In early 1950, six Newcastle United fans were socialising in their favourite hostelry when they came up with the idea of broadcasting NUFC match commentaries to hospital patients in the Royal Victoria Infirmary, which was conveniently situated just around the corner from St. James’ Park. An approach to the club resulted in a ‘yes’ and Radio Tyneside was born.

Since then, Radio Tyneside has expanded and in the 1960s obtained a small room above the old Rediffusion shop in the centre of the city where a weekly request show was launched using records borrowed from the Jeavons record store. In 1970, the Eldon Square development meant the closure of the Rediffusion shop and Radio Tyneside was on the move again, this time into the old workhouse in the Newcastle General Hospital. A couple of years later the service was extended to hospitals in Gateshead: the Queen Elizabeth, Dunston Hill, Bensham General and Whickham Cottage.

By 1975 Radio Tyneside was on air seven days a week, each evening and all day at weekends. As the years went by the volunteers worked hard to raise money and by the time of the station’s 30th birthday in 1981 had raised sufficient money to refurbish its studios with state of the art equipment.

In 1990 Radio Tyneside launched an ambitious appeal to raise £35,000 to completely rebuild and refurbish their building which would include two brand new studios. Through the sterling efforts of the volunteers, supported by the hospitals and a local building company, the work was completed by September 1991, allowing time to redecorate and train the staff in time for the 40th birthday celebrations in October. The official opening of the refurbished studio centre was performed by radio presenter Simon Bates in February 1992.

On 6th October 2022 they celebrated their achievements over the last 70 years with a great deal of pride. Here’s to the next 70 years!

Radio Tyneside is now available on UK Radio Portal, in the Tyne & Wear area.

Radio Tyneside extends its reach through UK Radio Portal