2019 & planning for the future

Lightvessel LV18 is a registered historic ship and is believed to be the only publicly accessible historic ship between the Thames and the Humber. She was built in 1958 and decommissioned by Trinity House in 1994, as the last manned lightvessel in UK waters. LV18 is the only preserved lightvessel in its original condition in the UK.

The lightvessel is owned by a charity, the Pharos Trust, who bought it in 2002. The vessel has been in the current berth on Harwich Quay since 2011, funded by Haven Gateway Partnership as part of the Quayside Regeneration Project. LV18 is open to the public all year round, albeit weather dependant in the winter.

The Trust is keen to work alongside Harwich Haven Authority, Harwich Town Council, Tendring District Council & Essex County Council to continue to promote the history of Harwich and to attract additional visitors to our maritime town.

In particular we feel it is appropriate to work closely with HHA and other stakeholders on interpretation and promotion, especially given HHA’s enhanced community involvement over the past few years and their outline plans for 2019/2020.

During 2018 we were awarded funds by Harwich Town Council and TDC’s Big Society Fund. These were used for essential maintenance and engineering.

For 2019 we have plans to reallocate one exhibition compartment on the lightvessel to help visitors understand the role lightvessels played in the waters around the UK but also the role of merchant shipping, particularly on the East Coast. We are also planning to enhance the existing pirate radio exhibition. In both areas, additional audio visual displays will be introduced as we have access to archive media, including an interview with the last master of the LV18.

We will be seeking funds to support these plans and hope to start work by the end of March 2019. It is believed that we could have the new or refurbished exhibitions in full use by June.

Alongside those works we also plan to install new lighting, signage and banners.

We are already undertaking a project to extend audio and video cabling from our studio to the exhibition spaces as well as external locations, a deep clean and repaint (where necessary) will occur alongside these works.

Our financial plan for this is as follows:

Exhibition interpretation and presentation £3750
including: 4 x internal video/still displays with mounting kits
                1 x external/weatherproof audio-visual display
                Exhibition display boarding
                Lighting and electrical supply for exhibition spaces
                Public harbour webcam
                Installation costs

External advertising signage & banners £1250
Includes lighting

Other projects, still being developed, include a twenty four month repair and renovation plan for the ship, including re-installation of central heating, as well as a rebuild of our radio studio and creation of a production suite.

Tony O’Neil
on behalf of the trustees of the Pharos Trust

LightVessel 18
The Quay
CO12 3HH

Essex Book Festival visit

The Essex Book Festival is visiting the ship on 3rd March.

“Calling all on board the LV18 in Harwich Quay: hear a live pirate radio revival with BBC Essex, listen to nautical tales with Shane the Storyteller, and enjoy shanty songs on deck with the Silver Darlings. Below deck, the intimate and magical Mueller and Malten’s Live Poetry Jukebox will also be waiting for you. Suitable for all ages.”

Full details from their website: https://essexbookfestival.org.uk/event/all-aboard-the-boat-that-rocked/

Statement from the trustees

“LV18 is due to be moving to Ipswich Waterfront temporarily to enable vital dredging and engineering work. The timing of the move is subject to weather and other critical marine conditions. We will update as soon as we have confirmation of a towage plan. Thank you for all your messages of support and concern.”

Easter Radio Shows

We have two days of special radio shows this weekend on Radio Mi Amigo from the LV18’s studio.

LISTEN HERE : http://www.lv18radio.uk/listen-online/


2.00PM Brian Anderson (Memories of 1974)
3.00PM The Mi Amigo Oldies Show
5.00PM Garry Lee’s Stonehenge Disco
Featuring 3 hours of album tracks – Past, present & future!
9.00PM Brendan Day’s 1968 Show
Midnight Another chance to hear some recent Radio Mi Amigo programmes from our archives.


MIDDAY Garry Lee’s Stonehenge Disco
2.00PM Barry Jamm’s Glam Rock Special
3.00PM Happy Hour with Ian Riches

4.00PM Roland Visser’s Power Hour
5.00PM Jan Berg
6.00PM Rene Van Den Abeelen – Musiek Therapie

7.00PM Tim Rice
8.00PM The New Releases Show
Hour 1 – The latest rock & metal releases
Hour 2 – The lastest Indie / Alternative / Cross-over releases
Hour 3 – The latest Psych / Space rock & Underground.
11.00PM The Reverend Rabbit Show

Harwich news

The crew are at a conference today (12th March 2018) about the 400th anniversary of another ship’s adventures – the Mayflower. Harwich was the original home of the Mayflower and its master, Christopher Jones, lives only 100m from where the LV18 is berthed.

We’re proud to be on board with our partners Harwich Haven Authority, Tendring District Council and the Historic Harwich Group for this important event.