Junction11 was created in the 1997-1998 academic year at the University of Reading and was the brainchild of Fransisco O Doregos. The station was named after the nearby M4 interchange into Reading. Junction11 originally operated out of two rooms at the Students’ Union Bulmershe Campus office. It was initially broadcast by induction loop to Mojo’s Bar and Cafe Mondial on the separate, but nearby Whiteknights Campus. Ironically broadcasting was later extended to Breeze Bar (then ‘Kata Kiu’ or ‘Legends’)., which was next door to the old studio.
In 2000 permission was granted to install an AM transmitter on the Whiteknights Campus in the RUSU car park. 1287AM transmissions went live on Monday 21st May 2001.
In 2002, the entire station was moved to the old NUS Southeast Area office in the Students’ Union building on Whiteknights Campus, allowing students to take part without the 30 minute walk to Bulmershe Campus. Programme hours were extended from 12pm-12am to 9am-1am.
Significant spending on IT equipment in 2002/2003 led to online streaming, and pioneering work was made to make previous shows available online. This development is particularly significant to this date, as Junction11 now broadcasts solely online. Later that year, in October, the station won two Student Radio Awards (SRA) – ‘Best Male’ for Joff Hopkins, and ‘Technical Innovation’ for the IT Team headed up by Oliver Stirling.
In 2004, Junction11 brought their overnight sustaining service in-house, taking over from national network SBN. ‘Jukebox Junction’ played tracks from the Junction11 Playlist and, since 2006, accepted requests via SMS text message.
After the 2007 Easter Break, Junction11 settled in its new home in the RUSU building. The studio was incorporated into the ‘Media Office’ section of the new ‘Hub’ building. The new location bought Junction11 to the heart of activity within the students union.
At the start of the 2007 academic year, the decision was taken by the Junction11 exec to abandon the use of the existing AM transmitter due to a technical issue and licensing costs. It was decided that Junction11 would broadcast solely online to guarantee listeners a high broadcast quality.
In 2008, Junction11 held its tenth anniversary celebrations to commemorate ten years of broadcasting. The event was held in a packed CafÃ© Mondial with local live band Ok Tokyo playing for the party goers. DJ’s from past and present also entertained all those attending including former stations managers and creator Fransisco O Doregos.
The 2008 academic year marked an iconic eleven years for Junction11. To mark the occasion the station saw the arrival of a new website, new equipment and new software to help improve the overall quality of the stations broadcast output.
The academic year beginning in 2010 saw a large number of new faces coming to Junction11. The highlights of 2010/11 included Station Manager Sarah Collisson’s Live and Local on Friday evenings, interviews with Bastille, Sound of Rum and Beans on Toast at the Oakford Social Club and Head of Music Chris Diffin’s Noah and the Whale interview. The studio moved to the Lounge building in September 2010 where it remained until Easter 2013. The Lounge was not the ideal home for the radio station as it had short opening hours, poor ventilation (very hot!) and thin walls.
With Chris Diffin at the helm for 2011/12 the station continued to develop. Well attended music meetings under Tim Fraser and Doug Broadbent-Yale and James McCormick’s outside broadcasts from Mojo’s and Park Bar were highlights. A re-brand of the station exchanged the square edged monochrome logo and replaced it with a swish looking number with a bit of blue. Interviews and sessions included DJ Shadow, Blood Orange and King Charles.
During 2012/2013 saw big steps forwards for the station. Broadcasting on Saturdays and an extended week time schedule (8am-10pm) coincided with a large increase in members (over 150). The office and studio rooms were switched to give the opportunity for 3 person shows and the bi-weekly news and entertainment bulletins coordinated by Grace Pascoe gave Junction11 the campus sound it had been missing for the past few years. Greg James was a notable interview early in the year whilst George Meixner, James McCormick and Matthew Hall worked hard to bring about Live interviews and sessions with Kate Nash and Bastille. Junction11 raised over £300 for Comic Relief in March 2013 and we also witnessed someone eat a whole can of cold baked beans in 15 seconds. What a year!
Thanks for reading and happy listening!