So the project team reported back to committee with our conclusion that YES, it was doable but we needed to raise more funds and we needed some specialist help.
A year on and with some sponsorship help, we had purchased new computer equipment to provide the technical stability for the service.
From there, the project grew, and grew some more – we took outside help from a professional studio designer and through the generous financial support and gifts in kind of several benefactors along with great support from our members and advice from other hospital radio stations, were able to buy new software, microphones, record turntables and control desk, a telephone system and in fact a whole new studio re-build, to a professional standard – fit for purpose!
During 2016 we have been testing the new streaming service and ironing out most of the little niggles you get with any new technology.
On Friday 8th July, the new service was officially launched by Dr Adrian Bull, CEO of the East Sussex Healthcare Trust and The Mayor of Hastings Cllr Judy Rogers. There were a number of guests, along with many members of Conquest Hospital Radio to see the ‘cutting of the ribbon’ and attendant speeches, after which the wine flowed and food was served, culminating in more cutting – of a beautiful CHR cake, baked by the niece of one of our members. Throughout all, specially recorded programmes were broadcast as a back-drop to the event.
Look out for the write-up in the local papers and other good news stories from CHR in the months to come.
Listen in to CHR - the player is near the top of the home page.
You can also: make a donation, put in a patient request, learn how to join us as a volunteer or just read about CHR.
Conquest Hospital Radio
A Brief History of Hospital Radio Hastings
Hospital Radio Hastings is a self-funding registered charity and has been broadcasting to patients for 40 years in 2015. It started in the 1970's and initially four enthusiasts recorded programmes at home and then broadcast them using a tape player that was installed in a cupboard at The Royal East Sussex Hospital that was in Cambridge Road near the town centre. At about the same time a similar operation began at St Helens Hospital in Frederick Road off The Ridge near Ore.
In 1976 the two groups merged and established a studio at St Helens Hospital and The Hastings and Rother Hospital Broadcasting Service was born. Soon landlines were in use taking the station to the Bexhill, Buchanan, Royal East Sussex and Eversfield Hospitals. By 1984 a suite of two studios, a music library and an office were in use at St Helens Hospital. The programmes were then made up by playing vinyl records and reel to reel tape recorders and now we use CD's, mini discs and an automated twenty four hour computerised playout system.
So we have gone from a tape player in a cupboard to a modern day fully computerised radio studio in The Conquest Hospital on The Ridge where we moved to when the hospital opened in July 1992.
We have a dedicated team of volunteers who present programmes and outside broadcasts, visit the wards to collect and play patients requests, raise funds, maintain the record library and provide all the backroom organisation that is essential to the smooth running of the station.
Now spanning four decades Hospital Radio Hastings continues to provide comfort and entertainment for the patients of The Conquest Hospital.