Over the next few weeks there will be a series of articles about the History of Radio at Addenbrooke’s
1954 The first hospital programme production was started by the charity TocH. Football commentaries recorded at local games were broadcast to the wards. It was at this point that the name Radio Addenbrooke´s was first used.
1956 Don Hale, who had been the football commentator with the station, began a Record Request programme. This occasionally featured interviews with celebrities in Cambridge at the time, such as Cilla Black, Shirley Bassey and the Beatles!
1962 The new Addenbrooke´s hospital on Hills Road opened to patients and soon the service was extended there. The initial ´studio´ was very basic. The turntables and equipment were squeezed into the basement walkway.
1972 A new studio was provided, again sponsored by public subscription, by the people of Saffron Walden and Cambridge, under the organisation of TocH.
1975 Don Hale´s years of voluntary work were recognised when he was awarded the B.E.M. During his involvement with the station, Don was supported at Radio Addenbrooke´s by a team comprised of his family, and colleagues from the University Engineering Department. Sadly, Don died in 1980.
1980 Mike Brown became chairman. He continued the record request programme, along with football commentaries, provided by Graham Nurse from the Cambridge United football ground. Mike also took on the challenge of an outside recording of the 13th Cambridge Folk Festival, featuring interviews with the artists and organisers.
1992 Newmarket General Hospital was downgraded, and members of its Radio Station – the Newmarket Lions Club Hospital Radio – joined the Radio Addenbrooke´s team.
1994 Jeff Stagg became chairman. He built up the team from just a handful of presenters to a team of forty strong members.
2003 Current chairman Richard Saunders took over the reigns, and promised to “endeavour to push for extra quality hours of broadcasting and ensure that patient´s stay in Addenbrooke´s is all the better for our efforts.”
2003 Radio Addenbrooke´s completed its first “All Day Lie-In” 12-hour live broadcast and again visited the Cambridge Folk Festival.
2004 Radio Addenbrooke´s was named Hospital Radio Station of the Year by the Hospital Broadcasting Association. The award was a major achievement for the station, reflecting the hard work and dedication exhibited by its team of volunteers. The second “All Day Lie-In” was broadcast, bringing the events of Addenbrooke´s Open Day to the patients´ bedside.
2005 The station received another accolade at the National Hospital Radio Awards, when its entry into the Special event category was “highly commended” and finished in the top five.
2006 Dr Mary Archer joined a long list of studio guests from the hospital and local community to be interviewed on the Wednesday afternoon show. The Hospital Open Day was once again marked with a live 12-hour broadcast.
2009 Radio Addenbrooke’s has been awarded top prize at the National Hospital Radio Awards for their documentary about the Clown Doctors, who entertain patients on the children’s wards at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.