Hospital Radio Chelmsford Celebrates 55 Years of Broadcasting
Updated: Jan 7
Hospital Radio Chelmsford started broadcasting from the Nurses’ Day Room at Chelmsford and Essex Hospital in September 1964. At 11 o’clock on a Sunday morning, founder members Dennis and Eileen Hance watched over a very nervous Malcolm McGinlay as he made the initial announcement to open the station, followed by ‘Wonderful Land’ by The Shadows, which became the theme tune for Hospital Radio for the next few years. In the beginning the station only broadcast for once a week on a Sunday from 11.00am to 12 noon. ‘Wonderful Land’ then became the theme tune for ‘Sunday’s Requests’, which was later extended to a two hour show from 10.00am to 12 noon. This remained the theme tune until the end of the 70s.
So after 55 Years the station is still broadcasting from its studios located in the West Wing of Broomfield. The station Management decided that the best way to celebrate this achievement was to have a non stop 55 hour broadcast with all programmes being broadcast live, with each hour playing music representing a year, i.e. 1964 to 2019. Prior to the commencement of this broadcast Steve Scruton, our President, spent time reminiscing about his time at Hospital Radio Chelmsford. At 12 midday on Friday 29 November 2019 the live 55 broadcast started with Alain Heaysman playing music from 1964, together with sound bites from the same year. Both current and former members took part in presenting the remaining hours, recodings of which of are available from the Recordings Page.
The members of the radio past and present have been broadcasting throughout the night, drinking lots of coffee and eating some lovely donated food and even parents of broadcasters bringing in cake to celebrate the birthday.
We are all volunteers and here for the patients and staff broadcasting 24 hours a day to Broomfield Hospital, helping patients pass the time and reduce the anxiety of being in hospital. We are very busy looking for new members to help with request collecting, technical stuff, broadcasting and just being part of a happy team so if you can help please contact us by visiting our web site www.hrc.org.uk.
Paul Morrish, Tony Knight and Sam Jenkins finished the broadcast with a reflection of the 55 hours broadcast.
Goodies supplied by many, including Tesco, The Ship Public House, Sam's Mum, Neil's mum and Lisa.