History of Hospital Radio Ipswich

Hospital Radio Ipswich, a registered charity ran by volunteers, was founded in 1971 at the Anglesea Road Hospital and broadcasted in an administration room once the staff had left for the evening. Paul Brown, a presenter at the time recalled the studio set up as “an old table with a couple of turntables fitted into the top. No headphones just a studio monitor. A couple of microphones on swan neck stands and an old reel to reel tape recorder, which was donated by an Vietnam veteran and a cardboard box with about half a dozen LP records, one of which was Val Doonican’s Greatest Hits. All connected straight into a hundred watt amp, which was then connected directly into the hospital sound system. We could have deafened everyone listening if we had turned it up.”

After time in the administration room Paul Brown recalled the studio moving to “a small room in the basement, which was next to the boiler room. It used to get very hot. The records would warp on occasion. In the end we were offered accommodation at the present location in Heath Road. It took us just one weekend to move everything from one hospital to the other.”

It’s at the current Heath Road site where Hospital Radio Ipswich is broadcasted free of charge to all the wards 24/7 at the Ipswich Hospital via Channel 1 on the Hospedia communication system.

We are members of the Hospital Broadcasting Association and the running of Hospital Radio is done in accordance with our Constitution, which amongst other things, states that we need to annually elect anExecutive Committee to provide a structural, stable environment for all that is a part of the station.

Over and above anything else Hospital Radio Ipswich is primarily a Ward Visiting service. Our flagship programmes are broadcasted between 8:30pm and 10:00pm, which is primarily a request programme, so each evening patients can hear their favourite piece of music from Abba to ZZ Top.

Many professional broadcasters have learnt their trade at Hospital Radio Ipswich first but at the end of the day they were volunteering for one thing only ‘the patients,’ which any radio broadcaster would know the audience is their No.1 priority. Where many people assume that Hospital Radio is a training ground for budding presenters volunteering for Hospital Radio is not about gaining experience in the field because you want to be some huge radio presenter and/or journalist but its giving up your time to provide an entertaining service to your audience because you care about your listener and want to make a difference to their lives. The smallest thing can make someone remember what you did for the rest of their life and if our members make it a positive thing then that’s a very rewarding experience for them.

Consequently, no matter how Hospital Radio Ipswich has evolved over time whether it be broadcasting from the wards, providing disco’s / PA systems for outside events, being on-air 24/7 whilst establishing an hourly news link to enhancing our online presence for streaming the running theme throughout it all has been ‘the patient.’

Indeed Hospital Radio Ipswich would hope to continue for a very long time, funds permitting, as we rely solely on donations and fundraising to help Finance it all so when you see us out and about collecting money every penny counts to providing a patient orientated service.

If we have provided a service to you or you have at some stage in your life been apart of Hospital Radio Ipswich we would like to hear from you with your pictures and memories, which in turn we can put up on our website and demonstrate what wonderful stuff we do for the hospital community. All our details can be found on Contact HRI.

More information