Gravesend Hospital was opened in 1887, prior to this date there was no hospital in Gravesend, only a dispensary at Milton Road financed by voluntary contributions. In 1926 wireless sets were installed in the hospital and were available to every bed in the Male and Female wards. Over the years the hospital has seen changes, and until recently served as a Maternity and Gynaecology hospital.
In October 1973, a very small group of dedicated volunteers with no experience, no real equipment, very little money, but with an abundance of enthusiasm, founded the station with the active encouragement of the League of Friends. The hospital management willingly co-operated by providing a very small room in the basement of the medical block (now the M Block). Surprisingly, although they had only a small library of records, they were able to provide lively programs fulfilling a goodly proportion of requests, as they were able to draw on their own quite extensive personal libraries. From little acorns great oaks grow, and little by little the station began to grow and prosper. Several of our broadcasters of the early days have progressed to professional pastures.
From the small and claustrophobic room in the basement, after several years of unremitting hard work raising funds, we were eventually able to return the accommodation to the hospital authorities and take up residence in a very much larger studio overlooking the car park. We were proud to say that it was owned, lock stock and barrel, by the station and we must acknowledge the contributions made by the people of Gravesend, many charitable organisations and the GRAVESEND Business community; to them all we tender our grateful thanks. Today we are within the new hospital & our total membership hovers around the 25 mark, all of whom are regularly fully occupied with their contribution to putting out our programmes. Not only do they give of their time but pay - according to duties - a substantial monthly subscription which is necessary to ensure we can cover our day-to-day running expenses. Normally we carry some 10 members who broadcast on a regular basis; the remainder are involved in the very necessary contact with the patients, in taking their requests and generally being the personal bridge between ward and microphone. Their ages range from 18-60, of both sexes. We acknowledge here the wonderful support that we enjoyed from GlaxoSmithKline, who sponsored us for the purchase of CDís, Cannon Cinemas at Chatham, who provided vouchers as prizes for our various competitions and Bingo also Gala Bingo Dartford for Bingo prizes, all of these are no longer able to offer any sponsorship.
So, in conclusion, it can be said that at Radio North Kent there is a band of willing volunteers who are dedicated to the well-being of the patients and who enjoy their work.
Gravesham Community hospital & Gravesham Place opened in June 2006. If you would like to get involved please see out contact page.