Wales P3

Summary

Between 1966 and 2016 seventeen music based hospital broadcasting services are known to have started in Wales.

The Swansea Hospital Broadcasting Service (Radio City) is the first known music based hospital broadcasting service to have started in Wales. It started broadcasting on 31 December 1966.

NAHBO’s 1977 Directory of Hospital Broadcasting Organisations listed 5 services operating in Wales.   

In March 2016 about a dozen music based services were still operating in Wales.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_hospitals_in_Wales 

  1. Aberystwyth 

1.1 Radio Bronglais (1969) 

An organisation called the Bronglais Hospital Relay Service started broadcasting to the Bronglais General Hospital in 1969.

NAHBO’s 1977 Directory of Hospital Broadcasting Organisations has the following entry: Bronglais Hospital Relay Service. Contact: TreforLloyd Jones. 

The service later became known as Radio Atlantis.

In 2013 the service started broadcasting on low power FM. 87.8 and became known as RB FM.

“Radio Bronglais FM is your local hospital radio, providing broadcasting and befriending services for the benefit of the patients and staff of Bronglais General Hospital in Aberystwyth, and its associated NHS services across mid Wales”.

“With 47 years of broadcasting history as Radio Atlantis, Radio Bronglais and RB FM, we provide an entertaining and informative 24 hour radio service to the local Aberystwyth community as the hospital radio for Bronglais General Hospital and all NHS Services across Mid Wales”.

In 2016 the service was being broadcast to the Bronglais General Hospital, the Borth Surgery and the Tan-y-fron Surgery in Aberaeron.

www.RBFMlive.co.uk  

  1. Ammanford 

2.1 Amman Valley Hospital Relay Service (Start Date Required) 

NAHBO’s 1977 Directory of Hospital Broadcasting Organisations has the following entry: Amman Valley Hospital Relay Service. Amman Valley Hospital. Contact: Horace Williams.

  1. Bangor

3.1 Arfon Hospital Broadcasting Organisation (1976)

The Arfon Hospital Broadcasting Organisation started broadcasting on Easter Sunday 18 April 1976 to the C@A hospital in Bangor. 

“The first programme consisted an introduction from the Chairman of the Gwynedd Health Authority, Jack Berry, followed by ‘Spotlight on the Staff’, ‘Down Your Ward’ interviews and, of course, Record Reqests”. 

The studio was setup in the hospital lecture theatre amongst an assortment of specemin jars and a disinterested skeleton. Over the years the station developed and was soon broadcasting 7 days-a-week, quickly expanding its services to include the St David’s hospital on Caernafon road.

NAHBO’s 1977 Directory of Hospital Broadcasting Organisations has the following entry: Radio C & A, Arfon H.B.S. C & A General Hospital. 

The service moved to the new Ysbyty Gwynedd hospital and restarted broadcasting on 1 January 1985 with the new name of Radio Ysbyty Gwynedd.  

In 2016 Radio Ysbyty Gwynedd was broadcasting from a purpose built studio situated in the main corridor in the hospital with easy accessibility from the reception area. “Using the latest computerised broadcasting equipment, we are able to provide a 24-hour service to the patients, seven days-a-week”.

www.radioysbytygwynedd.com 

  1. Bodelwyddan 

4.1 Radio Glan Clwyd (1976)

A service called Clwyd Hospital Radio was originally set up in September 1976 at the Alexandra Hospital in Rhyl.

NAHBO’s 1977 Directory of Hospital Broadcasting Organisations has the following entry: Clwyd Hospital Radio. Contact: E O’Reilly. 

In 1980 it moved to the first floor of Glan Clwyd Hospital in Bodelwyddan and changed its name to Radio Glan Clwyd. See 13.1 Clwyd Hospital Radio. 

In 1995 the studio equipment was replaced and the studio extended in terms of floor space to add a record library and more space for guests so that interviews could take place. The service resumed broadcasting on 9 November 1995.

An AM transmitter was purchased in 2001 and the application to broadcast was accepted.

“Patients could now listen using their own radios which they could tune to 1287AM or on portable ‘target tuned’ radios which were (and still are) provided free of charge. The big launch of this improved service took place on 13 October 2001. 

In 2015, as part of the redevelopment of Glan Clwyd Hospital, the radio station was relocated from the first floor to the Estates building and continued to broadcast from there whilst a more permanent studio was being built in the refurbished entrance foyer on the ground floor of the main hospital building. 

http://radioglanclwyd.co.uk/radio-station-timeline/

www.rygc.co.uk 

  1. Bridgend 

5.1 The League of Friends of Bridgend and District Hospitals (1982) 

The Bridgend League of Friends HR, the working name for The League of Friends of Bridgend and District Hospitals, started broadcasting to the Princess Of Wales Hospital on 2 September 1982.

“The League of Friends to the Bridgend and District Health Trust, was established on 14th February 1969 to provide care for patients”.

“On 2nd September 1982, after much planning and preparation the League formed its Hospital Radio service. This branch of the League became known as B.L.F.R. The Bridgend League of Friends Hospital Radio”.

Based initially at the Bridgend General Hospital, the service moved to new accommodation at the Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend, on June 11th 1986 and began broadcasting on October 21st of that year. The current BLFR accommodation was completely refurbished in August 1989 and again in 2012.

The station broadcasts from its purpose built accommodation which contains a studio, office and a music library situated on the ground floor of the Princess of Wales Hospital near to the Pharmacy Department. Additionally, computers drive a 24 hour non-stop programme for unattended hours.

In 2016 Bridgend’s Hospital Radio, formally known as Bridgend League of Friends Hospital Radio, was broadcasting to Princess of Wales Hospital.

http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/863/page/39381

https://blfr.org.uk/

  1. Cardiff 

6.1 Radio Glamorgan – Morgannwg (1967) 

Sharon Harris, Secretary of Radio Glamorgan, wrote in November 1995: “Vince Saville founded Radio Glamorgan (Morgannwg) Hospital Radio Service at the Cardiff Royal Infirmary in September 1967.

In 1972 the service moved from its base at the Royal Infirmary to the lower ground floor of the University Hospital of Wales. We are proud to serve over 900 patients in Wales’s largest hospital and concentrate our personalised service in one building. We are known by our Trading name of Radio Glamorgan and this is recognised by both NAHBO and the Charity Commission”.

In addition to the University Hospital of Wales and the Cardiff Royal Infirmary, Radio Glamorgan also broadcast to the Caerphilly Miners Hospital and the Orthopaedic Hospital at Rhydlafer. By the March 1986 it was broadcasting solely to the University Hospital of Wales.

In 1995 Radio Glamorgan had approximately 40 members and was broadcasting about 40 hours a week.

In 2016 the service was broadcasting to the University Hospital of Wales 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

www.radioglamorgan.com

6.2 Rookwood Sound Hospital Broadcasting (1987)

Rookwood Sound Hospital Radio, the working name for Rookwood Sound Hospital Broadcasting first started operating on 31 October 1987 from a studio in the Rookwood Hospital. It was officially opened by Ken Bruce from BBC Radio 2.

A three year period leading up to the opening of the service was spent fundraising and obtaining permission from the hospital authorities. 

In June 2011 the service opened a new studio at Llandough Hospital, whilst also maintaining a studio at the Rookwood Hospital.

During 2014/15 we expect Rookwood Hospital to be closed down, at which time our base will transfer to Llandough permanently. And so a new chapter in our history will begin”.

Rookwood Hospital was still open in March 2016. 

www.rookwoodsound.co.uk

  1. Gurnos 

7.1 Merthyr Hospital Radio (1979) 

Merthyr Hospital Radio, the working name for Merthyr Hospital Broadcasting, was established in 1979 and broadcasts to the Prince Charles Hospital.

www.merthyrhb.org.uk/ 

  1. Haverfordwest

8.1 Hospital Radio Withybush (1978) 

Withybush Radio, the working name for Hospital Radio Withybush, started broadcasting in December 1978 to the Withybush Hospital.

The service started broadcasting on 87.7 FM in December 1999 and since its launch broadcasts have been available using portable radios, as well as in offices, wards, and staff residencies.

A newspaper report of 25 February 2012 read: “After broadcasting to patients and staff for over 30 years, Withybush Hospital radio is winding down its FM transmissions”.

Withybush Hospital radio chairman Andrew Jenkins said: “Recently the cost of licence fees to broadcast on FM have become extortionate, and in the current financial climate we can no longer afford them.”

One report indicated that the service would revert to broadcasting direct to the patents using the hospital’s old hard-wired system. A member of the service commented “But the hospital’s old cable system only works in a few wards”.

The service ceased operating shortly afterwards.

  1. Llanelli

9.1 Radio B.G.M (1971)

Llanelli Hospital Broadcasting Service, a subsidiary of Llanelli and District League of Hospital Friends, started broadcasting to the Bryntirion Hospital 1971.

“It all started from some very humble beginnings with a group of like minded enthusiasts and some help from the Hospital League of Friends and a room at Bryntyrion Hospital which overlooked the old Swansea Road”.

NAHBO’s 1977 Directory of Hospital Broadcasting Organisations has the following entry: Llanelli Hospital Broadcasting Service. Bryntirion Hospital. Contact: Mrs A G Anfield.

In September 2004 the Bryntirion Hospital closed and its patients were transferred to new facilities at Prince Phillip Hospital. 

In 2016 the service was broadcasting to Prince Philip Hospital and was called “Radio B.G.M – Prince Philip Hospital Radio”.

www.radiobgm.org.uk 

  1. Newport

10.1 Channel 1 Newport Hospital Radio (1981) 

Channel One Newport Hospital Radio, the working name for Channel 1 Newport Hospital Radio, was established in 1981 and broadcasts to Royal Gwent Hospital.

The service is provided via Hospedia, Online at www.channelone.org.uk and via the free Tunein app Channel One. 

www.channel1.or.uk 

  1. Penarth 

11.1 Name of Service Unknown (Circa 1960) 

A hospital broadcasting service is thought to have started in Penarth at the Llandough Hospital circa 1960. 

  1. Port Talbot 

12.1 Neath Port Talbot Hospital Broadcasting (1988) 

Radio Phoenix, the working name for Neath Port Talbot Hospital Broadcasting, started broadcasting to the Neath General Hospital on 25 March 1988

http://www.southwales-eveningpost.co.uk/Neath-Port-Talbot-Hospital-station-Radio-Phoenix/story-18449378-detail/story.html (18 March 2013)

In 2002 the Neath General Hospital closed and the patients were transferred to the new Neath Port Talbot Hospital.

http://www.radiophoenixnpt.co.uk     

https://www.facebook.com/RadioPhoenixNeathPortTalbotHospitalBroadcasting/ 

In 2015 Radio Phoenix, the working name for Radio Phoenix (Neath Port Talbot Hospital Broadcasting), was boadcasting to the Neath Port Talbot Hospital..

  1. Rhyl 

13.1 Clwyd Hospital Radio (1976)

A service called Clwyd Hospital Radio was originally set up in September 1976 at the Alexandra Hospital in Rhyl.

NAHBO’s 1977 Directory of Hospital Broadcasting Organisations has the following entry: Clwyd Hospital Radio. Contact: E O’Reilly.

In 1980 it moved to the first floor of Glan Clwyd Hospital in Bodelwyddan and changed its name to Radio Glan Clwyd. See 4.1 Radio Glan Clwyd. 

  1. Swansea      

14.1 Radio Freeway (1968) 

An organisation called Radio LF (League of Friends), a subsidiary of Morriston Hospital League of Friends was formed in 1968 to take over the service that had been started at the Morriston Hospital by the Swansea Hospital Radio service on 31 December 1966. See 14.2 Swansea Hospital Radio.

“In those days, the radio studio was situated in a room which affectionately became known as the ‘Bunker’. It was a small room with no windows and an extremely low ceiling”.

NAHBO’s 1977 Directory of Hospital Broadcasting Organisations has the following entry: Radio LF. Morriston Hospital. Contact: Colin D Rees.

“In 1979 the studio moved its location from inside the Hospital buildings to a portacabin in the grounds of the hospital. In 1990, it was decided that the radio station needed a new name and a fresh image. After wading through pages of names, the name Radio Freeway was finally chosen”.

“In the summer of 1996 work began on building a new studio area, once again, inside the hospital. The membership worked hard to buy new equipment and with help also given by the league of friends and the kindness and generosity of the Trust at Morriston Hospital, a new 3 Studio complex was created”.

In 2016 Radio Freeway was broadcasting to the Morriston Hospital. 

http://www.diamonddust.co.uk/radio-freeway/ 

14.2 Swansea Hospital Radio (1966)

On 1 August 1966 three school friends, Robert Rees, David Vaughan and Clive Thomas, who had been watching a television programme about radio in hospitals run by voluntary groups, founded the Swansea Hospitals Radio service.

After approaching the hospital authority they were given permission in November 1966 to start a service at the Morriston Hospital but on a three month trial basis.

The first programme was recorded in a member’s bedroom and went out on New Year’s Eve, 1966. Soon, broadcasts extended to all day at weekends with classical, light, jazz and pop music as well as a Welsh language programme.

With the opening of a studio in 1968 at the Singleton Hospital it was decided that the two hospitals should be operated by two different services and the Swansea Hospitals Radio service moved to operate at the new studio in the Singleton Hospital. See 14.1. Radio LF. 

The number of hospital; receiving the service soon expanded to 6, with the addition of the Mount Pleasant, Hill House, Cefn Coed, Gorseinon and Garngoch hospitals, all connected to the studio via a telephone landline network.

An article in NAHBO’s Hospital Radio News dated June 79 read: “Easter Monday was a proud day for “Radio City”, the Swansea Hospitals Radio Service, when the Leader of the Conservative Party, Mrs Margret Thatcher, visited the City’s Singleton Hospital. During the visit she made time to grant an exclusive interview to hospital interviewers Chris Waters and Ben Davies”. Article submitted by W D Morgan, Secretary of the service. 

In 1991 the old prefabricated studios, by now extremely dilapidated, were closed and broadcasts moved to smart new purpose-build facilities within the new wing of Singleton Hospital. 

In 2016 Radio City was broadcasting to the Singleton Hospital from a studio complex consisting of fully operational production studio and a broadcast studio. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_City_1386AM 

http://www.radiocity1386am.co.uk/ 

  1. Wrexham 

15.1 Radio Maelor (1979) 

Radio Maelor, a subsidiary of Wrexham Hospital League of Friends, started broadcasting to the Wrexham Maelor Hospital in 1979

In 2000 the service moved to a new studio in the hospital.

The service was broadcasting to the Wrexham Maelor Hospital in 2016.

https://communityraedio.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/radio-maelor/