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Hospital Radio in Basingstoke – The History

1972: The very first hospital radio station in Basingstoke, Mini Radio, went on the air on 28 April 1972 thanks to Mike Burkitt, known to listeners as “Chairman Mike”. 

 
1974: Mini Radio became Chairman Mike’s Mini Radio when Basingstoke District Hospital was opened
1984:  HRB first broadcast on 11 January 1984; Marks and Spencer raised the money to buy the original HRB studio.
 
1988: The Induction Loop was purchased meaning HRB could be heard around the hospital on 945AM.
 
1992 – 1995:  HRB ran 3 short term FM stations broadcasting to Basingstoke, two as Basingstoke Carnival Radio and one as Kestrel FM.  HRB was also involved in another short term Kestrel FM broadcast and the team that were behind all 4, went onto win the full time licence for a commercial radio station for Basingstoke. 
 
1999: The late 90s saw many changes at HRB, and the first plans to build new studios, but a fire on 15 July 1999 put a stop to that as the station fell silent for 18 months.
 
2001:  On Sunday 28 January 2001, the 8 members who had stuck with the station following the fire, achieved their aim of seeing the station back on the air from a second hand portacabin located on the same site as before.  Computers were now used to play music and jingles meaning the station could now be on air 24 hours a day.
 
2002: The arrival of the Patientline bedside entertainment system (now known as Hospedia) meant that patients could now listen to HRB with much better sound quality. 
 
2002 – 2008: Various plans for moving to new studios were made, but eventually it was a new modular building that was the chosen solution, arriving on the back of two lorries in August 2008.  The first show from the new studio was on Sunday 12 October 2008 at 12pm.
 
2009: The new studios were officially opened on Sunday 5 April by TV presenter Simon Parkin and former G Floor patient Sophie Hyde.
 
2012: HRB celebrated 40 years of hospital radio in Basingstoke with a get together of members past and present at which the station’s new look website was officially launched along with online listening. 
 
2012: The first weekend Sainsbury’s prize draw was held.  This weekly event gave away a Sainsbury’s goody bag to one patient who had made a request over the weekend and was to run for five and a half years as popular part of our schedule. 
2015: HRB was the last media organisation to record an interview on the original London 2012 running track at the Olympic Stadium. 
 
2015: HRB Replay was launched, repeating the evening’s request shows the following day to allow listeners to enjoy their request again or hear it if they missed it the first time. 
2016: The 1000th edition of Neil Ogden’s Sound of Sunday was marked with a live 2 hour outside broadcast from Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.
 
2016: The first programmes aimed at listeners outside of the hospital were made.  Residents’ Requests plays music for the residents of local care homes. 
 
WINNING AWARDS
 
HRB has had success at the National Hospital Radio Awards over the years, starting in 1992 when the station was the regional winner.
 
From 2002 – 2019, the station has been nominated in the Station of the Year category in all but three years, winning bronze in 2010 and 2019 and coming in the top 5 in 2017 and 2018.
 
Coverage of Yuletide in Alton won Gold in the Special Event category in 2008. 
 
Mark Keavney, Dave Warren and Christine Rowley have won awards in the presenter categories. 
 
A programme trailer for “It Started with Swap Shop”, a programme telling the story of Saturday morning TV won bronze in the Best Station Promotion category in 2017.
 
From 2002 – 2019, the station has been nominated for a total of 45 National Hospital Radio Awards.