The Old White Hart in Beeston was packed for South Leeds Radio’s launch party on Thursday (17 January 2019) which mixed live music with a chance to hear from the presenters about what was in store for listeners over the coming months.
South Leeds Radio is a new community radio venture being run by volunteers from Health For All’s Beeston Skills Hub. The station is broadcast over the internet so can be heard via computer, tablet or smartphone, just go to southleedsradio.org.uk and click on ‘Listen Here’.
South Leeds has been without a community radio station since South Leeds Community Radio folded some years ago.
Martin Brennan, the manager of the Skills Hub explained that he had been keen to start
“An independent radio station in South Leeds, about South Leeds. To give our different diverse community opportunities to be heard on a progressive, meaningful and non-discriminatory platform.”
Martin will also be presenting a weekly Folk and Acoustic Roots show highlighting local musicians as well as players from across the globe. Starting as they mean to go on, the station showcased three local performers who played live during the evening: Freelance Wizard. Cortney T and Paul Brown.
This Is Us is a show about the issues of living with a disability, but presenter Kenneth was keen to stress it wasn’t just for disabled people. The first programme looks at some of the aids and gadgets available to help people with everyday life, whilst future shows will look at residents’ experiences in care homes and the issues around loneliness and isolation.
Ken Burton from the Beeston Local History Society has also joined the team to present a local history programme. Ken explained the importance of history:
“If you don’t know your history you have no roots. I’m interviewing people from around the area and I’m learning. Hopefully the listeners will be learning too.”
Station Manager Mick O’Loughlin explained the station’s ethos:
“We started with next to nothing and we are building all the time. Everyone is welcome to come and get involved. Everyone does what they want, what they can, and we try to take them to a higher level.”
South Leeds Life will be contributing material to a weekly local news programe on the station and local writer Kevin Phillips will be contributing new drama work.
Councillors from all three South Leeds wards supported the launch event and helped to switch on the live feed at 9pm.
Funding for the project has come from the Big Lottery Fund.
Photos: Douglas Villegas