Today, Wednesday 1 July, the community radio station is celebrating its 10th birthday as a full time 24 hours a day broadcaster.
At the same time Ofcom have confirmed that the licence to broadcast has been extended to 2025.
To welcome the landmarks in the station’s history, one of its founder members and former chairman Mike Skinner will present a special programme on the 1st July.
Mike said, “The 1st July will be a very proud day for me, its 18 years now since the comment was made, ‘what this town needs is a radio station’. I would never have guessed that after all this time and following 10 years of full-time radio I would be in the studio presenting breakfast. I would like to thank all the people who have made what Uckfield FM is today and a special mention to the town businesses who have made it possible with support”
The station first broadcast on a 4-week restricted licence was in July 2003.
Original Founders, Mike Skinner and Gary King and other founding members including Phil Moon, Neil Walker, Martyn Grenfell and Tony Williams are still involved and present programmes on the station.
The station has grown in strength since those early days, building a reputation for providing publicity for local voluntary organisations, for providing instant information on local news, and for providing businesses with an advertising outlet at affordable prices.
In March (a week before lockdown), the radio station had a new transmitter installed at their studios at Bird in Eye Farm following OFCOM’s decision to grant a power increase. This means that the signal on 105FM is now reaching out further into the community across Wealden.
Current chairman Ian Smith said “Our station has a fantastic following because of the high quality and variety of our programmes. Our commitment to our listeners and the stations future is realised by the recent increase in the strength of our signal and we have plans to take the station to another level”
The station is asking listeners for their memories relating to the station and asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org
Some memorable times through Ron’s Lens
The station was opened on the 1st July by the then Mayor of Uckfield John Carvey
Mike Skinner interviewing John Carvey
The opening celebration at the Bird In Eye Studios
Mike Skinner, Gary King, Mike Ziolek and Phil Moon on launch day 1st July 2010
The champagne flowed but not in the studio and who is that man photo bombing
Supporting Children in Need, Presenters Del Page, Mike Skinner, Uckfield FM photographer Ron Hill on the right and listener Mel Sanders on the left
A visitor to the studio was Kerry Katona followed by the paparazzi hidden in a car on the farm. The next day a picture appeared in a tabloid with Kerry and Mike!!
Mike with the lovely Miss Brighton Annabel Bolton in 2010
Gary and Mike were the guests of Alison Ferns of the BBC when they came to Uckfield
The Rt Rev Richard Jackson, Bishop of Lewes is pictured in the new memorial garden at Holy Cross. Uckfield FM were there!
It must be time for Uckfield Carnival – members looking forward to the procession
Uckfield presenter Christine Skinner was honoured to have secured a interview with Sir David Attenborough when he opened the wind turbine at Glyndebourne
Uckfield FM has always supported the Uckfield Business Awards with Gary King on the organising committee and comparing the event
WE scrub up well !! Just about – Jerry Miller, Mike Skinner and Gary King at the Business Awards
Uckfield FM have always been supporters of the Sussex Horse Rescue which sadly closed last year. Founder Pauline Grant, Christine Skinner and actress Rula Lenska
Sports Presenter David Eggleston
The station has supported events by the fire station in Uckfield every year.
Michelle with the biggest bunny in the world
The circus were in town!
The wonderful singer and superstar Frank Ifield has visited Uckfield FM several times with presenter Paul Hazell
Frank Ifield has a soft spot for one of our presenters!
Uckfield FM has had a wonderful relationship with Susan King of the Sussex Express and was a regular contributor to the station
Uckfield FM is a massive supporter of AFC Uckfield Town and we cover every match with some amazing images and coverage from our reporter Will Hugall. Picture – Tom Parker, Uckfield Mayor Spike Mayhew, Mike Skinner and Gary King. We are looking forward to continuing the relationship when the season starts again.
Every year the Uckfield FM Christmas Tree has pride of place in Holy Cross Church – Barry Horsman
This was a big blow up banner at the Uckfield Festival – During the afternoon, there was a massive downpower which required the power to be turned off. It was very muddy before we managed to get the air out. (l to R) Philip Garland. Mike Ziolek, Steve Crow, Del Page, Neil Wipperman, Gary King, Christine Skinner, Sue Garland and Mike Skinner
Uckfield is Open – August 2016 (Uckfield FM has supported this event and Classic Cars every year since the roadworks)
Gary and the Losers – Little Horsted Fun Run
Late Night Shopping in Uckfield
The very famous Uckfield FM Children’s Stage at Late Night Shopping. Over the years hundreds of children have appeared on it.
Gary King and Christine Skinner at one of the Uckfield FM Expo Events
Ron Hill – without this wonderful man we would not have any of these historical and memorable images
Jerry Miller, Peter Suter, Sue Garland, Philip Garland and Jacqui Rushton – The Late Night Shopping team
Duncan Bennett assisting at one of the many classic car events Uckfield FM has covered in the past years
Honorary member of the station former Mayor of Uckfield Louise Eastwood. Louise the chair for many years of the Listeners Panel
Dawson Hart Solicitors have been sponsors of the station since 2003 and to thank them every year we support the Easter Bunny Hunt in aid of local charities
The Good Friday parade in Uckfield has been covered by the station again for many years.
The Uckfield FM Expo is held annually (sadly not this year) and raises funds for the station.
All the above images from Ron Hill with thanks.
Bird in Eye Studio in the snow.
Every year Davina McCall heads up a charity bike race at the East Sussex National and every year we have been there to support and report back to the station
The radio car
A big day, the day Basil Brush visited the station and met his old co-star from the old days Doug Ridley RIP
Images above Mike Skinner
The opening programme at 1:05pm on July 1st 2010 presented by Gary King and Mike Skinner
The Christmas Panto 2012
The Panto team!
Mike Skinner interviewed on BBC Radio Sussex by Kathy Caton – 25th June
The original jingles many of us remembered and loved:
A more comprehensive history can be viewed here; Click here
Memories from our listeners:
Richard and Madeleine Judge
Happy 10th Anniversary.
Here’s some of our memories of Uckfield FM.
You being based at the cinema.
You being in the window of Carvills, must have been festival time.
Cheese or Chocolates competition by Corbin’s.
Meeting Basil Brush.
Winning the guitar and having Jimmy Osmond wish me Happy Birthday on air ❤❤
Richard playing Sax on the Uckfield FM float and on the stage at the festival with the Luv Nuggets.
Being interviewed about the Toby Walker gig for Cancer Research.
Lying in a hospital bed after breast cancer surgery and entering a contest to win a photo session. I was lucky enough to win and had the most amazing day with photos I can cherish and remember cancer hasn’t and won’t beat me.
Uckfield FM events at the East Sussex National. Business and Community Awards.
Thank you for a great 10 years and here’s to many more
Looking forward to adding more!!!
Uckfield FM being interviewed by the Bald Explorer at the Weald on the Field in August 2018- click here
Uckfield FM 10th Birthday Party since it was founded in 2003 – Presented by Mike Ziolek – click here