Don’t worry – this is not an April Fool trick!
Simon has taken a couple of weeks off (from his day job and the boat), to help out a fellow lightship owner. LV16 is even older than Cormorant/Lady Dixon and is currently in dry dock in Chatham having her hull renovated (Photo 1421).
That is a very smart (covered) dry dock, more like an aircraft hangar than a boat shed!
The hull had been re-sheathed down to the waterline before she came in and, would you believe, because sheet copper is so expensive, the new sheathing is made from flattened domestic copper hot water tanks (Photo 1422).
The old sheathing is being removed and is copper because the cheaper Munz metal that clads Cormorant was not invented at the time LV16 was built (1839). The pile of scraps is growing, but perhaps scraps is the wrong word as there is about £1,000 worth of copper there already (Photo 1423)
Meanwhile my research into Cormorant’s pirate radio phase intensifies, with the help of stalwarts like Mervyn Hagger, Chris Edwards and Co. The period is 1961/62 and it was all over, bar the shouting, by March 1962. We are trying to find out who bought the ship from G.A. Lee Ltd of Belfast; when it arrived in the Thames and where; and where it went after the pirate radio idea (GBOK) was abandoned. Watch this space.