RADIO SUTCH - When Reg first heard that Radio Caroline had made it's first broadcast in March 1964, using The Forturnes song ''Caroline" as their theme tune, he was smitten. He wanted to have his own pirate radio station. He couldn't afford to buy a boat - so looked for an alternative and discovered the abandoned war time forts in the Thames Estuary. He laid claim to several - but eventually settled on the Shivering Sands Forts which were outside British jurisdiction. Screaming Lord Sutch (David) joined with him in starting the first few broadcasts in May 1964, but soon returned to performing and Reg carried on his own and re-named the station RADIO CITY and put it on a more 'professional' footing.
At the time there was no popular music stations - other than Radio Luxemburg - which could not easily be heard. Pirate Radio became very popular and the government and BBC were totally against 'free' radio and put out a lot of propaganda against them so that major companies were frightened to advertise on them. Radio Atlanta - (run by Allan Crasford and Major Smedley) the 2nd station on the air - soon ran out of money and went into partnership with Radio Caroline. This also failed and they were almost bankrupt. Radio Caroline (run by Ronan O'Rahilly) took over their ship the Mi Amigo and broadcast as Caroline South and his other boat broadcast off the Isle of Man as Caroline North. Major Smedley offered Reg a new transmitter to go into partnership with him. In December 1965 - the transmitter arrived - about 30 years old and did not work. Reg was becoming quite successful and paying his way with American Evangelical broadcasts. Radio London paid their way by charging 'air time' for playing the records. In June 1966, Radio London wanted to go into partnership with Reg and make Radio City into an easy listening station with the most powerful output. Having a station on a 'tower' was a much better proposition - than a boat. Five days before the partnership was to be signed - Major Smedley (against Allan Crawfords wishes) boarded the station in the middle of the night with Kitty Black and a gang of armed 'thugs'. Two days later - he shot Reg.
The trial was a farce. All the press knew it - but couldn't publish anything. Afterwards - many people tried to publish the true story - but were stopped. Dorothy Calvert said that she was told there was a D Notice - the 'Official Secrets Act'. Certainly - the documents and evidence were not released until recently.
FACTS: All the witnesses on Reg's side were cancelled. Prosecution called friends of Major Smedley to be witnesses !! ? (See Kitty Black's account on the web ). All the evidence to prove that the reason Smedley had boarded the station - were not submitted. He lied repeatedly when he said the transmitter was new and worth £10,000. No engineers or photographs were submitted to prove the truth. He did not pay the transportation costs to have the transmitter delivered from Texas and the invoices were removed by the police and 'lost' until after the trial.
Reg had a small pox vaccination in preparation to go on holiday with Dorothy - and he could not move his left arm. Alan Arnold who owned the aerial drove with Reg to have a meeting with Major Smedley at his house. As they arrived - Smedley picked up his shotgun from the top of the bedroom wardrobe - loaded it - went to a neighbours house and told them to 'phone the police - as there was going to be trouble. Returned - and immediately shot Reg, then pointed the gun at Alan Arnold who was terrified - and ran.
Smedley's defence said that Reg was 'mad' shouting, throwing objects and Smedley was frightened. He had to pull the trigger as he though Reg was going to his his 'mistress/housekeeper' with a bronze statute.
Reg had never in his life been known for this sort of behaviour. When he was angry - he went quiet. He was physically strong and he always talked his way out of trouble.
Photographs recently released - A television detective or a Miss Marple - would have spotted the lies. The photograph of Reg on the floor after the shooting had his left hand glove removed and placed next to him along with the statue. He was still wearing his (thick) right hand glove. Reg could hardly move his left arm - and he was right handed
When Dorothy asked Alan Arnold what had really happened, she said he was terrified and walked away. He did not tell the truth in the Hearing or Trial and his evidence was manipulated.
Dorothy's life was threatened several times when she insisted that she had the station returned to her.
The judge said that it was a case of 'Aggrivated Burglarly' and released Smedley and awarded him 250 guineas costs. Shortly afterwards Smedley sold his story to the News of the World.
This case was what the Government were waiting for. A reason to close 'free' pirate radio down. New laws were brought in and Radio City Closed in February 1967. Later in the year - the BBC re-formed to make Radio One, Two, Three and Four.
Reggies Kray invited Dorothy out - shortly after the closure of Radio City. He said that he wanted her to continue and that the had the Government in his 'pocket', but she refused saying she would not break the law. He said, he could see she was a lady who would not change her mind and drove her home in this Rolls Royce. It wasn't until the following year - the Kray's trial that she realised who he was. Also - the engineer whom she had sacked as she belived he let the boarders on the station was in the same trial as being employed by the Krays. Only afterwards, did she suspect that the station may have been used for a cover for smuggling for the Krays ??
Dorothy said that before the partnership deal with Radio London, Reg seemed to be very worried. Previously he had loved Radio City - but something happened and he couldn't wait to move on. He wanted her and his daughters to go and live abroad until the partnership was signed, but Dorothy refused. Later, after the boarding, he admitted that their lives had all been threatened, but he wouldn't say anymore.
June 1966. Boarding Party with Radio City staff.