Whipps Cross Hospital Radio is celebrating 50 years on air.
Originally an idea supported by the Walthamstow Lions Club, the station broadcasts to patients and staff at Whipps Cross and also in the wider health community via the internet at www.wxhr.org.uk
Station manager Phil Hughes, who has been with the station since 1971, said: “Hospital radio actually pre-dates BBC radio, having started at York County Hospital in 1925, and although we can’t claim to be quite that old, stations like us are the grassroots of broadcasting and we can claim to be the only ones to regularly meet our listeners.
“We’ve maintained request programmes every week over those decades and favourite records amongst patients now range from Frank Sinatra and Status Quo to Ed Sheeran – though very few from The Cure!”
Over the past 50 years hundreds of volunteers have seen technology progress from valves, cassettes and vinyl to computers and the internet.
Chairman Mike Jones added: “We now broadcast 24/7 around the hospital and online and we’re proud to say many former members have moved into broadcasting professionally.”
But one of the station’s biggest claims to fame is that a nine-year-old Amy Winehouse regularly came with her colouring book while her step-mum, Jane, presented a Saturday show.’
The station plans a celebratory lunch in September and welcomes any ex-members and supporters to make contact.