IN JUST a few moments 20 years of hard work nearly went up in smoke at a nostalgia radio station.
An electrical fire caused by a faulty light saw more than 136,000 vintage records damaged at Angel Radio in Havant.
Although we’ve been able to run old recorded programmes and music uploaded from the record collection, it would be great to begin broadcasting live as soon as possibleTony Smith
Generous supporters have pledged almost £17,000 towards new premises in just a few weeks but founder Tony Smith is urging people to dig deep as they are still a long way off their target of £50,000.
Once it is reached they will move into bigger premises at the former Conservative Association offices in South Street.
Tony said: ‘It’s been incredible to see people I’ve never met or heard of giving us donations.
‘People have been donating, not just nationally throughout the UK, but internationally from the US and Germany.’
Angel Radio has been providing pensioners with uplifting entertainment since 1999.
Run by over 70 volunteers, the majority of whom are over 60 and often in their 70s or 80s, Angel gives a voice to an overlooked section of the community.
Broadcasts range from music, humour, and memories to talks on current information regarding health and the positive aspects of old age.
But Tony is only too well aware of the stretched budgets of his listeners and is keen not to rely too heavily on them for donations.
That’s why he is urging the wider community to support the much-loved station.
He said: ‘The local community already shows such great support for Angel.
‘I wanted to reach out to the national and international community, to the younger generation, and allow people from outside our community to offer their support.’
He added: ‘My main concern was to get something back on the air for our listeners.
‘Although we’ve been able to run old recorded programmes and music uploaded from the record collection, it would be great to begin broadcasting live as soon as possible.
‘In the end it is a cloud with a silver lining.
‘Angel had been looking to move to bigger premises for several years.’
The £50,000 will also pay for a common room at the station where the community can meet and chat to broadcasters at the new station.
The old building will be converted into a fundraising shop selling memorabilia.
Donate at gofundme.com/jt5askuw.