the Redstone FM Archive Page.
was established in 2005. During the period 2005-2010 Redstone FM has
broadcast with 6 temporary licenses issued by the media regulator,
Ofcom. Redstone FM has also run a range of training courses,
specialising in offering opportunities for visually impaired people.
2013 Redstone FM launched on the Surrey DAB and broadcast a full service
until August 2015 when the service closed and the company wound up.
On this and following pages, we tell the history of the station and
provide links to archive newsletters, press and media coverage plus
Part 1 - Starting off at the RNIB
origins extend back to the radio broadcasting course run at the RNIB
had been running radio courses since 2000 for blind and partially
sighted students. In 2003 a new media centre, Soundscape, was opened.
This facility included a suite of radio and recording studios and a
space for drama production. The radio courses were accredited by
EDEXCEL with students able to achieve a BTEC Advanced Diploma in
Radio Broadcasting. The course covered a range of topics including
radio interviewing, presentation, music programme production, talk
shows and broadcast law.
To achieve the
qualification, students had to produce and present a range of
programmes and programme features which were formally assessed. The
practical work was supported by written assignments demonstrating
their understanding of the subject. In addition to the radio
course, students learned additional access technology and were
offered career advise and support.
- Redstone FM's first broadcast
In 2005, the
then course tutor, Des Shepherd, took the assessment process to a
higher level. Instead of students presenting shows as classroom
simulations, they would broadcast to a wider audience on FM. The
college applied for and obtained a Restricted Service Licence (RSL)
from Ofcom for a temporary broadcast in July 2005. The group of
students organised the programme content including booking guests,
devising a playlist and scheduling the programmes. The students were
supported by former students and local volunteers. The name, Redstone
FM was chosen by the students as the RNIB college is situated on
student Terry Turner during the first Breakfast Show on Redstone FM -
5 July 2005.
came on the air on 5 July 2005 with student Terry Turner presenting
the first breakfast show from 7am - 10am.
morning, the station was formally opened by the then Mayor of Reigate
& Banstead Cllr. Mrs Frances Dixon.
Play above to listen to the Mayor officially opening the station on
5 July 2005.
of Reigate & Banstead, Cllr. Frances
Dixon, with DJ Tess Lewsey at the official opening of Redstone FM on
Tuesday 5 July 2005.
Two days after
the station launched, the London bombings took place. This is the
type of incident that nobody wants to be involved with covering.
However, the students rose to the challenge, cancelling much of the
normal output, broadcasting additional news bulletins and changing
the music to reflect the nature of the day.
Des Shepherd said, "The students all grew up that day. It
is the kind of incident one talks about in the classroom and theorize
about what one should do - its another thing to think on ones feet
and react in a sensitive way knowing there is a real audience listening."
Play above to listen to what students had to say about the day.
Whilst the 7th July bombing dominated
the first few days on air, the broadcast offered a lot more. A
wide range of interviews were broadcast. Guests ranged from
Borough Councillors to representatives from local organisations.
The launch of the "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" coincided with the broadcast and we had
some pupils from the Warwick School visit to review the book.
Garth Crooks with Redstone FM's Carl Leaburn.
broadcast was led by the students of the college, they were supported
by former students and local volunteers and guest presenters from the
broadcast industry. One guest presenter was the former Charlton and
Wimbledon footballer Carl Leaburn. He arranged for a number of high
profile sports people to visit the college. The BBC's Garth Crooks
was a regular contributor on all Carl's programmes that summer.
spoke exclusively to the athlete Daley Thompson who spoke about the
2012 Olympics. Daley Thompson was part of the jubilant London 2012
team who had been in Singapore when London was named. He spoke to
Redstone FM the following Saturday on his return to the UK.
Two More Broadcasts from the RNIB College.
Most of the
original group of students left the college that summer and with a
new group starting in September, plans were laid for a further RSL broadcast.
returned in January 2006 with shows again presented by current and
previous student, supported by local volunteers. There was nothing as
dramatic as the 7th July bombing to deal with but the students got on
with the task of producing a range of programmes. On this broadcast,
there were two speech based programmes, The Morning Magazine (9am -
12 noon) presented by Anne-Marie Evans and the Afternoon Magazine (2
- 4pm) with Carol Stoby. Each featured at least two interviews each
day. The subject areas that were covered included local politics,
welfare, local charities & voluntary organisations, health &
fitness, local business and education.
sport presenter, ex footballer Carl Leaburn, again interviewed a wide
range of sport personalities and included coverage of local
non-league football clubs.
broadcast took place in October 2006. The programmes followed the
pattern established on previous broadcasts with the morning show from
10am being the showcase for local interviews, news and features. The
Friday afternoon sport show, presented by Carl Leaburn continued to
attract an impressive guest list. The highlight was an interview with
Manchester Utd's Rio Ferdinand, conducted by student Dan Rodgers. How
many courses give students the opportunity to speak to such high
Play above to listen to part of the Rio Ferdinand interview.
Redhill College Closes . . .
success of the radio course and associated broadcasts, the RNIB
decided to close the college in July 2007. No new students were taken
on and the radio course formally finished at the end of March that
year. Looking back, the course tutor, Des Shepherd commented that the
success rate by students in gaining the EDEXCEL qualification was
higher than when he ran the course at a Further Education college in
SW London - this being largely due to the extra effort students made
during the live broadcasts on Redstone FM. He said at the time,
their disabilities, the students I have worked with have proved as
capable as anyone in achieving their qualifications and prove that
being blind or partially sighted is not necessarily a barrier to
achievement with the right support. There was no automatic right to
airtime - all the students had to earn the right to be allowed on air."
As the course
came to a close in March 2007, the examining body, EDEXCEL sent their
External Examiner for one final visit. This is what he said about the
quality of the organisation and teaching of the course.
well managed and efficiently organised programme. Internal
Verification is clear and robust. The student attainment is high and
achievement is above that required at this level. Some very able
students studying in a realistic working environment. Practical
skills are excellent. Staff also up to speed with latest industry
techniques, practice and legal requirements."
was a staff member at the RNIB until it's closure and had this to say
about the opportunities offered to the visually impaired students.
of our most successful students, Johnny Cassidy and Louise Hall had
very little functional vision, but were able to master all the
technical complexities of live radio and produce some really
entertaining and informative programmes.
real highs of the broadcasts at Redstone, and indeed of the radio
course in general were the opportunities and inspiration that live
broadcasting gave to those students who perhaps were not so techie,
but just were passionate about the whole experience. That to me is
Such was the
success of the radio course that the course tutor was nominated and,
more importantly, shortlisted for a Star Award for his work at the
RNIB. Click here for the full story.
to top of page.
History Part 2 - Gaining our independence
Redstone FM Continues
RNIB Redhill College closed in 2007, there was a lot of support for
Redstone FM to continue with temporary broadcasts. At that time Ofcom
had started the process of awarding new community radio licenses and
Redstone FM looked into the opportunities for becoming a full time station.
temporary broadcast was planned and took place during May/June 2007.
With the college facilities not available due to the closure,
Redstone FM was offered the studio facilities at The Oakley Centre, a
youth facility in Merstham.
was the official radio station for the Redhill Carnival.
broadcast its first ever outside broadcast on Sunday 3 June at the
Redhill carnival Fun Day. John Gooden, Chairman of the Redhill
Carnival Organising Committee commented,
provided a terrific boost to the carnival. It provided publicity, not
just for the carnival but also the chosen charities who are
benefiting from the fundraising."
Lucy G live
on air with Redstone FM's first outside broadcast.
Click Play above to listen
to Lucy G
completed its 4 week broadcast on Saturday 16th June with a second
outside broadcast from Redhill's Memorial Park.
presenter Natalie Osborne presented a special programme at the
Celebrating Age festival whilst reporter Paul Swann interviewed many
of the participants.
the weather it was a fantastic day. It was great to get out of the
studio and meet our audience and provide a showcase for Redstone FM
to the general public."
and Mike Ward interviewing the Mayor, Mrs Dorothy Ross-Tomlin.
Osborne broadcasting at the celebrating Age Festival.
broadcast demonstrated Redstone FM's commitment to offering
opportunities to disabled broadcasters - 40% of live output was
produced by people who are either blind, partially sighted or have
some other disability. This figure would have risen to 49% but for
one of the key daytime presenters suffering a family bereavement
which took him away from the station.
Redstone FM's licensee commented,
is a great achievement and shows that having a disability should not
be a barrier to success. Our previous broadcasts demonstrated that
those who are visually impaired are just as capable when it comes to
producing and presenting radio programmes. All too often those
with a disability are marginalised by society. Just because one has
lost the use of their eyes does in no way mean they can't be a valued
member of society and I hope that those involved with Redstone FM
have felt they made a positive contribution".
Tess Lewsey is
one of the presenters who has broadcast on all Redstone FM's
temporary broadcasts to date. She said,
have always had an interest in radio broadcasting and came to the
RNIB Redhill College following stints on my local hospital radio in
Cambridge. I am grateful to the opportunity offered by Redstone FM in
allowing me to develop my broadcast skills."
is another former student from the RNIB Redhill College who held down
the daily magazine show on Redstone FM
result of my two stints at Redstone.fm, I have been offered a place
on a post-graduate broadcast journalism course in Portsmouth.
Redstone FM allowed me to develop my interviewing skills and develop
the confidence to use complex studio equipment and I am looking
forward to this course when it starts in September."
to top of page.
- and another broadcast and the chance to bid for a full time license.
FM was on the air from 10 May to 26 May 2008 and for a second year
broadcast from studios at the Surrey County Council Youth Centre at
The Oakley in Merstham. With the prospect of community radio licences
being advertised by Ofcom that summer, Redstone FM used this
broadcast to test out its programming ideas and develop the system of
volunteers, many of whom are visually impaired.
broadcast had two themes.
was the coverage of the annual Adult Learners' Week. Redstone FM
received financial sponsorship from East Surrey College and broadcast
a wide range of interviews related to adult learning. Full
details are here.
second theme revolved around Reigate & Banstead Borough
Council's 'Love Where You Live' campaign. Redstone FM teamed up with
the Redhill Reigate and Horley Life newspaper and ran a competition
that tested listeners' local knowledge. Full
details of the competition can be found here.
broadcast again featured a large number of interviews.
memorable interview, whilst not local, was a unique take on a
national sporting event. That summer Manchester Utd won the European
Cup in Moscow. We had interviewed Rio Ferdinand on a previous
broadcast so this time we went after his mum! The idea was a human
interest story - that of a mother's pride in seeing her son lift the
cup (Rio was the Man U captain that night). We are not aware of any
other broadcast media to take that angle.
play above to listen to part of the interview.
broadcast was largely funded by local sponsorship. Financial
Barbe, the French restaurant in Reigate, sponsored the daily East
Surrey Talk programme
Theatre in Redhill sponsored the daily afternoon show.
sponsored the travel news
Surrey College supported the Adult Learners' Week broadcasts.
Events were the station sponsor.
Ofcom invited applications for community radio licences for SE
England. This enabled Redstone FM to finally submit
its application to provide a community radio service for Redhill
& Reigate area. As 2008 drew to a close, some good news was on
to top of page.
Good News on Funding - but still waiting for news from Ofcom
the start of the year, Redstone FM received confirmation of funding
for another temporary broadcast plus a new training course.
for the 2009 broadcast was secured with a Grassroots Grant
administered by Surrey Community Foundation. Further assistance came
from the Belfry Shopping Centre in Redhill who offered office
accommodation for our temporary studios. We also received funding
from the Gatwick Airport Community Trust.
addition to funding for the broadcast, Redstone received almost
£12,000 to run a radio course for visually impaired people. This
funding came from the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Learning
& Skills Council. And that wasn't all! In January 2009, we were
advised that Reigate & Banstead Borough Council had awarded us a
£10,000 capital grant towards equipment. This grant is subject
to the award of the a permanent community radio license by Ofcom so
once they have made the right decision . . . Overall over £30,000
was raised from a mix of grants, education funding and sponsorship.
broadcast came from premises in Tower House, part of the Belfry
Shopping Centre in Redhill and two main events were covered -
Volunteers' Week and the Redhill & Reigate Carnival weekend.
Volunteers' Week activities involved the station working with the
local Volunteer Centre in promoting volunteering. We also worked with
the Mayor is launching the 2009 Mayor's Community Awards.
Redhill and Reigate Carnival involved a full weekend of activities
in both towns. With special equipment loaned to the station for the
occasion, Redstone FM covered the street activities in both towns on
the Saturday and conducted a live outside broadcast on the Sunday
afternoon. Redstone FM again worked with Radio Redhill who provided
live coverage of the carnival procession in Redhill.
. . .
There was no
news from Ofcom on our application for a permanent community radio license.
2010 and Beyond
And so into
2010. Redstone FM was awarded a second grant from the ESF to run a
further training course for visually impaired people. This took place
from February to July and was based at the Merstham Community Facility.
the opportunity to present and produce a series of shows on Meridian
FM, the community radio station based in East Grinstead.
Adi Latif and Sophie Aston on the air on Meridian FM - July 2010.
also received funding from NESCOT (the further education college in
Ewell, near Epsom) and in 2010 and 2011 ran a series of courses for
volunteers at Meridian FM and Uckfield FM.
closes and another opens . . .
was unsuccessful with its application for a community radio licence
So whilst one
door closed, others have opened and Redstone FM is followed an
alternative opportunity to establish itself as a full time radio
station serving East Surrey and Crawley.
to top of page.
Line and on DAB
on line and new logo
here (link to PDF? of DAB story)
below are all those who have broadcast on Redstone FM (or helped with
Alan Horner, Alex Roll, Andy Bull, Anne Marie Evans, Carl
Leaburn, Carol Jennings, Carol Stoby, Catriona Harris, Chris
Davis, Chris Hescott, Chris Quilley, Chris Spring, Chris
Wilsdon, Garth Crooks, Gary Moritz, Dan Daley, Dan
Rogers, Dave King, David Ridgway, Des Shepherd, Emily
Shepherd, Fran Giles, Gavin Lake, Harry Maynard, Jamie
Hughes, Jef Nunn, Jeremy Winter, Johny Cassidy, Jo
Thorpe, Kelly Burgin Windsor, Kim Bartholomew, Laura Sharvell,
Lee Brooks, Lee Elliott, Lisa Davis, Lucy Greaves, Lucy Pidgeon,
Marcus Patrick, Mark Burtenshaw, Martin Rothwell, Martine
Sheppard, Mel Ellis, Michael Shepherd, Mike Gandon, Mike
Scholes, Mike Ward, Natalie Osborne, Nicole
Corbin, Nigel Fitzmaurice, Nigel Gray, Olly Jones, Paul
Barnett, Paul Swann, Peter Evans, Peter
Fletcher, Petula Rose, Richard Majewski, Richard Shepherd,
Rob Rumsey, Rob Wells, Robert Gibson, Sam Kalbag, Simon
Wilkes, Steve Burge, Steve Jeffrey, Steve
Langsdale, Steve Romaine, Terry Turner, Tess
Lewsey, Toni Shepherd, Zia Rarhi.
to top of page.
Redstone FM acknowledges the
support received from advertisers, sponsors and grant bodies.
previous temporary broadcasts have been supported by grant aid and
the 2009 Temporary Broadcast.
Redstone FM Travel News
East Surrey Talks
La Barbe, La
Barbe is the only truly French restaurant in Reigate, Surrey.
Street. Reigate. Surrey. RH2 7AN
T: 01737 241966
The Event -
for supplying details of local events.
The event is
now known as the R&R Guide.
The 2009 and
2010 Broadcast Opportunities Training Course was funded by:
East Surrey College
- our partner in delivering the two courses.
Awards for All
- funded work on full time license application and audience research
- Station Sponsor for 2008.
Redstone FM is not responsible for the content of third party web sites.
to top of page.
Reigate and Banstead Community Radio receive regular newsletters.
Below are links to download copies to newsletters published for the
period to the end of 2009.
to top of page.
Redstone FM Ltd 2005-15