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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS


Home > News > Fifty years of music fills the airwaves at hospital

Fifty years of music fills the airwaves at hospital

Posted on Monday 17th September 2012
hospital radio co-op

Co-operative staff hand over the prize hamper

Music from the past 50 years will be filling the airwaves at the Cumberland Infirmary this weekend as Carlisle’s hospital radio marks its half century.

Hospital Radio Echo is holding a sponsored 25-hour broadcast to raise much needed funds for the station, and patients, visitors and staff are being asked to pledge their support. The broadcast starts at 7pm on Friday, playing music from the last 50 years, with a different year featured every half hour.

Volunteers will be collecting donations in the hospital all week, spreading the word about the work of the radio station. Quiz sheets will also be available to buy, with questions on events from the last 50 years. The prize on offer is a luxury hamper, courtesy of The Co-operative. Corkscrew Wines of Carlisle have also kindly donated some bottles of wine as runner-up prizes.

Dan Slee, chairman of Hospital Radio Echo, said: “We really hope everyone will get behind the fundraiser and support us this week. There hasn’t been any significant fundraising for some time and we are in need of funds to secure the future of the station. There are various running costs involved which soon mount up.

“If you are in hospital this weekend, I can guarantee there will be something for everyone on Hospital Radio Echo. We will be playing songs from the last 50 years looking at a different year every half an hour on air and hopefully jogging a few memories along the way. The years have been mixed up and selected at random – in one hour we go from 2005 to 1962. Listeners are in for a real treat.”

Hospital radio began in Carlisle in January 1962 with live broadcasts of Carlisle United’s home matches. In August 1972, Paul Braithwaite (now a presenter with BBC Radio Cumbria) started a request show and the broadcasts went out to the Cumberland Infirmary, City General and City Maternity Hospitals, as well as Strathclyde House.  

Paul was not the only Radio Echo presenter to go on to fame at BBC Radio Cumbria – ‘The Voice of Carlisle United’ Derek Lacey learnt his trade at Brunton Park commentating for the patients in the Carlisle Hospitals. 

Hospital Radio Echo can be found on channel five on the Hospedia patient entertainment system at the Cumberland Infirmary.