Lancaster University

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Radio Bailrigg Goes Worldwide

03/19/2001 16:42:53

Bailrigg FM DJs - current and past - reunited in Fylde's twin studios to celebrate 30 years of campus broadcasting.

Graduates from three decades hit the airwaves to broadcast music they played during their time at Lancaster. Former crew members shared broadcasting stories at a cheese and wine supper and a celebratory dinner and dance at the Lancaster House Hotel. Some remembered interviewing top bands that played in the Great Hall including Pink Floyd and Level 42. Most agreed the radio studio has changed very little but has more up-to-date technology.

Mike Homfray (Social Admin, County, 1983) was surprised to hear from his old friend, Mike Parnell (Bio Science, Furness, 1981) who logged on to the Bailrigg FM website for the all-day Alumni sessions. 'I've not done this for 14 years but I haven't forgotten how to do it,' said Mike. 'I had my own Soul, Jazz and Funk show when I was Programme Controller and I got to interview Jack Straw, and David Owen when they visited the campus. There is more technology now - we had record decks, ceefax and jingles on cassettes then.'

URB 963 has come a long way since first hitting the campus airwaves in 1971 - students' news and events now broadcast live on the station's website

Andy Sennitt (Russian, Furness, 1974) who was there at the start in 1971 said: 'In the beginning we couldn't even cover the campus and now we're playing all around the world on the internet. When I logged on to the Radio Bailrigg website the first thing I heard was a story about something silly that had happened on campus - it was similar to the kind of thing we talked about all those years ago. I am surprised how little the station has changed. I've been back on campus a couple of days and I feel completely at home.' Andy, who works for Radio Netherlands Interactive Department began his Alumni rock session with URBs original theme tune, 'America' by The Nice.

Martin Ryall (Physics, County, 1970) and Barry Jellett (Physics, Lonsdale, 1970) first started transmitting programmes sporadically in 1971 - the second University radio station proceeding York - believing 'anything York can do, Lancaster can do better.' But the station was closed down by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications for not being fully licensed. It was up and running again in 1973.

But who knows what the next thirty years will bring Radio Bailrigg? Andy believes the future of the media is not radio but digitally recorded audio, pictures and text for audio and video playing.