Red Sands Radio Fort Antenna


The ferocious gales of early 2018 have brought down the second of two antennas built by Red Sands Radio. The fist single dipole mast proved inadequate shearing at the base insulator during erection over two weekends. Whilst only designed for the 2007 broadcast, the popularity of the station encouraged a return the following year

Sourcing a fibre glass lattice mast, a second antenna was erected and has since been fully maintained. Unfortunately, unauthorised boarders made a fire on the top of the G1 Tower, resulting in damage to the lattice base and weakening several insulators. This damage was hastily repaired, and in April 2017 new stainless guys and several new insulators fitted

Exposed to the rigours of the weather and prevailing westerly winds, funnelling down the Thames Estuary, it’s understandable why the Forts have deteriorated to such an extent. To give an indication, I recall in 1965 we lost galvanised steel buckets filled with sea water, and even a small boat overboard!

Red Sands Radio came ashore in 2009 and broadcast from Whitstable Harbour until 2014. But we’d always hoped to make further broadcasts from the Fort. Sadly the high winds of 2018 were the final straw for the antenna which had stood for over ten years. Finally, it’s testament to designer Guy Maunsell who said with proper care the Forts would stand for 200 years. However, built by largely unskilled labour in 1943, and without structural maintenance since 1958 it’s remarkable that the Forts have stood so long