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Coronavirus: Spalding area radio station Sound of Spitfire is keeping people company during the lockdown



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A community radio station has been working to keep people's spirits up during the coronavirus lockdown.

Sound of Spitfire is celebrating its second birthday today and has live shows daily from 7am until 11pm via the Internet.

The majority of its presenters broadcast from their homes in South Holland including Gosberton, Swineshead and Spalding. They all work on a voluntary basis.

Sound of Spitfire presenters and co-founders at the launch of the station in 2018. Roger Fullilove, John Petters, Chris Hyde, Mike Watts and Zandra Tiitso. Photo by Tim Wilson.
Sound of Spitfire presenters and co-founders at the launch of the station in 2018. Roger Fullilove, John Petters, Chris Hyde, Mike Watts and Zandra Tiitso. Photo by Tim Wilson.

Station owner Chris Hyde, who presents from his home in Spalding, said: "Our listener figures have gone through the roof since February.

"We are continuing to do our daily updates (on the coronavirus situation) but we also like to bring a bit of a smile to people's faces and talk about the lighter things in life; such as where people who have been socially isolated up in Scotland were brought alpacas to see them through the windows.

"My mum lives 40 minutes outside Malaga and they are in lockdown in Spain. She told me about a guy in the local village who has been given a hefty fine. He wanted to go out so he took a toy dog out for a walk on the streets!"

The live Spitfire Breakfast Show starts at 7am until 10am with a mix of talk and music throughout the day.

"We don't report any social media hearsay," Chris added, "and we always refer back to the source in our reporting. So if something has come from the district council, we will point people to the district council website."

When social distancing measures were first introduced, the team increased its programming and reaches listeners not just in the South Holland area but across the UK.

One of its presenters who broadcasts from outside South Holland, in Birmingham, was struck down with COVID-19 recently after developing a high temperature, Chris explained. Alma Numan is now recovering after isolating at home.

In between broadcasting, Chris is an independent consultant in health and social care and runs the business Chameliogenics UK Ltd.

To tune in to the station, go to www.soundofspitfire.co.uk or for Amazon Echo or Echo Dot "ENABLE Sound Of Spitfire" then "Play Sound Of Spitfire". On the Radio.net App search "Sound Of Spitfire". You can also find them on Twitter @soundofspitfire and at Facebook.com/soundofspitfire/

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