“Basildon Writers’ Group and Basildon Hospital Radio are one of the good things to come out of the Covid crisis – as an Essex man myself, I’m proud of them.”
Richard Madeley (Richard & Judy Book Club)
When Covid 19 closed large parts of Basildon Hospital to visitors, among the casualties were the volunteers at Basildon Hospital Radio.
Operating from a basement, they were heard but seldom seen. Suddenly, they lost access to their equipment used for broadcasting 24/7 to patients, staff, and visitors. BHR chairman, Jacqui James, said ‘We were devastated. We knew we had to get back on air, not only during the day, but all night for the staff and patients who couldn’t sleep and rely on us for entertainment.’
The technical and legal problems caused many sleepless nights for Jacqui and her team of volunteers as well, as they battled to change their station from am to fm at the time lockdown was put into place. Back on air as BHR 87.7 in less than four weeks the station now runs a mixture of live and recorded shows. But, it was no longer possible to raise much-needed funds.
In stepped Basildon Writers’ Group, with an offer to donate all their royalties, from their new book, ‘It Happened in Essex’, coming out on the 19thOctober.The ten local authors have each written a short story, many based in parts of Basildon that readers will know. Then, in a hilarious romp through an updated version of Snow White, also set in Basildon, all the writers take on one another in a duel to write the best ending to ‘Sno White & the Witch’.
Also in the mix is an ending by guest Jacqui James herself.
In addition to Richard Madeley and ‘Diddy’ David Hamilton, the book has the support of the Mayor of Basildon, David Burton-Sampson, Stephen Metcalfe, MP and Baroness Smith of Basildon. The book ‘It Happened in Essex’ is available in paperback, (£4.99), or Kindle (£1.99), versions direct from Amazon. Contacts: Colin Payn, Basildon Writers’ Group firstname.lastname@example.org Mobile 07815865210
Jacqui James, Basildon Hospital Radio email@example.com