Radio Ship Mi Amigo 1977 till 1980
Mi Amigo 1977
Mi Amigo December 17th 1977
3 photo's of the Mi Amigo on 17th December 1977.
Welcome to The Mi Amigo 2 page, on here are pictures taken by Martin Wallice, Nick Richards (who's now on Corks 96 FM) and myself which have layed unseen for over 26 years now. Thanks to Martin for finding them. Please remember they are all copy righted.If you wish to use them please email Roundsandsounds
Anchor winch
Taken from the tender
The photo's we're all taken between December 1977 and April 1980, they are in no year order. Before you look at anymore, here is an article I wrote for Horizon Mag about my time on the Mi Amigo
I first went out to the Mi Amigo in December 1977 with Albert Hood on one of his weekly sight seeing trips to the ship.
My first thoughts about the ship was it did look a bit rusty but seemed very stable with that almost 200 feet of radio mast at the front of the ship.
On that first trip I did not stay just going out to have a look, but I was hooked at that point thinking I want to work on the old girl at some stage.
I went out sight seeing on several occasions in 1978, finally going out with Albert to have a look at the ships generators in autumn of that year and staying on the ship.
That winter of 1978/79 the station was off air, but things on board at first were not too bad, we had one of the ships small generators running 24 hourd a day, and plenty of food. Water was the only thing we had to watch what we used.
That first trip I was on board for about 13 weeks, on board at the time was Tony Alan, Peter Chicago, Roger Matthews and Busby (Richard Thompson)
Early January 1979 I came ashore, and my time aboard the Mi Amigo almost came to an end then as mid Jan the ship was abandoned and almost sank in an Easterly Gale.
Peter Chicago managed to get a boat to go out to the Mi Amigo the next morning and got aboard before she was boarded a then could have been towed away by the authorities. Peter was on his own for over 24 hours when the likes of Mike Barrington, Tony Alan, Myself, and some other helpers went out with some new pumps for the ship.
The ship was in darkness when we got along side but she did seem to be riding the waves ok. Once onboard we set to work to get one of the ships generators running once again and start pumping the water out.
Water had come in from several leaks in the ships plates around the engine room at the stern of the ship. Some of us fixed them using concrete while the others on the ship set about clearing the cabins and the record libery and English studio below decks which had flooded to about half way up the starboard side. What made the mess worse was the water that seeped through the whole ship was mixed with oil and diesel.
After about 12 hours or so we had pumped the whole ship as dry as we could and from then on we set about washing all the records in fresh water that had been submerged in the oil etc, There was about 3000 of them that needed cleaning I remember Tony Alan did most of that, the rest of us started cleaning and re painting the cabins, record libery and the English Studio.
Trouble was at this time we had very little diesel, water or food on board, and only power for cooking, so about 2 hours a day, rest of the time the ship had no electric power. Our night lighting was with Hurricane lamps, they tended to go out well the deck ones did in storms, remember we are talking about February and March 1979 here and we did have some very bad weather at that time, around Valentines day we had one very bad North Easterly storm 10 to 11, but the ship held out ok, taking on water again but very little I'm glad to say.
Early April 1979 the weather was very good so we got to work on chipping and painting the deck housing and side of the ship.
We had been told to get the ship ready to go back on air around Easter 1979. Good Friday was very calm, but nothing came out to us and much the same on the Saturday, which I remember as being so calm 2 of us even went in for a swim. We had dinner that evening about 7 and we thought nothings going to happen this Easter now.
Then around 8ish we heard a ships hooter, we went out on deck and a rather large boat was coming along side, there I noticed Tom Hardy and Peter Chicago. Once Chicago came on Board he announced to us we were going back on air in the morning at 10am.
We just about had One good working Generator in the engine room which would run the 10kw TX but not the 50kw, and the Cummings on the back deck which was not one of the ships most reliable generators but would with a kick and shove some times work and that would power the 50kw ok.
Peters first attempt to put the TX on ended in a flash and bang and Peter saying 'Oh Bugger'. One cup of tea and a cake later and a little more cleaning inside the transmitter and we were back on air with Tony playing Fool if you think it's over.
That summer and autumn of 1979 things got better all the time on the ship with the Dutch service daytime and English service night time and in between the religious recorded shows which brought in a lot of money.
We had loads of food especially chickens that year as one of the owners of the Dutch service had a chicken factory.
There was talk late 1979 of the all day English service starting up again once the Man generators had been repaired, that was going to happen around March/April 1980 but as we know it was not to be. March 1980 and the old girl could hold out no more and sank just off the Long Sands in the North Sea.

Now for the pictures. The Ships Transmitters, she had 1 50kw and 2 10kw's
50 kw
50kw with 10kw in the back ground
Johnny Lewis(Steven Bishop )Turning on the 50kw
ATU at top of 50
50kw with 10kw in the back ground
one of the 10kw TX's
The other 10 kw tx, both did work
The bridge, with Gen day tank
Inside the Bridge
Back of bridge
Ferry Eden, Mike Stevens, Kas Burrell, Chicago and Samantha
Dutch and English DJs 1978
Another of the team in 1978
The Ship had 5 generators, 2 MAN V8's a Cummins all used to power the 50 and 10kw TX's. A Henshaw that would power just the 10kw, and a very small emergency Honda for pumps and lighting
All powered up. Cummins
Don't even ask what i'm doing here!
Almost sorted
Mike Barrington by the Cummins
Little Honda
Little Honda
The Henshaw
My Cabin at the Back of the ship
winters morning
Winters Morning
Mi Amigo on a Winters Morning
Tender aproaching the ship
Martin, Tom Anderson, Albert Hood and Chicago leaving on the Tender
Very front of the Mi Amigo
In the late 70's on the station we promoted the Caroline Roadshow which you could go along to in many parts of the East and South Of the UK. The Roadshows played to sell out crowds. The Station also had some very nice promotion girls. For some reason they we're never sent out to the ship!
The Mi Amigo was a small but very stable ship. but in Gale's she did used to Rock'n'Roll just a little!
Got wet getting this picture
Johnny Lewis (Steven Bishop) Big Hair in the Gale
Bit Windy on board today
Rock'n Roll
Getting Calmer
Nice and calm again
That's better weather Tender damage to the side of the bridge
Same damage
Ship walk way, with studio and cabin hatch's open, must be summer
English studio being re built after the ship almost sank in Jan 1979 Recored libury after the ship almost sank in Jan 1979
Radio Mi Amigo's Hugo Merlinoff and Frank Van Der Mast
Mi Amigo from Fuel boat
from top of bridge
Inside the mast
Martin Wallice by the mast
Martin, Johnny(Bishop) and Hugo
Mi Amigos mess room
Logo  re painted blue in 1979
Logo and spare anchor
logo before being re painted
Ship looking back
Radio Mi Amigo studio on the ship
Another photo of Radio Mi Amigo's studio
Another view from the tender
The spare anchore
spare anchor at the ready!!
Some pictures now of me on the air taken on the ship in 1979 while I was known as Steven Bishop. I became Johnny Lewis when I started Working for Sunshine Radio in Dublin in 1981.
Looking a bit younger then. Now for 2 more pictures of the ship, and a North Sea sunset
The chain that parted in March 1980

In March 1980 during a North East storm the ships anchor snapped and she drifted onto the Long Sands off the Kent Coast and sank.

Here are some picture's taken of the wreck in March and April 1980

Mi Amigo buoy by the wreck
Sad photo's. The Mast stayed up till summer 1985. Now to end this page just a few newspaper cuttings about the ship and it's sinking as well
The class of 77 to 80, how many can you name?
Got some more interesting letters and paper cuttings still to come
I Got given some letters sent out from Radio Caroline in the 60's, these have been given to me by my good Late friend Tim Stewart. Tim's was a very keen supporter and listener of Caroline for many years, and even came out to the Ross in 1985, he even had a pint or 2 of the stations home brew beer GBH.
Caroline club Application 1966
Caroline Club Logo
Caroline Club info 1966
Caroline letter 1966 re new 50kw
Aug 15th 1967
The Mi Amigo 30 years on re union took place in a London pub on Saturday
10th March with about 30 of us who worked in one form or another the ship
from 1977 till she sank in March 1980.
Former colleagues from Holland Belgian Ireland and from all parts of the UK
attended, including James Ross, Mike Stevens, Tom Hardy, Stevie Gordon, Tom
Anderson, Kate Webb, From Holland Ad Roberts, Dick Verhaul, Marc Jacobs, and
many more.
We talked about the good old days and what the Mi Amigo meant to us, and our
times at sea.
Stories were swapped about what we are all doing now.
Some of us had not seen each other since the late 70's.
After the pub closed most of the guys headed off into London for a good old
Photo's taken by the assembled crew were swapped, many never before seen.
An idea to put our stories and the unseen photos into a new book to help
keep Radio Caroline on air was also suggested, so look out for that.
It will be worth every pound, or Euro

Well that's it for now, but I do have a few other bit's I'll be putting on here later.If you have any memories of the Mi Amigo why not let me know E-mail Roundsandsounds