The association started in 1966 when Mr Gallagher, the secretary of the North Staffs Hospital's Broadcasting Service, arranged with Crewe Memorial Hospital's Secretary to make an experimental broadcast from Crewe Alexandra F.C. to see how it would be received by the Patients in the Crewe area. The experiment was a success and a second broadcast was made of a F.A. Cup Tie.
Mr Gallagher's second broadcast commentary of a Crewe Alex Match was on the 7 January 1967, when he was joined by Harold Hipwell and Tom Mainwaring from Crewe. With the continued interest in these commentaries others joined the team including Mr J Wilkes & Mr Caine.
The Mayor at the time was Counsellor Herbert P Vernon who invited Mr Harold Hipwell and others to a meeting to hear about the activities of the commentary team. So impressed was he that he arranged a meeting on the 4 May 1967 in the Mayor's Parlour with various other organisations in the Crewe area. It was at this meeting that the first committee was formed and Crewe and District Hospitals Broadcasts Service came into existence.
Chairman Mr Herbert P Vernon (Mayor)
Secretary, Director of Programmes & Treasurer Mr Harold Hipwell
Committee Members Mr Tom Mainwaring & Mr J Wilkes
After its formation Councillor Herbert Vernon launched an appeal among local clubs and organisations to help raise funds for the formation of the CADHBS. He started the appeal with a donation of £25 from the Mayor's Charity Fund. With a further donation of £75 from the appeal it was decided to hold a draw, which raised another £309. With this money it was decided to equip the Coppenhall Hospital with an individual bed-head radio service as at the time the hospital only had transportable radios in some of the wards.
In May 1967 Mr Frank Home handed over equipment to the hospital to start Hospital radio in the
In March 1968 equipment was installed at the Coppenhall Hospital to equip the new facility allowing the society to start broadcasting the commentaries to patients at Crewe's hospitals.
Up until this date the society had used equipment borrowed from the North Staffordshire Hospital's Broadcasting Service however on the 20th April 1968 the first football commentary using the societies own equipment was broadcast to the wards.
Crewe becomes the smallest town in country to have its own hospital radio
A visit was arranged to the North Staffs Hospital's Broadcasting Service to gain ideas as to what to include in talks with the South Cheshire Hospital Management Committee re starting a studio and regular broadcasts to patients within the Crewe area. Permission was given to the society by the SCHMC along with a room at the Coppenhall Hospital, where a studio was installed to allow broadcasting to start in November 1968 with a regular record request programme joining the Crewe Alexandra commentary. At the start of broadcasting it was believed that Crewe was the smallest town in the Country to have a Hospital's Broadcasts service of its own.
On the 5 May 1972 the new Leighton Hospital was opened and the new bedside radios were equipped with the facility to broadcast Hospital Radio.
In April 1975 the Coppenhall studio was broken into with minor things like tea money being stolen. It did highlight the lack of security in the studio area and caused the shut down of the service. The equipment was moved into temporary storage at the Memorial Hospital in May. By January 1975 the Memorial Hospital had given the SCHBS a room for it to restart broadcasting. On the 15th January 1976 Nick Clarke & David Davies from the BBC television programme 'Look North' officially opened the new studio at the Memorial Hospital.
On Tuesday the 7 July 1977 the day of the Queen's Silver Jubilee a special programme was broadcast involving six people who were actively involved with the official opening of Leighton Hospital by H.M. The Queen and H.R.H. Prince Philip back in May 1972. They talked about their experiences and feelings at the time of the opening. The pre-recorded programme was
linked by BBC Radio Stoke station Manager, Sally Chalmers (Sister of Judith Chalmers, ITV Holiday presenter, "Wish You were here").
By March 1980 the studio at the Memorial Hospital was considered too small for the needs of the society and so the local Health Authority were asked if they had a bigger room. It was proposed that a move to the Barony Hospital in Nantwich would be appropriate and a room was looked at.
In December 1980 the society moved into their new studio at the Barony to start alterations. On the 7 August 1981 the Memorial studio closed for the last time and equipment was moved to the Barony. By the 30 September all installations had been completed and the studio was ready for the first official broadcast on the 26 October 1981.
Christmas Carols broadcast for the first time
In 1983 Betty Foster and Audrey Lewis, two Monday night presenters organised the first annual Christmas Carol service for the society at a church in Church Minshull.
By the end of the 1980's more rooms were needed at Nantwich for the Health Service and the broadcasters were offered a new studio area at Leighton hospital.
On the 26 February 1988 Hospital Radio ambassador and magician Paul Daniels and his wife Debbie McGee opened the new studio.
In 2005 the hospital agreed to an upgrade of the room / studio and so a major refurbishment took place giving the broadcasters a brilliant new facility to produce good quality programmes in.
Over 340 presenters and counting...
Over the years since 1966 when Mr Gallagher did that first commentary there have been more than 336 members of the society from presenters to technical and committee members.
Today the broadcasters are ON AIR Monday to Friday evenings with Request programmes, an Interview show with celebrities and recordings of events locally, a Country music show and specialist programmes along with specially recorded programmes of annual events like the Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival and our own annual Carol service from a local church somewhere in the area. The station also continues to broadcast a FOOTBALL COMMENTARY of each home match of Crewe Alexandra.
In 2007 Hospital Radio Leighton joined Patientline (now called HOSPEDIA) and now broadcast its programmes in stereo giving the listener good quality sound to go with its great quality of presenters broadcasting just for you while you are in Hospital.