Highbridge radio station reunion marks 100 years of long range maritime radio

More than 50 former staff of Highbridge radio station (Portishead Radio) attended a delayed reunion to celebrate 100 years of the UK’s long-range maritime radio service.

Originally scheduled for July 2020, the event was postponed twice due to the pandemic but finally took place on Saturday July 23 at Burnham-On-Sea at the Ritz Social Club.

Former staff members traveled from as far away as Portugal to attend this special event, which was an opportunity for colleagues to reconnect and reminisce about working together.

Larry Bennett, organizer and former radio officer, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “It was supposed to be the last big staff meeting to take place; neither of us are getting any younger, but judging by the feedback from attendees after the event, another meeting may be scheduled in the future. Never say never.”

A continuous display of historical photographs and video recordings was shown throughout the evening, and a toast was raised to many “absentee friends” who were unable to attend and to those who passed away.

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

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

Larry added: “Unfortunately no memorial or plaque currently exists at the site to show that this vitally important radio station ever existed, although work is currently underway to remedy this.”

In 2018 we reported that former staff at Highbridge radio station had turned 90 since opening.

For more information on the station’s history, go to www.portisheadradio.co.uk

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