Northern air Hospital Radio
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Fred Ayre
Fred AyreA true Cockney is somebody born within the sound of Bow Bells. Well, to me, a true Blackley Boy, is somebody born within a corner kick of Crumpsall Hospital ..... admittedly quite a hefty punt of the ball! I was born there, my son was born there and I count myself very, very fortunate that they are the only two occasions so far, that I have had to ‘officially’ enter the place that is now known as North Manchester General Hospital. I am, however, totally aware of its significance, mainly to the people of North Manchester and the reassurance to its inhabitants that in any emergency, its facilities and expertise are only a phone call and an ambulance ride away.

After a thirty year career in broadcasting, mainly with the BBC, I was invited to become patron of Northern Air Radio based at North Manchester General Hospital and was proud to accept the position and realised its importance shortly afterwards when it linked up with Salford Royal Hospital to provide round the clock music and entertainment for so many patients across Manchester and Salford. A magnificent service provided by a team of dedicated volunteer broadcasters.

Two years ago, my wife Judith, had to make that ‘one phone call’ requesting ‘that ambulance ride’ for me and living in Worsley, I woke up to find myself nicely tucked up in a bed in Salford Royal Hospital surrounded by anxious doctors and nurses. As the days turned into weeks and I began to feel a little better, I was told by one of the nurses that I could tune in to the hospital radio station. ‘It’s very good’, she said and ‘if I was lucky I could even had a request played for myself’. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that as Patron of Hospital Radio, if I couldn’t have a request granted, then I didn’t know who could! I tuned in most days and learned first hand just what a fantastic, professional service Northern Air Radio actually provides.