PHOTOS: Red Rose celebrates

Former management, staff and presenters gathered in Lancashire last night to celebrate 25 years of Red Rose Radio. Most of the current on-air line-up and staff were joined by names which helped grow the station including Dave Lincoln, Keith Macklin, Sally Moon, John Gillmore and Norman Thomas to name but a few.

It was 25 years ago today that Lancashire got its first Independent Local Radio Station. Red Rose Radio hit the airwaves from the converted church of St. Pauls in the heart of Preston.

The opening words were those if its Chairman and owner Owen Oyston followed by a news bulletin from Mike Green. Dave Lincoln was on breakfast and played the first song, Evergreen from Barbra Streisand. Red Rose was unique in being one of the first radio stations that made a profit from the beginning, and later went on to form the first radio group owning Radio Aire, Red Dragon and Piccadilly under the guise of Trans World Communications.

Over it's 25 years, Red Rose evolved and split into Red Rose Rock FM and Red Rose Gold, morphing into Rock FM, Red Rose 999 and finally Magic 999.

Last night some of the many people who've worked at Red Rose of the years were invited to a meal at Stanley House in Mellor to celebrate "25 years of Broadcasting Excellence". The Red Rose Radio President and Preston North End footballing legend Sir Tom Finney was present for the three course meal. The party was entertained by music from the band "Ben's Brother" and the "Lancashire Hotpots".

An award was presented to one of the stations founders Keith Macklin for work in help creating and building a successful radio station. Over the years Keith has been Programme Controller, Presenter, Sport Editor and News and Sports journalist. When Keith collected his award the entire room stood up and appauled falling slient as he made a speech about his time at the station.

Emap MD Michelle Surrell paid tribute to staff past and present, and Rob Charles played the tunes that got people dancing. Guests were given a boolet with a brief history of Red Rose Radio.

There's a special exhibition due to open at the Lancashire Museum in Preston soon, a rumours of an anniversary book published by the local newspaper. There's a documentary about the history of Red Rose Radio tonight at 6pm on 97.4 Rock FM.

See our [link=]photos[/link] from the event in the Radio Photos pages.

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