North Norfolk Radio

North Norfolk Radio
North Norfolk Radio
Broadcast area North Norfolk
Frequency 103.2 MHz, 96.2 MHz
First air date 10 November 2003
Format Contemporary
Audience share 8.3% (December 2009, [1])
Owner Tindle Radio Group

North Norfolk Radio (NNR) is a radio station based on the Stody Estate, near Briston, Norfolk in the United Kingdom. It broadcasts from Breck Farm, Stody, Norfolk, England, from a converted milking parlour and is said to be the UK's only radio station based in a building with a thatched straw roof.[2]

History

North Norfolk Radio is owned by the Tindle Radio Group, who own many stations in the UK, including NNR's neighbouring stations The Beach in Lowestoft, Suffolk and 99.9 Radio Norwich (not to be confused with the fictional station of the same name - see Alan Partridge) in Norfolk's only city.

North Norfolk Radio came about following several groups campaigning for a dedicated radio service for the area. Some of these groups, who ran restricted service licence (RSL) trial stations, included 106.9 FTR-FM (Fakenham - August 1997), Fakenham Community Radio (April/May 1999), Wensum FM (East Dereham - 3 trials between October 1999 & June 2001), Central Norfolk Radio (Fakenham - 5 trials between April 1999 & May 2001), Escape FM (Sheringham - July/August 2000) and Tindles own 87.7 The Beach* (North Walsham - Christmas 2000 & Holt, Norfolk - June 2001). Note: * 87.7 The Beach was the trial stand alone station, not the full-time 103.4 service nor a relay of it.

On 14 November 2002 the Radio Authority formally advertised a new local commercial radio licence for the coastal area of North Norfolk, covering Wells-next-the-Sea and Cromer, and inland to include Fakenham. Potential applicants had around 16 weeks to put their proposals on paper and send them back to the Radio Authority.

By the closing date for applicants (4 March 2003 at 2pm) there were only 2 groups bidding for this licence - North Norfolk Radio (Tindle Radio) & go-FM (Absolute Radio).

Less than 9 weeks later, on 8 May 2003, the Radio Authority announced that Tindle, trading as North Norfolk Radio, had won the (8 year) licence to provide the area with its very first dedicated local commercial radio service. Tindle were the majority share holder in the company with 79%, with local directors taking the rest. One director, Angela Bond, was one of the radio producers of the late Kenny Everett. The Chairman of the new station, Ian McNicol, is also the Stody Estate owner.

The original team at NNR were Sharron Tuck (Station Manager), John Bultitude (Head of News) and presenters included former 1960s offshore radio broadcasters Andy Archer and Mike Ahern.

On 21 October 2003 the first test transmissions were broadcast when the main transmitter, at Stody, was switched on. This transmits on a frequency of 96.2 MHz VHF/FM, at a power of 2580 watts. After a few more weeks, the relay transmitters at Aylmerton (near Cromer) and at Bunkers Hill (near Walsingham) were switched on and relayed the test transmissions from Stody. Both of these relay transmitters are tuned to 103.2 MHz VHF/FM at a power of 250 watts.

At 6am on Monday 10 November 2003, Norfolk North Radio began officially broadcasting. Mike Ahern was the first presenter on the station, although the first voice on-air was that of the Chairman, Ian McNicol. The song that launched the station was the 1972 hit 'I Get The Sweetest Feeling' by Jackie Wilson.

The original presenter line-up was... Weekdays; Mike Ahern (6–10 am), Andy Archer (10 am – 2 pm), James Crameri (2–6 pm) and Emma P (Emma Philpotts) (6–10 pm). At the weekend there was Richard Lawson (Sat & Sun 6–10 am), Greg Powells (Sat & Sun 10 am – 2 pm), Nick Hawkins (Sat & Sun 2–6 pm), John Leech (Sat 6–10 pm) and Steve Jolly (Sun 6–10 pm). North Norfolk Radio has had a high turn over of presenter since its launch date. Simon Jupp, Graham Lewis, Dick Hutchinson, Craig Burchell, Steve Parks, Jason Reynolds, Ollie George, Steve Wells, Martin Funch, David Hoffman have all presented daytime programmes. Nick Conrad presented with the station until 2009, making appearances on an occasional basis. He later joined BBC Digital station BBC 6 Music and flagship London talk radio station LBC 97.3 and now presents on BBC Radio Norfolk . Simon Jupp spent two years on The Breakfast Show then launched Radio Plymouth before joining BBC Radio Jersey where he presents a daily programme.

Due to problems with reception in Fakenham, a 10 watt relay transmitter was built on the Holt Road water tower in the town. This began operating on 11 October 2005 and transmits on 96.2 MHz VHF/FM.

NNR is a station with a few firsts... Unlike many other stations, NNR doesn't use radio links nor rented landlines to get their studio output to their main transmitter. Instead they have the unusual feature of a 1000 metre armoured multicore cable buried underground, from the studio to transmitter building. Also, because the relay transmitters use common frequencies (i.e. 103.2 at 2 sites and 96.2 at the Fakenham relay), they are GPS-syncronished so as they do not cause interference to each other.

References

External links


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