Hospital Radio Yare first began broadcasting to the Northgate, Gt. Yarmouth General and Gorleston Cottage Hospitals over a telephone line connection and sub-directed to the patients bedside receivers in 1977. It was set up by a handful of dedicated members with their own record collections and a redundant quadrant fader audio mixer donated by Anglia television.
Graham Gooda spoke to the Friends of Great Yarmouth & Gorleston Hospitals with his desire to establish a radio station to provide music and entertainment for the patients of the hospitals. Impressed by the idea they contacted Brian Callan, then the local Voluntary Services Co-ordinator, who convinced the Authority that it was a good idea, which should be given a chance. Tony Mallion, Chief Reporter with the Great Yarmouth Mercury did a great job with the writing of articles that helped to raise funds for the enterprise. The publicity attracted a wonderful response from Decca Survey of Gt. Yarmouth who donated a redundant porter-cabin, which after being crane lifted over the wall of the Northgate Hospital, became the first radio studio.
Once established, the duly named Hospital Radio Yare continued to gain members and equipment until the late nineties. At that time the Radio Authority then announced plans to offer Freely Radiating AM (otherwise known as Medium Waveband) transmission licences to non-commercial establishments such as hospitals. Radio Yare took up the offer installed the transmitters and the paraphernalia to begin broadcasting on 1350 kHz in the medium waveband in January 2000.
The studio, being situated in the Northgate Hospital still had to transmit an FM signal to the James Paget as a link where it is converted to AM waveband and transmitted from the aerial situated in the grounds of the James Paget University Hospital.
In October 2001 the FM link was boosted to bring the Lowestoft Hospital within the group of hospitals and provide them with their own patients request show.
In 2002 a massive investment was put into refurbishing the studio. The whole building was rewired, a new mixer desk was installed and a computer with a hard drive full of digitised music to broadcast at the touch of a button. In April of that year the MP for Great Yarmouth declared the new studio open with a live on air interview.
All through 2006 further updates and extensions to the computer systems continued. As of 2007 the studio logs all broadcasts to hard drive and keeps them on computer for the statutory period. The weekly evening request shows are repeated the following mornings from the hard drive recordings. National and International News bulletins are transmitted on the hour every hour whether the broadcasts are live or computer generated. Nobody knows where technology will take radio broadcasting but one thing is sure Hospital Radio Yare will strive to keep at the cutting edge.
The station broadcasts 24 hours 7 days a week. The live programmes are listed in the schedules. Weekly request programmes are repeated the following day between 8pm and 10pm. We would like to encourage members of the public with friends and relatives in hospital to ring 01493 452689 with a request and message for their loved one so that we can improve our service.
In April 2012 the studio was relocated to a new cabin, installed with its utilities, in the grounds of the James Paget University Hospital to start a new chapter in its illustrious history. Featured on this website are pictures, inside and out, of the studio which the members have adapted to with their usual enthusiasm.
Those members that still keep the service going are very aware of the vision that Graham and the founder members had at its inception. The idea of helping make the patients stay in hospital a little less stressful is a good one and the present custodians are proud to carry it forward hopefully for another 35 years.
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