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History

               How it all began

 

Although ‘local radio’, and indeed regional TV, have been around for a long time, as yet the only truly localised media in Greater London, covering just a borough such as Harrow, is a paper such as the Harrow Observer or Times. Back in 1975, a couple of energetic and enterprising Harrovians, Cyril Cocks and Christine Bryan realised this meant that for sight-impaired residents, there was simply no access to news, information, or just interesting local events. So they started a service to put that kind of material on to audio-cassettes, every week of the year using volunteer readers and engineers.

 With volunteers and the Post Office’s no-cost ‘Articles for the Blind’ postage, it was, as now, entirely free. Another volunteer with some helpful local standing was Chairman Don Green who became Mayor of Harrow in 1990. The Observer’s then Chief Reporter, Scott Lane, also played a prominent role editing and presenting the ‘news’ aspects - since initially HTN was a mix of news and features.

 By the late 80’s the whole thing had grown and the magazine, now entitled ‘Hear-Abouts’, had a life of its own, published every two months. At the outset, HTN shared premises with Northwick Park’s hospital radio but soon needed its own space. Council premises in Stanmore were obtained (at a commercial rent!) and a well-equipped studio was set up by another key early figure, Dave Buckley, later Chairman.

 Council ‘development’ meant we had to cope with a costly move to offices on the Council Depot site in Harrow Weald - again with all the necessary installation work done by HTN itself.

HTN studio 

The sound engineer/mixer desk, newly digitised. 

 

After nearly 40 years of audio cassettes, in 2012 the Newspaper ‘went digital’ in both recording and distributed medium - memory sticks. You can read more in our July ‘News’ item.

 Audience numbers peaked at well over 300 but population changes and vastly improved sight-preserving medical advances have significantly reduced that - this website was set-up partly to try to reach the believed large numbers who are simply unaware of what’s available.


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