Six goes into One: Radio Horton celebrates 52nd birthday

John Craven cuts the ribbon to mark the re opening of the Radio Horton studios

It was an incredibly exciting day at Radio Horton. After months of planning, the station was finally able to officially unveil six major pieces of news.

At a special red carpet event to coincide with the station’s 52nd birthday, Radio Horton unveiled its new studios, culminating more than 12 months of work in refurbishing the existing facilities, and setting up a second, neighbouring studio to the main facility. The completed studios are now named the Wilton Studio and the Hanson studio, after the station’s founders Graham Wilton and Ted Hanson (MBE), respectively.

John Craven cuts the ribbon to mark the re opening of the Radio Horton studios
John Craven cuts the ribbon to mark the re opening of the Radio Horton studios

The Hanson studio was completed earlier this year, largely thanks to Studio Engineer, Tom Wilson and can be utilised as both a live studio and production studio.

Chairman, Kevin Matthews announced that the station had gone from strength to strength over the past year and welcomed the station’s new President, popular BBC TV presenter and broadcaster John Craven (OBE), best known for television programmes including Countryfile and Newsround.

Just before cutting the ribbon to the new studios, John Craven made a speech to the invited guests and dignitaries, including members of the station, local press and the Mayor of Banbury, Cllr. Gordon Ross and said that he was “very proud and honoured to be Radio Horton’s new President,” and added: “Over the years Radio Horton has built up a great team of local broadcasters, dedicated to making their listeners’ stay in hospital as enjoyable as possible. For them this extra studio marks the start of a new era and I wish them well.”

The station is delighted to welcome new Vice President, Jeremy Wilton – the son of co-founder, Graham Wilton and editor of the local Four Shires Magazine, who will stand alongside Radio Horton’s existing Vice President, Bobby Bragg in representing the station.

Ray Kent receives the Wilton Memorial Trophy from Jeremy Wilton
Ray Kent receives the Wilton Memorial Trophy from Jeremy Wilton

Further announcements were made, which included long standing member, Ray Kent being accredited with The Wilton Memorial Trophy, presented by Jeremy Wilton, for her outstanding 15 years of service, commitment and dedication to hospital radio. Ray has volunteered as a ward visitor before going on to present the Friday request programme and has also served on the committee. Affectionately referred to as “The Grandmother of Radio Horton”, Ray has always been a strong supporter of the station.

Long Service Awards from the Hospital Broadcasting Association (HBA) were also presented by John Craven and Jeremy Wilton to station members Colin Beeby (25 years), Kevin Matthews (30 years), Elizabeth MacLeod (10 years), Ray Kent and Jane Holland (15 years).

Meanwhile, a new colour magazine was launched, which will be available to all patients of the Horton General Hospital. The magazine includes articles covering the history of the station and the hospital, local area news, useful information and puzzles to occupy enquiring minds.

Special thanks must go to Lesley Southam of the Looby Loo Cake company, who gifted our delicious birthday cake.

Photographs from the event can be found in our gallery, courtesy of BanburyTown and Radio Horton member, Will Beech.

Radio Horton were also busy at Broughton Castle, providing a PA and entertainment service for participants, spectators, and their families at the annual cycling sportive. More details can be found in our News and Gallery section.

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