Radio Horton celebrates 53 years with a weekend of events

Banbury’s hospital radio station has celebrated its fifty-third birthday by providing public address and entertainment in a weekend of events across the local community.

Radio Horton broadcast its first programme to patients of the Horton General Hospital on the 7th July 1964, to the words “This is Radio Horton calling”, the voices of Ted Hanson MBE and Graham Wilton who founded the station.

In those fifty three years, the radio station has travelled a metaphorical distance, both from technological advancement, broadcast platforms, musical tastes, and presenting styles and techniques. For its fortieth Birthday in 2004, the hospital radio station spent much of the day broadcasting on an FM frequency, and just last year Radio Horton welcomed John Craven OBE and Jeremy Wilton, as its President and Vice President, respectively.

This year, Radio Horton celebrated its heritage a little differently. From the studio, patients’ ears were treated with a special programme including Radio Horton’s Kidz Club hosted by Victoria Walton, who awarded two lucky youngsters with family vouchers kindly gifted by the Rugrats and Halfpints indoor activity and play centre in Banbury. Also on the schedule were special programmes featuring country chart number one’s from the 7th July, and hospital radio stalwarts, John and Maria Mayo looked back at the 1960’s, and the history of the station, and an evening request programme.

The sun was shining across the weekend, which culminated in four local events across the Banburyshire district. Starting at the William Morris Primary School summer fayre on Saturday 8th July, where Radio Horton volunteers provided public address and entertainment throughout the afternoon. Bodfest proved to be a huge success, with volunteers from the station hosting the main stage at the event’s new venue at Banbury Rugby Club, introducing local bands and artists including headliners, Neva Mynd.

Sunday saw the Radio Horton team host two further events including The Three Spires Challenge from Adderbury’s Lucy Plackett Field, and the annual Broughton Cycling Sportive held in the picturesque grounds of Broughton Castle.

Many community events raise vital funds for the radio station and are also a great opportunity to meet like-minded members and hospital radio enthusiasts, and promote the service the station provides to the public.

Bob Dainty explains: “A lot more goes into the events behind the scenes in terms of organisation and logistics, especially during a weekend where we have simultaneous events. Tasks include maintaining and preparing the outside broadcast vehicle, its various equipment and that we have suitable playlists to cater for the audiences of each individual event.”

“We also have to ensure we have enough volunteers in place to cover these events, and we are grateful to the various organisers for inviting us and making us feel welcome”.

Radio Horton has more events lined up over the summer and details of these can be found on its website, along with its volunteering opportunities for anyone wishing to get involved.

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