There have been many people who have used and abused the work of 'The Trio' and there have been a few who have shared their own resources and worked together for a common cause.
Dave Dudley was such a man.
Dave's son Simon bought the former 'Lady Dixon' lightship which he began converting into a home. His father became very interested in the history of the hulk and 'The Trio' began sharing information with David. He told 'The Trio' what he had discovered about the proposed home of GBOK, and 'The Trio' shared their information with him.
Then tragedy struck and 'The Trio' received this note from SImon:
"Unfortunately, due to David being taken ill, he will not be responding to this email address for the foreseeable future. Thank you.'
On Monday May 16, 2016 another email was received from Simon:
".... can you please take David off your email list for the moment as he is in hospital in a coma after a tragic accident last friday."
Finally, on Sunday July 17, 2016 this last email was received from SImon:
".... thank you so much for your kind words, they mean a lot. Sadly i think it is now a matter of days as David pulled out his feed tube in the week and the decision was made not to replace it. He is on morphine in case of any pain but i think he is ready to leave us. Will you please pass on our thanks to everyone else."
Another door to research had closed.
However, before David became ill, a lot of progress had been achieved in trying to establish a true chronology of GBOK and how it related to the "Voice of Slough", and threads of a story that had never been published before, began to emerge. I am amending this thread so that it remains as its own acknowledgement about the contribution made by Dave Dudley whose input I shall no doubt be referring to later on.
The story of GBOK now moves to a new thread that will follow this one, but to complete this tribute to Dave Dudley, and to explain how and why he became involved with the hulk that he referred to as the 'Cormorant', please follow this very detailed thread:
This is how that thread began on September 17, 2013 at 09:23:
"My son has recently bought the Cormorant, which has a chequered history. She was built in 1876/78 by the Victoria Shipbuilding Co., West Passage Cork, Ireland. She was 91 ft long, 21 ft wide and her draft was 11ft. She cost £7.500 to build and served on many Irish stations. Her construction was a composite of teak planking over Iron Frames. In 1942 she was sold to the Belfast Harbour Commissioners and renamed "Lady Dixon" after the Harbour Masters wife. .... Later in life she was destined to become a pirate radio station, but Customs and Excise intervened! Later she is reputed to have been moored at Pitsea and converted to a houseboat under her original title of Cormorant .... Now she is moored at Hoo near Rochester. Only one third of the above deck accommodation is habitable and below deck is in a poor state and bare ...."
David's many updated posts read like a story in itself, and therefore if you would like to know more about his involvement with this vessel, I encourage you to follow the thread I have listed. His last entry before going into hospital was on April 30, 2016.
Meanwhile, before I continue with the story of GBOK on my own thread, here is what David wrote on January 16, 2016 at 10:41 ....
"DavidD: Talking of detective work, Mervyn Hagger has been corresponding with me and given me a brand new take on pirate radio stations. He is firmly of the opinion that a lot of people have been and still are repeating myths originated for the specific purpose of creating obfuscation, and consequently everything from BBC to Wikipedia archives (which he reckons are always dodgy), are parroting back stuff that is entirely bogus. The real story of offshore radio is somewhat mind-boggling and it is not the story that the fans of offshore radio (1960-1968), think that it is.
"Arnold Swanson was Canadian by birth. He had no money and was a vacuum cleaner salesman and not an expert in anything - except conmanship. On top of which he was exposed in the British press as a fraud, and in Canada he was convicted of 'Saville-like' crimes and his wife divorced him.
"Thompson had spent time in Canada. There was obviously a split-off from Thompson by Swanson, but Thompson retained a lucrative underwriting radio sponsorship, while Swanson seems to have gained control of the Lady Dixon, while Thompson had a mere 70 ton motor boat. This and more from ‘proper’ researchers like Mervyn, Chris Edwards (Offshore Echos Magazine) and Jon Myers (Pirate Radio Hall of Fame). I very much welcome guidance from such stalwarts to keep me away from untruths and Chinese whispers, such as the often quoted origin of Cormorant – the Victoria Shipbuilding Co. I discovered that no such firm existed and she was built by the Cork Harbour Docks and Warehouse Company, who owned the Victoria dock.
"Mervyn sent me one tit-bit that Chris Edwards found during his research at the national Archives, Kew – I really must get down there! This is an extract from an official memo dated 13 February 1962.
"The Controller: Further to my report dated 5th February, 1962, on 6th February 1 received a press cutting from the Scottish edition of the "Sunday Pictorial, dated 4th February, 1962, from which it will be seen that Mr Arnold Swanson gave an interview to a reporter in which he said that he had invested £30,000 into the scheme for commercial broadcasting from a ship, that he had sold £100,000 worth of advertising time, that the broadcasting station would operate from a converted lightship flying the flag of Monaco and moored off Southend. The call sign of the station was stated to be 'GBOK'. As a result of this information I made enquiry of Trinity House and ascertained that four lightship vessels were sold in 1959. - J Johnstone.
"The memo goes on to detail investigation into the disposal of the Trinity House vessels – red herrings! Mr Johnstone also investigated Scottish Lights, to no avail. He missed out the real source – Irish Lights.
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