Three hospital broadcasting services are known to have started in the Channel Islands. The first one In Jersey in 1936 – see Part 1.for further information.
1.1 Jubilee Hospital Radio (1978)
Jubilee Hospital Radio started broadcasting to the Princess Elizabeth Hospital in Guernsey on 25 June 1978. The two founder members were Barry Bridel and David Easton
A newspaper carrying the headline “Hospital’s Radio Jubilee is 10 years old” reported in 1988: “The station still occupies the same 3 rooms in the nurses home that it did in 1978. Two of these are used for broadcasting, with the third being used as an office area”.
In 2015 Richard Harding, writing “A Very Brief History of Guernsey’s Radio Stations”, added: “The First Guernsey-based station to hit the local airways wasn’t Island FM or even BBC Radio Guernsey but hospital station Jubilee Radio based at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital. Named after the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, they began broadcasting the following year. The station can now be heard on the internet or on smartphones & tablets using the Tunein Radio app. Jubilee have recently updated & refurbished their studios which are located above the hospital canteen.”
In 2008 the Migot Memorial Hospital in Alderney opened and was able to receive the Jubilee Hospital Radio service in Guernsey by WIFI.
The service reported in 2016: “Jubilee Hospital Radio broadcasts 24 hours a day from its studios at The Princess Elizabeth Hospital for the patients, staff and visitors of the health services in the Channel Islands of Guernsey and Alderney”.
“In addition to broadcasting within the Hospital, we also stream live on the Internet for those wishing to listen at home. So whether you’re currently in hospital or recovering at home, you can always listen in to our programmes”.
2.1 Radio Lions (1975)
The present service at the General Hospital was the brainchild of Lion John Stilwell who had been entertained by such a service whilst hospitalised in Croydon, England. On his return to Jersey he discussed the idea of setting up a similar operation with fellow members of the Lions club.
Peter Tabb recalled in 2016: “Radio Lions was launched, as an initiative of the Lions Club of Jersey, at Christmas 1975 but the first presenters were not actually Lions – they were Messrs Ken Kirk-Bailey, Vince Bobin and Alastair Laysell, all of whom were keen radio enthusiasts. The late Lion John Farley and myself were the first Lions to be presenters and we were also the Lions liaison officers looking after the management of the service and liaising as and when appropriate with the Hospital authorities (including the formidable Matron Sheila Tyler)”.
The studio was set up in one room of a small cottage which belonged to the hospital, in Kensington Place. The room was divided into two by a wooden partition, incorporating a door and a large window – one side was the engineering studio, the other side was the presenter’s. The equipment consisted of a mixer (combines all the sounds for output on air) and two record decks. The presenter’s studio contained a couple of chairs, a table, microphones, and a small collection of records.
“During the 1990s the service was extended to other States of Jersey-run facilities: Overdale Hospital, The Limes, Sandybrook Residential Home and eventually the privately run Jeanne Jugan Residence.”
Peter added in 2016: “The service is shortly to move to new studio premises situated in the General Hospital’s laundry building, a mile from the General Hospital itself”.