Hi I'm Johnny Lewis, (some people might also remember me as Steven Bishop, or Johnny Moss) living in Sandwich, Kent now. My radio career started in 1977 when I got involved in boat trips to the then Radio Caroline ship Mi Amigo, which was anchored off the Essex coast. I was a Broadcaster and Engineer on the ship till it sank in March 1980. Shortly after that I went to Israel to work on the Voice of Peace, a radio station broadcasting to the Middle East from a ship moored off Tel Aviv. From early 1981 till mid 1984 I worked on the likes of Sunshine Radio, Radio Nova, South Coast Radio and ABC Radio in Eire, I'll tell you more about them at a later date on this site. In 1984 it was back to the North Sea once again to help on The Communicator, and became home to Laser 558. Then it was back to Radio Caroline. In 1987 I thought it was time to come ashore and work on ILR, firstly at Radio Wyvern in Hereford and Worcester, and then to Kent and Invicta Radio. I now work for the local station for East Kent in Thanet, doing the breakfast shows on KMFM, which if you're in the area is on FM 107.2. I hope you enjoy looking at the photos of the past 27 years.
Me with big hair on the Mi Amigo, winter 1978
Mi Amigo 1978
Mi Amigo on a calm day.
The Mi Amigo in late 1978 had big problems with her generators and in October went off air, and was off till Easter 1979. In the time the ship was off air it was abandoned once and nearly sank on more than 1 occasion in the bad storms of the winter of 78/79.
Radio Caroline had a very good year in 1979 and survived some very bad storms in the winter of 1979 and early 1980. Finally in a bad North Easterly storm 10 in late March 1980 The Mi Amigos anchor chain parted, the ship drifted onto a sand bank off the Essex coast and sank. The Sheerness lifeboat rescued all the crew and Wilson the budgie. Mi Amigo 2 days after sinking - glug, glug, glug.
Calm day 1978.

The mast on The Mi Amigo stayed up until the late summer of 1985. In fact going out to the new Radio Caroline ship Ross Revenge we used to go past the mast. Gave you a strange feeling.

More pictures of the Mi Amigo coming soon

Tom Hardy and Stevie Gorden in the English studio on the Mi Amigo 1979
It was not always this calm 16 miles out in the North Sea

The Mi Amigo was one of the smallest of the Radio Ships, but as she had around 200 tone of concrete to ballast her she did ride the waves rather well, though sometimes it was like being on a submarine as she did lay low in the water..

Thanks to Nigel Harris we've found a few more pictures of the Mi Amigo from 1978/79. More will follow soon.

Mi Amigo
Mi Amigo
Mi Amigo
Mi Amigo
Mi Amigo
From the Bridge
Mi Amigos 50kw TX
Deck Feed through insolator, at the bottom of the mast
50 and one of the two 10kw Tx's on the Mi Amigo
Caroline studio on the ship
Brian Martin on Air
James Ross in his cabin
Mike Stevens on Air
Stevie Gordon on air
Another of Stevie
Stuart Russell AKA Nigel Harris in another of The Mi Amigo studios
Spot of swimming
Chicago thinking about a swim
Radio Mi Amigo's Herman  Degraft
One of the 2 main MAN V8 Gens on the ship at the time
Mi Amigo's Bridge
one of the ships cabins
Mi Amigo's Galley
Ships cook Kas Burrell catching Fish!!
from the rubber boat.
Mi Amigo Mess Room
Spare Anchor
one of the old gens being sent to the deep
Almost ready
It's going over the side
Above Peter Chicago and Roger Matthew's get ready to send one of our old generators to the deep..Made a nice splash.
Nigel covered in Flower after a little bit of ships fun
Nigel and Samantha
Caroline Roadshow
Nice photo of Samantha and Nigel in the English studio on the Mi Amigo in 1978 Above and on the right, Fun at the Caroline Roadshow
M.V. Mi Amigo 1978
Martin Fisher on Air Nigeh Harris AKA Stuart Russell 1998
Martin Fisher on Air on The Mi Amigo, Martin was also one of our TX engineers
Nigel in Caroline's Maidstone studio around 1999. Bit like cliff he ain't aged!!
Caroline Roadshow
The Caroline Roadshow first went on the road in 1977, visiting many towns in East Anglia, the south East and Home counties. Most of the venues it played to were a sell out and at times the DJ's from the ship would take a small turn to entertain the crowd's. It was also a nice bit of extra beer money for us. The Roadshow was fronted by former Caroline and RNI DJ Robb Eden.
Robb Eden  Caroline Roadshow
Caroline Roadshow crew 1978
More from the Roadshow 1978
Roadshow 1978, Wasting your time there girl!!!
We did have a lot of fun when off the ship.
Kees Burrell on deck
Nigel Harris and Albert Hood at the Roadshow
Mi Amigo
Mi Amigo winter 78
Winter 1978 on the North Sea
Mi Amigo and our Tender Jan 1978
Radio Caroline founder Ronan  in 1978
The Mi Amigo chain that broke in March 1980
Radio Mi Amigo Studio on the ship 1978
Radio Caroline Founder Ronan in 1978
Mi Amigo Looking Back
Mi Amigos Radio Mast
Mess Room christmas 1979
My Thanks to Martin Wallis from Ipswich for the photos of the ship and Ronan, More will be coming soon. In the mean time my thanks to Fred Kooreman from Holland who's sent me some pictures of the Mi Amigo in Zaandam in the summer of 1972, just before returning to sea to start broadcasting again.
Mi Amigo Mast in Summer 1972
Mi Amigo summer 1972
In Zaandam Summer 1972
My Thanks to Fred Kooreman for the photos on the laft and right and the one above

Here's an e-mail I received while on air on Caroline on Saturday June 9th 2007 along with 2 photos of The Caroline ships in Amsterdam taken in September 1972 just before the 2 ships were sold. The Caroline North ship was sold for scrap, while the South Ship Mi Amigo went back out to see and started broadcasting again, until she sank in March 1980

Hi Johnny..enjoying the program here in sunny Nottingham..thought you might find these two pics of interest..they were taken in 1972 in Amsterdam..that's me stood alongside the Mi Amigo...I'm carrying some items I picked up off the two ships including a calendar from 1968..still have them all....the other pic shows the MV Caroline...sold for scrap not long after.

The guy that took the pics sadly died 2 weeks ago...wonder if you could play something in his memory as he was a great supporter of Radio Caroline...he also visited the Ross Revenge so had the proud record of being onboard all 3 ships used by Caroline. His name was Andy Longhurst.
Many thanks
Pete Craughwell


Mi Amigo in Amsterdam September 1972
MV Caroline in Amsterdam September 1972
Crispian St John..AKA ..Jay Jackson on his way out to the Mi Amigo in late 1972 Both Caroline ships in Amsterdam in Summer 1972

I've been sent some more pictures of the Mi Amigo by Fred Kooreman, thanks Fred. The pictures were taken between the summer of 1972 and Christmas 1973.

The first ones show the Transmitters when the ship was still in port in summer 1972, and show how they were vandalised while in port. Then theirs some of the ship in the Radio Atlantis and early Seagull days with the mast that did not last too long, and lastly some of the ship with the last mast she had, the one that stayed up till the summer of 1985, longer than the 'old girl' her self!

The 50k in Summer 1972, before the ship went back to sea
Another of the TX room in summer 1972
Mi Amigo still in port summer 1972
Now back at sea, Summer 1973.
Nice front view of The 'Old Lady'
Thanks once again to Fred Kooreman, some great pictures of 'The lady at Sea'
The Mi Amigo in summer 1973, Radio Seagull at night and Atlantis in the daytime
Mi Amigo summer 1973
Mi Amigo September 1973
It's summer, but still a swell, here the Mi Amigo is 4 miles from Holland
These pictures were taken while the wind was from the North West, not a good direction off the Dutch coast
This mast lasted around 3 months.It fell in October 1973, The next one lasted longer than the ship!!
Below are pictures of The Mi Amigo with the New Mast, this is the mast that stayed up till the summer off 1985, even thought the ship sank in 1980.
Winter 1973 with the new mast, the one that lasted longer than the poor old lady,
Mi Amigo xmas 1973
The 'Old Lady'

Now for 3 very sad scans taken of the wreck of the Mi Amigo in Early September 2007.

You can still make her our although the 'Grand old lady' is slipping into the sands. God bless Her.

Scan of the Mi Amigo, September 2007
Scan of the wreck of the Mi Amigo September 2007
Mi Amigo., September 2007