“Hits and memories… HCR”

25Apr11

Congratulations to HCRfm, the new community radio station for Huntingdon. As a teenager, I worked on the first Huntingdon Community Radio broadcasts from above a betting shop on the corner of the High Street. 15 years and lots of short-term licences later, the team have been granted a full-time licence and began broadcasting 24 hours a day on Saturday.

The launch event began with live music from an outdoor stage in the middle of town. It was an ambitious start and sounded great. I only wish they’d pointed a mic at the audience so we could hear the crowd cheering.

It’s been interesting listening to HCR online over the weekend. It still plays the same mix of classic (and not-so-classic) hits and many of the presenters I knew are still there.

The mistakes are familiar too. At regular intervals over the weekend, we’ve heard presenters leaving the mic open during a record, forgetting the station’s frequency and deleting all the station’s jingles in one click (“I pressed yes to something and the screen went blank!”). Coming back into the house from putting the bins out, the radio was silent. Oh grief, have they gone off-air? No. Is the stream buffering? No. What then? They’re just not saying anything. “I’ll be with you in a minute,” a voice pipes up, before it goes quiet again.

The music is mostly terrible, but I’m looking forward to catching the speech content. While the BBC is scaling back on radio drama and children’s radio, HCRfm have plans for youth programming and a new soap opera set in a fictional Cambridgeshire hair salon.

Listen to HCRfm online or on 104FM in the Huntingdon area.

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