Thames Estuary Maunsell Forts

Part 4 - Red Sands Fort

Approaching Red Sands on the journey from Shivering Sands, the construction of this fort can be seen to be very similar to Red Sands. A central command tower surrounded by five other towers in a circle around it, with the searchlight tower slightly removed from the others.

As with Shivering Sands, the towers would have originally all been interconnected by steel walkways, but these have long since been removed for safety.

As with the other offshore platforms, after the war ended, pirate radio operators eagerly boarded the platforms and set up their tall transmitter masts - the configuration of the forts was ideal for such a construction.

First it was Radio Invicta, commencing on 29th July 1964, broadcasting from 6am to 6pm on 306m - the transmission times were limited as overnight transmissions would have been swamped out by a foreign radio transmitter using the same frequency. The station went off air in February 1965 and the fort was soon taken over by KING Radio, transmitting on 238m.

Then on 25th September 1965, Radio 390 took over with a more easy listening kind of programme - light jazz and Mantovani and his Orchestra could regularly be heard all over the south east of England on their 35KW transmitter. All stations were eventually closed in 1967 when the UK changed the law with regard to radio broadcasting.

Recently, Red Sands has been under threat of possible demolition, being considered a danger to the nearby shipping lane. A group of enthusiasts feel this would be a terrible loss to our herritage so recently, a group have gotten together to see if something can be done with Red Sands fort to preserve and indeed introduce new people to the historic value of the forts.

Project Redsand have recently performed a survey which has revealed that the forts are in remarkably good condition under water for their age. They are currently beginning work on the restoration of one of the fort towers.

Back to Part 3 - Shivering Sands Fort

On to Part 5 - Nore Fort (remains)

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