Cambridgeshire

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire celebrates 30 years of broadcasting

Radio Cambridgeshire staff, 1980s
Image caption Some presenters, journalists and managers from those early years

On 1 May 1982 BBC Radio Cambridgeshire began broadcasting from premises on Hills Road in Cambridge.

The Cambridge MP Francis Pym was the new Foreign Secretary and the Falklands War was announced during the station's launch party.

Ian Masters, station manager from 1983, said his orders from the BBC were simple: to build an audience.

He said: "We built that audience by promoting the station with live outside broadcasts."

As well as sending broadcast units to events like the East of England Show, the station borrowed a train for a fortnight, touring Cambridgeshire and visiting small railway stations and sidings.

'Cut their teeth'

Mr Masters said: "We found some real broadcasting talent, people like Nick Barraclough, Mark Saggers, Emma Freud and Chris Morris.

"They all went on to do wonderful things afterwards, but they cut their teeth at BBC Radio Cambridgeshire."

Image caption A 1980s outside broadcast at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford

Nick Barraclough is still Cambridge-based and makes programmes for Radio 2 and Radio 4.

Initially he presented two weekly programmes for Radio Cambridgeshire, before moving on to present a daily show.

He said: "I don't think I've ever been more scared in my life about anything, because I'd told them I could do a programme but I'd never done one."

Mike Greenwood was recruited as a journalist before the station opened.

He remembers the then news producer Sara Jones interrupting the launch party to bring news that the Falklands War was under way.

He said: "Within days men from RAF Wittering's Harrier Squad were flying sorties.

"It was a dramatic opening for a station."

Initially the station broadcast for a few hours a day.

Today it broadcasts from 06:00 BST to 22:00 BST from its offices in the Cambridge Business Park and in Priestgate in Peterborough.

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