Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 9°C


Ipswich/Aldeburgh: John Alborough’s 40 years on the air for patients

18:45 21 July 2014

John Alborough has been presenting the Thursday evening show on Hospital Radio Ipswich at Ipswich Hospital for 40 years.

John Alborough has been presenting the Thursday evening show on Hospital Radio Ipswich at Ipswich Hospital for 40 years.


He’s just completed four decades on air, has listeners around the world and can’t be kept away from the studio, even by heavy snowfall.


John Alborough has been presenting on Ipswich Hospital Radio since 1974, dominating Thursday evenings with his ever-present show.

The programme is called the Alborough Festival, a twist on the well-known summer event in Aldeburgh.

Mr Alborough, who lives in Syleham on the Suffolk/Norfolk border, said he first went along after another volunteer mentioned it to him in conversation.

And since then he hasn’t looked back, saying the best thing about the role is the reaction from patients
when they have a request played.

“The hospital is still very much the focus and there’s nothing better than walking onto a ward and talking to someone,” Mr Alborough said. “It’s something for them to talk about as a distraction from illness.

“We have more little letters and notes and emails than we’ve ever had in all these years because the system is so improved.

“Now it’s digital and people listen through proper systems with the headphones you use on your phone, it’s a much better quality.

“We’re also on the web so people can send in requests from home for someone in hospital.”

Regular listeners to the Alborough Festival can be found in Poland, Dublin and South Carolina.

And Mr Alborough doesn’t like to disappoint those tuning in – even when the elements try to keep him away.

During a snowstorm in the 1970s when he was living in Debenham it became clear the journey into Ipswich was not going to be a successful one.

So instead the previous presenter stayed in the studio to run the desk while Mr Alborough did all of his links over the phone.

Despite all the technological advances, the station still plays vinyl records and has a substantial collection.

Mr Alborough said they are very proud of the collection and added they were sometimes asked to lend records to the fledgling BBC Radio Suffolk.



Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

The Hippodrome Theatre, St Nicholas Street, Ipswich, in April 1955. The show then was “Oh What a Night”. Many of the shows after World War Two were cheeky events with shows like ‘Strippingly Saucy” “We Couldn’t Wear Less” and “Hotter Than Paris”.

David Kindred recently asked readers for memories of the building in St Nicholas Street, Ipswich, which was built as the Hippodrome Theatre and became the Savoy bingo and dance hall.

Pair claimed a neighbour in Wellington Street, Ipswich had a gun

A couple who sparked a full-scale armed police response over gun claims must pay £1,000 compensation to Suffolk Constabulary.

Enjoying the sun at Needham Lake

A consultation on new regulations to improve dog control at Needham Lake has been launched.

Joe Underwood outside the new wildlife education hut in Christchurch Park.

A new outdoor learning space in Ipswich’s Christchurch Park is set to improve knowledge of Suffolk’s wildlife.

The new electronic road sign in Rushmere

A new set of electronic traffic signs have been posted around Ipswich to help warn motorists of delays, roadworks and other essential travel information.

Call for tightening of UK border controls

Suffolk’s “horrified” Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has demanded EU border control reforms after a convicted paedophile banned from the UK was jailed again for returning to work with teenagers.

Bridge Farm Day Nursery in Martlesham is celebrating an ‘outstanding’ grade in its most recent Ofsted inspection

A day nursery is celebrating being given an outstanding grade by Ofsted at its most recent inspection.

Pupils and staff at Thomas Wolsey School on the site of the teepee that was vandalised.

The headteacher of a special school in Ipswich left devastated after a much-loved teepee was destroyed in a fire has thanked the community for its fundraising help.

Highpoint Prison in Stradishall, Suffolk.

A BB gun and ammunition were found by an inmate at a prison in Suffolk.

Newborn baby

Expectant fathers can now be on hand to comfort their partners during early labour in a move to reduce stress and anxiety for mums-to-be.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages