Our History

April 27, 2017 - 09:48 PM

It was 1955 when Watford Hospital Radio began in a broom cupboard in the Peace Memorial Hospital. The earliest programmes were recorded football commentaries from Watford’s Vicarage Road ground which were played back over the hospital radio system later that evening. This proved so popular with the patients in the hospital that a landline was soon installed so live coverage of the games could be relayed to the wards. 

In the early days, church services were also broadcast to the hospital via a landline from St Mary’s Parish Church and the Watford Congregational Church. This led, in May 1967, to pre-recorded music programmes. In December of that year all four Hospitals in the Watford area were joined up by landlines so the patients could hear special Hospital Radio programmes. The recorded broadcasts were so well received that the various groups of people who were producing programmes decided to form the Watford Hospitals Broadcasting Service (WHBS) and registered it as a charity.

Our team of volunteers set up a special studio, located in the former kitchen manager’s office, where live programmes could be produced. Due to the limited space available, this also doubled as a record library and equipment store! After the construction of the new Watford General Hospital, WHBS acquired their own complex on Level 7 including a self-contained studio, interview/break room and record library. The new studio was officially opened by Noel Edmonds on 26th January 1985.

In January 1992 the Hospital generously handed another room over to WHBS, which enabled the team to build a second studio. The redevelopment of the complex commenced the following month with the refurbishment of the storage area above the studio.

Later in the year, premises continued to expand when the Hospital kindly agreed to allow the temporary use of part of a ground floor room as an Outside Broadcast Store. Ironically this was the very same room that had housed our original studio! The room served WHBS well for several years before being returned to the hospital for their own use.

The station runs 24/7, 365 days per year around the world on this website and via TuneIn, an application which also works on smartphones/speakers. 

Over the years, our studios have broadcast thousands of shows, welcomed hundreds of guest and hosted a good smattering of celebrities including Graham Taylor, Gareth Malone & Jonnie Walker. In 2020, we moved the station online and are currently seeking new accomodation/partnerships within the community....can you help? 

Registered Charity No. 1165719


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