It’d be wonderful if another station stepped in to help

Tony Smith, station manager at Angel Radio in Havant
Tony Smith, station manager at Angel Radio in Havant
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When I tweeted last Thursday about Havant’s volunteer-run radio station being all but destroyed by fire, the response I got was overwhelming.

The words ‘tragedy’ and ‘devastated’ were used by people who either listen to it themselves or have relatives living in the area who like to tune in.

How wonderful would it be if another station could step in and help Angel get back on air sooner?

But they can’t any more.

Not since the fire destroyed not only Angel Radio’s studio equipment and mixers, but around 134,000 vintage shellac records that the station’s listeners loved to hear played.

Earlier this year I think it was The News that ran a feature about the radio station, which is staffed almost entirely by the over-60s, and how popular it was in Havant.

The staff, both presenters and studio teams, give up their time for free to ensure Angel Radio continues to broadcast to its listeners, who otherwise wouldn’t be able to hear some of the old records that were in the collection, or to a style of radio presentation that’s gone out of fashion.

It was heartwarming stuff and the radio station obviously provided a service that was lacking both in the Havant area and from other bigger stations.

Its station manager, Tony Smith, was obviously devastated by the fire that has destroyed the station, but is determined to see it back on air as soon as the damage, mainly from smoke due to firefighters arriving at the scene so quickly, can be repaired.

He stoically says the £10,000 of damage will be covered by the insurance. That’s the spirit, Tony.

In the meantime, how wonderful would it be if another station could step in and help Angel get back on air sooner?

I don’t really know how these things work, but there must be a way two stations could broadcast from the same place.

The narrow geography of Angel’s licensed broadcast area might turn out to be an insurmountable obstacle, but what a coup if there was a way around it.

In the meantime, I hope the repair work can be completed quickly so the station can resume its vital service.