This is a page in the 'From the Archive' section of my website. This page is not being actively updated. These pages remain on-line to provide an interesting insight into the past and to provide a reference source. All content below is as originally published on this site.

The Voice Of Oldham

Oldham's own community radio station made two month long broadcasts across Oldham and the surrounding areas in December 1996 and June 1997, with the aim of applying for a full time license for the area advertised in January 1998. This extensive section will give you a feel of the station and what I got up to and the programmes that I presented.

Studios Animation

Full Time License bid wrecked
About 'The Voice Of Oldham'
Getting in Touch
Personal reflections on the broadcast
Phil Edmonds on 'The Voice'


Full Time License Bid Wrecked by Computer Glitch.

The Radio Authority advertised a full time licence for the region in January 1998. 'Oldham Community Broadcasting,' the official name of the group behind "The Voice of Oldham" where on track to put in an application to broadcast to the Oldham area until a major computer failure days before the deadline. This was a serious disaster meaning the station failed to meet the May 12th Deadline for handing over the application form to the Radio Authority in London.

The Licence bid co-ordinator David McGealy explains how he discovered that vital computer files had been lost, and that the Radio Authority can not except applications received after the deadline:

"It was a major disaster. It means five years work down the drain. I am totally devastated. It seems that, at some stage, a file was saved incorrectly on the computer. We only noticed when it was too late. We worked through the night to try to rescue the situation, but there were detailed answers missing with information that couldn't just be cobbled together. Obviously, hindsight is a wonderful thing, but if we had started our final preparations two days earlier, we would have had time to recover. We have no problem with the Radio Authority. It is a serious business and rules are rules. I fully understand its point of view. But I want to apologise to all the people who wrote in support of The Voice of Oldham. I really am sorry that we let them down."

This sadly means that the stations dream of giving the people of Oldham a 'Voice' on the airwaves is over, and that we will not be able to put our exciting and revolutionary programming ideas into practice on a full time basis in the near future. I have got more information about the other bidders for the full time licence, including another group in Oldham, on this page.

Obviously the future for "The Voice of Oldham" is uncertain, you will find any relevant information on this page. In the mean-time you can still read the extensive selection of information about the station which I compiled during and after the June 1997 broadcast.


About "The Voice Of Oldham"

'The Voice of Oldham' set out to be a truly community orientated station for Oldham and the surrounding areas, though the signal could be received much further away (especially if you're a radio HAM or DX'er with a fancy aerial!) We provided a
" unique broadcasting experience for the people of Oldham and the Surrounding areas. 'The Voice Of Oldham' targeting a number of distinct audiences during its four weeks of programming. Each week day we start with 'Oldham Morning Radio between seven and twelve noon. Mondays until midnight it's the 'Oldham Asian Network' and Tuesdays and Thursdays it's music for our more mature listeners on 'Heartbeat Radio'. Wednesdays see 'Oldham Music Radio' and then comes our weekly look at Oldham activities on Fridays and Saturdays with 'Oldham Events Radio' and we round off on Sunday with programmes aimed at our under 18's on 'The Voice'. On 1566AM for 28 days in June you could experience 'The Voice Of Oldham' "

We also operated a town centre studio located in the Market Hall on Albion street which people could drop into with a variety of information and displays from various organisations.

The final broadcast ended at midnight Saturday 28th June, to let you gain a feel for the station and to gain a better idea of what we achieved read a transcript of station co-ordinator Dave McGealy's final words on the station.

Further more here is a stripped down programme schedule as an indication of how wide a variety of programmes we broadcast, please note that this is a simplified diagram of the actual schedule.

6AM OLDHAM BREAKFAST (Mon-Sat) Broadbased entertainment and news
    
LIVE FROM TOWN CENTRE STUDIO MON-SAT 9AM-6PM        SATURDAY    SUNDAY
9AM WHAT'S ON IN OLDHAM Music, interviews & phone calls
10AMFRED FIELDER AND FRIENDS Local radio personality    OLDHAM      THE
    with wide range of music and special guests         EVENTS      VOICE

    MONDAY:     WEDNESDAY:  TUES/THURS:   FRIDAY                    All day
1PM OLDHAM      OLDHAM      HEARTBEAT     OLDHAM                    programmes
    ASIAN       MUSIC       RADIO         EVENTS                    for and
    NETWORK     RADIO                                               made by
                            Music and     A chance to promote local under 18's
    Programmes  'The Double information   events- open to all in    Oldham
    in Urdu     D Show'     for the       town centre studio.
                including   older
                live music  listener
4PM             BRASSED     A CHANCE TO MEET  -  A Desert island discs style
                OFF Brass   programme with prominate local people and MPs
                bands
6PM Programmes  ORGANISED   VINTAGE       Evening mix of music      SUNDAY
    in Bangla   KEYBOARDS   MELODY'S      and local events          SPECTACULAR
                OLDHAM      30's & 40's                             link up
                COUNTRY                                             with
                MIDWEEK     BIG BAND ERA  GRAHAM                    Hospital
                MIX         Music from    LAMBERT'S OMNI            Radio Cavell
                            the big bands PRESENT MUSIC             IN YOUR FACE
                                          SHOW                      Heavy Rock
12AM Overnight sustaining service supplied by the World Radio Network.




Getting in touch with The Voice Of Oldham.

If you have any general questions about the station then you can e-mail me direct and I will try and help you out. The previous details on this page are no longer valid, however you can contact 'Oldham Community Broadcasting' care of Hospital Radio Cavell:

Telephone:

0161 620 3033 (24 Hour answerphone)

Postal Address:

The Voice Of Oldham
c/o Radio Cavell
The Studios, The Royal Oldham Hospital,
Rochdale Road,
Oldham. OL1 2JH.

Fax:

0161 627 8355

If you heard "The Voice of Oldham" from afar then please send all reception reports to Alan Gale at the following e-mail address:

alan.gale@zen.co.uk


Personal Reflections on "The Voice Of Oldham"

As this is my personal home page you can read some of my personal thoughts on our second RSL broadcast in June 1997. This was originally written shortly after the broadcast had finished, and reflects my thoughts on the possibility of the station gaining a full time license. Also you can read about some of the things that happened behind the scenes. Read the full text (if you're the sort of person who enjoys reading essays) or simply have a scan through the following. You can also view the photo album. (Photo album contains JPEG's of the pictures in the animation at the top of this page, plus others. )

The Voice Of Oldham surely fulfilled it's plan to be new and inventive. On the run up to the broadcast I was only on the sidelines, with it being a busy time at the end of the first year on my degree course at Salford. However I spent much time during 'The Voice Of Oldham' presenting and lots of behind the scenes and production work.

I came to know and love 'mini-disc' machines and in getting the town centre studio on air I have climbed on the roof of the portacabin that is our office at the hospital with a massive aerial and been in the town centre studio at half past midnight on a Saturday night tuning in a satellite receiver for the news.

Other memorable moments include the 25th Anniversary celebrations of Radio Cavell that we broadcast, at the evening broadcast where it was suggested that you shouldn't 'drink and drive a mixing desk', but I did.

In the Town Centre Studio one day I go upstairs to find station boss Dave McGealy, sleeves rolled up, fishing about in the cistern of the toilet. It had stopped flushing and inspection revealed a small plastic lever had broken off. John Mann then sets of to the 'builder centre' to get a replacement part. On return Fred Fielder offers to repair it. About a minute later he returns downstairs and tells us it is fixed. Later we looked to find the original part had magically reappeared - Fred had had it in his pocket all along!


Phil Edmonds on The Voice of Oldham

I presented several programmes on 'The Voice Of Oldham' as well as helping out in other areas, find out more in my personal reflections. My programme on Sunday morning on 'The Voice' was between 9am and midday and had a number of regular features.

All this plus a great mix of music and your requests and dedications.

All features and programme format (c) The Voice of Oldham / Phil Edmonds 1997

If you heard me on the station, thanks a lot for the support over the month of the broadcast. Why don't you read some of my thoughts, or find out why our bid for the full time license hit problems.