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8th June 2001

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Station History

BBC Radio Norfolk is celebrating 20 years of broadcasting.
We first took to the air in September 1980 and were the first in a new wave of BBC Local Radio stations established to serve whole counties rather than city centres.

Despite only broadcasting for part of the day in the early years, BBC Radio Norfolk soon established itself as one of the top BBC Local Radio stations in the country - a position it has maintained. If it's happening in Norfolk, you'll hear about it on BBC Radio Norfolk. Our programmes begin at 0500 every weekday morning and end at one o`clock in the morning.

Terry Wogan with Mike Chaney and Jane
Terry Wogan with Mike Chaney and Jane

The very earliest days of Radio Norfolk prompted a visit from Radio and Television celebrity Terry Wogan (centre) seen with Radio Norfolk`s first Station Manager Mike Chaney (right) and staff member Jane Butcher. In those pioneering days the station was only on air for a few hours each day providing a breakfast programme and news bulletins while using BBC Radio 2 as a sustaining service.

The Airline Team
The Airline team with Lord Prior

In the mid eighties the "Norfolk Airline" was one of the key programmes which helped spearhead Radio Norfolk's foray into all-day broadcasting. The programme tackled almost everything fom politics to social issues and leisure to nostalgia. The programme was co-presented by Neil Walker (left) and David Clayton (right). A few minutes after this photograph was taken, the programme hit the headlines. In the background can be seen Lord Prior who was about to reveal his intention to abdicate his role as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Louise Priest and John Mountford
Louise Priest meets John Mountford

New meets old! Presenter of Radio Norfolk`s flagship breakfast programme, Louise Priest, meets up with the first voice to greet the station`s new listeners back in 1980. John Mountford opened up the station to the airwaves - but who can remember the first ever record played on air? These days John runs a successful commercial studio in the County. Who else was on the air that first day? Perhaps you can remember Steve Hardy, Lesley Dolphin, Mike Souter, and Phil Johnson.

Radio Norfolk Balloon
Up up and away
Sarah & Jim in Norway
Sarah and Jim

Radio Norfolk not only got around the county in a variety of ways - such as by hot air balloon - but travelled well beyond the county boundaries too.

Christmas 1996 saw the breakfast programme Today in Norfolk based in Oslo in Norway with live inserts from the great man himself - Santa Claus. The then producer Sarah Kings can be seen with the then presenter Jim Cassidy (not dressed in traditional Norwegian costume) checking out the guide books. Over the years Radio Norfolk has organised listener trips to Spain, France, Egypt, Iceland, America and Canada and even around-the-world.

Peter Glanville on the wherry
Peter and Keith on board the wherry yacht

One of the great sights on the Norfolk Broads is the traditional sailing Wherry and the Wherry yachts introduced for holidaymakers at the turn of the 20th century. Needless to say any opportunity to get on board one was always welcomed as Radio Norfolk's management can testify. Radio Norfolk`s first Programme Organiser Peter Glanville (left) can be seen in the cockpit of a Wherry yacht with the station`s second Managing Editor, Keith Salmon (centre right). The picture was taken in the late eighties. Both Peter and Keith have retired. Peter is now a Deacon in the Roman Catholic Church but still looks after the station's interests in the East of the County as a freelance producer. Keith Salmon - the station's longest serving Manager - is studying art at the University of East Anglia and enjoys his retirement still afloat with his own motor cruiser on the local rivers.

Ron Fielder
Ron Fielder at an outside broadcast

For many years Ron Fielder hosted Radio Norfolk`s gardening and farming programmes. In fact Ron was on the air long before Radio Norfolk was a twinkle in the BBC`s eye, broadcasting during regional opt-outs from network programmes for the Eastern Region.These came from a small radio studio at BBC East. Ron continues to run his mixed farm at Salhouse - east of Norwich - along with an internationally acclaimed riding stable. Here he is seen hosting a gardening question-time at one of Radio Norfolk`s earliest outings to the Royal Norfolk Show.

Radio Norfolk Wherry Logo

For almost ten years BBC Radio Norfolk was identified by its distinctive logo featuring the outline of the Norfolk Wherry - the Broads trading vessel unique for its unstayed mast and loose footed single sail which traced its origins back to Roman times.

In the late 1990s the BBC decided that all local radio stations should come under the banner of a common marketing approach.� Station cars feature a maroon base colour with the names of key local towns and villages clearly picked out. It was an indication of the importance the the Corporation placed on its local broadcasting arm and meant that anyone travelling anywhere in the English regions would recognise a local radio vehicle, no-matter what its base might be.��


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BBC Radio Norfolk
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Telephone: 01603 617411
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Phone-In: 01603 617321
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Editor:David Clayton

News Editor: Sarah Kings