One of the country’s oldest radio stations will mark its 70th birthday with a special day of programmes on Friday (April 9).

Radio Clatterbridge began broadcasting in 1951 when members of Port Sunlight Boys Club came up with the idea of taking a record player onto the wards to play music to entertain patients.

Initially it had a mixed reception: those closest to the speaker complained it was too loud, while those at the far end of the ward couldn’t hear the music.

But the hospital authorities were convinced the idea had merit and agreed to fund a studio and a transmission system connected to each bed.

Wirral Globe: Past and present - The Saturday morning team reassemblePast and present - The Saturday morning team reassemble

Radio Clatterbridge Chair, Steve Evans, said: “We’re really proud to have been serving the Clatterbridge Health Park for 70 years, in particular over the past year when the NHS has played such a vital role in the battle against Covid-19.”

The station famously recorded the first radio interview with The Beatles in 1962, at Hulme Hall in Port Sunlight.

Founder member Monty Lister, who passed away in 2019, also recorded conversations with huge chart stars including Sir Cliff Richard, Bill Haley and Gracie Fields, as well as one of the last interviews with Eddie Cochran before his death in a plane crash.

As part of the birthday broadcast, extracts from some of the interviews will be played along with other archive audio and the most popular song requests from the last seven decades, which ranges from Abba, Queen and Status Quo through to Michael Buble, Tina Turner and Robbie Williams.

Wirral Globe: All set and ready to go live at the 2013 Port Sunlight FestivalAll set and ready to go live at the 2013 Port Sunlight Festival

Mr Evans said: “Sadly, some of the individuals who played a pivotal role in making the station the success it is today have passed away in recent years, including founder member Monty Lister and our patron Sir Ken Dodd.

"Fortunately, our extensive audio archive means their memories and recollections will live on forever.

"Despite the passage of time, our prime aim of providing music therapy for patients remains the same.

"We know from the feedback we get from listeners that there is still a place in 2021 for a hyper-local radio service."