Bringing people to the airwaves

Paul Ewers, the founder of Brill Radio
Paul Ewers, the founder of Brill Radio

A village radio station, first launched a decade ago and now playing music full time, is still going strong.

Brill 1449 first took to the airwaves in December 2004 on short term Restricted Service Licences (RSLs), originally launched under the name Brill Oldies, and specialised in playing music up to 1979.

Previously it broadcast only for two weeks at a time over Christmas and during August.

Paul Ewers, 67, the station’s founder said: “We were turned down for a community radio licence in 2008.

“They said this was because of limited frequency space which was disappointing.

“We have always streamed live online and we have a good reception in places like Thame because it is high up.”

The station launched full-time on September 1 2013 and is now called Brill 1449.

It broadcasts online and on 1449AM from its studios inside the Brill Sports and Social Club.

The station is now on-air 24 hours a day, seven days a week as it plays non-stop music through an automated system when there is no presenter.

Mr Ewers said: “I run it myself as a hobby and all the presenters are volunteers, nobody gets paid.

“It costs more than £4,000 a year to run the station and we don’t fundraise, we rely on advertising and sponsors.

“Most of the time we don’t quite break even but I do it because I love music and I love radio and I always have done.

“Our target audience is people in Brill but we know through the texts and e-mails we get people listen further afield as well.”

Mr Ewers said the station was primarily music-based but that some local information was also broadcast.

He said: “We do not do on-the-hour news bulletins but we do try and find lighter news stories and we do on-the-hour weather updates.

“We also promote local events and we do special broadcasts during events like the Brill Beer Festival.”

Brill resident and Bucks Herald Community News reporter Chrissie Nicholson, who presented on the station for the first time last week said: “I went to see Paul to ask if there was anything I could do to help the station.

“He said would I like to present and I’m not one to turn down a challenge so I was happy to give it a go.

“I played music, talked a bit and read out some notices and it went fairly well.

“I am planning to do a bit more presenting soon as I found it really good fun.”

Mr Ewers said he always enjoyed getting local groups involved in the station and on Monday night 1st Brill Brownies paid a visit to the station’s studios.

He said: “It was great fun having the Brownies here.

“They read out requests and dedications to some of their parents and relations, one of whom was I understand listening in New Zealand.

“Also two of them read out the local weather forecast.”

As well as listening to the station on AM, you can also listen via the TuneIn app, through your NOW TV box, on Kindle Fire or Fire TV.

If you would like to get involved with the station e-mail studio@brill1449.co.uk or text the station on 0794 11 55 272.