St Helena Online

A present to all readers: the sounds of a St Helena Christmas

Radio St Helena was due to go off air at midnight on Christmas Day after 45 years on air. Hopes that the station’s final hours would be streamed on the internet have not been fulfilled.

In the meantime, St Helena Online offers a flavour of the season, as broadcast by the station in 1996. 

Christmas in Jamestown: the shops are filled with people, the Gettogethers Orchestra is playing the old favourites from the back of a lorry, and a couple of merry souls are singing along.

It may not bring home the spirit of a St Helena Christmas quite as well as Saint FM would have done it, but for a few minutes, St Helena Online’s latest audio posting might transport listeners back to Jamestown.

The recording is from a Radio St Helena programme broadcast in 1996 and can be heard here.

It has been published as the station approached its final few hours on air after 45 years of serving the island. Until the arrival of Saint FM, it could have been regarded as the most remote radio station in the world.

It had been hoped the station’s last six hours on air would be relayed on the internet by the SHBC, which has been working on setting up its own stations in January. In the end, that did not happen.

The internet relay had been suggested by Robert Kipp, one of a band of enthusiasts around the world who were hoping to pick up the closing programmes via shortwave radio. Read his report here.

Ralph Peters, the station manager, prepared a special programme celebrating the part that Radio St Helena has played in island life over four decades.

Tony Leo, the original manager, was asked to go on air at midnight to perform the formal closedown of the station.

Christmas in Jamestown, 1996 – first broadcast on Radio St Helena

Saint FM closure: links

St Helena Government press release on the closure of Radio St Helena
SHBC test transmissions

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