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. 

Jump To:
Early Days | Bedrock Launched | Queen’s Studio | HRH Camilla Visits| Bedrock’s 10th | 50 Years in Havering | Jumbo Sound Merger | Bedrock Radio Network | Bedrock GOLD | Charitable Status Change | Goodmayes Studio Closed Future Plans |

Hospital Radio in Havering started off as two separate organisations, Oldchurch Radio and Harold Wood Radio.

Early Days of Hospital Radio in Havering.

Hospital Radio at Oldchurch Hospital had a few different names in its duration from Rush Green Hospital Radio & Radio 174 (named after the bus route that went to the hospital) and finally before the merger in 2002, Oldchurch Radio.
Before that the station was believed to have been started by a vicar that used to play records around the hospital.

Meanwhile, at Harold Wood Hospital, Volunteers from the Amateur Film Group set up ‘Harold Wood Radio’ with the first shows broadcast on 14th February 1964.

As the station grew and become more established it became ‘Harold Wood Hospital Radio’ (HWHR), the group also provided programmes to Warley Hospital near Brentwood and later to Victoria Hospital in Romford. Read more about Harold Wood Radio.

Read more about Harold Wood Radio 

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2002 Formation of Bedrock.

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 negotiations 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 AM used the former Oldchurch studio 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.

2006: Moving Studios – 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’.

It was an opportunity for a fresh start and a brand new studio was created.

2009 Studio at Queen's Hospital.

While the new studio was being built, volunteers started digitising the extensive vinyl collection. Due to the new facilities being smaller we were unable to accommodate our vinyl collection that had built up over many years, sadly all of our records have now been sold off. We do have a large digital collection of music that is easy to access for our presenters.

During the studio construction, Bedrock were being plugged into the new bedside TV systems, run by Premier Telesolutions, with hospital radio being on channel one as part of the 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.

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

A whole host of volunteers past & present where invited to celebrate the re-launch Bedrock. In honour of our royal opening, the studio has been named “The Cornwall Suite”.

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

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2009 - 2012: 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 & volunteers still building the music database, our sustaining service was provided by local radio station Time FM. 

Trustees quickly invested in a new basic 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.

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2012: Celebrating 10 years of Bedrock.

During 2012, we celebrated 10 years of Bedrock.
As a birthday present the Trustees planned a modernisation project to replace ageing equipment and software 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. 

Throughout 2012/2013 we started the upgrade on our studio facilities with more advance software and powerful hardware. Our main studio was ripped apart with a new desk installed, allowing for workspace, guests and better use of the room.

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. 
(Our Engineer thinks some mainstream stations ought to be jealous of our set up! 

Production Desk - Myriad Software & New Sonfiex Mixer.

2014: 50 years of Hospital Radio in Havering.

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. 

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2015 - 2017: 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. 

However as of 2019 the trial was unsuccessful & hasn’t progressed any further due to costs (Approx. £1000 per mobile TV & £1500 per wall mounted TV) & the Trust being placed in financial special measures. 

This leaving the vast majority (approx. 90% of wards) without any form of bedside patient entertainment.
NHS WiFi has been deployed across Queen’s & King George Hospitals as replacement alternative. 

Closed PayStation
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2016: Goodmayes Hospital Radio (The Jumbo Sound) Merger

In March 2016 Bedrock was approached by neighbouring station Goodmayes Hospital Radio Association (GHR) broadcasting as ‘The Jumbo Sound’ in regards to a merger. 

Jumbo Sound: History of Goodmayes Hospital Radio

The Goodmayes Hospital Radio Association (GHR) was founded in 1977 when it started broadcasting to the patients of Goodmayes Hospital. Ilford. 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.

oldlogo

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 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.

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2016: Bedrock Radio Expands / The Bedrock Radio Network.

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 creating our radio network & to also order our new furniture for the mixers. 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 some shared 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) 

Meanwhile 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 formed part of our new on-air jingle package, along with some hospital specific sweepers for the networked sites. 

Cornwall Suite / Queen's Studio
Goodmayes Studio
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2016: Bedrock Radio Mobile App

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 outlining a plan to roll out ‘NHS WiFi’ across 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 WiFi that is 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 many outpatients across the local community. Our app not only allows you to listen live to Bedrock Radio but you can also keep updated with News & Weather. 

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2017: 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 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 saw Great Memories, Classic Hits, Bedrock GOLD being softly launched appearing first in our mobile app, but soon spreading to services such as TuneIn.

The station is mostly a continuous jukebox with a selection of regular daily programmes including Breakfast & Evenings. The station focuses on music from the 40s to the 80s.  Bedrock GOLD is currently available online for the social inclusion of older persons across the wider health community.

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

Find Bedrock GOLD in the Bedrock Radio App
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2018: Charitable Status & Name Change

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

2019: Goodmayes Studio Closure.

As of  December 2019 Bedrock Radio no longer have a studio on-site at Goodmayes Hospital. 
The studio was located in the old Goodmayes hospital building, this site is due to be redeveloped, every department has asked to vacate the building by the end of the 2019, including Hospital Radio.  

NELFT have been working 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 will continue to serve patients & staff of Goodmayes Hospital & the wider NELFT services. However all programming will now be produced & relayed from our main studio at Queen’s Hospital, with only vital studio links staying on-site. – Our request collectors will continue to visit the wards regularly. 

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2020: 'RockBox' - Bedrock's Radio's

We are 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.

Most importantly our radio project is inclusive, allowing all patients to listen across Queen’s Hospital, regardless if they own a smart phone or tablet.

2021: Expanding Our Service with NELFT.

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.

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Future Plans

Bedrock Radio has list of potential ideas we would like to achieve over the next 10 years.
All our future plans are agreed to help further our charitable objective. 

Note: Items in bold are current projects in progress. 

  • Work with BHRUT to promote Bedrock Radio using the new NHS WiFi service.
  • Upgrade ward speaker system at Goodmayes Hospital (Ilford).
  • Upgrade Ways To Listen at Queen’s Hospital (Romford) 
  • Update Bedside listening at King George Hospital (Ilford).
  • Recruit new active volunteers to further the CIO charitable objective, and introduce new skills.
  • Continue to build relationships with NELFT and seek to expand across their local clinics. 
  • Develop an on-air sports show, with a focus on local sports to encourage local fitness and support.
  • Introduce featured content to Bedrock GOLD, engaging with local care homes to listen.
  • Raise further awareness of Bedrock Radio & encourage local people to ‘Make the switch to Your Healthy Music Mix’ to keep updated and receive health information.
  • Encourage small local health & well-being charities to work with us to promote their causes.
  • Encourage larger charities and companies to work with (or sponsor) Bedrock Radio.
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