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Lincs Hospital Radio celebrates 50 years of entertaining listeners across the county





A radio station which has cleaners dancing along with their mops, is set to celebrate turning 50 years old this weekend.

The Lincs Hospital Radio station first started in a space no bigger than a broom cupboard on May 1 1974 — with the hope it would put a smile on patients and staff members faces — and is now still going strong as it celebrates its milestone this weekend.

It was founded at Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, by Mel and Martin Kennedy, but the station now broadcasts at Lincoln County Hospital, Grantham and District Hospital and the County Hospital in Louth.

Boston Speedway interview
Boston Speedway interview
Boston Speedway
Boston Speedway
New studio in 2022
New studio in 2022

The radio show also brings in listeners from across the world, with more than 100 people tuning in from the Lincs Hospital radio station website.

Listeners can send in any music requests and dedications to be included on the show.

Roger Fixer, 78, of Boston has been working as a presenter at Pilgrim Hospital for ten years and has been chairman of the management committee for seven years.

Mid show in 2014
Mid show in 2014
Outside Broadcast York Street 1990
Outside Broadcast York Street 1990
Interview with comedian and singer, Ken Dodd
Interview with comedian and singer, Ken Dodd

After the radio station first started, Roger put himself forward and applied to work there, but was sadly turned away due to his disability.

He said: “I had heard about the radio station when it first started in 1974 and thought it would be an interesting thing to do, however I got turned away because they didn’t want to work with a blind person at the time.

“In 2014, I told my late wife that I would love to get back into it and, after being a singer for 40 years, I heard they were having an open weekend and I decided to go down and have a look.

Community Fair
Community Fair
Interview
Interview
The Olympic Torch in 2012
The Olympic Torch in 2012

“I knew of some people who worked there and they asked me to have an interview with them there and then – the second question they asked me was ‘when can you start?’ and I did my first show five days later.

“I have loved music all my life and it’s good fun being part of the hospital radio station. I have colleagues who help by operating all the equipment for me, so all I have to do is sit there and chat away.

“Since it first started it has grown massively and it is really going well – I can only see a bright future for the radio station and if we can broadcast into places like Skegness and Spalding it would be brilliant.

Ash in the studio
Ash in the studio
PHR OB Truck in 1990
PHR OB Truck in 1990
Interview with Callum Johnson in 2016
Interview with Callum Johnson in 2016

“We started in a broom cupboard sized room and now we’re in a big area on the ground floor of the hospital, with an office, two studios and a library which holds thousands of CDs.

“It is all about making a difference to those people and it’s a nice feeling to know that we are actually helping and providing a nice atmosphere for patients and staff – one of the presenters said he often sees the cleaner dancing along to the music with her mop.”

The radio station currently has about 12 people working on it and has seen the likes of BBC Radio Lincolnshire’s breakfast show presenter Scott Dalton and news reader Paul Russell kick-start their careers.

A previous Sea Bank Marathon event
A previous Sea Bank Marathon event
Sea Bank Marathon in 2014
Sea Bank Marathon in 2014

Roger added: “It’s amazing how many presenters on diff radio presenters started on hospital radio all over the country, for example Terry Wogan.

“We always recommend it because it’s a nice way to get into the industry as you're volunteering and it looks good on your CV, especially if you want to get into radio or television.

“It makes me feel brilliant and the whole idea of the show is to make people's days brighter. If we can help in any way and help them feel good, the chances are that they will get better.

“I like the idea of being there for the patients and for most of them, hearing their name can put a smile of their face – which is nice.”

The radio station will be marking the special occasion with stalls in the foyer of Pilgrim Hospital and will be broadcasting from 10am until midnight on Saturday and 8am until 10pm on Sunday.

If anyone would like to put in a dedication you can ring the studio anytime on 01205 351226.



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