Two Valleys Radio, 29 January 2012
Two Valleys Radio, a community radio station based in Yorkshire with
its broadcasting centre in Melthan (from January 31st onwards), are running a monthly strand with the
umbrella title "Institute of Ideas." The first of these was based on the theme of "Resolutions," and began
with a documentary presented by two members of Slaithwaite Community Centre, looking at the kind of resolutions
people had made, and whether they had observed them since January 1st. The second piece "Audio Postcards" comprised a series
of sonic extracts describing life in the Valleys, while the third - "Resolution" - gave the Holmfirth Writers' Group
the chance to read out their work live on air - stories, poems and short plays.
Meeting once a week in Holmfirth Library, the Writers' Group provides an opportunity
for local people to develop their creative writing talents. They appear to have achieved notable success: Reflections
from Holme, an anthology of work with photographs by Andy Leader, was published last year, and gives a vivid
portrait of local life past and present, and how it has affected individual people's lives.
In this hour-long showcase for their work, we heard many different pieces, each interpreting
the term "resolution" in different ways: the New Year's resolution, a resolution made at local council meetings, clinical
resolution, and worldly resolutions. Each piece was linked with extracts from Delius' "Walk to the Paradise Garden," which invested
the programme with a patriotic feel. We were listening to the work of English creative artists, writing about their own lives
What was most tangibly evident from the programme was the way in which the act of
writing brings people of different generations together, as they describe common experiences and listen
to one another's work in a supportive atmosphere. To feel that one's work can be appreciated by others is a wonderful experience
- particularly for those who might have previously doubted their ability to translate what they are thinking
into words. Resolution underlined the importance of community radio, that gives a voice to anyone - regardless
of their age or background - the chance to express their views. I loved the programme; it was as good as, if not
better than anything on offer on the national radio networks.