Hospital Radio Horton celebrated its 52nd birthday on July 7, and to mark the occasion a very special red carpet event was held.
After 12 months of hard work refurbishing the existing studio and further work installing a new, digital second studio they were officially opened during a ceremony on Sunday.
Adding to the excitement was the announcement of the new Horton Radio president, none other than local TV personality John Craven OBE, best know for his ground breaking Newsround programme and his later work on Countryfile.
A broadcaster for over 40 years, Mr Craven said of his appointment to the position: “I’ve been interviewed a few times on the radio station and then they just asked me if I’d be president, which is a great honour, especially with the timing with a new studio opening and the other being refurbished, its all happening.”
Before the official ribbon cutting long time volunteer and chairman, Kevin Matthews, talked of the strength of the station and its group of passionate and dedicated volunteers that make it all possible. Five of the volunteers were later to be recognised for their long service to the station.
The addition of the second studio will greatly increase the capabilities of the 24 hour seven day a week station and will act as a back up to the existing studio.
The new studio, named the Hanson studio after co founder Ted Hanson MBE, can be utilised as either a live broadcast studio, a production studio and work as an ad-hoc teaching facility for those too nervous to jump straight into live broadcasting.
The studio will also allow people the opportunity to volunteer for the radio station even if they cannot commit to specific broadcast slots as programs can be pre-recorded.
Mr Matthews said: “This used to be our CD storage room. We had one guy who works shifts wanting to volunteer but he couldn’t commit to 9pm every week so now he can just come in and record the show when it suits him. It will open up volunteer opportunities.”
Since its inception the radio has been an important part of the hospital and the wider community and remains so today.
Mr Craven said: “Over the years Radio Horton has built up a great team of local broadcasters, dedicated to making their listeners’ stay in hospital as enjoyable as possible. For them this extra studio marks the start of a new era and I wish them well.”
He added: “It has become part of the healing process.”