Post: 60 Years Ago Today…..

60 Years Ago Today…..

2024 marks the start of our celebrations of the 60th Anniversary of Hospital Radio in North East London (South Essex).

Warley Hospital Radio

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

The late Dennis Rookard, gave an account of his time at Warley Hospital Radio in an article ‘History of Hospital Radio’in the article he was quoted:

Image cursory of BBC Essex

“In February 64, The secretary of the hospital gave them (Warley Hospital Radio) the use of an old dressing room, in a largely unseen recreational hall.  and to get started the members have to raid each others homes for items of domestic equipment. Another initial problem was the dance from the radio room and the (radio) distribution box, some 800 yards away. One Day they came across a large reel of telephone cable and whined ays a service was broadcasting to the wards. By the time I came on the scene, the service was able to offer some 15 hours a week of requests and magazine programming, along with the more basic top 20 shows” 

As the station grew and become more established it became; Harold Wood Radio (Incorporating Warley Hospital Radio

Service), serving three hospitals:

– Warley Hospital, Brentwood.
– Victoria Hospital, Romford
– Harold Wood Hospital.
Former Volunteers (Including Dennis) recalled during the first decade of broadcasting 14 of the 16 founding members had moved from volunteering into the broadcasting industry, one of these was none other than Noel Edmonds.
Both Warley and Victoria Hospitals where served until the late 80s & early 90s respectively when they where repurposed and all broadcasting was provided exclusively to Harold Wood Hospital.

In 2000, The Hospital Trust wanted a single hospital radio service to serve their ‘New Romford Hospital’ (Queen’s Hospital opened in 2006). Harold Wood Radio and Oldchurch Radio (Formally known as Hospital Radio 174(1985) & Radio Rush Green(1969)) finally merging together
forming Bedrock on 22nd June of 2002.

Radio Rush Green

Out other founding station started in April 1969, initially serving Rush Green Hospital on Dagenham Road from a studio in the porters lodge.
The station then expanded to serve Oldchurch Hospital where in 1985 it became Hospital Radio 174.
Sadly by 1996 Rush Green Hospital closed, the station have moved to Oldchurch Hospital, it relaunched as Oldchurch Radio commencing broadcasting on 846AM.   In June 2002, Oldchurch merged with Harold Wood to form Bedrock.

Bedrock Radio

2002 – 2016 Bedrock Logo

Starting life as Bedrock AM, using the former Oldchurch Radio studios,
we began broadcasting on 846AM across Oldchurch and via telephone lines to the Bedside Channels 1 & 2 at Harold Wood.
In 2006 the station took a short hiatus as we moved in to Queen’s Hospital with our studio needing to be fitted out, which is located in the aptly named ‘Hospital Radio Corridor’ and we awaited for the connection to be established to the Bedside TV system.


In 2009, we had an official re-opening with HRH Ductchess of Cornwall, Camilla (now Queen’s Camilla), naming our studios as ‘The Cornwall Suite’ in honour the visit.

Since 2022 The TV system has been replaced with our own Ward Radios system, which have recently reported wards listening to Bedrock Radio on average 8-12 hours a day!


Goodmayes Hospital Radio

In 2016 Goodmayes Hospital Radio (The Jumbo Sound) merged with us, following water damage form  radiator, during this time Bedrock offered the use of our studios for GHR volunteers to record programmes and Bedrock helping with repairs. However the arrangement became permeant and the stations merged, with the repaired studio relaunching as ‘Bedrock Radio (Goodmayes)’ providing a mixture of local & networked programmes.

Whipps Cross Radio

January 2023 saw Bedrock Radio replace the long running and award winning Whipps Cross Hospital Radio (WXHR) following their closure.In sprit of collaboration Bedrock and Whipps Cross had been sharing engineering expertise and technical knowledge for a number of years. We where saddened to hear volunteers of WXHR where going to call it a day, Bedrock set up a relay from our studios, so not to let the speakers across the hospital fall silent and the hospital not to loose the comfort of Hospital Radio.



Ward Radio

Bedrock Radio has one of the largest hospital radio footprints covering majority of hospitals,  units and clinics in North East London including:
Queen’s Hospital, King George Hospital, Goodmayes Hospital, Whipps Cross Hospital.
Being available on NHS WiFi, Ward Radios & Speaker systems in the health community.
Along with being online, mobile & on smart speakers – With plans to join a local small scale DAB+ transmitter later in 2024 / early 2025 .

Read more about our heritage here;

2024: Celebrating 60 years of Hospital Radio in North East London.