Sunday, 18 February 2018


In the day, apart from human visitors, the radioships were also a favourite but brief place to rest for migratory birds and sometimes for fogbound gulls. But hardly ever were flies seen on board, the distance to international waters simply being too great for insects to fly. At least the djs never ran the risk of painful mosquito bites.

Once however a fly did get on board the Galaxy, Radio London's vessel. It must have been hiding in the supplies which were delivered by the Trip Tender. The “distinguished visitor”, as Paul Kaye described the fly, quickly found its way to the messroom. Because it was the only fly on the ship it was soon treated as a pet by the djs and crew. They even gave it a name. They found that Franky the Fly had quite a good ring to it. A few days later however tragedy struck in the form of Chuck Blair's “negligent hand”.

Immediately the radioship was turned into a hive of activity; a funeral had to be organized. Proceedings were directed by news chief Paul Kaye (1934-1980). The ceremony held, including a “funeral fly-past” and some gun salutes, was broadcast live on the station during the Pete Drummond show at 2 pm on Friday June 2nd 1967  In the address it transpired that Franky the Fly had been a lover of music “from the tips of his wings to the end of his... dying days”. The funeral service was a brilliant piece of radio theatre and you can enjoy it here: TheFuneral of Franky the Fly.

More of AJ's radio- and other anecdotes. 

No comments:

Post a Comment