What a very busy year it was for HRB in 2002.
HRB celebrates its 18th birthday with a special show which also featured ex members Steve Fox and Richard Avis. We saved ourselves for the big birthday to come though. Also in January, HRB members Les Peckham, Ray Purkiss and Hugh Sach made their debut.
There was much planning going on behind the scenes during February and March for two big events yet to happen.
A world record breaker – that's what we hoped to be at the start of April as Chairman Dave attempted the world's longest radio show. Starting at mid-day on 5th April, the plan was to continue until at least the following Tuesday afternoon, raising the profile of the station and money for our new studio plans at the same time. We didn't quite make it, but 44 hours was a great effort.
Also in April, we covered the Hospital Fun Day in aid of the Ark Centre.
Then on 30th April, it was our big birthday – the celebration of 30 years since Chairman Mike launched the original hospital station for Basingstoke back in 1972. It was a great day on the 28th April, even though it ended up a little cold and damp. We met people that we hadn't seen for years, and came across ex-members who we never knew existed!!
May saw the station mark National Hospital Broadcasting Week with a link up with Delta FM in Alton who do a hospital radio request show every Sunday evening. Also in May, volunteers launched themselves off the roof of the hospital down a zip slide, all in the name of charity of course! HRB was there to cover the event. Ex-members Neale Adams and John Grey came back to the station to host one off shows.
Mike Davall got behind the HRB microphone once again as a guest presenter, and the station marked the silver jubilee with a mad dash presenting a show entirely live from around the wards. We also had a reporter at the War Memorial Park in Basingstoke where the town's jubilee celebrations were going on.
HRB held HRB On Show for the first time since the world record attempt. We set up our publicity boards at the main entrance to the hospital to promote the station and raise some money at the same time. This event has continued once a month ever since raising between £40 – £60 a month.
HRB was present at the Big Balloon face painting and giving away balloons, all for a donation of course! We also covered the event for the Sunday's programmes with reporters Mike Jackson and Vernon Pearce. And who could forget Cap'n Leonard!!
More busy behind the scenes work went on throughout September for the first HRB Golf Day. We also did another HRB On Show event. New presenter Clare Rogers made her debut on the station, coping with the computer failing completely during her first ever show! We also welcomed Vernon Pearce to the programme schedule.
Also in September, the station was awarded a grant by Basingstoke Council to purchase new computer software for our new studios.
Former member Steve Fox returned to HRB for the first time since 1997 to guest host Sunday lunchtime for one week only. The day after that was HRB's first ever Charity Golf Day at the Dummer Golf Club. This day had been a year in the making and was a big success all round. A very enjoyable day for all those involved.
Plans continued for the big move of HRB next year and also for the upgrading of our computers in order to cope with brand new software to run the station more reliably. We held several meetings to discuss what we wanted to do and how to raise the money and visited SBES (a broadcast exhibition) to find out how we can spend the money!
New presenter Andrew McCormick made his debut on Thursday nights at the start of the month.
After 3 months of planning, the annual Sound of Sunday Christmas Extravaganza was broadcast featuring guests Keith Chegwin and Toyah Wilcox from the two local pantos. We also linked up with lots of other radio stations around the UK and promoted the station with the Great Christmas Cracker Dash.
The year ends with Kylie being revealed as the number one most requested artist at North Hampshire Hospital at the end of the complete top 40 countdown of the most requested artists of the year.