Get ready for five more years with the Girls Around Town!

Although your favourite show is off air at the moment, as Newark and the rest of the UK headed towards the eighth week of lockdown there was good news for the town, Radio Newark – 107.8FM and the Girls Around Town

After five years broadcasting live 24 hours a day, seven days a week from its purpose-built studios at Barnby Road Academy, the station has now been awarded a second five-year licence by Ofcom, securing its future all the way to 2025.

Which means that as soon as lockdown restrictions are lifted JuneRosalynRachel and Claire will be back in the studio between 10am and 12 noon every Sunday, chatting to lots of lovely guests and keeping their equally lovely listeners entertained and informed for a very long time to come!

Watch this space to find out when they’ll be back on air and, in the meantime, find out what two of the station’s directors had to say when they spoke to June about the new licence and what it means for the whole team, the town and the local community.

First up it’s technical director Phil Johnson, who began by looking back to the station’s beginnings. “As someone who’s worked in local radio for many years, when I moved to Newark I was keen to explore the possibility of setting up a new community station within the town,” he said.

“The idea very quickly became a reality after a conversation with the then headmaster of Barnby Road Academy at a parents’ evening. Within weeks, we’d accepted his generous offer to set up a studio in the school and started to recruit a team of experienced presenters ready to take to the airwaves as soon as we were given the nod by Ofcom.”

Almost a year to the day after trial broadcasting began in November 2013, Radio Newark – 107.8 FM was granted its first five-year licence and full time broadcasting began on Saturday 2 May 2015.

“Since then, it’s been a roller-coaster of a ride for everyone involved,” added Phil. “We’ve had our ups and downs of course but through it all the unwavering support we’ve had from so many organisations and individuals has ensured we’ve achieved what we set out to do and created a station that is truly at the heart of the community.

“Installing a new transmitter in the tower of Newark’s parish church has extended and improved our reach locally while the development of two free apps has enabled us to increase engagement across the country and the world, with over 70,000 unique listeners tuning in online to the FM station and the commercial station Radio Newark DAB  last year alone.“

A member of the board of directors since it all began, former Mayor of Newark Tony Roberts was appointed managing director of the station last year. “From the very start, I’ve seen first-hand just how much hard work and dedication everyone has put into giving the town a radio station of which it can be proud,” he said.

“Whether they’re presenting excellent live shows on air, providing valuable business and technical support, working with local businesses to help promote the town, engaging with children from local schools or taking part in a wide range of events, they’re all passionate about what they do and why they do it.

“It’s no coincidence that one of the one of the phrases most often associated with the station, heard regularly on air and used in many of its promotions, is ‘We Love Newark’. Those three words sum up perfectly not only their own feelings about the town and the station but also their dedication to inspiring the same pride in Newark among its businesses and residents.

“Spurred on by the news of the second five-year licence, which comes at what is for all of us such an unsettled time, it’s great to have a brighter future on which to focus. The directors are already exploring different ways to build on past successes by working even more closely with the community, especially where local schools and families are concerned

“I’m immensely proud to have been part of what we’ve achieved so far and, along with everyone else involved, I look forward to helping to build on that success in the years to come.”

The board of directors all paid tribute to everyone involved, thanking not only the 18 volunteers who between them gave 6,960 hours of their time over the past 12 months alone but also the school, the district and town councils, local businesses, St Mary Magdalene parish church, guests taking part in several of the shows and listeners in Newark and beyond, whose continuing support has helped the station to achieve its aims over the last five years.

Like them, the Girls Around Town have their eyes firmly fixed on the future and they’re raring to go – make sure you’re ready to join them on 107.8FM when the next leg of the journey begins!

Newark Book Festival needs YOU!

 

If you were one of the thousands of visitors to last year’s Newark Book Festival, you’ll recognise some of the scenes in this video – you might even catch sight of yourself in there somewhere too!

Events like this don’t just happen, of course – they take a lot of hard work and dedication on the part of the organisers…

Heading up the team responsible for bringing it all together is artistic director Sara Bullimore, who joins the Girls Around Town in the first hour of next weekend’s show to talk about the 2020 Festival.

Dates are already confirmed – make a note, Thursday 9 to Sunday 12 July – and so is this year’s theme, which will celebrate and explore change, milestones and anniversaries, creativity and culture over the past 100 years.

Tune in to 107.8FM or listen online from 10am and 11am next Sunday, when Sara will be updating June and Rachel on some of the things in store. She’ll have details too of how you can help support this popular event – find out how to become a Festival Friend, a stallholder, a volunteer or – if you’re a business owner – how to become a sponsor for 2020.

And equally importantly, how and where to find out more as plans progress and tickets are released for what’s guaranteed to be an even bigger and better Festival than the three that have gone before!

Discovering Bingham

In the first of a series of shows about how to Be a tourist in your own town, a couple of months ago June and Rachel took a closer look at a few of the attractions Newark has to offer.

You’ll probably remember the premise – how easy it is to overlook the things right on your doorstep when planning days out with friends and family.

Well, next weekend it’s time to focus on another Nottinghamshire treasure, just a few miles up the road…

And who better to point June – and you! – in the right direction than Ophelia Marshall, the founder of Rural Retail, with a little help from the Girls Around Town‘s new guest presenter Claire?

They’ll be explaining what it is they love about living and working in the pretty little town of Bingham and sharing details of some of the things that just might tempt you to head over there for a visit.

Voted The Best Place To Bring Up A Family a few years ago, Bingham is just nine miles away from both Nottingham and Newark, is easy to reach by train or car and has held a market charter since 1341.

These days, regular markets and farmers markets are held alongside The Buttercross in the town centre and Ophelia will be describing some of the things you’ll find among its stalls and in the shops nearby.

And with attractions such as Langar‘s Naturescape Wildflower Farm and the 16th century Holme Pierrepont Hall just a stone’s throw away, the surrounding area offers plenty of choice if you’re looking for a family day out, whether you want to explore 70 acres of meadow and woodland walks or step back in time to the days of the Tudors and the English Civil War.

Tune in to 107.8FM or listen online (don’t forget to choose the FM stream when you do!) between 10am and 12 noon on Sunday to find out what’s on offer in and around Bingham and, whether you’re a resident or a visitor, how to make the most of this thriving little town…