Radio Stortford A Potted History

  Hospital Radio Stortford was started in 1961 by Harold Cooke and first broadcast on April 3rd 1963 from the nurses canteen at the Herts and Essex Hospital in Haymeads Lane. In 1965 it started to send tapes of its broadcasts to Harlow and soon had a live link. It also used to cover Rye Street and Elmshurst. Within a short while the churches were also linked in, and RS was the first private organisation to broadcast a service from a roman catholic church, St Joseph’s, in the UK following the granting of permission by the then Pope.

  From the Mid 60’s to 1980, the station operated from the British Legion Headquarters in Windhill. From there it moved to a portakabin at the back of York Ward where it stayed for the next 22 years. The equipment was gradually renewed and a desk was bought from Radio 5.

  In 1993 We spent a day at Pearsons in North Street for their 90th Birthday and broadcast to the shop.

Back Row L to R Paul Noble, Chris Rohrer, Peter Sinden (Chairman), Chris Babcock, Keith Clarke

Front Row Steve Rattey (Programme Controller), Brian Seward (Manager Pearsons), Peter Brooks

  In 2001, we moved to the Store room at the hospital and obtained a medium wave licence on 1350KHz 222 Metres. An Antenna was set up between the 2 water towers that then existed and our signal could just be heard in Great Dunmow.

  2002 saw that start of construction of the new hospital building, This was opened in 2005 with the station having 2 rooms on the 1st floor, sharing the reception area with the Talking Newspaper. By then we also had a transmitter on 52MHz to enable us to do broadcasts from around the area, and now we broadcast the Remembrance Day Service from Castle Gardens Live, instead of recording it and then playing back when we returned to the hospital.

  That brings the story up to date, who knows what will happen in the next half century.

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© Chris Rohrer Published 2011