Students help celebrate Defiant radio

Date published: 02 May 2013

Students helped The Rochdale Pioneers Museum and the Rochdale & District Amateur Radio Society (RADARS) celebrate the Defiant Radio in a special fun day held at the museum last month.

The event, which saw over 100 visitors attend, was designed to raise awareness of the history of the first modern media outlet and the co-operative movement's involvement in radio production.

During the 1930s, dealers of radio sets were reluctant to work with the Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS) because they saw the dividend Co-operative customers received when they shopped in the store (like a modern day version of a store card where members got money back for purchases) as a discount that undermined their fixed price monopolies. As a result the CWS began production of their own radios and deliberately chose the name 'Defiant' for them.

Visitors to the event had the opportunity to record their own radio broadcast with the help of Hopwood Hall students, Matthew Hey and James Matthew. Both are currently studying for the Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production. Helping at the event was not only enjoyable but provided them with great work experience.

James said: “I feel I have achieved a great deal from the work experience opportunity. Being able to interact with the public is different to being in college. I had a great day helping visitors and it was good to learn about the history of radio too.”

Matthew added: “I’m really keen to do more projects like this. It’s good fun and I know the opportunity will help me when I apply to university”.

In addition to the radio broadcasting, visitors were also able to get involved with arts and crafts activities, with children making their own radio out of recycled cardboard. They also made their very own crystal radio set with the help of RADARS.

Jenny Broadbent, Pioneers Museum manager said: "Our family fun days are proving to be a big success and it is great that there are lots of local groups and organisations, like Hopwood Hall College and RADAR that are able to support us."

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