1969 - 1976
The Birth Of A Hospital Radio Station.
The early beginnings of radio Heatherwood can be traced back to 1969 when one man decided to play records to the patients of Heatherwood. Bill Berry the then works foreman at Heatherwood used his own records and with a turntable and mike would play requests to patients from a room in the old admin block. Bill was providing a record request program to the general wards on a Tuesday evening for two hours.
The league had agreed to fund the rental of records at £50 a year so that the programs could go out. Bill used some of his own 78's along with those of family and friends.
This early service was plagued by faulty equipment on the wards. The service was very much a one man band operation.
It was a request to the league of friends that prompted the investment in new equipment and the launch of Radio Heatherwood.
The exact start of the service is unclear as Bill passed away some years ago and we were not able to obtain that information. What is clear records of the league of friends minutes from 1969 shows entries detailing the work of Bill and the service referred to at that time as “Patient Request Programme ”.
A press article from a local paper featured a story on Bill and the service and the need for records and volunteers.