James Marston: Getting to grips with the pirate radio ships that were anchored off the Suffolk and Essex coast in the 1960s

James Marston takes a trip to the Seaside. Clacton

James Marston takes a trip to the Seaside. Clacton

Do you remember Radio Caroline?

Obviously I’m far too young, but this week I discovered at the new Pirate Radio Museum in Clacton that in the 1960s it was anchored off the east coast.

Apparently these pirate radio ships were all quite visible from places like Frinton, Walton, Clacton and even Felixstowe where, as regular readers will know, I have a small flat with sea views (distant).

Pirate radio has a lot to answer for apparently not least continual music being played on the radio – or the wireless as my grandmother used to call it.

I wonder if the natural and logical progression from this cultural shift in the 1960s is not so much the fact that pirate radio broke the monopoly of the BBC but the fact that you can’t go into a shop nowadays without continual piped music.

Am I the only person that despairs of this background noise in our daily lives?

Everywhere I go – banks, supermarkets, pubs, even the swimming pool – music drowns out my profound thoughts.

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Last time I was in Newmarket pool I asked why we couldn’t have Radio 4 instead of the noise that passes for pop/rock/rap/indie/trance/din favoured by the lifeguards.

All I got was a strange look and a shrug as if I was slightly mad.

Last time my plain-speaking-photographer-friend-Lucy and I had a mooch around Ipswich town centre we popped in to a shop where one could have been forgiven for mistaking thinking we had slipped into a nightclub.

The noise was so loud I nearly asked her if she fancied a quick cha cha as I chose a pair of socks.

Lucy said that I was just getting old and should stop being such a curmudgeon.

She may have a point but for once I’d like to shop in peace at least until night clubs sell socks.

I did try to find some peace and quiet, however, this week as I dipped in waters of the somewhat churned up North Sea off the coast of Felixstowe.

So inviting it looked this weekend, that I had to make the effort.

The problem was, however, it was a so rough I got seasick – though the two Topics I ate in quick succession as I thought I might need some energy probably didn’t help.

Anyway the waves were so choppy that it wasn’t long before I’d swallowed a bit of salt water and felt a bit seasick.

Next time I’m sticking to the pool and putting up with Britney.