Live Broadcast on The Bridge 102.5 Radio Station
20th February 2015
A 1.15pm rendezvous of Mike, Becky and Lance outside of Helen’s in Vicarage Road Amblecote signalled the start of our journey to 102.5 The Bridge radio station, which is situated somewhat anonymously in a small space inside St. John’s United Reformed Methodist Church, just off Stourbridge Ring Road in the town centre. Helen by chance arrived by car, bringing her parents back from the doctors and told us to ‘break a leg’ - we trust that was well intended support! As it was a pleasant day we took the short stroll, script in hand, through Penfields estate and down a stepped alley off Grampian Road, commenting on the Stourbridge Waterworks building from an historical perspective as we went (it’s now hard to switch off from history, I’m finding) to a muddy pathway which ultimately brought us out in the Birmingham St carpark, just a sprint across the busy A458 Birmingham St to the newly refurbished bus terminus and onward to the rear of the church. A text from Sue, my wife, informed us that our imminent broadcast and arrival had been mentioned at the start of the Mark Williams programme, tension was building!
Upon entering the radio station we were greeted warmly by two chaps who were monitoring the broadcast and ushered into the ‘green room’ and given coffee while we waited for our brief moment of fame. It rather felt like being in the dentist’s waiting room actually - we had never met Mark Williams and I certainly hadn’t been in a radio station before - all unknown territory at this stage but rather exciting all the same. Mike had given the chaps a memory stick and they kindly undertook to record the broadcast for him to take home for posterity.
Mark Williams - hard at work.
It wasn’t long before Mark came in to greet us and we talked briefly about the broadcast and how it would be conducted - a quick chat ‘on air’ then a few other sessions interspersed with a few tunes was the order of the day. So, with soft assurance from Mark into the studio we went, mobile phones turned off, and were seated alongside each other, facing Mark across a desk adorned with 3 PC monitors with huge microphones suspended just a foot away from our heads - it was the moment of truth but we knew that the loyal and supportive members of the Amblecote History Society were tuned in and would be listening encouragingly.
The broadcasted interview proceeded with Mark being very strong in promoting the ambitions of the Society and feeding us each questions which we could answer from our scripts, supplemented by anecdotal views off the cuff. It was amazing how time flew - it does when you are enjoying yourself they say, and we were with not a bead of sweat being broken! Becky, introduced as our youngest member, even responded to say “hi” to about 20,000 listeners! (I was proud of her ! - Ed.). While a piece of music was being played and we were ‘off air’ the telephone rang and Mark answered it - at the end of the call he announced “you have a fan!” - it was Monica who had called in to see how she could get involved - success! Hopefully we will see her at our next meeting?
Lance Mike Mark Becky.
And so as we went through our scripts promoting the next meeting, the activities of the Society and giving details about how to get in touch with us, the interview came to an end with thanks expressed all round. Mark undertook to get in touch to arrange monthly broadcasts so that we have an ongoing channel to engage the wider community on a regular basis and to develop further interest from new members and visitors. After a quick photo shoot in the studio Mike collected his memory stick and we emerged from The Bridge, triumphant, with the moment well and truly captured. Mike (we were going to blame Becky - and why not - Ed. ) then felt a sudden need to celebrate so we headed off to Wetherspoon’s where inevitably history reared its head again as The Chequers walls are adorned with photographs of old Stourbridge and local canals, we just had to view them all! However, what a nice way to spend an afternoon and we hope that the listeners found our session sufficiently interesting to come along.
Lance Cartwright. Amblecote History Society PR Officer.
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