Hospital radio station celebrates 40 years of broadcasting

Studio guests Raye du Val and John Delphin at the Princess Royal Hospital studios
Studio guests Raye du Val and John Delphin at the Princess Royal Hospital studios

A hospital radio station in Haywards Heath is celebrating 40 years of broadcasting with an anniversary event and a drive to recruit new members.

Mid Downs Radio (MDR), which broadcasts 24/7 to patients, staff and visitors at the Princess Royal Hospital, as well as the wider community, will hold an anniversary event at 8pm on Saturday, November 19 at Lindfield’s Red Lion Pub.

MDR's outside event unit at Lindfield village day

MDR's outside event unit at Lindfield village day

It will celebrate the radio station’s journey from its simple beginnings in a broom cupboard at Cuckfield Hospital to the two modern studios it broadcasts from today, based on the first floor of the hospital.

Wendy Swinton Eagle, MDR Vice Chair, said: “We would like to invite all members and ex members and partners to the party but don’t have contact details for everyone, so we’re asking people to pass the word round.

“We’d also love to have some stories about the good old days to put on the website.

Sol Mead, MDR Chair, said: “It’s going to be a big get together, a big reunion with all the ex-members, some of whom we haven’t seen in 20 years.”

The station is run entirely by volunteers and is a registered charity. A team of around 30 presenters host a wide variety of music shows, from swing to chart hits, and interviews.

A range of information on health, social care, wellbeing, public health and community issues are also broadcast.

As well as remembering the past 40 years, the station is also looking to the future and hoping recruit new volunteers to be trained into presenters.

Mr Mead said: “As a charitable organisation we always need new members to get involved in the running of the station, whether it be broadcasting or in other roles.

“We have some presenters who have been with us since the 1980’s and are still broadcasting through to those who have joined us in the last year, but we need to constantly recruit new members if we are going reach our half century of broadcasting and beyond.”

New members are not required to have previous experience in broadcasting and can go on to host their own show after a period of

training.

There are also opportunities to get involved in other activities, from solving technical issues to fundraising.

The station are also hoping to expand the use of their Outside Events Unit in the future, which is available for hire by event organisers.

The unit provides a PA system and presenters who play music and give commentaries for open air events around Sussex, such as Christmas fairs and football tournaments.

Anyone who would like to attend the anniversary event at 8pm on Saturday, November 19 at the Red Lion Pub in Lindfield should contact Wendy Swinton on 01444 441350 or wendy@mdr.org.uk

Anyone interested in becoming a member of the radio station should contact Lynda White, MDR Membership Secretary, at membership@mdr.org.uk

Event organisers interested in hiring the outside events unit should contact Damian Wilkins on events@mdr.org.uk

For more information about the station, visit the Mid Downs Radio website

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