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Over the years we have accumulated a vast number of interesting audio items and continue to do so on an almost daily basis. You can hear a few of these on this page which is frequently updated, so please re-visit and check for newly added items.
Select a category below, and sub-category where applicable, where you’ll find a brief description of each audio piece. Then click or tap the play button under the item you wish to listen to. If you’re looking for something but not sure where to find it, the index on the right (or below if viewing on a phone) might help. Clicking on a link will reveal the item’s location in the category list.
NHS 70 at DCH
In July 2018 the NHS celebrated its 70th birthday and a special party was held at Dorset County Hospital. Peter Foster went along and spoke to some of those taking part…
Arts In Hospital Concert with the Ridgeway Singers and Band
A recording of the Concert celebrating the 175th anniversary of Dorset County Hospital. The Ridgeway Singers and Band, led by Tim Laycock and Phil Humphries, performed Dorset carols, folksongs, dance tunes and new songs, with readings exploring the fascinating history of rural healthcare in Dorset. The concert was held in Dorset County Museum on 31st March 2016.
Clinical Research at Dorset County Hospital
An interview with two Clinical Nurses at DCH about the hospital’s clinical research work.
NHS Friends and Family Test
NHS England wants to make patients and the broader public aware of the opportunity to give feedback on their care and treatment that will help to bring about improvements in services.
The Friends and Family Test is a quick, easy and anonymous way to have your say and there have been 17 million responses since it began rolling out three years ago, with more than 90 per cent of them very positive and giving a much-needed morale boost to hard working staff.
It is in place across all NHS trusts, in primary care, mental health, community services and patient transport and patients can give feedback at any time.
25th July 2018
- The business side of the Sea Food Festival; worth millions to Weymouth, says its chairman
- We pay our final visit to Croatia and find out what’s for dinner
- Our feature “Pet Patter“ with vet Malcolm Welshman who has succumbed to “Obsessive Dog Disorder”
- The “doggy bus” from Spain and how Ralf the spaniel, sentenced to death at the Malaga dog pound, found a new home with John’s daughter
- When a “water resistant” watch gets a dunking in the sea; advice on how to dry it out that might just save it from rusting
11th July 2018
- Can you over-water your garden and plants? Naomi from Poundbury Gardens tells us.
- John joined a huge crowd at the Chickerell Show and talks to some exhibitors and a show director.
- We make a visit to the RSPB reserve at Radipole.
- In this next instalment of John’s recent cruise he visits Croatia and the historic city of Dubrovnic.
27th June 2018
- Memory loss is a great fear for oldies. We talk to a Dorset world class memory champion who gives some advice on the subject.
- Going on your hols? Don’t forget to pack your Scrabble – the game is 80 years old and there is a story behind the word game.
- The ‘Pet Patter’ spot. The question posed by vet Malcolm Welshman, “are pets psychic?” He thinks they are.
- To Croatia where John pans for salt and Frances gives a history lesson about a commodity once worth its weight in gold!
13th June 2018
- Snails and slugs – new ways of dealing with them that will not harm garden birds says Lucy, our gardening expert.
- Badgers – our vet Malcolm Welshman gives his views on a creature that gets a bad press.
- “All tourists are b******s” reads the spray paint graffiti on a wall in Venice – really? John visits and finds out if Venice is sinking with visitor numbers.
- We hear about the Chickerell Steam Fair and what’s in the programme this year.
- Careful when using sign language abroad – a guide when giving the thumbs up or, even worse, showing palms uppermost in Greece. Our hand signals that other cultures misinterpret.
- It’s the 13th – but why is it unlucky except for the Chinese?
30th May 2018
- Pretty lights for Weymouth Esplanade. When the scheme’s bright idea went on show, visitors to the public “consultation” were mainly unimpressed. Bring back the garlands of fairy lights seems to be the verdict.
- To Buckland Newton where one man’s creative ideas for slowing down speeding traffic have been dumped for the second time. Do nothing County Council does not approve.
- To Sicily for our story about the Mafia which disapproved of the “Godfather“ films. John visits the Corleone village and is totally unprepared for what happens next as he interviews a cast member.
- Vinyl records. Sales boom but don’t throw out your old ones just yet…they might be worth money.
- What do you do to find your missing mobile phone? There’s an app that will solve this mishap.
16th May 2018
- We visit Portland to hear about the attractiveness of the port to cruise operators. Thirty three ships will visit this year with a beneficial effect on local tourism.
- One attraction that will benefit is the D Day Centre on Portland which welcomed 34,000 visitors last year, three times the expectewd number. We have a report.
- Jobs at sea – great opportunities for young people on cruise ships. We talk to two female officer cadets Molly and Jo (both from the West Country) and their boss on Cunard’s ‘Queen Victoria’.
- Press photographer of the year Ken Lennox tells the story of Kate Adie’s undies – all in the best possible taste…
18th April 2018
- In Pet’s Patter our resident vet Malcolm Welshman talks about ‘Man’s Best Friend’
- Following on from an item in the last programme about driving tests, we discover that Dorchester is the best place in the country to take your driving test! And we talk to Julia Manley, a Dorchester driving instructor
- We make no apologies for returning to the ever-present subject of online scams. Plus, do you know what a ferrule is? Amongst other things it was the component of a scam in the 1930s
- The Banff Mountain Film Festival visits Weymouth for one day only. We talk to its organiser Rosie Fuller
- A potted history of the humble Penny….i.e. 1p
- Continuing our feature in the last programme on wedding superstitions
Click the Play button to listen
4th April 2018
- We have an update on the Bus Shelter, the home for up to 17 homeless people in Weymouth, from its founder Emily MacCarron
- Why do French waiters appear rude? We tell you and offer some tips on dining in France
- Women drivers – they are safer drivers than men
- April gardening tips by Lucy from Poundbury Gardens
- The first part of some fascinating facts about weddings
- Andy’s Funny Bone features another comedy classic
21st March 2018
- Ridgeway Magazine vet Malcolm Welshman gets up close to Jonathan the tortoise. At186 he, the tortoise, is the world’s oldest land animal.
- John talks about his afternoon with Ken Dodd and remembers the occasions they worked together.
- Publications – the Beano is 100 years old and Exchange and Mart is 150. Well, that’s just Dandy as we take a look at comics.
- Weymouth’s lukewarm reception for the local council’s ideas for the Peninsular site beside the harbour; we report.
- Weymouth’s town museum re-opens in a new and improved venue.
7th March 2018
- Irritating phone calls? There could be scammers “phishing” for your personal details. We tell you how to stop them free of charge through the Telephone Preference Service.
- We list eight sure fire ways to spot a scam and warn against some old fashioned con tricks still doing the rounds including Ponzi schemes and pyramid selling.
- Table manners and will children stop using knives, forks and spoons? A historian tells us who invented cutlery and why it was important to be born with a silver spoon in your mouth.
- Pet Patter investigates hamsters courtesy of Ridgeway Magazine’s resident vet.
- We look at the history of crosswords and challenge listeners to answer clues from the first ever printed 105 years ago. Not many clues but we defy you to get them right.
21st February 2018
- Town and district councillor, David Taylor, is our studio guest and talks about the question of the future of the charter market. If shops are built on the market site, will Dorchester become a town of two halves?
- Weymouth councillor Alison Reed puts the case for Weymouth becoming a town council…in other words a parish council, and what’s in it for the town when it joins the unitary authority.
- A warning from Dorset Police to be on our guard against fraudsters pretending to be police officers. We hear a recording of an actual phone fraud in progress.
- We list a few events for which 2018 is an anniversary year.
- Who remembers Max Collie and his Rhythm Aces? We air an appreciation and receive a cd for the Ridgeway Community Radio sale of music appeal.
- Got a wedding coming up? Why not hire a wind-up gramophone plus 78s specially for the occasion. Mike Coslett from Bridport has all you need.
7th February 2018
- Vindictive Valentine cards? As well as sweet sentiments and soppy poems, 150 years ago there were also cards for cads and pigs…..male, of course. They are on display at the Priest House Museum, Wimborne.
- The ancient Roman way of romance entailed violence to young women. Saint Valentine was not amused and lost his head to the Emperor Claudius, but not before he left a love message to a young girl…and started something!
- Gardening tips – how to use ash and soot in the garden. Slugs and snails do not like it.
- Even pets get the January Blues as we are told in this instalment of ‘Pet Patter’.
- Five things you must do before you go on holiday. And how you might beat the price hike for a passport.
- News from Ridgeway Community Radio: plans for a ginormous fundraising sale of vinyl records, CDs, music videos and DVDs.
- A Sneak Peek of the work in making the Shire Hall in Dorchester an historical experience to really look forward to.
24th January 2018
- Enigma, the German military encoding machine, drew a full house at the Corn Exchange when it went on show as part of a talk given by world authority Dr. Mark Baldwin on how the enemy codes were devised and then broken. He tells Ridgeway Magazine Enigma was invented 20 years before the war and was sold in shops.
- Weymouth’s early history will have to be re-written…research shows the Black Death and great plague did not start with rats jumping ship in the port.
- Where have all the newspaper delivery boys and girls gone? Broadwey Village stores still delivers newspaper but the number of boys and girls have halved in recent years and the conditions of employment (yes, really!) have tightened.
- Second Chance, the Weymouth charity which collects and sells re-conditioned furniture and appliances to needy folk has closed – but there is still Dorset Reclaim as we report.
- Is art worth collecting? No, we are told, buy what you really like.
- And we invite listeners to play our song title game, courtesy of broadcaster and jazz band leader Chris Walker.
10th January 2018
- Dorset Police invited John to join them in the hunt for illicit drug dealers who take over vulnerable people’s homes.
- The circus….a British innovation. It lives on but not in the new film’s way.
- John has lunch in Madeira – you cook the meat yourself.
- New Year resolutions – blame the ancients for the idea. But who keeps them?
- A warning to avoid ‘shyster’, or copycat websites which try to sell you a new passport, driving licence, EHIC Card, and others, for MUCH more cash than you NEED to pay.
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13th December 2017
- Retired vet Malcolm Welshman talks about the dangers of treating your pet too well at Christmas…pets can over-indulge as well!
- Lucy, our gardening expert, gives advice on how to make plants gifted at Christmas last into the new year and beyond.
- We visit the National Coast Watch look out post on Portland and hear how watch keepers, all volunteers, help keep seafarers safe.
- The Dull Men’s Club of Great Britain celebrates the ordinary with gifting ideas and a report of not very exciting activities during the year!
- Plus some terrible Christmas cracker jokes. You have been warned!
29th November 2017
- Matt Smith, whose 10 ‘colossal’ challenges have raised £45,000 for Weldmar, talks live in the studio about fundraising
- Regular contributor and retired vet Malcolm Welshman talks to the owls
- The Somerset and Dorset Air Ambulance has a new £8 million aircraft called ‘Pegasus’
- Sandwiches – big business worth £8 billion; we munch the figures and tell the history
- Why the suggested Weymouth to Waterloo alternative route via Yeovil by train is a daft idea
15th November 2017
- Andy Worth, chairman of Ridgeway Radio, talks about the plans for community radio in Dorchester and the surrounding area.
- John gets “nicked” for speeding and reports on attendance at a Speed Awareness Course, “better than three points on my driving licence,” he says.
- A report on gambling and the addiction to Fixed Odd Betting Terminals – the facts will amaze.
- We hear about a man called Dora who never bought a round of drinks…why?
- Poundbury Garden Centre’s Lisa Bond talks about her allotment in winter.
1st November 2017
- We have an update on finding a suitable site for the “Bus Shelter” that will sleep 17 homeless people. But the bus is not moving just yet.
- Ridgeway Magazine vet Malcolm Welshman advises against “Googling” your pet’s health issues. A mis-diagnosis might result.
- Fly tipping is a problem in the county but we meet a man who has built a shop in Weymouth using only waste material.
- Too old to drive safely? We report on Dorset Older Drivers’ Forum sponsored by the Dorset Police and championed by Lord Fellowes.
- Train buff and Antiques Roadshow’s Paul Atterbury on model railways – have they gone too far?
- White rabbits! white rabbits! and a “pinch and a punch for the first of the month!”…but why? We have the answers.
18th October 2017
- Radio One is 50 years old but we celebrate Pirate Radio with our own Geoff Atherton, Ridgeway Radio presenter, former pirate radio DJ and record plugger.
- Elvis died 40 years ago. We mark his passing (did he ever leave?) with an extended interview with Ted Harrison, author of the book “The Death and Resurrection of Elvis Presley”.
4th October 2017
- Lost for words? We read 30 funny old words that have been rediscovered
- What happens to lost luggage? It goes to auction!
- Weymouth Council leader explains the North Quay sale problem.
- Pet Patter: our vet talks about saving a python which had swallowed its heating pad.
- Lost your umbrella on the underground? The lost property office dealt with 332,000 items last year.
- War on waste – how long do things take to biodegrade?
- Have you forgotten about a personal pension paid into at work? We tell you how to track it down. Useful info to accompany this item: to trace forgotten pensions phone 0345 600 2537, or go to this website www.gov.uk/find-pension-contact-details or write to Pensions Tracing Service 9, Mail Handling Site A, Wolverhampton WV98 1LU. Note, the Government’s service is free whereas commercial companies providing the same service will charge you.
20th September 2017
- So you want to be a fire fighter? Section Commander at Weymouth Fire Station, Dave Allen, tells us about the job.
- The 999 emergency number is 80 years old and we chart its progress and warn about making hoax calls.
- ERNIE, the machine that chooses Premium Bond winners is 60 this year. He’s chosen prizes valued at £17 billion
- School hols – do want four or five short breaks a year?
- Lucy from Poundbury Gardens gives her tips for September.
- Concluding our series on the history of the cinema – it’s all change at the flicks these days.
6th September 2017
- Weymouth Pavilion is now the best show in town after four years of community ownership.
- We talk to the Mad Hatters of Bridport at Hatterday’s festival.
- Our vet and animal expert Malcolm Welshman answers the question, “Where have all the swallows gone?”
- Some fruity remarks by our MPs about what they call each other.
23rd August 2017
In this edition we go to France for a snapshot of life across the channel taking in:
- ‘Le cricket’
- McDonalds with knives and forks
- What President Macron has been up to
- A report on what happens if you lose your passport whilst abroad
- We re-visit the Horse Course
- We visit a lady who rescues hedgehogs
- And take your seats for part two of our Romance of the Cinema
9th August 2017
Four legs good, two legs bad. This edition features animals.
- Vet Malcolm Welshman tells us how dogs communicate – is the tail wagging up, down or sideways?
- A dog whisperer (yes really!) talks to a mixed-up dog about its unhappy past.
- We visit the Horse Course where mixed-up adults and children find that horses can change their moods.
- The pig is man’s best friend….discuss.
- Those clever children from Damers First School are still selling their prizewinning ‘Spic and Span’ product. We visit Poundbury Farmer’s Market and meet them again.
19th July 2017
- To the Norwegian fjords where folk have to have two jobs to survive.
- Know a wolverine: the mad dog-like predator that can climb trees and kills sheep for fun!
- Politics: in Norway, even the fish voted no! to the EU.
- We go below decks on a mighty cruise ship and the captain reads a letter form a 10 year old.
- Follow-up story: winning Damers First School do it again.
- In the week the Dunkirk film is released, we hear about “My Girl” and her float-on part.
5th July 2017
- Two budding business brains aged eight and nine talk about creating an eco-friendly product for a national young entrepreneurs competition.
- We list the top 10 films of all time and learn the movies were a British, not Hollywood, invention.
- Credit cards: the “flexible friend” is 51 and the ATM is 50 years old.
- Did “World No Tobacco Day” pass you by? We investigate puff, snuff and statistical stuff.
- Barbara Purnell, chair of Friends of DCH, reprises their work.
21st June 2017
- You can go on a Hard Hat Tour of the Shire Hall in Dorchester which will reopen as a heritage centre next year. We report on progress.
- The Decadettes give us a tune or two resplendent in their Poppy Dresses while they collect money for the Royal British Legion.
- We talk to Poppy Butcher, organiser of Weymouth’s Military Vehicle Parade, now in her eighties and just as well organised as the young secretary she once was on D Day.
- Do pets look like their owners? Ridgeway Magazine’s vet Malcolm Welshman tells us.
- Railway trivia – some stories from life on the lines.
- Lisa Bond from Poundbury Garden Centre takes to her allotment for the third time.
- Dorset Police with a serious warning about fraud – don’t let it happen to you.
7th June 2017
- We have an interview with antiques expert Eric Knowles, of Antiques Roadshow fame, who was recently in Dorchester.
- Travelling abroad? Check if you need a Visa as well as your passport, a Dorchester travel agent advises.
- Should old men wear shorts not to mention back-to-front baseball caps?
- We look at the history of trousers and how a Royal accident became a trouser fashion.
- The new Friends’ shop in the hospital has something for everyone.
- Weymouth’s Colwell Centre reopens as the School Street Shopping Plaza – we pay a visit.
24th May 2017
- With 2 billion people expected to speak English by 2020, Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) pays well and we tell you how to get on a course.
- Our feature “Pets Patter”, with retired vet and author Malcolm Welshman, tells us how to make a cat do what YOU want!
- Where is the “Bus Shelter”, a converted bus which will sleep 20 homeless people, to park? “Not here!” say Weymouth councillors.
- Gardening tips concentrate on slugs and other pests.
- We report on the newest must-have, reconditioned wind-up gramophones.
10th May 2017
- Good use for an old double decker bus. We report on one being converted into a “bus shelter” for rough sleepers
- Dorset Police are asking for volunteers from villages to join “Community Speed Watch” while the French Police aim to issue 12 million speeding tickets with the help of new sophisticated radar traps.
- Meanwhile the Community Car Scheme in Dorset needs volunteer drivers to take folk to hospital and doctors’ surgeries.
- Want to squeeze inside a WW2 tank, “drive” a Jeep and shoot down a plane? The Portland D Day Centre is hands-on war!
19th April 2017
- Dorset Police give a timely warning about the safe disposal of marine distress flares. A weekend collection of out-of-date flares saw 2,000 handed in, the oldest dating from 1964.
- We take a look at the history of holidays for the workers and found Britain has only eight public hols while the rest of Europe averages 11.
- A report on the still-closed Colwell Centre, Weymouth, reveals some interesting facts about an unofficial Tourist Information Centre.
- Two Weymouth stories – has the “decaying”town been smartened up for summer and a report on the Lions’ Club “wave wade” for charity.
- Finally, Marmite – the funny peculiar facts.
29th March 2017
- Our gardening expert Lucy Simpson, from Poundbury Gardens, tells us about the garden in springtime.
- In Pet Patter we talk to our resident vet Malcolm Welshman about animals that are mimics.
- We’ll have to forgive John on his rant about South West Trains’ bus replacement services which are weekend events at the moment.
- Should we all ‘man up’? Not according to a university which has banned the use of the descriptive word ‘man’ in lectures and on campus.
- With the introduction of the new one pound coin we wonder if you have a forged pound in your pocket – if so get rid of it quickly.
8th March 2017
- Ridgeway Magazine went on patrol with Dorset Police in the search of mobile phone users. The new law was explained together with a warning that a “stop” by Police might end with your car being seized!
- A million visitors are expected in Weymouth; we look at some of the 250 events and festivals planned for 2017.
- We follow up the story about dilapidated Weymouth with Rachel Stretton from the Dorset Echo.
- The leader of Weymouth council talks about plans for the Peninsular (Pavilion) site.
- We have a special report on loneliness among young people with psychoanalyst and counsellor Alison Moore.
22nd February 2017
- We take a walk around Weymouth in the company of a local resident who has shamed the council in to smartening up the town centre.
- Pet Patter – Do pets really have a sense of humour, with Malcolm Welshman.
- What’s good enough for charity shops and what’s not.
- The advice given to rail passengers for their own safety….150 years ago!
- Lucy Simpson from Poundbury Gardens gives us gardening tips for this time of year.
8th February 2017
- Food wastage and an appeal from Weymouth based charity, Soul Food, for working fridges and freezers.
- We re-visit a previous item about writing a will. Cowboy will writers? Yes, they exist!
- We talk to a tattoo artist with a cosmetic difference, who has had 8 million hits online since her story went viral!
- Finally, a timely reminder for Valentines Day and how did it all begin?
25th January 2017
- Cleaning Up After Fido? Dog poo was once called “pure” and was collected for money.
- US Presidents were a weird bunch and we looked at their gifts and foibles.
- New Year Resolutions for pets, with our studio guest, author and vet Malcolm Welshman.
- Texting While Walking You could be fined in America.
- Tax Returns The dog ate my tax papers and other excuses unlikely to impress HMRC when not filing tax returns.
- Visit to Norway Ridgeway Radio’s visit, with John, to Norway’s capital, Oslo, to a Viking museum, and no, the Vikings did not wear helmets with horns.
11th January 2017
- The right and wrong ways to write a will
- Getting married at sea
- Careers aboard cruise liners
- New Year’s Resolutions – did you make any and will you keep them?
14th December 2016
- Is Santa Claus past his sell-by date? (Hmmm, controversial!)
- As the ‘tummy bug’ season arrives, we have an ‘Odd Ode’ about hygiene in the kitchen (courtesy, Cyril Fletcher)
- Advice on how to prevent fraudsters getting their hands on you hard earned cash
- Pet Patter – are our pets psychic?
- We follow the progress of our allotment novice who grew 23 varieties of potato
30th November 2016
- Cyber Crime. Are you among the 1 in 4 Brits who have been affected?
- The empty Weymouth Council Offices and why local councillors are powerless to decide the future of the buildings.
- Being invited to dinner in a grand house 300 years ago. Did you know that, as a guest, you were expected to take your own knife, fork, spoon and potty!?
- Battlefield Tours. Featuring the Western Front Association, based in Pimperne.
9th November 2016
- Pet Patter – Vet Malcolm Welshman talks about animals who watch TV
- BBC TV is 90 years old
- What happened to “Penny for The Guy”?
- Drunk as a Lord – where did that saying come from?
26th October 2016
- Take-away food and the way it’s changing our eating habits.
- Local MP Richard Drax talks about the final months of the Search & Rescue helicopter and plans for the future.
- Richard Drax also talks of the hope for survival of the Land Registry Office which has been threatened with closure or privatisation.
- The Driving Test is 80 years old. We take a look back at its beginnings.
- Autumn gardening tips from Poundbury Gardens’ Lucy Simpson.
12th October 2016
- Why is Weymouth among the 10 unhappiest places to live? Two views; journalist Harry Walton lists Weymouth’s faults and good points and guest house proprietor can only see the best. The peninsular site by the harbour; Weymouth council leader Geoff Cant explains the idea for a giant entertainments complex and the in-house finance possibility.
- As the clocks go back, we find the extra hour is 100 years old this year and remember when there were TWO extra hours in summer..
- The national Illegal Lending Team has got its collective eye on Dorset loan sharks with a phone number to report usurers.
- Finally, examine the small change in your pocket. Some coins are worth £10’s and £100’s and we tell you which.
28th September 2016
- Pet Patter – a new monthly feature with vet Malcolm Welshman
- News of the closure of Weymouth’s seafront loos
- And Odd Ode about poor Sonia Snell – spent a penny but caused her hell!
- Ron Bowers, retired Los Angeles Police Department Prosecutor, on the American way of justice.
14th September 2016
- The Fire of London – recently remembered on its 350th anniversary, was nothing compared to the Great Fire of Dorchester which in 1613 almost destroyed the entire town of 2,000 souls. Local historian Kate Hebditch tells the story.
- High Speed History – A young art expert was challenged to relate the history of art in five minutes …she did it in eight!
- Seagulls – A local councillor set out the initiative that has been taken to discourage people from feeding gulls by sticking advisory labels on takeaway food packaging. Can seagulls read?
- Interviews by Los Angeles Police Department – Another in the series of interviews by Los Angeles Police Department prosecutor describing crimes committed by the “dumbest” criminals.
- Gardening tips for September. Lucy Simpson from Poundbury Gardens joins us once again with some very useful advice.
31st August 2016
We look in to the possible demise of local tourist information centres. Joining in the discussion are David Taylor, town and district councillor, and Alison Weller, Chair of Weymouth Hoteliers, Guest Houses and Leaseholders Association. Also in this edition we ask when is a supermarket not super except for its super-inflated prices and investigate our enthusiasm for forensic science with the help of a former Los Angeles Police Department forensic scientist. Finally, continuing the tourist theme, we feature some daft questions asked by tourists!
17th August 2016
We featured an interview with a Los Angeles Police Department Prosecuting Attorney who talked about the history of forensic science which began in England 200 years ago. He brought the subject to life by discussing the mysterious death of Marilyn Monroe which he recently re-investigated as a ‘cold case’. Modern policing was reflected in an interview with the ‘No excuses’ campaign leader in Dorset who talked about the county’s introduction of drug driving tests. Other subjects: when suntans became fashionable replacing the often poisonous pale and interesting look, a wry take on whether the Chinese can build Hinkley Point and why Mr. Punch might be forced to leave his pitch on Weymouth beach.
3rd August 2016
Dorset Police Superintendent Peter Little was a live guest on Ridgeway Magazine and explained why research showed 40 per cent of Dorset parents believe their children are safer playing outside than being on-line. He discussed “stranger danger” in the context of children making “friends” with people they don’t know who could lead them into trouble and what parents should do to install parental controls. Ruth Hayes, gardening editor of “Amateur Gardener”, stood in for our regular gardening expert and gave answers to the most frequently asked questions. We reported on the anniversary of credit cards which are exactly 50 years old, and asked if Britain is living above its means given the startling amount of personal debt.
20th July 2016
Some useful information about the Isle of Wight as John talks to an island Tour Manager. Did you know that the Speaking Clock is 80 years old? – everything you need to know is here. And John concludes his cruise to Russia by talking to the Captain of his cruise ship, The Emerald Princess, as well as the Cruise Director and his assistant who are in charge of the on board activities.
6th July 2016
Part 2 of John’s trip to St Petersburg in Russia, taking in Finland and Poland along the way.
Also, in this edition, txt spk…the acronyms we use when texting or, in years gone by when writing home to our loved ones, including a few you may never have heard of.
22nd June 2016
Part 1 of John’s trip to Russia visiting, en route, Ghent, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Estonia.
The Ridgeway Radio Outside Broadcast Unit went to Russia and many ports on the way. This programme featured Ghent, a canal trip, a report on world famous Belgian chocolate and why the city has 2,000 pubs. John visited Copenhagen and heard about its mermaids, its palaces including the changing of the guard and was told a Hans Christian Anderson story about a little mermaid. Then to Stockholm to see the most amazing museum devoted entirely to a 17th century man of war which, apart from the sails, is virtually complete having been salvaged from “sweet” non- corrosive water. The guide in Estonia talked about the country’s rich flora and fauna which is the backbone of its tourist trade. Its capital Talinn has a medieval charm, a small city where time stands still. There will be more to come from John’s trip in the next edition of Ridgeway Magazine.
Back home, also in this programme, the gardening slot featured a young novice gardener and a visit to her allotment. Under the guidance of Poundbury Gardens (one of our supporters) she told listeners how she started from scratch with no experience in February and, apart from growing 23 varieties of potatoes, is now cropping strawberries, rhubarb and rocket and her broad beans are coming on nicely.
25th May 2016
Subjects in this edition of the Magazine included DCH charity funding for a new cancer facility, Weymouth Pavilion BrExit meeting, gardening tips from Poundbury Garden Centre, and tipping – rubbish and waiters !
30th March 2016 (1)
John Shepherd talked to Martyn Underhill, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset. The interview ranged in topics from policing in Dorset, the new “toys” our police are being equipped with which include drones, personal video cameras for officers, safeguarding children and the number one problem on the horizon, cyber crime.
30th March 2016 (2)
30th March 2016. For the first time we had two studio guests on the same programme. The second was Jill Withey who has been a Samaritan in Dorchester for almost 20 years. She talked about the need for volunteer Samaritans, their suitability and their training. The number one issue for the Samaritans is mental health – 20 years ago it was debt. Do you know that the Samaritans received over 5 million telephone calls in 2014 fielded by 21,000 volunteers.
16th March 2016
Broadcast on 16th March 2016. Topics include Ridgeway’s Radio Daze event, Launderettes and the diappearance of our local pubs. Presented by John Shepherd and Mark Blackford.
The Ridgeway Singers & Band Christmas Concert 2017
Led by Phil Humphries and Tim Laycock, this wonderful Christmas Concert was performed to an enthusiastic audience in the Dorset County Museum on 22nd December 2017. Titled “To Keep Wold Christmas Up” the concert features carols and other traditional tunes from Dorset villages such as Hinton St Mary, Belchalwell, Winterbourne Monkton and several others and readings from the works of Thomas Hardy and William Barnes.
Full programme and list of singers and musicians
“To Keep Wold Christmas Up”
Dorset County Museum
Friday 22nd December 2017
Hark Hark! From the Hinton St Mary manuscripts
Poem: Christmas Invitation by William Barnes
Shepherds Arise. From Dorset Carols collected by Rev. Pickard-Cambridge
In Praise of Dorset Apples by Anna Eveleigh-Morse
The Melbury Wassail. Words collected by Thomas Hardy, music by Tim Laycock, arranged by Phil Humphries
The Green Man Song. From Dorothy Lawrence, tune by Tim Laycock, arranged by Phil Humphries
Tunes: The Speaking Figure / Harlequin Gardener/The Ferryboat. Three superb jigs from Benjamin Rose of Belchalwell in the Blackmore Vale
Grammer’s Shoes by William Barnes
Away Dark Thoughts. Prom Winterborne Monkton, arranged by Dave Townsend
One Night as I lay on my Bed. Collected by Henry and Robert Hammond from Marina Russell of Upwey, arranged by Phil Humphries
Poem: Keepen’ up o’ Christmas by William Barnes
Tunes: Lady Elizabeth’s Hompipe / The Mariner’s Hornpipe
The Ridgeway Carol (One Bright Star) by Tim Laycock, arranged by Phil Humphries. Join in the Chorus!_East to West and West to East, ship to shore and shore to sea, And one bright, one bright star, Shining there for me.
Hark the Herald Angels Sing. From Durweston
Four and Twenty Fiddlers. From Mosterton
Hail Happy Morn!
Peter Allison, Liz Askew, Will Best, Philip Bowell, Lizzie Bryant, Hilary Charlesworth, Debbie Coombes, Gina Dobbins, Peter Dobbins, Rod Drew, Anna Eveleigh-Morse, Derek Farwell, Philip Gamble, Martin Graham, Jan Griffiths, Roger Harrell, Alice Harrell, Joy Joliffe, Perilla Kinchin, Mike Lofthonse, Sue Lofthonse, Lizzie Lucas, Pat March, Jacqueline Mitchell, Joy Parsons, Paul Pinnock, Lyn Pullen, Jo Shackleton, Paul Simpson, Jane Soole, Rose Swann, Furse Swann, Mayling Thirlaway, Felicia Webb, Margaret Whiting
Bridget Bowen, John Dike, Margaret Dike, Bec Freiesleben, Carol Graham, Anita Law, Angela Laycock, Chris Pullen, William Whiting, Roberta Winmill
More information about the Ridgeway Singers
The Ridgeway Singers were formed several years ago as part of a wider Heritage-Lottery-funded project to explore the landscape, literature, music and folk traditions of the South Dorset Ridgeway. Artsreach asked local singer and folklorist Tim Laycock, and well- known trombone player and Mellstock Band member Phil Humphries to research traditional folk songs, carols and instrumental music from the villages around the Ridgeway, and residents were invited to a series of workshops to learn songs and carols. In particular the group looked at the old West Gallery tradition of singing Christmas carols in four part harmony, accompanied by fiddles, flutes, cellos and even the serpent! The first concerts took place in December 2013, and were a great success; people were genuinely excited and delighted to sing and hear local songs and carols performed in churches along the Ridgeway.
A few years later, the Ridgeway Singers have developed their repertoire to include folk songs collected in Dorset by Henry and Robert Hammond, and newly-composed songs inspired by the landscape of the South Dorset Ridgeway. Their performances are characterised by a great sense of energy and enjoyment, and truly recreate the celebratory sound of an old Dorset Christmas.
Brigg Fair to Strawberry Fair
Brigg Fair to Strawberry Fair, a concert performed by Tim Laycock and Colin Thompson, was part of the Cerne Music Festival 2017 and featured the folk songs and tunes that influenced great composers such as Ralph Vaughan Williams, Percy Grainger and Benjamin Britten. Tim and Colin are joined by members of the Gaudier Ensemble including Richard Hosford.
West Gallery Carol Concert
A recording of the concert at St Nicolas Church Abbotsbury performed by the Ridgeway Carollers and Band. The Carols you will hear are part of a local tradition of village music-making that flourished during the eighteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth century. Most churches and chapels had a gallery at the west end of the building, where local musicians would play their instruments and lead the singers in hymns, anthems and Christmas Carols. Thomas Hardy’s father and grandfather played their violins and cellos in Puddletown in the early 1800’s, before moving their allegiance to Stinsford Church. Two of the carols that you will hear today come from the Puddletown repertoire, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to share these splendid and vibrant songs with you. The Ridgeway Singers were created as part Of ‘Rooting Round the Ridgeway’ Project. The project’s aims were to explore the traditional carols, folk song and dance music of the Ridgeway area, and to stimulate the creation of new songs and music inspired by the landscape and the musical traditions of the Ridgeway area Of South Dorset. Although the musical element of the project has now ended, the enthusiasm generated was such that the group was determined to continue, and also to explore a little further into other musical traditions in Dorset; We hope you find the results as entertaining and inspiring as we do!
John Constable and Osmington illustrated in music and stories
Two hundred years ago John Constable and his wife spent their honeymoon at Osmington Vicarage in October and November 1816. From his many expeditions came some of those very famous paintings. This two part show, performed by Tim Laycock and Colin Thompson, celebrates the occasion and is illustrated by music, song, stories and readings. Other aspects of Constable’s life and inspirations, such as Suffolk, Salisbury Cathedral and Stonhenge are also included. Part of the 200th anniversary celebrations of his time in Osmington Village and surrounds, the show was recorded in Osmington Village Hall before an enthusiastic audience.
Part 1, 46 mins
Part 2, 50 mins
William Barnes Music and Poetry
As part of the Victorian Fayre at Dorset County Museum, on 21st Feb 2016, a presentation of music and poetry by William Barnes was performed by Tim Laycock, Brian Caddy, John Blackmore, Charles Buckler, Dave Burbidge, Hillary Charlesworth and Devina Symes.
‘Going The Rounds’ performed by The New Hardy Players
Discover the old Dorset Christmas tradition of ‘Going The Rounds’ in Thomas Hardy’s day immortilised in his novel Under the Greenwood Tree. This 2 hour long presentation features carols and readings performed by the New Hardy Players, Choir and Band, led by Tim Laycock and Phil Humphries.
Ridgeway Radio’s Andy Worth describes the scene and superbly captures the spirit of the times in this recording with contributions from many of the participants. He joins around 130 folk at Hardy’s Cottage, Higher Bockhampton, and the new Hardy Visitor Centre in Thorcombe Wood before moving on to Kingston Maurward, with the event concluding at St Michael’s Church, Stinsford.
A Christmas gem.
Click here for more information
A local version of Going the Rounds was devised 29 years ago by Furse Swann and acted out bi-yearly by the Hampshire based Madding Crowd until 2013. This year, 2015, Tim Laycock was invited to take on on the organisation of a new approach to the event, which adds theatrical and musical elements to the traditional proceedings. With the help of the New Hardy Players, the Ridgeway Singers and Band (Conductor: Alastair simpson), the Frome Valley Mummers, plus some members of the Madding Crowd; Tim Laycock, Phil Humphries, and Furse Swann, all created an exciting promenade performance based on Hardy’s ‘Under the Greenwood Tree’, that took an enthusiatic audience on a two and a half hour journey around locations in Higher and Lower Bockhampton, through the grounds of Kingston Maurward, finishing with West Galley singing, readings, and a Mummers play in St Michael’s church at Stinsford.
An Old Dorset Christmas performed by The Ridgeway Singers and Band
(Please note The Ridgeway Singers are not connected with Ridgeway Radio but we share a similar name taken from the Ridgeway hill between the towns of Weymouth and Dorchester. We are very grateful to Phil Humphries, Tim Laycock, The Ridgeway Singers and Band and Artsreach for permission to reproduce the concert here)
Introduction by Tim Laycock
“The Ridgeway Singers were formed 3 years ago as part of a wider Heritage-Lottery-funded project to explore the landscape, literature, music and folk traditions of the South Dorset Ridgeway. Artsreach asked local singer and folklorist Tim Laycock, and well- known trombone player and Mellstock Band member Phil Humphries to research traditional folksongs, carols and instrumental music from the villages around the Ridgeway, and residents were invited to a series of workshops to learn songs and carols. In particular the group looked at the old West Gallery tradition of singing Christmas carols in four part harmony, accompanied by fiddles, flutes, cellos and even the serpent! The first concerts took place in December 2013, and were a great success; people were genuinely excited and delighted to sing and hear local songs and carols performed in churches along the Ridgeway.
Three years on, the Ridgeway Singers have developed their repertoire to include folk songs collected in Dorset by Henry and Robert Hammond, and newly-composed songs inspired by the landscape of the South Dorset Ridgeway. Their performances are characterised by a great sense of energy and enjoyment, and truly recreate the celebratory sound of an old Dorset Christmas. Here they are in full flight in St Mary’s Church, Cerne Abbas, and they begin with a dance tune written in 1815 , appropriately called Waterloo.”
The Keep Military Museum, Dorchester
A journey through military history
Ridgeway Radio was at The Keep Military Museum Dorchester, where a documentary feature on aspects of the WW1 Centenary, and the WW2 Far Eastern Campaign, in 1945, were recorded with the Museum’s Curator Chris Copson. Much prominence was given to the Dorset Regiments’ action in these theatres of war. Within the museum, two of the locations we recorded at were a reconstruction of a WW1 trench, complete with realistic sound effects and at Hitler’s Desk from the Berlin Reich Chancellery. Our warmest thanks to Chris for giving his time to us. The four interviews are below:
The Trenches 1. The Trenches
Gallipoli 2. Gallipoli
Hitler’s Desk 3. Hiltler’s Desk
The Forgotten Army 4. The Forgotten Army
We frequently invite local guests to take part in our programmes and talk about their lives and interests. Our guests either join us in the studio or are interviewed on location. Some of these interviews are part of our ‘In Conversation’ series whilst others were part of another programme.
Andy Senior talks to Lucinda Osmond about her book ‘A Sweet Life: Growing up in a Dorset sweet shop’.
A visit to Swanage Lifeboat Station for Andy Senior who talks to Coxwain and Mechanic, Dave Turnbull.
Andy Senior talks to Chain-saw Wood Sculptor Simon Vaughan at his roadside pitch near Wareham.
Andy Grant, from Dorset Gliding Club, talks to Andy Senior about his gliding experiences.
David Hollister, journalist, former pop group roadie, former radio presenter, from the Harmans Cross area of Purbeck, talks to Andy Senior.
The Reverend Anita Thorne talks about her life to Peter Foster.
Peter Foster in conversation with broadcaster Alan Jennings.
Antiques expert and jazz enthusiast Paul Atterbury of Antiques Roadshow fame talks to Peter Foster.
Robert Parkes talks to Peter Foster about all things printing and publishing in this conversation.
Armed Forces Day in Dorchester 2018
The annual Armed Forces Day Celebrations were held in the Dorchester Borough Gardens on Saturday 7th July 2018. Listen to our recording of the live broadcast featuring the Civic Service led by The Revd Richard Press. Also taking part were the Mayor of Dorchester, Councillor David Taylor, and Military Veterens. Entertainment by the Durnovaria Silver Band and Last Gasp folk group. Master of Ceremonies, Barry White. Commentary by Jim Davis, OB production Andy Venton and Andy Worth, with Andy Senior in the studio. Length – 2hrs 33mins
D Day Commemoration 6th June 2018
Peter Foster sets the scene for this annual service outside The Keep in Dorchester.
Dorchester Remembers 2017
Each year Ridgeway Radio broadcasts the Service of Remembrance held at the Dorchester War Memorial. If you would like to hear listen to the broadcast click the play button below. This year we also include two other short Remembrance services.
The 2017 Remembrance Service held at the Dorchester War Memorial, broadcast on 12th November.
Chairman’s Remembrance Service held outside County Hall, Dorchester, on 9th November.
Thomas Hardye School Remembrance ceremony held at the school’s Memorial Gates on 10th November and attended by the entire school of approx 2,600 students, plus staff.
Armed Forces Day in Dorchester 2017
The annual Armed Forces Day Celebrations were held in the Dorchester Borough Gardens on Saturday 1st July 2017. Listen to our recording of the live broadcast featuring the Civic Service led by Canon Thomas Woodhouse, Team Rector of Dorchester and the Winterbournes. Also taking part were the Mayor of Dorchester, Councillor Susie Hosford, and Military Veterens. Entertainment by the Durnovaria Silver Band, pupils from St Osmunds School and The Decadettes. Master of Ceremonies, Alistair Chisholm. Commentary by Jim Davis, OB production Andy Venton and Andy Worth, with Andy Senior in the studio. Length – 2hrs 49mins
Dorchester Carnival 2017
A commentary of the procession by Jim Davis and Andy Senior
D Day Service of Commemoration 6th June 2017
A Service commemorating the 73rd anniversary of the D Day Landings, held outside The Keep Military Museum in Dorchester on 6th June 2017. Recorded on a very windy day which, unfortunately, is rather noticeable on this recording. Jim Davis describes the scene.
Rifles Parade 23rd April 2017
Commentator Jim Davis.
Opening of new Friends of DCH Shop 16th May 2017
On 16th May 2017 we attended the opening of the new, re-located, Friends of Dorset County Hospital Shop. Peter Foster described the scene and spoke to many of the volunteers involved in this much-valued service. Click the play button to listen to our coverage of the event.
The Service of Thanksgiving to celebrate the 90th birthday of Her Majesty The Queen
Organised by Churches Together in Dorchester and area, which was broadcast live from St Peter’s Church, Dorchester, on 11th June 2016. Taking part in the service were:
Canon Thomas Woodhouse, Team Rector of Dorchester and The Winterbournes and Chair of Churches Together
The Choir of St Peter’s Church, Director Philip Lange
Organist, Peter Oakes
The Revd Claire McClelland, Team Vicar of Dorchester and The Winterbournes Team Ministry
The Mayor of Dorchester, Cllr Tim Harries
The Right Reverend Graeme Knowles CVO
Chris Warren, Vice-Chair, Churches Together in Dorchester and area
Sir Philip Williams, High Sherriff of Dorset
The Congregation of 100+
Grateful thanks to Churches Together, everyone who took part and St Peter’s Church in particular, for their cooperation and help in making this broadcast.
12 noon on the 29th September 2016. Ridgeway Radio’s President and Dorchester Town Crier, wearing full ceremonial costume as he did for the rest of the day, gave a special cry at Dorchester’s Town Pump proclaiming the 50th anniversay of hospital radio in Dorchester to a large group of passers by which was broadcast live via phone to our listeners.
Jim Davis visits the Dorchester Scout Post with Oliver Bear in December 2015. Jim spoke to Debbie Thomas, organiser of the Dorchester Scout Post, and Ruth Young, Dorchester and West Dorset Cubs. The Cubs will be celebrating their centenary nationally in December 2016 and we hope to be covering associated Dorchester events for Ridgeway Radio.
Scout Post 2015
An overview of Ridgeway Radio presented by Amanda Yates.
Hospital Radio Awards entries
Our entry in the Best Speech Category of the Hospital Radio Awards 2017 – Centenary of British Summertime. The entry is an item from the 12th October 2016 edition of Ridgeway Magazine presented by John Shepherd which is broadcast weekly on a Wednesday at 11am.
UPDATE: Although we were unsuccessful in being placed in the top three this year, we are proud to have been a finalist in this category.
Our entry in the Special Event category of the Hospital Radio Awards 2016. The Christmas Day Special, presented by Peter and Heather Foster whilst aboard the Swanage Railway, was nominated as a finalist in the top ten.
Our entry in the ‘Best Newcomer’ category of the Hospital Radio Awards 2014, presented by Dom Cornfield.
Our entry in the ‘Best programme with multiple presenters’ category of the Hospital Radio Awards 2014, presented by The Kingfisher Club.
Our entry in the ‘Best Newcomer’ category of the Hospital Radio Awards 2015, presented by Aidan Carter.
Highlights of the visit of HM The Queen who opened phase 2 of Dorset County Hospital in 1998. It was the winning entry in the Special Event category of the Hospital Radio Awards.
From The Archives
Hugh Scully, of Antiques Roadshow fame, is in conversation with Peter Foster at an edition of the long running series made at Athelhampton House, near Dorchester, in 1998.
Peter interviews gardener and TV personality Alan Titchmarsh when, in 1999, he visited Dorset County Hospital to plant a special rose dedicated to Dr Jo Taylor in recognition of her work with the Renal Unit.
Westminster Abbey was the location for this interview with BBC commentator John Snagge made in 1978.
Probably best known for his cricket commentaries, Brian Johnston is in conversation with Peter in a recording made in 1985.
The original audio overview of Ridgeway Radio presented by Amanda Yates and featuring many past and current presenters.
Index – click a letter to reveal the list. Selecting an item in the lists will open a category on the left with the relevant audio piece
Careers at sea
Chain-saw wood sculptor
Children's online safety
Christmas Day Special
Chickerell Show preview
Chickerell Show visit
Christmas plant tips
Cinema, history of 1
Cinema, history of 2
Clinical Research at DCH
Community car scheme
Community speed watch
Cowboy will writers
Credit cards 50 years old
Credit cards revisited
Crown Princess ship
Damers School enterprise
Damers School winners
Damers School winners at Poundbury Farmers' Market
David Taylor 31/08/16
David Taylor 21/02/18
D Day Service
Delapidated Weymouth 1
Delapidated Weymouth 2
Don't over-indulge your pet at Christmas
Do Pets Look Like Owners?
Dorchester Carnival 2017
Dorchester Remembers 2017
Dorset Gliding Club
Dorset Older Drivers' Forum
Driving when using phone
Dorset Police drugs bust
Dull Men's Club, The
Scam phone calls
School Street Shopping Plaza
Scout Post 2015
Search & Rescue Helicopter
September Gardening Tips 2016
September Gardening Tips 2017
Serious Fraud Warning
Service of Thanksgiving
Shop from waste material
Sign Language caution abroad!
Slugs & Snails
Speed Awareness Course
St Peter's Services
War on waste
Watches - water-'proof' or 'resistant'
Wedding superstitions 1
Wedding superstitions 2
Western Front Assoc.
West Gallery Carol Concert
Weymouth Council Offices 1
Weymouth Council Offices 2
Weymouth Events 2017
Weymouth Pavilion site
Weymouth Pavilion success
Weymouth Seafood Festival
Weymouth Seafront Lights
Weymouth to Waterloo alternative route
Weymouth Town Museum
William Barnes Poetry & Music
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