During the Second World War, the City of London was a major target for both naval and aerial bombardment. In 1943, numerous towers were built in the Thames Estuary as anti-aircraft defences to protect the capital. Known as the Red Sands Forts, these Star Wars Walker-like constructions were initially built on land and floated out to sea in 1943.
The forts had some success. The soldiers stationed there shot down a total of 22 attacking German aircraft and 30 doodlebugs, protecting densely populated London from even more devastation. Later in the war, the equipment was replaced, and removed soon after. The forts were eventually abandoned in 1958. It wasn't until 1964 that the Forts served a new purpose. Screaming Lord Sutch set up Radio Sutch (a pirate radio station) in one of the old towers. However, he soon became bored and handed the project to his friend and unpaid manager Reginald Calvert, who then expanded into all five towers that were still connected and called it Radio City.
After the station was shut down in 1967, the Red Sands Forts were yet again abandoned and remained offshore, slowly rusting away. Luckily, a planned restoration of the forts was scheduled in 2020, but was delayed by COVID 19 pandemic. It is planned for the forts to become a museum once restored.
Recently Dan went to visit Red Sands Forts and was shown around by Dave Foulkes from Project Redsand.