All of us at HRB were sad to learn in the last few days that honorary member of the station Paul Le Feuvre sadly passed away at the weekend.
Paul's first show on HRB was on 28 March 2007, but he has been on the radio much much longer than that. He started on Radio Treloar, which was the hospital radio station for Alton. In the late 80s, he was a big part of the campaign to get local commercial radio for Alton and was then part of the team that was on air on the original Wey Valley Radio, which became Delta FM.
When Radio Treloar closed, he continued to present his Sunday night request show on Delta FM, regularly attracting one of the largest audiences of any radio station on a Sunday evening in Hampshire. When Delta FM was taken over, and his show finished, he joined Hospital Radio Basingstoke, inventing a new show called Pick a Word, editions of which were broadcast on the station right up until last Christmas.
In 2008, he helped the station with its new studio and joined the committee as its first Training Officer.
In 2013, Paul received his honorary membership of Hospital Radio Basingstoke from Liz Padmore, Chairman of the hospital's trust. Two days later he was in London to receive his second surprise of the same weekend on the ITV show Surprise Surprise from presenter Holly Willoughby after being nominated for 40+ years of service to community and hospital radio.
Paul loved taking the stations he worked for and his shows out to his audience. He encouraged all of us at HRB to go out to local events and cover them for our listeners. He was a regular part of many events in Alton including the Last Night of the Proms, the Alton Lions Party in the Park and the annual Classic Car Show. He was the PA at the Froyle Fete for nearly 30 years.
In 2015, HRB covered the Magna Carta Festival in Odiham and it was Paul who was a big part of that coverage which was then nominated for an award at the National Hospital Radio Awards.
In 2015, Paul started presenting a new show called Sounds of the Fifties, which at the National Hospital Radio Awards in 2016 was nominated in the Best Specialist Music Programme Category. Paul recorded the programme in his own studio at his home, from where he also read the local news each week.
Paul's final role with HRB was as drawmaster for the weekly prize draw. He became the voice of the "big blue bag of balls" each week, choosing the winning number by picking it from the bag. He would do the draw live from his home studio, or sometimes he would take the draw out and about including live from a moving steam train on the Watercress Line, the Victorian Cricket in Alton, and, perhaps most notably, the sin bin at an ice hockey match in Switzerland. He was drawmaster for the final draw in February 2018, assisted live from Guernsey by Fred Setters, Station Manager at Jubilee Radio, the hospital radio station on the island. He always encouraged the use of new technology to push the boundaries of what was possible to do on the radio. He came up with a way of enabling someone to be on the radio live while they were abseiling down the side of the hospital!
Paul enjoyed going to the events organised by the Hospital Broadcasting Association. He described the HBA's weekend in Guernsey in 2016 as "the best HBA event ever"
Despite his illness he was able to be at the HBA's 2018 conference in Windsor, and although he was ill, he still remained cheerful and as interested in everyone as ever.
In 2017, Paul revived his Sunday evening request show on Wey Valley Radio, now back on air as a community radio station 25 years after the original station went on the air. The show seemed as popular as ever, full of requests from his listeners which he continued to enthusiastically collect each week.
Paul's final show on Wey Valley Radio was on Sunday 15 April 2018 and on HRb on Thursday 26 April.