Richard Powell

Maidstone 57

I first encountered Hospital Radio Maidstone as a patient.  

I was a HGV driver and had a serious road traffic accident on the M4 on 31st March 1992 putting me in hospital for 12 weeks and in traction for six weeks. 

After 10 days at The Royal Berkshire Hospital Reading I was transferred to The John Day Ward Of Maidstone Hospital amongst other things I had fractured both my legs so I was confined to bed so whenever the request collectors came round they knew where to find me!! 

I always had a request, sometimes for my visitors (my aunt was an ardent Elvis Pressley fan and used to love to hear his records come over the airwaves.)

With my left leg in plaster and my right leg in traction spent my first six weeks on my back; at night time I would have the headphones hanging from the chain and handle hanging over the bed so I had music through the night.

After six weeks when I was taken off traction I had to teach myself to walk again with crutches and a wheelchair for longer journeys.

When I first arrived at Hospital Radio Maidstone they used to broadcast from the gatehouse of Oakwood Hospital, which was next door. They also used to broadcast to the Ophthalmic Hospital in Maidstone via a phone link.

I asked one of the request collectors if it would be possible for me to see the studios, which was granted, so I went up in the lift in my wheelchair and along to the studios. The studio door wasn’t wide enough to get my wheelchair through, so I hobbled into the studios.

I am proud to have been the second person not connected with HRM to have seen the studios (the first one being The Mayor.

Listening to them broadcasting helped me greatly to get through my ordeal so after I was discharged I joined as a request collector and can be found visiting patients across the hospital wards during the week.

© Hospital Radio Maidstone 2014