Radio Brockley is 52 Years Old!
Radio Brockley, London’s longest-running hospital radio station, celebrates its 52 birthday today. The station was started on 2nd October 1966 by six volunteers who had previously volunteered at Radio Edgware. The hospital’s engineer at the time, Jack Upton, set up the station in a disused air-raid shelter near to the old “intensive care” unit. The shelter had a leaky roof which had quite an impact on the early programmes.
A second air-raid shelter became Radio Brockley’s home between 1969 and 1971, and then we moved into the building which has remained home to the station ever since.
The first programme was a request show. Most of RB’s broadcasts took place on Sunday evenings and, although Bedside Bingo became popular, the request shows proved to be the station’s main strength, as they are today. When RB was not on air, the BBC ‘Light Programme’ (later ‘Radio 2’) was re-broadcast via the hospital’s internal hard-wire system as the sustaining service for patients.
You can listen to a five-part series on the history of the station on our YouTube channel here
Also, as a special treat for our 52nd birthday, we have now added a recording from 1990 of Pat Sharp opening the Inductive Loop system on the Adolescent Unit, which allowed patients to be able to listen to the radio on medium wave.