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Sad news as Stuart Cocker, founder of West Wolds Radio FM, dies

The previous directors of West Wolds Radio (FM) with Stuart Cocker on the left

West Wolds Radio is sad to learn about the passing of Stuart Cocker, previous founder of West Wolds Radio (FM).

Stuart Cocker, founder and previous director of the previous FM version of West Wolds Radio, has sadly passed away.

Stuart had been involved with radio from his student days, in the late Sixties at Durham's BBC local station. He later joined Hereward Radio in Peterborough as features and outside broadcast producers.

In 1990, he joined Wakefield's Hospital Radio to engineer the studio and then campaigned to bring commercial radio to the city. In 1999, he became director of Ridings FM commercial radio in Wakefield.

In the 2000s, Stuart came to the East Riding of Yorkshire and dreamed of a new community radio station for Pocklington.

West Wolds Radio, managed by Stuart and a team of directors and volunteers, went on air across Pocklington and surrounding villages on 29th November 2015 after receiving a FM license from OFCOM.

Stuart told York Press at the time of launch: "This is really exciting, a one-off opportunity to bring local media back into Pocklington and deliver a dedicated service. I'm so thrilled we have been given the opportunity of launching something brand new. We've used the experience of providing really local broadcasting elsewhere to shape the West Wolds Radio service into an essential part of local life.

"We consulted with local people and groups before submitting our application and we are delighted that the hope has become reality.

"The next step is to start recruiting members, talk to businesses about supporting the station, and begin equipping the studios which will be based just outside the town centre. In other words, the hard work begins now."

Sadly the station closed down due to a lack of volunteers in 2016, and 5 years later was relaunched online by a new team, continuing Stuart's dream to bring a local station back to Pocklington and surrounding areas.

Whilst West Wolds Radio is not able to return to FM after changes regarding licensing by OFCOM, West Wolds Radio is launching on DAB+ later this year, with the station already available again online, on the mobile apps and via smart speaker.

Tony Marron, a previous director of West Wolds Radio (FM), lead tributes today:

"Very sad to learn the founder of the FM version of West Wolds Radio has passed away. Stuart Cocker realised his dream of creating a community radio and was totally committed to it. He was a lovely man and is dearly missed by his friends. RIP Stuart."

RIP Stuart from everyone at West Wolds Radio - you can hear our special tribute from the newsroom below:

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