Turn the clock back to 8.00pm on an evening in 1970. Brian Faulkner enters the basement area of ‘B’ block at Medway Hospital, carrying what looks like a heavy suitcase. He can hear the sound of lots of feet in the corridor, leaving friends and loved ones until the next visiting time. The suitcase turns out to be an old tape-recorder that is now balanced on hospital racking. A long cable is run into an old amplifier. At precisely 8.30pm, a couple of switches are thrown and Hospital Radio Medway is broadcasting its once-a-week Request Programme to the patients of Medway Hospital.
That one hour’s programme was the culmination of two evening’s hard work. On Monday evening, Brian had visited the wards to collect the patients’ requests and then home to prepare a script. On Tuesday evening, his garden shed became ‘Broadcasting House’ for an evening and the programme was recorded and assembled ready for the Wednesday broadcast.
A year or so after moving into a permanent studio in the hospital basement, HRM's audience was increased by four more hospitals and Brian was soon joined by 5 young men, four of whom became presenters and one, an engineer/dogsbody. When the other hospitals joined the system, the members increased to almost 40, practically overnight.
In 1983, Hospital Radio Medway moved its studios to new rooms in ‘C’ block basement, due to hospital expansion which is where we are now. So, from our original single communal room, we now have two studios, a record library, a utility room and an engineering bay.
Our programmes have been influenced by the patients and the gradual development of Hospital Radio Medway’s expertise, whether in terms of equipment or personnel, and will continue to do some into the future. Our record library has grown massively from a shelf on a small bookcase and many of our tracks are now played directly from a studio computer play-out system.
2010 saw us celebrating our 40th birthday with programming events, outside broadcasts and other special celebrations.
The HRM team continues to be dedicated and ready to continue providing its personal bedside radio service to patients across Medway Maritime Hospital for another 40 years!
Click on each picture below to see a bigger image from HRM's history books...