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Photos by Gordon Tibbles Page last updated: 2023-07-19
Hemel Hempstead Hospital Hertfordshire
NGR: TL046072 Maps: Google  Bing (Ord Surv)   Site Height:       Structure Height:
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Former Hemel Hempstead Hospital Radio site

This is a contribution I never thought I would get to make, but thanks to a recent chance meeting I am finally able too.

Last records of Hemel Hospital Radio broadcasting on 1350 AM to what was then a General Hospital was back in the summer of 2015. Broadcasts in their final years were intermittent due to lack of finance, & the charity that ran the station was eventually amalgamated with Watford Hospital Radio (Pulse Radio), as all in-patient services were being transferred there. On several occasions I had scoured the site looking for an antenna but never found one. Then I met a former hospital electrician who done some work for the station. I mentioned about the antenna they used & it raised a laugh. “They decided to make their own contraption”, he said. I remarked it was a shame I couldn’t see it. “Oh, but you can.” He responded. “It’s still there in the trees at the back of the Veralum wing car park”. So, I got my camera & made the trip over there.

It looks like they have used the base of lattice CCTV tower to which they have fastened a plastic insulator, which is in turn attached a vertical aluminium pole. An induction coil has then been wound around & secured with duct tape. It can’t have been that efficient. I always wondered why their daytime reception was so poor compared to L&D hospital radio several miles away.

It's a very “Heath Robinson” installation, but I think it’s well worth documenting the hard working volunteers DIY efforts to get their services on the air for patients & staff before it disappears completely.

Apologies for the quality. The position of the sun was not great, & I had to stand in the middle of a busy car park to get any reasonable shots.

As good a close-up as I could get between passing cars. There is also a small cabinet at the base which is now buried in a hawthorn bush.

Veralum wing of Hemel Hempstead Hospital (the antenna site is to my left). Only a third of the original hospital site is now in use. Some of the now disused buildings have been repurposed as a filming location.

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