishes, kindest regards and love from Sylvan

Steve England's show on Mi Amigo
was on Monday morning, 27th July
(Thanks to Steve for the photo and the one below with our esteemed PD)

From: The Monalisa Twins

Dear Tony, dear Sylvan,
We also want to jump on the bandwagon, uuhm we mean ship, here and say thank you so much, Tony, for having us on board and on your show. What an experience! You've been a great interviewer, and your whole team was caring and made us feel so welcomed. From now on we will only sing with human mic-stands!
We really appreciate you supporting and playing our music and all the kind and encouraging words you said on and off air. The same goes for you, Sylvan – Tony told us what you said about our music and it really made our day, thank you!

Ever since our visit we've been reading up more and more on the history of pirate radio and we wish we could have been growing up in the 60s. Where is a Tardis when you need one? We love the story of Sylvan locking herself on the ship!
Anyway, thanks again so much for everything. We are glad that we took the detour to stop by in Harwich!

We hope to see the pirates again soon! Give us a shout if you're ever in Liverpool, we'll stay in touch!

Much love, Mona and Lisa, MonaLisa Twins

From: John Ross-Barnard

Sisteren and brethren of the LV18
Great days, great company, great weather, great programmes, great commitment, great comradeship, astonishing hours from Tony - splendid off-air crew all combined to make a wonderful week's experience. Even better than the old days!

Bless your hearts and do come and stay with us at Chesters413 B and B if you are passing through the heart of England in Coventry

Thank you, thank you, thank you - and for Neon Nancy thank y'all, y'awl come back now.

Happy Daze, John & Connie RB

From: Neon Nancy

Tony, you are a star! You worked so hard, and I'd like to thank you as well. I hope you get some much-needed R&R.

The lovely people, the music, the harbour - it was all magical. Thanks for inviting me again this year - I feel so blessed.

Hugs, Nancy xox

From: Scott Ross

Hi Everyone,
Although I sent a personal message of thanks direct to Tony yesterday, I would just like to add how much I enjoyed meeting and chatting with so many wonderful characters last week.

I have to say that the regular static radio studio now seems very mundane but had it not been for all those who took to the open seas more than half a century ago, I would not now be free to sit in a comfortable studio playing back-to-back music and commercials.

I am also fortunate in that I regularly get to see one of the Mi Amigo gang - Keith (or should that be Dave?) Rogers who for his sins, follows me on Monday and Tuesday afternoons with the DRIVE SHOW on Brentwood's Phoenix FM. You need to feel extra sorry for him as once I discovered that he had been invited to take part in this event, I badgered him unmercifully to bend Tony's ear to let me join the team. So thanks are due to both of them.

It would be great to be able to do it again next year (See the badgering has started already!).

All the best, Scott

From: Tony Prince
I share the above sentiments, Tony. Well done indeed.

From: Ian Hickling, Transplan UK
Thanks Tony. We at Transplan UK are proud to be part of your project.
If any of your friends would like advice or equipment for facilitating low-cost broadcasting for any occasion we would be delighted to help.
Sincerely, Ian Hickling, Partner

From: Guy Hamilton and Johnnie Blackburn

Thanks again from 'Guy' and 'Johnnie' for all the fun and your exquisite tech-opping! And congratulations too on all the brilliant organisation.
They say that the easier it looks, the harder work it's been. Not sure that's true of course, but with all those skills, you should be in radio...!

(Left) Hamilton and Blackburn make full use of their Tony Blackburn Joke Book

From: Tony O'Neil, Pharos Trust
Dear All,
What a very enjoyable 9 days with a huge variety of guest presenters and music. I like to think that we played a selection for all tastes with a good measure of anorak radio thrown in. It was very well received by the good people of Harwich, for whom it was primarily aimed, and further afield on the internet. My warmest thanks go to...
...Tony Currie, who organised an exceptional broadcast on board our dear LV18, which has greatly benefited from all the attention and media profile.
...Also to all the participants and technical crew, too many to name individually, who gave their time, great knowledge and energies for free, for their support, encouragement and devotion to the project.
...To all the advertisers and sponsors who paid for the broadcast.
...To all our listeners, far and wide, who enjoyed our eclectic mix of programming.
...To our loyal supporters who made the pilgrimage to Harwich to, yet again, to help us celebrate some of the highlights of the antics of the radio revolutionaries that once bobbed around just off our local coast. And to the residents of the Harwich area, many of whom served, maintained and, occasionally, rescued them.
...And, last but not least, to John (and Connie) Ross Barnard who played 'Land of Hope and Glory' one afternoon, which inspired me to alight from my car at Wrabness and stand to attention in the rain. We salute you all.
Here's to the next time!
Kind regards, Tony
From: Ian Godfrey, London SW6

Hi TC,
An emphatic "thanks a lot" for this year's Mi Amigo broadcast; music-wise and and technically the most varied nine days of broadcasting I can remember! I wouldn't be surprised if the technical hitches were due mainly to duff equipment.

The positives far outweigh the negatives though. I've listened dozens of times to Roger Day on BBC Kent and more recently Uncool Radio, etc. but his two Mi Amigo shows were the best I'd heard from him, probably since 1970 RNI!

I'd never heard of Stephanie Hurst but, as the only mainstream music station I ever listen to is Planet Rock, it's not surprising! From the start it was clear that it wasn't the first time she'd been behind a microphone! Her enthusiasm was really fantastic, especially from someone easily young enough to be my daughter!

I had doubts about tuning in to Chris/Mary Payne show - feeling they'd be constantly mentioning Big L and their website - but was pleasantly surprised and found it really compulsive listening, with so many records I'd never heard of and info on many of the artists.

The last voice was Scarlett's. She was amazingly competent. Incidentally, as soon as she mentioned that her birthday would be in 12 days time it suddenly dawned on me that it'd be 14th August, if her counting was correct!

I hope it can be repeated next year, possibly for the full 28 days, if funds permit.

Regards, Ian Godfrey


From: Terry & Debbie Bateman, Southend

Hi Cousin Moosie, Mary & Chris,
Wow….Toast and Marmalade for Tea! Cracking track, not heard it in ages on the 'ole wireless – I've got the 45 single somewhere.

Here we are back in Sunny Sarfend after a nice day out in Harwich. It was really nice to see you both today and have a chat.

All the Eeyores sitting on the radios in my collection say hello to Moosie.

Terry and Debbie

(Photo: Eeyores (or should that be Eeyori?) enjoying the show in Southend.
Suggested collective noun: a braying of Eeyores)

From: Mark Roman (Spain)
Music is great, really great. Can Mary take a hint? Her presentation is informative but needs more light and shade, less monotone. She is probably trying to contain her excitement, don't. Let us hear your enthusiasm, get excited, not too much. Treat the mike as a real person. Share the pleasure, and watch the breaths. That said you are doing a great job girl, choice of records is excellent, you would make a great programme director. Lovezya!!

(I think I might possibly improve my presentation skills if I hosted a show more than once every ten years or so! – Mary)

From: Kees Brinkerink (Netherlands)
Thanks for a great show! I've been listening from beginning right to the end and it was fantastic. Especially the not-so-obvious non-charted songs, I love to hear those!

From: Trevor Bailey (Nottingham)
Thanks for the name check. Tried to email during the show but it just bounced back for some unknown reason. Thoroughly enjoyed the show. Great to hear some music that I haven't heard in years. Look forward to the next one!

From: Colin Wilkins, Leeds
Hiya Mary,
It's Colin from Leeds, enjoying the show and all these rare songs but you don't always say what the record is called...Keep on playing them though!

(Playlist now available - Mary)

From: Diana and Hugo (Horsham)
Hi Mary and Chris,
I've been listening to the whole show, plus an hour or two of the previous one, and have been really enjoying it! Hugo has been listening too, on and off. Good to hear you and all the great music!
Love to all, Di

From: Paul Rusling (East Yorkshire)
Just a few lines to say thanks for a great show on Saturday night on Radio Mi Amigo. Im really pleased I recorded it. Just so much great music crammed into your 3 hours and so many memories in so many of those tracks. Some stuff I thought I was the only one who remembered and indeed until a few months ago, I had many of those tracks in my collection. I remember the Tin Tin track being released in July 1970, and people actually ID-ing it on the air as the Bee Gees in disguise!

From: Keith Milborrow (listening in his hotel room in Harwich)
I really enjoyed your show and selection of music. I managed to stay awake (!) until 11:15 so did not hear you bring your programme to a close. As expected, I heard very little of Cousin Moosie and not that much either of Chris. I assume he was concentrating more on "driving the desk" or trying to tempt some words out of the diminutive superstar, so left the majority of announcing to you.

From: Alan Hardy (Whitton, Middx)
Only caught the last 40 mins or so 'live', but recorded it all…….so look forward to hearing the whole show.  It sounded great.  Thanks for the mention too!  I hope you were pleased – it sounded like you were having fun.

From: Paul (PJ) Johnson (Bristol)
Hi Mary,
I just wanted to email and say what a fabulous programme you and Chris did last night on board the LV18. I think you have a nice voice Mary and the programme was entertaining and very interesting.
Thanks for the hello you gave me. Did you get to read my email about my new project station called Radio Mary? It's named after the former Pan's People member Mary Corpe who I had quite a crush on back in the mid Seventies.

Anyway, it was very Kneese to hear you last night, hope you will do more radio soon

From: Tony Lawther
Hi Mary & Chris,
I've just finished listening to your Mi Amigo show (I recorded most of Saturday's output). Brilliant!  Extremely informative and must have taken a good deal of preparation.
I wish I'd been able to come now, as I didn't realise there'd be more people from 'my' era rather than just the late 70's and 80's. Roger Day's show was good, and Tony Currie was obviously working hard.
I hope the lightship is holding up OK – Tony and I talked about lighting her up so she was more of a feature in the evenings,

Thank you to everyone for recording the Cousin Moosie show or staying awake to listen. We very much appreciate your feedback. Unfortunately, we were unable to read out any communications that came in, as there was only one laptop in the studio and that was set up to initiate the return to Radio Six, after midnight. We dared not touch it to read the kneemail!

All the tracks featured in the show are on the extremely extensive playlist of and we are grateful to the Oldies Project Team for constantly introducing us to new music from the Sixties and Seventies and reminding us of many long-forgotten tracks.

Mary, Chris and Moosie

Download a .pdf file of the Cousin Moosie Show Playlist

Download a .pdf file of the Harwich Her Hometown lyrics

Fab Forty for 11th June 1967

The Mi Amigo 2015 Photo Gallery

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