HHR Celebrates 40 Years on the air

To celebrate our 40th birthday, Hereford Hospital Radio had a 40 hour long broadcast, launched with our friends at BBC Hereford & Worcester who were also live at the Worcester Victoria Fayre from 6pm on Friday 30th November 2012 and continued right through to 10am on Sunday 2nd December.

During the 40 hours on air we had live music from Jenny Hallam, special guest visitors, a live interview with John Myers, former members including Dave Heggie, who is the man responsible for starting HHR, and members of the public that came along to see how HHR helps the patients of the County Hospital in Hereford get better by entertaining them and being a friend at their bedside.

A big thank you must also go to everyone who sponsored our members, some of whom were on air for most of the broadcast.

Listen to some of the best bits;

CMH Interview John Myers Chris Hughes interviews John Myers

John Myers is a British radio executive, consultant and presenter. Myers developed the Century Radio brand for Border Radio Holdings in the early 1990s, launching two more stations later in the decade and featuring in the BBC documentary “Trouble at the Top”.

He presented programmes under the pseudonym ‘John Morgan’. He then became Chief Executive of GMG Radio, developing the Real Radio, Smooth Radio and Rock Radio brands and overseeing GMG Radio’s acquisition of the Century network from GCap Media.

In 2009, he was asked by the Labour Government to produce a report on the future of local radio in the UK (“The Myers Report”) which was published by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in April 2009. A number of his recommendations were taken up by the Digital Economy Act 2010, leading to, amongst others, mergers within the Heart and Smooth Radio networks.

So far in 2011, Myers has reviewed efficiencies at BBC Radio 1, Radio 2, 1Xtra and 6Music. In April, he assumed his role as Chief Executive Officer of the Radio Academy. He’s also the Chairman of hospital station Radio Tyneside and makes occasional appearances on the Sky Newspaper review. His most recent report for BBC Management was on the operation of BBC Local Radio, published in February 2012.

PO CMH Interview Dave HeggieChris Hughes and Peter Orme interview Dave Heggie

We have Dave Heggie to thank for starting Hereford Hospital Radio. While a patient at the hospital during the early 1970s and seeing the old tube headphones on the wall but nothing coming out of them he decided to push to get Hereford’s own hospital radio station.

Tim Tomlinson Interview WEBBob King interviews Tim Tomlinson

Tim is the Director of Service Delivery for Wye Valley NHS Trust and is responsible for the smooth running of the hospital building and staff.


Volunteers from Hospital Radio were out raising funds at Wyevale

Volunteers from Hospital Radio were out raising funds for the charity at Wyevale Garden Centre.  They operated a 20/20 raffle where every 20 minutes a raffle is held and shopper who may have purchased tickets are able to win one of the prizes displayed.

hhr_wyevale#Hereford Hospital Radio has been operating at the County Hospital for over 40 years, and is supported by an active team of 25 volunteers who present programmes, visit patients, and raise money to keep the station running.  As well as broadcasting at the hospital on channel 5 on the Hospedia system, the station also broadcasts online and has developed an iPhone App,  just type in the stations name on iTunes. We are always looking for volunteers so if you have an hour or so a week, give us a call on Hereford 233033 or email info@hhr.org.uk.

“We have a great team of volunteers here at the Radio, and like many other charities without their support we would be able to carry out our work” – Chris Hughes Chairman of HHR.

The Photo shows, from left to right, Ian Bailey, Susan Bailey, Lynda Trigg and Nikki Andrews running the stall at Wyevale.


Apple iTunes app Launched

Hereford Hospital Radio now have an app for Apple iTunes which allows patients to listen to us away from the hospital.

The app was written by Brett Jenkins, who grew up in Hereford and has since been involved with Student Radio Station Xtreme and also wrote an app for their station.

Brett was approached by Hereford Hospital Radio to expand the internet radio base of HHR, following its launch in 2010. Following months of work, and testing, and the approval process laid down by Apple, the app has been launched. Download it now from iTunes.


The HHR team in the studio

As a charity run fully by volunteers, it can be difficult to get everyone together. However, that is exactly what happened on 10th August 2013 when the Hereford Hospital Radio team all came together to give the studio a good tidy up and sort out some items which will soon be for sale, including CDs and studio equipment.

So what does it take to be a Hereford Hospital Radio volunteer? Well it’s pretty basic: you just have to have passion and be able to be part of a good team. As a hospital radio station, not only do we have to operate a radio station that broadcasts 24 hours a day, but also raise funds, interact with patients and be part of the wider community.

So what did happen on our tidy up day? Want to take a sneaky peek?

If you think you have what it takes to be part of the team, or just want some more information, click here to find out more.


Hereford Clocks Up 40 Years with On Air Magazine

George Burton 1992It was during a hospital stay in 1972 that a young 20-year-old Dave Heggie asked questions of the then hospital administration as to why the tubes on his bedside didn’t have any music playing. It seems that the hospital had paid for the investment in the wards but didn’t have any equipment.

Therefore, a young Dave approached the local Lions Club and Roy Romerill at the Herefordshire County Youth Service, and Hospital Radio started.

Over the years, the service has extended to local hospitals in Leominster and Ross-on-Wye and to a number of old people’s homes via a BT landline. The Lions continued to be actively involved during the 1980s and provided the landline, the commentary box and the commentators at Edgar Street, where local side Hereford United play. It was during this time that an unknown George and Myra Burton joined HHR and, despite spedning most of their time in Hereford, found the time to become actively involved in NAHBO (the Hospital Broadcast Association’s former name).

CMH with Ron WilliamsGeorge and Myra became well known around the UK, where they visited many stations and became the figureheads of hospital radio. I only joined hospital radio in 1991, after my Nana stayed in Hereford and I thought my love of music together with my knack of burning my skin with my soldering iron might come in handy! Some of you who know that smell!

My first trip to the studios found me underneath a Partridge desk within an hour and a few hours later, Studio 2 was back up and running. Since that time, we have managed to obtain over £35k in funding and have replaced the studios and upgraded to make our service more reliable and
easier to use.

Over the last 40 years, Hospital Radio in Hereford has continued to grow although the audio lines to Leominster and Ross and the old people’s homes have gone due to the increase in BT charges. However, it has an active membership and works with many organisations throughout the county to help it raise money to stay on air and entertain patients at the County Hospital.

For the last three years, thanks to some help from the Hereford Lions Club – www.herefordlions.com – the station has broadcast on the internet, allowing patients who are awaiting surgery to continue listening in via their internet radio, iPhone or computer.

Just over two years ago, thanks to On Air, we acquired the old Outside Broadcast caravan from Hospital Radio and we have had it sealed and resprayed and it is now our OB unit that we take to many local outdoor events. About a year ago, I sat at my kitchen table and completed an application for the National Lottery; this was our first application and if I’m honest, it only took 45 minutes but within eight weeks, £10k was in our account and we spent this money with the guys at Vortex for some Comrex Access Hardware. I have to suggest if you are thinking of the Comrex solution, take advantage of their ‘have an OB on us deal’. They will supply the hardware and Sim card for you to try. It was a lot of money to bid for so you need to make sure it does what it says on the tin! Last October, our award was mentioned during the Saturday Night Lottery Show (link is on our website). We have used this many times over the year and managed to get the local ‘Three’ store to donate a year’s data SIM card, for a small sponsored message when we do our outside broadcasts.

Studio 1 - On Air 142

It is right for me to mention Kidderminster Hospital Radio at this point, as for many years prior to my arrival in Hereford as engineer, an Andy Page from KHR was encouraged by George (he had a knack of that) to help out in 1992 in fixing the HHR studios.

It was soon after my first NAHBO conference in Northampton when George introduced me to the team from KHR, that Hereford and Kidderminster started to share some of their equipment to broaden the programming to its own patients. It also helped that I was Chairman of Hereford, and was courting their Chairman! Those were great times!

Some of you may not be aware that Kidderminster HR over the last couple of years has struggled in getting itself back on air, due to changes in healthcare in North Worcestershire and in 2012, the station closed. However, there is some good news. Hereford was offered by the trustees of KHR the assets of the station and we have now merged these with our own and I’m pleased to say that KHR continues to help patients at our hospital. We have a number of items that we are looking to sell, so if you would like to make a bid please let me know, at chris.hughes@hhr.org.uk.

Items include a Sonifex S1 Desk, a Denon CD and some Mini Disc Players mounted in wooden pods together with a number of Technics 1210s decks and many other items.

HHR at wyevaleOver the first weekend in December 2012, we celebrated our 40 years by holding a non-stop 40 hour broadcast. Our first hour was actually a simicast with the local BBC Station Hereford & Worcester. We used the Comrex Access hardware to link our studios and publicised our work and even played requests for our patients at the County Hospital. The local papers helped us get in touch with former members who came to the studios on the Saturday. We were very pleased to receive congratulations from Graham Burton, George and Myra’s son, and delighted that Dave Heggie, one of our founders, joined us at the studios and participated in our broadcast. I have to thank John Myers who joined us via telephone during the day. He shared his thoughts with us on the past of Hospital Radio and where it will be in the future. This has given the team in Hereford a great boost to the work we do.

Thanks Team!

One final note, in the 2013 Wye Valley NHS Trust Annual Report, our work was recognised and we had a small article about our work and a photo of some of our presenters in the studios. We know that our work at the hospital is valued and this recognition formally helps us to open doors.

Hereford Hospital Radio is in a great place and I’m proud and privileged to be their Chairman. Looking towards the future, the Trust directors are asking us to deploy Barix decoders at other Hospital Trust locations so they can listen to our output. They are, of course, fully  responsible for any PPL/PRS fees that maybe required.
Chris Hughes, Chairman.

Download a copy here On Air Issue 142

Non-broadcasting members

Hereford Hospital Radio could not stay on air without the help and support of our non-broadcasting members. These people are the backbone of the organisation. They help with the website, fundraising, keeping the studios working or by providing their feedback to help us keep the station on the right track.

So a big thank you to the following people who all help make Hereford Hospital Radio what it is:

Jesse Norman MP, Graham Burton, Michael Dando, Veronica Cook, Roy Davies, Sarah OrmeLynda Trigg and, last but by no means least, Susan Bailey.

Pete Trigg

I’ve been with Hereford Hospital Radio for a few years now and I have enjoyed every minute of it.

You can listen to me every Monday evening between 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm. I play all kinds of great music and regular listeners will know that I’m a big ABBA fan. Also on the show I hold a pop quiz and give a run down of the latest charts.

Behind every good man is a great womanm and you can hear my wife Lynda have her say on her favourite TV shows and other pop and news trivia during the show.

So join in and have a listen, send us a request and help us to bring you the songs you love from the people you know.

The painting crew take a break.

The painting crew take a break.



Nikki Andrews

Hi, I’m Nikki. I’m not a presenter at Hereford Hospital Radio but I seem to be able to sneak in on quite a few shows with my funny stories and my husband used to let me have my five minutes of fame on the Saturday breakfast show. I try to help out with fundraising as much as I can and I make a lot of tea and coffee for everyone in the studios.

I was very ill and spent a lot of time in hospitals listening to various different hospital radios, and I am proud to be able to help out as I enjoyed the company of them in lots of different hospitals and I think that people giving their time for free in the hope of cheering others up is fantastic in this day and age.

Keep on sounding great Hereford Hospital Radio!

Peter Orme

Hi, my name is Peter Orme.

Following seven years presenting a Sunday afternoon show at the Cambridge Military Hospital in Aldershot, I moved to Herefordshire and joined Hereford Hospital Radio in 1990. I originally presented the Sunday Supplement for three hours on a Sunday morning from 1990 to 2000. Changing circumstances meant that I had to give up presenting a weekly show but was still able to continue my involvement as a committee member and help out with fundraising and other activities.

However, due to subsequent changes in my work, I am now in the happy position of being able to present a two hour show on Thursday mornings from 10:00 am. I have always been very interested in musical shows and films so I feature tracks from these each week together with some comedy and my weekly brain teaser. I call the show the Thursday Brunch and the aim is to fill the gap between breakfast and lunch.


PO CMH Interview Dave Heggie Peter and Chris Hughes interview Dave Heggie

We have Dave Heggie to thank for starting Hereford Hospital Radio. While a patient at the hospital during the early 1970’s and seeing the old tube headphones on the wall but nothing coming out of them, he decided to push to get Hereford’s own hospital radio station.

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