top of page

How it all began

The history of Shock Radio...

Most students radio stations are taken for granted - students at the University of Salford however have had to battle for over four years to get theirs on air.
Shock Radio may be a new concept to many of you but the station dates back to 1998. It was formed after the death of Storm fm - a station which was run by students from all four Manchester universities. Storm was deemed a success and highly acclaimed, winning best station of the year at the national student radio awards, but after completing a second month on air in March 1998 the station hit financial difficulties and was seemingly consigned to the history books.

 

However, a group of Salford students led by Dave Daly were determined not to let the impetus slip, with little interest from Manchester, UMIST and the Met, Salford decided to go it alone. People interested met in the upstairs function room of the Pint Pot, plans were discussed and of course the station had to be christened. The name Blade fm was rejected because of its violent connotations before Shock fm was suggested by an unknown girl and the legend was born. One of the first things Dave Daly and his Shock Committee did was to get Shock ratified as an official society of the Students' Union. It became the second most popular within its first week, coming second only to the football club.

Shock fm received the full backing of the media department and in particular TV and Radio studies lecturer Mike Henfield. A license application was sent to the Radio Authority and Shock seemed set to go on air as early as 1999.
However due to several problems including a loss of confidence in the station by the media department the plug was pulled on the application, Dave Daly stepped down when an offer from the BBC came along and without a leader the station's future looked uncertain. Fresher John Last won a three-way battle to become the new Station Manager and was duly elected in November 1999.
John Last began working on a business plan to present to the SU and decreasing the cost of the studio equipment as they declared that the price was too much.
This 48 page business plan was presented to the SU which had a great reception. However, going on air didn't seem any closer as the Student's Union refused to give Shock more than £100 a year budget. But Shock was however given an office and a studio near the Sub Club in the Allerton building. It was here that they pre-recorded hour-long shows which were burned onto CD and meant to be played in Lowry's Bar the following day. However, this plan didn't come to fruition as staff at the bar complained that the shows weren't good enough and the Students' Union failed to make it compulsory for them to be played.

Meanwhile down the road our friends at Manchester University formed "Fuse fm", asked their Union for license funding, and were then able to go on air.
In 2000/01 year, the SU then gave £1000 to be spent on studio equipment which was invested on making an internal broadcast, however, the general lack of support by the Student Union and their own interests in the sporting societies meant that Shock again were not place on priority.
General fundraising and social events were arranged (Shocktober - 4 nights in one month of fun, games and drinking) were announced and received good reviews. But again, the priority was not placed on Shock.
In December of 2000, John Last asked Brendan Keville, the then Shock Treasurer who became SU President, to take over the position whilst he recovered from an injury. On his return, it seemed that nothing had changed, nothing was going to change and John decided to step down and hand over to Brendan on a more permanent basis.
Although John had stepped down from his position, his work with Shock was not done. He then lobbied with Presidential Candidates and other SU members to place in their manifestos a commitment to Shock FM (as it was then known) for the next year.
Scally Matt then got a petition going round and then and only then (after 2 1/2 years of lobbying, politics, scratching backs and an online petition), the SU decided to pay attention.

People power prevails

Finally a break through occurred in March 2001 when Matthew Haley - better known as Scally Matt - started a campaign to get Shock on air by e-mailing Salford students urging them to e-mail the president of the Students' Union, James Johnson, telling him that they wanted a radio station. Johnson apparently received over a hundred e-mails a day for a month and finally agreed to talk with the new executive committee - manager Dan Broadbent, deputy-managers Bekka Gildea and Adele Ormrod and the treasurer Haley. The Union convinced the quartet that internet broadcasting was the cheaper more realistic way forward for the radio society and promised them they would be live on the net by November 2001.
Gildea became the new station manager as Broadbent couldn't attend meetings due to part-time work commitments and she continued to discuss Shock's future with the new president of the Students' Union Ruth Everard. However, talks faltered as the Union gradually came to the conclusion that the internet option was too expensive. Another year passed and Shock still weren't on air - even the pre-recorded shows had died away.
All was not lost though, when this year's Union executive were elected in February 2002 they all them promised to get Shock on air. With the support of the incoming Union Gildea worked with Mike Henfield to put together a license application and finally after the hard work of a handful of dedicated engineers Shock Radio finally went on air on November 3rd 2002.
The broadcast was a massive success - easily as good as other student stations around the country - especially considering the modest budget it was run on. Highlights included Radio One's Mark and Lard endorsing the station with a set of jingles, Key 103 tuning in and getting in contact with some positive feedback and a pioneering live broadcast fro
m the Pav nightclub raising

£130 for Children in Need.

 

A new generation

Rebekka Gildea stood down in December 2002 to concentrate with her studies. Matthew Bunt, 2002's Head of Production was elected the new station manager, and work began on organising a new broadcast.
The new team set to work on preparing for the next broadcast. During this time, Shock was very successful at the Student Union's end of year "Colours" awards, where they picked up numerous awards, including the prestigious "Society of the Year" award.
After 10 months of planning, building, selling, begging, numerous meetings and sleepless nights, Shock Radio went back on the air on Monday 22nd September 2003 at 6am, from the station's brand new studios in Adelphi.

 

 

The second broadcast was hailed as a great success, and many commented that the quality of programming output had far surpassed the previous year. This was down to many reasons, not least the brand new studio facilities built by the members that summer. Also this was the first broadcast where the station took live news on the hour via satellite from SBN. This allowed Shock's news team to concentrate on producing their own 15 minute news bulletin each evening covering local events. This was produced from their own office in University House.
Shock also took part and organised many events, such as Battle of the Bands and numreous Outside Broadcasts from The Pav, and Activities Fair 2003.

Picture_307-Stormlogo-img.jpeg
bottom of page