Graham Ford memories

Photos Top Left: The author not actually reading the news. Bttom Left: Geoff Rogers, right the Susy AM transmitter in 2001

I thought it was time to add some of my own memories of Susy Radio. I used to vist some of the earlier RSL's and sometimes sit in on programmes. In 2002 I was in between jobs and  Colin Pearse of SSRG (Sussex Surrey Radio Group) which operated the station knew of my enthusiam and suggested that as I had a reasonble voice and very good diction would I like to be a newsreader? Well this was a good way to get a foot in so I agreed. So I did news bulletins mainly on breakfast and sometimes on afternoon drive. This way it didn't interfere with my jobhunting so that  kept the authorities happy..  Broadcasts were coming from the Youth Centre at Earlswood the studios being in the third floor attic. There was one complete studio (Largely built by SSRG/Susy Radio) and another large adjacent room which had a Teletext TV  and minidisc recorder. Bulletins were complied off teletext and pre-recorded so the news wasn't live but sounded as such. This was a good system  and the use of minidisc meant that stories could be edited out and replaced and move up or down the agenda depending on the importance. My newscasting also co-incided with the infmaous Soham murders so it was a baptism of fire and I was very glad we pre-recorded the news. I also on a couple of breakfast shows read articles out from the newspaper and tried to be a good support.  We followed strict guidelines on our news stories and, in the case of the Soham murders waited for the BBC to announce that Kevin Huntley was the prime suspect before we did. As a broadcaster we erred on the side of caution. Getting it wrong could have left us at the mercy of Ofcom and threats of fines. Broadcasts at the time were on 531 kHz  and very strong at my locale a few miles away.

I did eventually move on from presenting the news. In we did a broadcast from the RNIB facillities at Redstone Hill. Here a studio block had been built with what seemed to be very well equiped studios.  As there were students there we all had to be CRB cleared and we weren't allowed to take photos. One evening a gap appeared in the schedule and I did a 2 hour broadcast at very little notice.  John the engineer called me up and asked me to chat more about the music so I lined up a Joss Stone track and put up a bit of background info on her.  THis was on one of our FM broadcasts.

The RSLs were always enjoyable and ended with a barbeque night where as many of the station staff would gather to chat eat and drink.