This first batch of photographs were taken between January & July 1987
First view of the MV Peace, rather rusty isn’t it!
The main supply tender comes alongside the MV Peace with food supplies.
Alex Lee (Donal Kavanagh)
Gavin Ford. It came as a great shock to all of us that worked with him when he was murdered by two vicious thieves who broke into his home in Lebanon and stole his car and other belongings in late 2018. Gavin was a well known star in Lebanon, and the police quickly arrested the culprits and they were later put on trial and sentenced.
Gil Katsir in the studio of Radio City. A shopping centre entertainment service.
Itzik, the office driver, and Gil Katsir
Itzik, the office driver. He was smuggled onboard when there was a change of captains, and stayed onboard overnight. He jointly presented a programme with Steve Richards 😉
Benny Berman visits the VOP.
Gil with Benny Berman, an Israeli singer who came out to the ship to launch his new record.
Neil & Mike Darby doing some studio maintenance
Mike Darby, Neil Armstrong, Mike Davies (L-R standing) Dave Asher & Alex Lee (L-R sitting)
No, not Kenny Everett, it’s Mike Davies in the main on-air studio
Mike Davies presenting the Classical Music programme 😉
Mike Davies & Steve Richards
Mike in the VOP office
Mike Davies in danger!
Noam Aviram, transmitter engineer, DJ, TV host and also an actor in one of the Lemon Popsicle films!
Tony, Mike, Alex & Paul
Loop linkage between the aerial tuning unit and AM aerial.
Canadian engineer Jack Hoeppner.
Tony the engineer. I know very little about Tony other than he had been involved in pirate radio in the Birmingham, UK, area. As was customary on the MV Peace, most staff were given nicknames, Tony was called ‘Cucumber’.
I do believe this piece of artwork was constructed by Tim Shepherd who had seen something similar on the Radio Caroline ship.
Richard Steed, DJ and actor. Richard appeared in some British TV dramas before travelling to Israel to work on a kibbutz before joining the VOP.
Mike Davies with the ‘Popemobile’
The main tender
Tel Aviv as seen from the normal anchorage location
Fishing boat and launch near the MV Peace. Reading (NW Tel Aviv) power station in the background.
New Nautel AM transmitter being craned aboard
Radha attaching the AM aerial array
Radha working on the AM aerial. Note the four u-shaped FM radiators.
The tower seems very thin, but it stayed up!
Don’t say you weren’t warned!
AM aerial attached to the main tower
Control panel for the AM transmitter
Nautel AM transmitter and power supply unit.
The audio processing rack
Reel to reel tape machine in production studio
Production studio/DJ hang out
Cart rack and turntables in the main studio
LPB audio console in the main studio
The MV Peace looks very white in the Mediterranean sunshine.
Radha, Alex, Paul, Dave Asher, Mike Darby
The Astor Hotel on Tel Aviv seafront. The DJs and crew stayed here whilst on shore leave. It was convenient for the bars and restaurants in the area, and a strategically placed pedestrian crossing lead directly from the hotel to The White House bar!
The famous White House bar and cafe. Conveniently situated opposite the Astor Hotel where the DJs stayed when on shore leave.
Radha Krishnan, engineer, cook, friend of the DJs, top man!
Arnold, the ship’s chief engineer. He was from The Philippines, and is remembered for his ‘pooky pooky’ phrase 😉
Ian, one of the many deckhands we had. He was ex-British army, and had been working on a moshav, which was a type of cooperative agricultural community of individual farms.
The crew, Arnold the engineer, Radha & Max the cook
Feeding time at the zoo. Richard, Tony, Neil, Tim & Alex
Sarit, who was one of the secretaries in the VOP office. Note the folly type building in the background.
Gavin Ford, and station accountant Helen.
Mike Davies and Yael Saul
Vered & Gali. Dedicated VOP listeners who seemed to be listening 24 hours a day. Very little of importance was not recorded by these two young ladies.
We even had members of the IDF listening to the VOP. This is a young Avner Epstein who I met on one shore leave. Knowing that I would probably not be interested in meeting a young male he got a female friend to arrange to meet me at the Astor Hotel, and he just so happened to tag along! His ingenuity led to a long friendship which continues to this day!
A very young, and very slim, Mike Davies!
In the office with the daughter of the station accountant
Dave Asher in the studio in the Frug Street office.
‘Mad’ Max, the Irish cook. His father was a rabbi in Dublin. Sadly Max died a few years ago.
Tim Shepherd on air.
I think Mike Darby is showing off how much weight he has lost after a week or two onboard!
Mike’s cabin door!
Neil, Alex & Paul resting after a spell on the ropes!
Neil Armstrong, Mike Darby & Dave Asher doing bridge watch 😉
Reuven, Captain Teunis, Alex Lee & Mike Darby
The Captain, Arnold the engineer (by the generator), and Max the cook
Mike Davies setting the pace!
…is the word, 24 hours a day
Activity in Ashdod Port
An Ashdod tug preparing to tow us out of the harbour after a refuelling trip into port.
That little white blob on the horizon is the Peace Ship, as seen from the Tel Aviv sea front.
The Shalom Tower in Tel Aviv. At the time it was the tallest building in the Middle East.
Jaffa. The outcropping of rocks near the harbour is reputed to have been the place where Andromeda was rescued by Perseus.
A mosque’s minaret in old Jaffa.
A typical Eastern Mediterranean view
Nice legs Tim S. Top of the Shalom Tower in Tel Aviv.
Looking out to the MV Peace from the Shalom Tower
Sea front Tel Aviv as seen from the MV Peace.
The following photos were taken between September & December 1988
A specially commissioned painting outside a bar in Tel Aviv featuring many of the personalities and influential figures in Israeli society. Abie Nathan can be seen sitting just off centre in the light blue shirt.
Transmitter engineers’ work desk.
Captain Tony, TX Engineer Dan Smith, ship engineers Radha and Jose.
The original AM transmitters which were taken out of service after the death of a transmitter engineer in 1986.
The Harris FM transmitter
The bridge on the MV Peace
Generator and housing.
Thankfully this was never used, not sure it would have been any use if it had been!
Jose the ship’s engineer doing a bit of fishing.
Scottish deck hand Keith painting the MV Peace.
We occasionally let Keith into the studio for a play with the equipment.
Martin Murphy in the studio. Martin worked in Irish radio before and after his VOP stint. Nowadays he makes announcements of a different kind. He’s a senior pilot with a well known airline.
When departing from Israel VOP staff needed a letter to explain why they had out-stayed their Entry Visa. Without this piece of paperwork there would have been problems!
After the Peace Ship
Mike Davies & VOP listener Avner Epstein meet up in Wales in August 2019!
Mike Davies working on a radio station licence application in Steve England’s office at Alfasound in Manchester.
Richard Steed recording a programme in Mike Davies’ studio
Alex Lee & VOP Agent Barrie Johnson at the Driftback event in London.
Gil Katsir & Steve Richards in Mike Davies’ studio in 1988
There is very little video material about the VOP, so when I returned to Israel in 1988 I took a newly bought video camera with me. A year or two later I managed to edit up the recorded material into a decent hour long feature. A few hundred copies were made and sold over the next few years. Hopefully viewers enjoyed some of the behind the scenes footage!
Dave Asher working on the VOP – The Eighties, documentary vinyl LP.
Interesting to see the LP I produced going for daft sums of money! ___ o ___ VOP -The Eighties The Voice Of Peace Documentary Pirate Radio Galim Records Caroline Vinyl LP Sold – 12 May 2018, 12:15 £39.99 Buy It Now, £3.99 Shipping, 14-Day Returns, eBay Money Back Guarantee Seller: Top-Rated Seller raven-records (25,778) 99.7%, Location: England, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 362077800721 The Voice Of Peace Documentary Pirate Radio Galim Records TSI 5062 Abie Nathan.Narrated by Dave Asher. Includes 4 page insert bookletMinor shelfwear to sleeve (see photos), but otherwise in excellent condition.Please check out our other items! Condition: Used, Genre: Soundtracks, Sub-Genre: RADIO, Speed: 33 RPM, Record Size: LP (12-Inch)
Mixer and tape decks in Mike Davies’ studio. At one stage the studio was going to be used to record programmes for the VOP to help out when there was a shortage of DJs.
Record decks in Mike Davies’ studio. Over thirty years later these two decks are still in good working order!
Spread the word!