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Station History


Radio Redhill was the brainchild of Les Fowler and his son Andrew and was founded in November 1974.  The first broadcast to the patients of Redhill General Hospital  took place in February 1975. The studio in those early days was on top of a filing cabinet in the Chapel vestry and the station boasted six members.  The equipment consisted of a couple of tape decks, a microphone and a four channel mixer.  At the latter end of 1976 thieves broke in and stole vital equipment but show-business magnate Lord Grade heard about it and stepped in to help.. Jack and Irwyn
Irwyn and Jack Parker collecting their 15 years' Service Awards in 2002.
Radio Redhill stayed in the chapel vestry for five years until Loctite UK Ltd donated their demonstration caravan to the station in the autumn of 1980.  Although this cost several thousand pounds to equip, it was big enough to create two small studios inside.  It enabled Radio Redhill to develop further and to extend its range of programmes to the patients. Comedy actor Melvin Hayes visited the station and cut the ribbon.  A new stage in the station’s history was born.
Nicholas Owen
Nicholas Owen with Irwyn Davies in 2004
June Snowden
June Snowden opens Radio Redhill’s new studio in 2002.
When phase one of the then new East  Surrey Hospital  opened a few years later, Radio Redhill acquired some space on the first floor in which to build a studio. Broadcasting from both hospitals had begun.  The new studio was opened by the late Jean Metcalfe on February 16th 1985.

After the closure of Redhill General Hospital in 1991, the caravan was no more. However a brand new studio was opened in phase two of the East Surrey Hospital.
In 1998 Radio Redhill started broadcasting 24 hours a day, and switched on its Medium Wave transmitter on 1st July 2000.

In April 2005, Radio Redhill celebrated its 30th Birthday by broadcasting to Redhill and Reigate on 87.7FM for two weeks. On the opening day of the broadcast, news came through that Radio Redhill had won the HBA Awards and was Hospital Radio Station of the Year 2005.

April 30th 2007 saw Radio Redhill move on the Medium Wave band from 1287am to 1431am meaning less interference from neighbouring and foreign stations.

On 1st July 2010, exactly ten years after we launched on Medium Wave, Radio Redhill started streaming live on the internet, allowing our programmes to be heard in high quality stereo for the first time.

Radio Redhill membership currently stands at around seventy volunteers of all ages and of all walks of life but with one common purpose – a commitment to provide a service to its hospital listeners that no other station, however local, can offer.


Last Updated 3rd October 2010

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