TODAY |

Good Sorts: The Tauranga radio station volunteers who provide company and a soothing voice

Tonight's Good Sorts are a bunch of people from all walks of life who run a radio station in Tauranga.

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The volunteer broadcasters are fuelled by the listeners, who donate the music and the food. Source: 1 NEWS

Village Radio is run by volunteers but fuelled by the listeners who donate the music, catering and even dipped into their pockets when it looked like it would fold a few years ago.

It looks like a museum, but the knobs work, the records spin at a radio station from a by-gone era.

Announcers do a few hours then someone new arrives.

The station only has one rule: they’re not allowed to play anything within the last 20 years.

One of the hosts, Pete, was an auctioneer when he saw and ad wanting volunteers.

“When I first came here I had to train myself to talk slower,” he said.

Kate always harboured an interest in broadcasting.

“I got made redundant from a job but prior to that I said to my husband I wouldn’t mind being on the radio,” she said.

The announcers play what they want, although that comes with caveats including only being able to play Nina Simone once in a two-hour period.

The listeners dictate what they play in exchange for feeding the volunteers.

The music is donated by the listeners and after 37 years they’ve amassed 18,000 records, some of which are over 100 years old. The Collins Transmitter also came to New Zealand 84 years ago.

Beyond the music, the volunteers at Village Radio understand their most important job is to be good company to those that need a soothing voice in their life.