Bedrock Radio

About Us

History of Bedrock Radio

Bedrock Radio has a heritage that spans back over 50 years! 
We have a history providing Havering and Goodmayes with patient and community focused radio programmes. 

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Early Days of Hospital Radio in Havering.

Hospital Radio in Havering started off as separate Hospital Radio Stations.

Hospital Radio at Oldchurch Hospital has had a few different names in its duration starting as  Radio Rush Green serving Rush Green Hospital, Romford.
In 1985 it was renamed to Hospital Radio 174 (named after the bus route that goes past the hospital) began serving Rush Green & Oldchurch Hospitals, where an 846AM induction loop transmitter was fitted at Oldchurch Hospital.

Finally in 1993, when Rush Green Hospital closed, HR174 moving from ‘The Shed’ studio at Rush Green, into the nurses home at Oldchurch Hospital, Where the station changes it’s name to Oldchurch Radio.

The first broadcast at Oldchurch was tied in with a launch event at the Nurse’s Home, with interviews of people who had sponsored the studio build.

On 14th February 1964, Warley Hospital Radio service was started by members of an Amateur Film Group, Initially starting with pre-recorded programmes.

The station became known as Harold Wood Radio, where the secretary of Harold Wood Hospital gave the station use of rooms located in a underused recreation hall, with cables run from the hall to the wards. 

As the station grew and become more established it became ‘Harold Wood Hospital Radio’ (HWHR), the station continued provided programmes to Warley Hospital, Brentwood  Victoria Hospital in Romford. until the late 1980s.

 

2002 - Formation Of Bedrock.

Bedrock was created as a result of a merger, in preparation of the opening of a new hospital.

In 2000 the NHS Trust who operated both Oldchurch & Harold Wood Hospitals wanted a single radio station to serve both hospitals, until the completion of the new Queen’s Hospital in 2006. 
After much negotiating regarding studio location, site transmission links & setting up a new association, the members of both Oldchurch & Harold Wood Hospital Radio came together creating Bedrock.
Making it a new registered charity on 22nd June 2002.

The newly formed Bedrock used the former Oldchurch Radio facilities, broadcasting on 846AM (induction loop) to Oldchurch Hospital with a direct link to Harold Wood Hospital, broadcasting on channels one and two on the bedside radio system. With the first programmes being broadcast on December 1st 2002 and the station being known as Bedrock AM.

HRFH
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2006 - Moving Into Queen's Hospital.

2009 Studio at Queen's Hospital.

In 2006 broadcasting ceased at Oldchurch Hospital as the newly built Queen’s Hospital opened. The Hospital Trust provided us with three rooms, giving us a studio, office & storeroom in the aptly named ‘Hospital Radio Corridor’.

Bedrock ceased broadcasting at Oldchurch Hospital as we had to move out of the nursing block, forcing us off-air as our new studios where being constructed and wired up. Our Volunteers began digitising the extensive vinyl collection, creating a large digital library for our new computer playout system. 

During the studio build, Bedrock was being plugged into the patient bedside TV systems, run by Premier Telesolutions, with hospital radio being channel one as part of the limited free entertainment offered. 

By 2009 the new studio & Premier were operational and programmes commenced broadcasting at Queen’s Hospital.

2009: Royal Opening – ‘The Cornwall Suite’ Studio.

Re-Launch of Bedrock Hospital Radio. 

To celebrate our new studios and to re-launch Bedrock Hospital Radio broadcasting from our new home at Queen’s Hospital.
Our studio was officially opened by HRH Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla on January 22, 2009. 

HRH Camilla made a song request of ABBA’s – Mamma Mia, before visiting the Coral ward to hear her song request & visit patients.

Cornwall Suite Sign

In honour of our royal opening, the studio has been named “The Cornwall Suite”.

A whole host of volunteers past & present where invited to celebrate the re-launch Bedrock. We are very proud of this moment, we even made national press coverage.

On Air at Queen's Hospital

Bedrock had not fully returned to 24/7 programming by the time we came back on-air in 2009, due to limitations of the IT infrastructure installed & volunteers still building the music database, our sustaining service was provided by local radio station Time FM. 

Trustees quickly invested in an alternative play-out software that could run it’s own sustaining service, once again making Bedrock fully independent and a 24 hour service, ending the reliance on using Time FM (This decision was fast-tracked due to feedback from patients about the type of content Time FM began broadcasting overnights).  Our new software capable of being used in live or automated modes.

We had a lot of work to rebuild our name from the three years off-air.
A new jingle package was introduced as Bedrock dropping the AM suffix (following the sale of the AM Induction loop transmitter) and needed to re-identify ourselves with our commitment to patient entertainment as ‘Your Friendly Station’ and mentioning about our request collectors and how to get in touch with the studio. 

During 2011 the phrase ‘Your Friendly Station, Your Friendly Choice’ as it starting to sound very tired and a little cheesy, the phrase had served it’s purpose and helped rebuild our profile within the Queen’s Hospital, it was phased out by the end of that year.

To realign the station in order to compete with the other mainstream stations on offer from the Premier Telesolutions system, we refocused our on-air phrase was ‘Timeless Classics & Requests’ getting more to the point of what we do.

2012 - Celebrating 10 years of Bedrock.

During 2012, we celebrated 10 years of Bedrock.

Production Desk
Myriad Software & New Sonfiex Mixer.

As a birthday present the Trustees planned a modernisation project to ageing IT equipment, and equipment that moved with us.  With a projected cost of up-to £10,000 being spent on new software, mixers and IT equipment to be upgraded over the next five years.  Using money acquired from fundraising events and grants. 

2012 to 2013 we started the upgrades on our studio facilities with more advance software and powerful hardware.

Our I.T network received an upgrade too with more up-to-date hardware and software to help future proof the station with additional servers & workstations, allowing our files and music to be stored more securely. Plus the extra workstations enable our volunteers to produce more on-air content and develop features.

As part of the major upgrade Bedrock invested in new industry standard broadcast  software, Myriad as our main system, which is flexible enough to find requested songs and powerful enough to select music that we know patients like to hear. 

2014 - 50 years of Hospital Radio in Havering.

Celebrating our heritage and expanding our coverage.

2014 we celebrate 50 years of Hospital Radio in Havering, thanking volunteers past and present for years of helping keep patients entertained in our local hospitals & reflecting at the changes, from early days of providing just a few hours of entertainment a day to a full 24/7 broadcasting service from all our founding stations.

To mark the 50th anniversary of Hospital Radio in Havering, we launched our live web-stream allowing staff, out-patients & relatives of patients in Hospital in the local area to listen online or via their smartphones. 
Bedrock volunteers where joined by the Mayor of Havering on Sunday 16th February to mark the milestone and launch the new ‘listen live‘ service.

We listed Bedrock Hospital Radio on services such as TuneIn so patients & the community could listen from launch. 

2015 - Bedside TV System Breakdown - Queen's Hospital

In 2015 the Premier Telesolutions bedside system suffered massive decline in working bedside TV units, leading to patients paying for TV’s that didn’t work, or where missing altogether. Bedrock reported concerns to the Hospital Trust as many wards didn’t have working Bedside TVs, resulting in the Hospital Trust and Premier terminating their contracts. 

By Summer 2017 All Premier Telesolutions TV equipment had been declared defunct & was removed.

The Trust installed a self-funded trial TV system, that would be free to patients, contain limited channels & have Bedrock as the first ‘channel’. The trial system was installed in the paediatrics (Tropical Ward) & operated on the same network as TVs already installed across waiting rooms in the hospital. 

NHS WiFi has been deployed across Queen’s & King George Hospitals as replacement alternative. 

Closed PayStation

2016 - Goodmayes Hospital Radio (The Jumbo Sound) Merger.

In March 2016 Bedrock acquired our neighbouring station Jumbo Sound.

The Jumbo Sound

Goodmayes Hospital Radio Association (GHR) broadcasting as ‘The Jumbo Sound’
approached Bedrock in regards to a merger.

Jumbo Sound: History of Goodmayes Hospital Radio

Hospital Radio at Goodmayes started in 1975, officially registering with the charity Commission as The Goodmayes Hospital Radio Association (GHR) in 1977, broadcasting to the patients of Goodmayes Hospital. The stations remit included: informing, including and entertaining patients.

When neighbouring King George Hospital opened in 1993 Goodmayes Hospital Radio extended its reach to serve the then new site.

In 2004 Goodmayes Hospital Radio changed its on-air name to The Jumbo Sound (which curiously later became name of the radio station in Holby City!) On June 25, 2006 The Jumbo Sound began broadcasting on the internet as a new means of reaching the somewhat disbanded audience. Additionally, the station launched its new blue and red logo ahead of the big 30th anniversary celebrations. The anniversary was celebrated with special programmes, guest’s appearances by old volunteers.

Towards the end of 2007 The Jumbo Sound moved studios from the original upstairs location on ‘The Bridge’ to a downstairs location offering more space and better disabled access. In 2008 NELFT, awarded Goodmayes Hospital Radio a generous grant to update their broadcasting equipment in the new room. Sadly, upon moving studios the link to King George Hospital was lost, but the station remained broadcasting to Goodmayes Hospital and online.

President of Goodmayes Hospital Radio.

Barry Cryer OBE was the president for Jumbo Sound. He was a writer, comedian and actor staring on stage, radio and television. The 80-year old has appeared in ‘Sorry I Haven’t A Clue’. Barry offered to host a special one-off fundraising gig for Jumbo Sound when the studios where water damaged. However, plans where already underway to merge the station. 

We where sad to hear of Barry’s passing in January 2022. 

Jumbo Sound: 40 Years of Goodmayes Hospital Radio & Merger.

Throughout 2015, Goodmayes Hospital Radio Association celebrated its 40th anniversary, with the Mayor of Redbridge visiting the studios along with new and old volunteers. In November 2015 the studio suffered major equipment damage following a radiator bursting and its subsequent humidity forcing the station off-air.

While insurers evaluated the cost of the damaged equipment, the remaining volunteers discussed the future of the station. Following volunteer numbers and income dwindling, the remaining members voted to close merging with Bedrock Radio to continue the station’s legacy.

As of April 2016 the remaining volunteers of The Jumbo Sound came over to Bedrock with service being restored to Goodmayes Hospital in the form providing a relay of the programmes from Queen’s Hospital while the Goodmayes Studio undergo refurbishment.
In June 2016, the refurbishment was complete with the first live shows broadcast from the Goodmayes Studio in eight months as ‘Bedrock Radio, Goodmayes’.

 

2016 - Bedrock Radio Expands

Continuing the service at Goodmayes and upgrading our studios.

As a result of the merger with Goodmayes Hospital Radio (The Jumbo Sound) in 2016, equipment and resources needed to be relocated and changes made to accommodate the extra station.
Resulting in both studios; Queen’s Hospital & Goodmayes hospital studios undergoing refurbishment.

It was decided that the studio at Queen’s Hospital would remain as the focal point of Bedrock, with the Goodmayes Hospital studio being a secondary studio, due to most live programmes coming from Queen’s it was decided the larger Sonifex S2 mixer from Goodmayes would be relocated to Queen’s subsequently a smaller Sonifex S0 Mixer from Queen’s be installed at Goodmayes.

We consulted with Broadcast Radio to find the best way of networking our studios & to also order our new furniture for our mixing desks. Our most cost effective and resourceful way of operating is by networking the two studio sites together using our playout software Myriad. 

Bringing both Queen’s and Goodmayes studios together to share the same automation service and share selected programmes from our main studio at Queen’s Hospital, which is then relayed and broadcast to Goodmayes Hospital.
(This is similar practice to what larger stations like Heart, Capital and BBC do, but on a much smaller scale) 

Our studio at Goodmayes has the capacity for localised live programmes to be broadcast specifically from the Goodmayes Studio, while a separate show is broadcast from Queen’s.
The studios have both received a repaint, along with new bespoke furniture, making the facilities appear very fresh & modern.

To adapt to our wider audience following the Goodmayes merger, Bedrock dropped ‘For Havering’ from our logo. Now identifying as a ‘Community Health & Hospital Radio’ station.

On-air we refer to the station as Bedrock Radio with a new slogan ‘Your Healthy Music Mix’ 
which forms part of our new on-air jingle package, along with some hospital specific sweepers for the networked sites. 

Goodmayes Studio
Cornwall Suite / Queen's Studio
BEDROCK APP

In June 2016 as part of the merger and studio rebuilds, Bedrock Radio launched our very own mobile app, thanks to the team at AudioSpace

Many people now own a smartphone or a tablet device, we have witnessed  many patients, visitors and staff bringing their personal devices into hospital to keep them connected to the outside world.
NHS Digital outlined a plan to roll out ‘NHS Wi-Fi’ across majority of NHS locations across the UK over the next few years in order  “to provide a secure, stable, and reliable WiFi capability, across all NHS settings. It will allow patients and the public browse the internet and access health and care information.” 

Bedrock Radio launched our free mobile app, to encourage patients to listen via the Free Wi-Fi available across the hospitals, especially in locations such as Queen’s and King George Hospital where there is no longer a dedicated Bedside TV systems installed.

Additionally, the app allows us to outreach outpatients and local people across the community.
Our app not only allows you to listen live to Bedrock Radio but you can also keep updated with News & Weather.

2017 - Great Memories, Classic Hits. Bedrock GOLD

As a result of our expansion, we launch a new radio station.

Bedrock Radio launches Bedrock GOLD

Great Memories, Classic Hits. Bedrock GOLD

Playing a mixture of Classic Hits from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s
for the social inclusion of older persons across the community 

Bedrock GOLD was developed from survey results from patients music tastes and request slips over the course of three years.
Our results showed a diverse range of music that matches the age ranges across the hospitals we serve. With requests from Sam Smith to Frank Sinatra, Adele to Vera Lynn.

Our survey also highlighted massive jumps between the music decades was making it hard to retain listeners, the results showed while some of us prefer listening to great time oldies from the 50s 60s and 70s. Others wanted 80s, 90s 00s, 2010s and today’s chart.
With little crossover between the eras, with listeners saying they would “turn off” if too much of the other was played.

In 2016, during the creation of the Bedrock Radio Network, we made the bold decision to start splitting our station up and create a second channel that caters towards our older audience, and those who love the music from yesteryear!

Spring 2017;  Great Memories, Classic Hits, Bedrock GOLD was softly launched appearing first in our mobile app, but soon spreading to services such as TuneIn & other online directroies  for the social inclusion of older persons across the wider health community.

Bedrock GOLD is mostly a continuous jukebox with a selection of presented evening programmes. The station focuses on music from the 40s to the 80s.  

Great Memories, Classic Hits, Bedrock GOLD
Features in the Bedrock Radio app, on smart speakers and online at gold.bedrock.radio

Aiir App
Find Bedrock GOLD in the Bedrock Radio App
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2018 - Changes in Charity & Studios.

We change status to CIO & say goodbye to our studio at Goodmayes.

As of October 2018 we were successful in registering a new charitable incorporated organisation (known as a CIO) with the Charity Commission. This modern charity format allows for more flexibility in our operations, and essentially makes our new charity, Bedrock Radio, similar to that of a company limited by guarantee.

Formally, we will be merging the old charity into the new one, which resulted in closing our old unincorporated association charity Bedrock (1094330) and we are operating as Charitable Incorporated Organisation Bedrock Radio (118076) 

Fomally our name goes from Bedrock to Bedrock Radio.
Read our Formal Notice: Change of struture and status

We where informed that the old hospital building at Goodmayes was slowly being emptied and we would need to vacate in order for old building to be closed. 

As of December 2019 we have closed the former Jumbo Sound studios at  Goodmayes Hospital.

NELFT have worked closely with us to try and relocate our studio, with a view to remaining on the hospital site. Sadly other critical departments are required to stay on site and there is no spare room to rehome our studio. 

Bedrock Radio continues to serve patients & staff of Goodmayes Hospital plus the wider NELFT service. However all programming is now be relayed from our main studio at Queen’s Hospital. only a studio link remains on-site connecting our studio to the wards.

Our request collectors continue to visit the wards regularly. 

2019 to 2022 - Bedrock WiFi - "The RockBox"

Increasing our coverage. 

Initial Test

In 2019 we began drawing up plans in a view to developing a solution to restore patient entertainment back to the wards of Queen’s Hospital, Romford. Re-utilising the dormant cabling from the defunct paid TV System.

Working with local companies & Patient Experience at BHR Hospitals we’re developing a solution that intuitive by design, ensuring ease of use for patients & staff.

In 2019 we purchased to small tablets that run the Bedrock Radio App of which we deployed on two wards to test our WiFi concept, sadly the Coronavirus pandemic hit in 2020. 

We found from the tablets a bespoke WiFi radio solution would be a better option.

The most important aspect of our radio project is to be inclusive, allowing all patients to listen across Queen’s Hospital, regardless if they own a smart device. 

We want our RockBox radios to be simple with clear instructions for all to use. 

WiFi Equipment

In 2020 we secured a Grant from the National Lottery, backed by the Government to fund our WiFi Radio project

We purchased relevant network equipment to make full use of the dormant patient entertainment cabling across  Queen’s Hospital, to create a private WiFi network that plays only our hospital radio services.

To test get new system we have purchased eight  WiFi radios that we will deploy onto the wards to get patients listening. 

We will have our Hospital Radio operational by early June to
co-inside with Bedrock’s 20th Anniversary and the HM The Queen’s Jubilee. 

We still plan to build our own Wi-Fi Radios (“RockBoxes”) sadly the global electronic parts shortage has delayed our building of these as we’re unable to source the microcomputers, we’ve also taken the opportunity to redesign the box to make our design simpler. 

Whipps Cross Hospital Radio

We have learned that WXHR is to cease broadcasting in 2022.
Bedrock’s Engineer helps maintain the IT system at WXHR 

WHXR: History of Whipps Cross Hospital Radio

The idea for a radio service came from the Walthamstow Lions Club in 1969 set up in a shed on the hospital grounds with six volunteers to broadcast for just three hours on a Sunday evening.
The station was effectively run on behalf of and sponsored by the Walthamstow Lions Club, with the full formal title of  Walthamstow Lions Whipps Cross Hospital Radio. 
This was soon shortened to Walthamstow Lions Hospital Radio or Whipps Cross Hospital Radio (WXHR)

In July 1978 WXHR began serving Chingford Hospital and Wanstead Hospital, in 1979 the station was broadcasting 40 hours a week across the three hospitals.

In 1980 an outside broadcast line was connected to Orient Football Club for commentary on Saturday Afternoons funded by the club itself.

A major change came in 1982, after negotiations with Walthamstow Lions Club, to make Whipps Cross Hospital Radio a separate registered charity in its own right and no longer being run by the Lions. 

In 1988 WXHR was offered a new home under D Block, known as ‘The Animal House’. Where a 4 studio suite, with an office, library and technical area was created. The studios where completed in 1991 and became the home of WXHR until closure in 2022.

The former bedside TV provider (Hospedia) began releasing listening figures from the bedside TV consoles. Where WXHR recorded 64% to 72% of all radio listening at Whipps Cross Hospital.  Making WXHR the 2nd most listened to Hospital Radio service in the country, when compared with figures from other hospitals using the same TV system.

In 2015 WXHR began broadcasting online targeting the wider health community allowing for outpatients and relatives of patients to listen in.

Future Plans

Being open and transparent with our future plans.

Items in bold are currently being worked on.

  • Continue to work with BHR Hospitals to promote Bedrock Radio on NHS WiFi service.
  • Upgrade Ways To Listen at Queen’s Hospital (Romford) 
  • Update Bedside listening at King George Hospital (Ilford).
  • Upgrade ward speaker system at Goodmayes Hospital (Ilford).
  • Continue to build relationships with NELFT and seek to expand across their local clinics. 
  • Open communication with local Trusts (Barts Health, local CCGs etc) about providing / replacing a dormant radio services. 
  • Raise further awareness of Bedrock Radio & Bedrock GOLD to  encourage people to ‘Make the switch’ to keep updated and receive health information.
  • Encourage small local health & well-being charities to work with us to promote their causes.
  • Continue to support & collaborate with other Hospital Radio stations locally, sharing knowledge and resources. 
  • Encourage larger charities and companies to work with / sponsor Bedrock Radio.
  • Expand our services into more locations locally providing a unified Community Health / Hospital Radio service across North East London & imitate South Essex areas.

Active Project:
Meadow Court

MDWCT

We’re currently in discussions with NELFT investigating the possibility to expand our radio services into Meadow Court, Goodmayes. Which is located in-between Goodmayes & King George Hospitals.
Bedrock Radio will be looking for partners and supplier to work with to fundraise to service this site.
We’re also in discussion with NELFT over other possible locations they operate in receiving our radio services.