Radio Woking came about as an idea among like minded people who felt that there was a need for community radio in the area as other stations did not cater for the local residents and issues that affected them.
It stands testament to the adage you can do anything you want if you put your mind to it. The idea of the station came mainly from Justin Coll, IT manager at the Winston Churchill School in St Johns, Woking, who was born and raised in the town.
Having secured funding for a broadcast desk and computer equipment, he also managed to get a play system that equals that of many local radio stations. It always helps when the equipment’s not stuck together with chewing gum and selotape and the buttons don’t come off in your hands.
Having professional equipment was a major factor in the fast growth of the station which is becoming established in the local culture.
With the equipment in place, the station had a studio built next to a recording studio that the school had constructed for the benefit of the pupils. Unfortunately building a radio studio is not on the national curriculum woodwork sylabus which would have saved a few quid. Although we would have had to wait to use it whilst the kids took it home to show their mums and dads what they’d built at school.
Radio Woking is a part of the school equipment and students are encouraged to make and broadcast their own shows, helping them to develop skills that they can utilise in later life. This has led to signs in the studio warning presenters not to stick their used chewing gum under the desk, but to keep it moist in case of it being needed for some emergency repairs.
Various people were invited to join the station and put forward their proposals and ideas for shows, the response was phenomenal with experienced and new presenters coming forward, all eager to get the station off the ground. With the internet tools
available there has never been an easier time to launch a station and reach a potential mass audience, all it takes is a little determination and a modicom of talent.
Broadcast media is a cut throat business but with a station staffed and run by volunteers that can be turned on it’s head and being a part of such a station can be enjoyable and fun. With this in mind Radio Woking looks to be an inspiration for others to start community stations in their areas.
In the two years since it’s inception, Radio Woking has grown it’s audience and has cemented itself firmly in the local community. It now broadcasts on DAB radio in the local area, opening it up to even more people.