Lifetime achievement for Radio Horton co-founder

Ted Hanson, pictured in the middle with his staff colleagues and members of Radio Horton. NNL-150330-173015001
Ted Hanson, pictured in the middle with his staff colleagues and members of Radio Horton. NNL-150330-173015001

The co-founder of Banbury’s Radio Horton has won a coveted award for his outstanding contribution to hospital radio over the last 50 years.

Ted Hanson MBE was awarded the coveted John Whitney award at the UK’s Hospital Broadcasting Authority (HBA)conference and awards ceremony in Newcastle on Sunday.

“It will mean so much not only to him but also to those of his friends and colleagues at Radio Horton”

Sam Smette

Committee members Sam Smette and James Hulbert collected the award from HBA chairman Jim Simpson on behalf of Mr Hanson, who lives at the Ridings Care Home in Banbury.

Speaking about the news, Mr Smette said: “We are absolutley elated at the news of Ted winning this prestigious award. We honestly didn’t know what to expect and were thrilled when Jim Simpson announced the winner.

“Ted dedicated much of his life to Radio Horton and is thoroughly deserving of this award. It will mean so much not only to him but also to all who care for him and those of his friends and colleagues at Radio Horton.”

The station was created by Mr Hanson and his colleague Graham Wilton in 1964, and aimed to bring music to the ears of patients at the town’s Horton General Hospital.

They both met while working at the Banbury Guardian and after a year of producing detailed planning applications and buying equipment and records, the launch date was set for July 7, 1964 when the big switch was pressed and listeners tuned in to hear the words: ‘This is Radio Horton calling’.

Initially they broadcasted to patients of the hospital for one night per week, having recorded the output at Mr Wilton’s home and later moved to a studio facility at the hospital premises.

Mr Hanson hosted a variety of programmes including Scene and Heard, a weekly magazine programme; Turning Back the Years, featuring music from the 1920s-1950s; Sounding Brass and Voices, brass/military bands and vocalists; Request Time; and more notably two of his pre-recorded shows, Sounds for Sunday and Country Cavalcade, which are still broadcast to this day.

He has also raised considerable funds for the hospital and was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List in 2006.

Speaking at awards ceremony event last Sunday, Mr Simpson said: “Ted is a former journalist, who, back in 1964, had the idea to create a hospital radio station in the local area. It meant a year of detailed planning, buying equipment and admin. Since then, Ted has devoted most of his life to Radio Horton.”