Park Radio back on the airwaves after radio mast difficulties
A Diss community radio station is back up and running after being taken off the airwaves for almost a week following complications with its radio mast.
Park Radio was unable to reach listeners in Harleston for five days after its transmitter had to be turned off for a health and safety check last week.
While still broadcasting to Diss, Eye and other towns and villages in the area, producers at the station purchased a number of internet radios to enable some of its dedicated listeners in Harleston to still tune in.
Problems arose when Cornerstone – an insulation installer based in Fuller Road that owns the radio mast Park Radio uses to broadcast to Harleston – had to turn off all of its appliances on Wednesday.
Chris Moyse, managing director at the station, said: “The guys at Cornerstone had some electrical issues and it wasn’t safe for people to be on site, so they had to turn everything off.
“We were off-air for just under a week, and we were doing anything we could to reinstate the service. We were even looking at alternative sites – that’s how far we got.”
The station – which picked up an award from South Norfolk Council last year for its services to the community during the pandemic – picked up half-a-dozen internet radios, at £15 a piece, for elderly residents without internet access to use so they could still tune in online.
“We have done our best to keep our listeners up to date and in the loop,” said Mr Moyse. “During the pandemic, people need local radio to get them the information they need.
“We like to think that, as a result of listeners hearing us, it contributed to the uptick in testing we have seen.”
One listener that received an internet radio, Harleston resident Robert Jays Green, expressed his gratitude to the station, especially in light of the ongoing Covid testing programme in the area.
“It was very good of them to organise an internet radio so I could get my morning Park Radio fix,” he said. “It was greatly appreciated.
“Having been able to listen-in during the last few days, I think the value of a local station has been demonstrated, especially by the way it is able to cover the Covid testing arrangements in Diss and Roydon.
“This is something stations like Park Radio do better than any other.”
Fortunately, the station returned to the airwaves as normal at approximately 10am on Monday.
Mr Moyse added that, looking back, the situation should help demonstrate their commitment to the community ahead of Ofcom’s decision on whether to renew their broadcasting licence in May.
“Our licence is up for renewal and we would like to keep going for another five years,” he said.
“I think this helps show we are committed to the community that we serve.”