Reading week was to be honest, just the slightest bit crazy! TMCR had set a deadline for the big move of studios for the end of that week, with the big relaunch coming at 9.53am, on the 1st of November. 9.53am, because it’s FM frequency is 95.3, in the North East of Doncaster.
The station has been leased two rooms in a building within the centre of Thorne, which is one of its main areas of coverage, but it needed crafting into a studio and office complex befitting of any commercial radio station.
My first visit to the new studios looked good from the outside, plenty of foot traffic going past, to enable the station to grow, but once inside the enormity of the task started to unfold. The plan was to knock a simple hole in a wall, put an 8 foot window in, build a false wall to allow cupboard space for all the IT equipment, put furniture in, paint a few walls, and that would be that….oh how the best laid plans unravel in an few short hours.
The simple wall that required knocking out, turned out to being 2 sets of double layered brick, with cavities between, and also a big gap between them, as it used to be two separate buildings. Every available hour from the volunteers was going to be required to meet the deadline.
The team mucked in together, with age, gender or ability not getting in the way, because none of us wanted to let the side down.
In this final week, the new mixing desk was installed, sunk into the desk so that it doesn’t just appear as a big lump in the studio, with the relocation of the rest of the IT equipment on Thursday afternoon, the not to small task of rewiring the studio began in earnest. Wires from outside for news feeds, and transmission, wires from desk to CD players, amplifiers, and decks, and also cabling up and over the ceiling, all needed to be fed through the various gaps, and conduits.
The days were long, especially when trying to maintain the station going out to the listeners, so doing a breakfast show at 7am, and being at the new studio until 8pm, was a regular occurence for many, including myself and Maria.
Saturday morning appeared bright and sunny, almost like the weather gods being nice to the team, and with a lot of running around from 7am, finally we all gathered in the studio just before launch time at 9.53, to be greeted with our playout system refusing to run properly. Quickly a CD was put into the player, so that our youngest presenter Ryan, could be the first voice from the new studio.
Ryan finally got to play his track, which should have been the first one heard, but for the problems, which was John Miles – Music….which is a fabulous piece of music, and pretty much summed up the day, and I have to say that a track I wouldn’t have expected a 15 year old to even have heard of! However, I think you’ll be hearing a lot more of Ryan Keeling over the next few years on the radio!
Oh, and you’re trying to work out what the first actual song was…well I quickly decided that it was going to be Yazz and the Plastic Population, and The Only Way is Up….because given all the hard graft, the setbacks along the way, and the system going down minutes before due to relaunch, the only way is up 🙂