Milestones of Radio Cherwell
Twelve people, predominantly Post Office Telephones staff, sought to start a hospital radio service in Oxford. Their scheme was approved by the Oxford Regional Hospital Board and the United Oxford Hospitals.
Oxford's Hospitals Broadcasting Association (OHBA) was officially opened on 30th September by the chairman of the United Oxford Hospitals Board of Governors, Mr. Eric Towler. The studio was an old Nissen hut based on the Churchill Hospital (CH) site and programmes consisted of Record Requests and live commentaries of Oxford United's home matches.
The ultimate aim was to expand the service to all of Oxford's hospitals and increase the number of hours of broadcast. The limiting factors were staff and money.
The membership had increased to around 30, the broadcasting had been extended to include Monday and Wednesday evenings and the service expanded to the Radcliffe Infirmary (RI) and the Eye Hospital. It was around 1974 that the first stages of re-development of the Churchill site began and in February we moved from the Nissen hut to a Portakabin.
Our service expanded even more when the John Radcliffe Maternity, now named the Women's Centre (WC) opened in the late seventies, followed by the John Radcliffe II (JR).
Following a competition which was run in a local newspaper, Saturday 1st April saw OHBA re-named as Radio Cherwell.
"OXTALK", the talking newspaper for the blind and partially sighted, was started and we gave them the use of our studios to record their tapes. (This arrangement still exists today.).
The re-development of the Churchill site continued and on the 15th May, the Churchill Hospital Governor, Mr. John Hunt, officially opened our new, purpose-built studios. It's still our home today!
Q: How many people can you get in an open top Ford Escort car?
A computerised broadcast system, designed by Michael Clarke, one of our engineering team, was installed.
The first Oxford Mountain Bike Challenge, organised and run by Radio Cherwell, was held at Shotover Park.
Happy 30th Birthday. To celebrate, we entered the Oxford Lord Mayor's Parade with a BIG cake on the back of a float.
With continued changes in our programmes and advances in technology, we have been able to expand our output to include a number of Ward-based programmes and repeat broadcasts the following morning.
A new station sound was launched together with new programme formats, to include news bulletins on the hour, every hour.
Year of the Volunteer. To promote the service we provide by unpaid volunteers, we put on a roadshow in a local shopping centre.
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