Community radio station Severn FM is back on air!
By Bodger21 | Friday, March 15, 2013, 21:58
Like a phoenix from the ashes, after just two weeks' absence from our airwaves, Gloucester's very own community radio station is back.
Severn Bore Breakfast Show host, Andy Clarke, with fellow presenters and friends of the station, at the final broadcast from the Old School House in Pound Lane, Hardwicke.
On March 2, avid listeners of Severn FM wiped away a tear as Andy Clarke, founder of the radio station and host of the Severn Bore Breakfast Show, joined in a packed studio by a raft of fellow presenters and friends of the station, pulled the plug on the studio's final live broadcast.
Vowing "this is merely a pause on the CD player, rather than a stop", Andy's repeated assurances throughout the two-hour show that it wasn't the last listeners would hear from him and the rest of the crew have proven true, following the news that the Severn Bore Breakfast Show is returning to our airwaves tomorrow morning, in its usual time slot of 8am to 10am.
Operated by South Gloucester Media CIC, the plan for the Severn FM brand, which is owned by Ringtone.net Ltd, was for it to be put on ice, with the possibility that it may be revived next year with an FM community licence.
And as the BBC test signal rang out at 10am on March 2, marking the end of an era, Andy and the crew worked tirelessly to dismantle the studio at the Old School House in Pound Lane, Hardwicke, until every last cable and plug was decommissioned and returned to its owners.
Owner of Ringtone.net Ltd and managing director of South Gloucester Media CIC, the breakfast show host said of Severn FM's final broadcast: "It was a very sad day for us all.
"Myself and fellow directors, Barry Kirby, Andrew James and Caro Kingsnorth, had to make the very difficult decision to close the community interest company, as we had no committed or planned funding to take us into March.
"We wanted to ensure we didn't owe anyone any money, as knowing we could be in this position imminently and continuing would be unethical, if not illegal.
"As myself and my wife Karen, who's been - as Barry has termed - one of many Severn FM widows over the past 18 months - locked the door and gate, it felt like it really was the end," he continued.
"That afternoon I had a flying lesson and my instructor, Jonathan, told me that he'd listened to the first part of the show and it was very sad indeed.
"So, when I got home I rigged up the machines that I built at the start of Severn FM, which have been running the sustaining service over the past 18 months, and Severn FM was back on the air - or, at least, Severn FM.com.
"I then spent the following weekend rigging up more equipment in my office at home, including a protected mains supply, and I now have a makeshift studio that can be used as needed," he smiled.
"It's great that the core presenters have all offered to still continue by recording their shows and uploading them to the Automated Playout System so that the followers of Severn FM can still tune in to their favourite shows."
The schedule sees Trevor Howard and Dr Wart providing weekly shows every Monday from 9pm to 11pm, while Andrew James is back with Dance Attack every Saturday at 8pm and Sunday Spirit, alongside co-host Julie James, every Sunday at 1pm.
"Alex and his Mystery Train, Barry Kirby and his Love Shack, Country Man Mark Newcombe, Mr BBC Shaun Moore, Seany Sean Jarrett, Paul 'Mr Rumpling' Alcock and Placid Pete The Street have all shown interest in continuing their shows," said Andy.
"I am so pleased that these committed people still want to be part of Severn FM, albeit in a slightly different format.
"Ringtone.net Ltd will continue to fund the service while there is still a demand, and we'll revisit on a quarterly basis."
* Tune in to tomorrow morning's Severn Bore Breakfast Show at its normal time of 8am at www.severnfm.com