Over 50 former staff from Highbridge Radio Station (Portishead Radio) have attended a delayed reunion to celebrate 100 years of the long-range maritime radio service in the UK.

Originally planned for July 2020, the event was twice postponed due to the pandemic but finally went ahead on Saturday (July 23rd) in Burnham-On-Sea at the Ritz Social Club.

Former staff travelled from as far afield as Portugal to attend the special event, which an opportunity for colleagues to catch up and recall memories of working together.

Larry Bennett, organiser and former Radio Officer, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “This was intended to be the last major reunion of staff to take place; none of us are getting any younger, but judging from comments made by attendees after the event, another reunion may be planned in the future. Never say never.”

A running display of historical photographs and video recordings was played throughout the evening, and a toast was made to many ‘absent friends’ who were unable to attend and to those who have passed away.

The station, which operated the world’s largest and busiest maritime radio service, closed in April 2000, having initially operated from a site near Devizes in 1920. At its peak, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, over 300 staff were employed at the Highbridge site.

The station buildings were demolished in 2007 and the Mulholland Park housing estate was built on the site.

Larry added: “Sadly, no memorial or plaque currently exists on the site to show that this vitally important radio station ever existed, although work is currently under way to rectify this situation.”

In 2018, we reported that former Highbridge radio station staff had marked 90 years since it opened.

Further information about the history of the station is at www.portisheadradio.co.uk

 
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