Hospital Radio Basingstoke

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 which was officially opened a few months later.
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 on the first Saturday of 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 along with Stan, the Town Crier of Alton.
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 goody bag donated by Sainsburys in Liphook 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 and Neil Ogden the last person 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. 
2015: HRB covered the Magna Carta Festival in Odiham, an weekend-long event to mark the 800th anniversary since the signing of the Magna Carta treaty.  The event featured a procession through Odiham on the Friday evening which was covered live, and a canal boat festival which was covered live on the Sunday.  HRB’s Paul Le Feuvre also recorded shows from on board the canal boat John Pinkerton as it travelled on the Basingstoke Canal and from Odiham Castle where some of the events were based.  Our coverage was nominated for an award at the 2016 National Hospital Radio Awards.
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. 
2018 The first requests from The Firs were played on air – a rehabilitation ward for older patients.  
2020: During the pandemic, many of the station’s presenters broadcast either live or recorded shows from their homes to keep the station on the air.  
2021 & 2022: The annual Great Christmas Cracker Dash was held with residents and staff of local care homes.  
2023: HRB goes live on DAB
After much preparation, HRB became a community health and wellbeing radio station broadcasting on DAB across Basingstoke and the local area to promote healthy living and a healthy lifestyle.  Presenter Neil Ogden presented the first show at 12pm on Friday 31 March.
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 – 2023, the station has been nominated in the Station of the Year category in all but three years, winning bronze in 2010, 2019 and  2021 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, Christine Rowley and Neil Ogden 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.
In 2010, 2019 and 2021, HRB won Bronze in the Station of the Year category.
From 2002 – 2023, the station has been nominated for over 50 National Hospital Radio Awards.