Torbay Hospital Radio started life in the seventies when its members (all of whom are volunteers) broadcast to patients staying in Torbay hospital from a small windowless room in the bowels of the hospital.
Thankfully, in 1978, the hospital's League of Friends gave the station new, purpose-built studios with windows and lots of space to hold all its equipment and the record library.
Studio 2 In 1994, the station was re-launched with a new management committee and named "Radio Active".
Two years later in 1996 the studio was upgraded and a new sound mixer installed. Since then computers have been introduced, to assist in maintaining the record library and also to allow the station to broadcast 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Today, Torbay Hospital Radio volunteers are responsible for bringing their listeners a wide variety of music, information, conversation and sport via the Premierline system, through which people can also phone in free to request their favourite tune.
On 29th May 2015, the station introduced "Online Streaming" due the increasing number of patients now using their own devices to "connect with the outside world" - with free WiFi right across the hospital. Listen Now
Some of the members of THR have been with the station for over twenty years and have helped to create the history you have just read about, but we are always looking for new members to help us write the next chapter in the history of Torbay Hospital Radio. If you would like to get involved, please contact us.
Torbay Hospital Radio is lucky enough to have a fantastic and supportive broadcasting, managing and administrative team who keeps everything running smoothly to provide the patients of Torbay Hospital Radio a pleasant listening experience.
More information about each team member can be viewed by clicking on the team members photo below.
Bob is one of our older members, not in terms of age, but in terms of the years he has dedicated to Hospital Radio.
Bob joined in June 1987 because he wanted to get involved with something worthwhile and with a love of music Hospital Radio seemed a natural choice.
Bob’s taste in music is as broad as the spectrum normally played on BBC Radio 2 but admits his favourite musical era was 60s and 70s as these included the Beatles and the Bee Gees disco era.
Bob enjoys playing badminton and even engages in a spot of DIY when he has the time.
Ron joined Torbay Hospital Radio in 1982 making him the longest serving member of Torbay Hospital Radio.
Of his 32 years with us, he spent 25 years of it as Chairman.
Ron first become interested in radio whilst serving in the Royal Air Force, many years ago. He was regularly involved with installing the public address equipment on the airfield along the perimeter track, to keep the general public informed during the flying and static displays.
These days you will find him involved behind the PA equipment as part of Torbay Hospital Radio’s Outside Fundraising crew. Ron has recently been co-presenting two shows for Hospital Radio – Friday Night Jazz as prescribed, or alternatively Jazz on the Rocks and the Saturday evening request show, bringing you the tunes you want to hear. Ron wishes you all happy listening!
Donna has been involved with Torbay Hospital Radio since 1987 and became an active member in 1995. Since 2005 she has been Secretary & Trustee for the charity.
Donna also for many years presented show called Spirit of the 60 and 70s & still squeezes in the occasional show.
Donna is a self proclaimed busy person, for over 20 years she has been a professional DJ, but now along with her husband she is editor and graphic designer for the local newspaper they run together.
Donna presents mainly at Torbay Hospital Radios Outside broadcasts and fundraising events, providing music.
When you see our yellow caravan with music playing from the speakers you usually find Donna behind the desk inside. If you don’t see her you’ll hear her!
She’s certainly a busy lady
Craig is a presenter at Torbay Hospital Radio and part of a team who give their time each week to bring a bit of sunshine back into your life whilst you’re in hospital.He is also the Stations Treasurer and Trustee of the station.
Craig’s own background is as a graduate in theatre performance and media and he is also a qualified broadcast journalist.
He likes to mix the dramatic with anything newsworthy in a Mix and Match style of which he presents along with Catherine Dodd.
Craig says he is always open to suggestions and welcomes your input into bringing out the best for your entertainment.
Craig also is on THR’s Tech Team who keep the HR system on air.
Catherine has co-presented the early evening show on Fridays since joining Torbay Hospital Radio after previously volunteering at her local Cottage Hospital radio station which closed down in 2008.
Catherine finds working as a volunteer very rewarding as she has a disability. She is registered blind and particularly enjoys working in radio as it is a non-visual medium where she feels she can participate on equal terms with sighted people.
Catherine has a wide variety of musical tastes and especially enjoys popular music from the 1960s to the 1990s.
Her other interests include cooking, reading, making handmade cards and playing the flute. In the October of 2013 Catherine took on the role of Program Controller with Stephanie Teece who kindly assists Catherine where needed. A very busy lady.
Colin joined Torbay Hospital Radio just before carnival week in 2007,(in at the deep end)! He was previously membership secretary and presenter at Plymouth Hospital Radio where he was a member for seven years.
Colin is retired and enjoys co-ordinating the new members at Torbay Hospital Radio as well as helping to represent the station at Torbay Carnival, Marldon Apple Pie Fair and various other events.
Lee is Torbay Hospital Radio’s Station Engineer, he manages the upkeep of our sophisticated radio broadcast systems at our 2 studios, computer networking, online broadcasting, hospital layout systems and our 2 outside broadcast vehicles.
Nothing is too much trouble for Lee, who is extremely patient and enjoys helping others with training and support.
Outside of Hospital Radio, Lee works within the Theatre and Entertainment industry as a technical manager for National and International Tours, including the BBC and Disney Shows.
Alison joined in January 2011. She is our Publicity Officer and likes all kinds of music but mainly 60’s and 70’s.
You find her out and about on outside broadcasts where she will take requests for shows and help anyway she can.
Bob Thorp, aka “Marldon Man”, co-founded “Stan”, the Talking Book for The Blind in Wiltshire. Bob co-presents on the Monday Night Request Show and also takes on the wards.
Alan joined Radio Active in 1986. After spending time in hospital as a patient, he decided that Hospital Radio would be an ideal way to give something back into the community and share with people his love of brass and military band music and music hall artists.
Alan ran a hotel with his wife for 18 years before retiring. His hobbies include collecting music hall posters and he is a member of the British Music Hall Society and the Max Miller Appreciation Society.
Joined THR last September 2016 after taking early retirement.
Music is a huge part of my life and I love taking patient requests on the wards and hearing about their preferences (dislikes,too!). It always makes for interesting conversation and the patients really do appreciate the service THR provides.
A Torquinian through and through (I’ve always lived in The Bay), I love spending time at my beach hut and sharing my husband’s passion of the sea in our motor boat. I also love getting together with our family around the dinner table on winter evenings when our summer pastimes are just a distant memory!
Beth joined Torbay Hospital Radio back in 2014, she joins Lee in both the technical side of things at THR and also co-presents the “Throwback Thursday” show.
Beth does a good job in assisting Lee in keeping the station on-air (and helping him out with song names and artists!).
When shes not busy helping out at THR, Beth enjoys reading, listening to music and going to see new shows at the theatre.
She is a qualified Theatre Technician but is currently studying Health and Social Care to eventually go to university and pursue her dream of becoming a midwife.
Stephanie joined Torbay Hospital Radio in May 2008 and has co-hosted with Bob Myers ever since. After her dad Reg had to spend a lot of time in Hospital, Stephanie wanted to give something back and also realised how important the radio station is to patients and how the presenters can make a difference to the patient’s day. She has a BA Hons in photography and media, has her own photography business and also a full time job at a local firm of solicitors as a personal assistant. She is also currently studying to become a solicitor. She always makes time still for THR and can be seen with the rest of the members on the outside broadcasts and of course heard on Bob’s show on Monday nights.
Stephanie was made assistant Program Controller in the October of 2013 and with her many hobbies which include jewellery making, card making, cross stitch, baking, making dolls house miniatures and of course photography,she is keep very busy.
She has an eclectic taste in music, and you can be sure to have a real variety including some much needed cheese, so much so that Steph’s part of the show is sometimes affectionately called the cheese corner!
I am 51 years old and have spent 28 years working with the Guys at Hospital Radio Plymouth.
In 2016 Geoff moved to Bishopsteignton and starting working for an engineering company in Newton Abbott and in June 2017 applied to join Torbay Hospital Radio.
I enjoy all sorts of music from classical to very bad cheese as you will know if you listen to my show I co-present with Leanne on a Thursday night.
I am very young at heart enjoying Roller skating and supporting what is still call my local team Plymouth Argyle where i am a Match day Host looking after all our match day VIPs at all home games.
Leanne has been a member of Torbay Hospital Radio since August 2017.
Leanne joined the radio for many reasons: firstly she wanted to help the community and lift the spirits of poorly patients – since joining the radio she has enjoyed collecting requests and seeing how it makes the patients happy. Secondly, Leanne loves music, and with an eclectic taste, Torbay Hospital Radio is the perfect place to share her love of music and find even more music to love. Learning new skills and the chance to meet and socialise with a great bunch of people were among other reasons too.
Leanne works in marketing, she has an BA Film Studies degree and a MSc Masters in Marketing. In her spare time she likes to do crafts, watch films and TV programmes, go for walks, zumba classes and trips
Paul began his working career tarting about onstage in frocks and then segued to tarting about in courtrooms in wig and gown. It seemed like a good idea at the time and, besides, crime does pay (Legal Aid rates, unfortunately). Having hung up his wig and gown,
Paul brings his dubious talents to Torbay Hospital Radio, where he plays the occasional piece of music in between pontificating on subjects as diverse as whether Jedward are the saviours of Western civilisation or if it’s possible to find an energy drink that doesn’t taste vaguely of battery acid. Paul is a massive fan of David Bowie and prides himself on having never willingly played any music by Hollywood Warbler-in-Chief, Barbra Streisand.
In 2013, Paul was awarded an OBE for services to compulsive lying.
I had never heard of hospital radio until a nurse who knew me and my love of music suggested I ought to consider joining. I gave it some thought and when I retrired made some enquiries back in 2001.
The hospital I joined was Derriford in Plymouth where I stayed for eight years.
I had a break when a former colleague from Derriford had moved to Torbay Hospital who asked would I consider joining them and here I am talking about music, playing the music that I love in the hope those who listen get the same pleasure.
There are also some fringe benefits to go with it. I have been able to be part of a group of people of all ages who maybe learn from me as I certainly have learned from them. Here I am eight years older but ten years younger.
It beats medication.
I have always loved music. One of my early childhood memories is seeing my Dad trying to record my Uncles copy of Great Balls of Fire by Jerry Lee Lewis on the family Bush record player. A simple enough task you’d think. However, this copy had no middle! A number of attempts were made using a variety of ‘weights’, including coins, to stop the record dancing around the turntable before ‘record’ was pressed.
That amazing Rock ‘n’ Roll sound heard when I was 7 or 8 has excited me ever since. From then, my passion and appreciation has and continues to grow.
Listening, reading about, collecting, watching on T.V or attending concerts, it’s been my whole life.
Sadly, career choices and opportunities in anything connected with my enthusiasm were very different to what’s available today and so the majority of my career has been spent in the Catering Industry as a Pastry Chef.
Music can always make you feel better. The satisfaction of brightening someone’s day with music & a bit of banter is just great.
Hospital Radio – ‘Turn on, Tune in and Get better!
I’ve always enjoyed entertaining other people and I’d say I’ve been pretty good at it over the years; walking into doors, tripping over my own feet (on a daily occurrence) and generally just being clumsy for other people’s amusement.
Even though people listening to the radio don’t see my general acts of clumsiness, I’ve been told I make up for it with what I can say.
I just hope that I am able to put a smile on people’s faces.
I grew up in Plymouth in a very musical family, since then I have always had an interest in music and love make others days that bit brighter.
I am delighted to have been welcomed as a volunteer and member of the Torbay Hospital Radio.
The nature of the work is that I am working with very special fun and caring people which is an absolute pleasure.
I hope that whatever I am able to contribute in the future it will be a positive and helpful contribution. I especially feel that as a charity that has no government funding and relies purely on donations, it is a very worthwhile cause to be associated with and to help. Hospital is not the place anyone wants to be, and I hope that I can help to make that a little easier for the patients and lighten their stay. Music is especially important to me and is a great communicator and healer and something that I cant imagine ever being without, and so I am happy to spread that into everyones lives !!
I also hope along the way to make many new friends.