Last night we raised a glass to the fourth revolution of Harrogate Community Radio around the sun. Assembled from the passions of the people, for the people, this station is more than a constant in the background noise; it’s the vibrant echo of Harrogate.

The road to this point hasn’t always been a smooth sail. There have been rocky shores; the ghosts of shows broadcast erroneously, the deafening silence of unexpected dead air looming like an awkward pause in a conversation. But like a weathered ship, our team of volunteers has navigated these tricky waters with fortitude, keeping the station afloat. The odds were stacked against us, yet we chose resilience over surrender, serving up an alternative to the curated monotony of commercial radio.

Scooby, Allan, Jack, Simon, and Charley, the stalwart crew handling the admin, like the steady hand on the ship’s wheel in a storm, have stood fast. Our show hosts, like committed captains of their vessels, have held steadfast, their voices weaving the fabric of Harrogate Community Radio. But the heroes of this tale are our listeners. It is your support, your voices, your ears, your feedback that have made this voyage worthwhile.

Our journey doesn’t stop here. Our compass points us towards deeper involvement with the community that birthed us, through events that connect us and a presence that emboldens us. We are an echo of you, and your ongoing support fuels our journey. As the costs of licensing, like the toll for a bridge, demand their due, your support will ensure we continue to serve you.

As we stand on this fourth milestone, our heart swells with gratitude. The four candles we blow out today are a symbol of our collective journey; each flame a year spent in the pursuit of community radio that speaks for and to Harrogate. Each flicker is a testament to the warm glow we hope to bring into your lives.

Thank you for tuning in, for lending your voice, your ears, your time. Your presence, whether manifest in feedback or silent support, is part of the intricate tapestry of Harrogate Community Radio. Together, we have created something truly beautiful, a symphony of voices that reflects our shared sense of community.

So here’s to us, as I hold Mrs Backhouse’s hair as she regrets last night… To Harrogate Community Radio, to the music, the laughter, the shared experiences, and the voices yet to grace our airwaves. As the sun rises after our fourth birthday, we stick the kettle on for the promise of more years to come, more voices to discover, and more stories to tell. Thank you, Harrogate, for being part of our symphony. Here’s to many more melodies yet to be played.

Andrew

Andrew Backhouse is a Yorkshire-based artist working with time-based media and digital collage. He is a self-confessed radio geek and he hopes to share his wonder. He also wants to share his naivety and enthusiasm for finding something interesting. Henri Chopin, AGF, and RuPaul influence Andrew’s artistic enquiry. Documenting “The new shiny thing,” Andrew tries to share his excitement for it. But, he also asks about its authenticity and worth.

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