This site is dedicated to the volunteers of the League of Friends; who maintained Radio Heatherwood:-
Press Report Radio Heatherwood
Radio Heatherwood the closed-circuit radio at Heatherwood Hospital, Ascot will go "on the air" on Thursday, June 10.
It is hoped that television and radio personality Michael Parkinson will be taking part in the first broadcast.
There is a special small studio being set up at the moment, and, at first, there will be broadcasts for about two hours on three nights a week. Later it is hoped to extend the service to two hours every evening, including Sundays.
There is a team of men disc jockeys but they are looking for some young women to join them.
Anyone who can help with this new station should contact Mr Derek Robinson, of 2 Laxton Green, Cox Green, Maidenhead (telephone Maidenhead 29342).
The team wants to get as many local people involved as possible.
And they also want gifts of records or record tokens- so they can build up a record library.
Bracknell & Ascot Times May 1976
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Press Report Hospital radio launched by Parky
TV personality Michael Parkinson was the star of the show when Radio Heatherwood, Heatherwood Hospital's own closed-circuit radio for patients, went on the air last Thursday at 8pm.
Mike found himself on the other end of the interview for a change, when Radio Heatherwood's PRO Derek Robinson quizzed him about his chat show on BBC television.
Parky, who has agreed to become Honorary President of Radio Heatherwood, described his start in Broadcasting. "I went into broadcasting because I was out of work as a newspaperman. But writing is still a very important part of my life. It's a life raft, Simon Dee is the classic example. That will never happen to me."
Interviewing stars has its fair share of problems. "I've done a number with people who are either stoned or drunk. I had to interview Robert Mitchum once for 70 minutes when all he would say was "Yup" or "Nope"."Then there were my three interviews with Muhummad Ali. I fought him more times than Joe Frazier." Parkinson said.
Mike said he preferred interviewing the older pro's to the younger generation of stars.
"My least favourite interview was with Elliott Gould and Donald Sutherland. They decided they were doing me a favour by arriving on my programme they weren't."
Which big names would he still like to interview? "Sinatra, most of all the greatest entertainer of all time. As a reader of modern pop songs he is in a class by himself. Next on the list is The Pope, and then Lassie, the talking dog."
After the radio chat, Mike Parkinson went on a tour of the wards. He met Sunninghill man Dave Bowyer, who described himself as the best poacher around, and gave Parkinson a detailed description of his methods for catching rabbits from his bedside "cocktail and birds, and plus a drink cabinet".
Then Mike met Mrs Valerie Smith, whose baby boy was born 25 minutes after Radio Heatherwood went on the air.
He stopped for a chat with Valerie, of Prince Andrew Way, Ascot, and then gave her baby, who does not have a name yet, a toy kangaroo with a baby in its pouch, "from all at Radio Heatherwood".
Another celebrity guest, who arrived unannounced, was Diana Dors, who with husband Alan Lake was visiting a friend at Heatherwood, and ended up being interviewed over the air later in the programme.
There was also a taped message from Bruce Forsyth to the patients over the air.
Earlier, at a celebration party to mark the opening of Radio Heatherwood, East Berks district nursing officer Mrs Marion McCarthy received the keys to the radio studio from the League of Friends, who have raised £4,500 to pay for the cost of installing equipment.
Mrs McCarthy said: "I am absolutely sure this radio will give a great deal of pleasure to patients. The facilities I've seen here are superb. This is a very auspicious night for Heatherwood."
League of Friends chairman Mr Ron Mason said: "The League of Friends are still financially backing the radio. We have got to find another £500 to finish the system off."
"The main cost was the studio equipment, which was largely paid for by a successful fete we had two years ago which was opened by Bruce Forsyth."
Ron Mason added: "This is something which I've been plugging for a long time and it's happened at last. Now we have the difficult task of two more projects, re-furnishing the nurses home and a sitting room in the administration block."
The League of Friends' next money-raiser is a Fete at the hospital on September 4. "We are hoping for a crowd-puller to open it," Ron Mason said.
Heatherwood Hospital had its own radio once before, but it had to close down in 1972 because the equipment was old. Now they are all set up to start again this time for keeps.
Radio Heatherwood's PRO Derek Robinson said: "We are broadcasting three evenings a week at the moment, but eventually hope to be on the air every night of the week. We are still looking for more helpers, particularly girl DJ's."
Bracknell & Ascot Times June 1976