The Beginning

In 1997 Bolton was to have its first commercial radio station.

A group of radio enthusiasts led by

wanted to be part of this new era in radio for Bolton. They sought the advice of Councillor Frank White who brought a team together, including Bolton Wanderers Football Club. The aim was to put in a bid for the Bolton licence. The name of the station was to be ‘Variety Gold.’

While Councillor White and his team set about bringing a strong team together, Dorothy and the group secured studios in Ashburner Street Market, put on an RSL and started to train young enthusiastic pupils.

To gain real experience they started broadcasting to Ashburner Street Market on Saturdays, providing music, information and sports updates. This became known as Bolton Market Radio (BMR). This was the first time that the youngsters were able to broadcast to an audience and it gave them the confidence to move on at a later stage.

Over the years four students went on to become full-time Commercial radio presenters, with a number of others going on into hospital radio.

In 1999 came the shattering news that Variety Gold had not got the licence and that it had been given to Tower FM - a Bury group.

The disappointment was immense but one thing that had emerged during all this was that radio training is a tremendous tool in raising confidence and self-esteem. So Dorothy and her team instigated DBBC to train people who would benefit from confidence building and re-training.

They devised a course which was accepted by Open College of the North-West, who agreed to monitor and accredit it. As DBBC was a charity, a management committee was formed, headed by Chairman Councillor Clifford Morris and Vice-Chair Dave Jones (a leading light in the progress of the Jubilee Centre.)

Funding was a problem but Dorothy’s husband Alan, with advice and help from Bolton CVS, soon learned the intricacies of filling in grant application forms and raising funds.

Agencies soon recognised the value of the training that was given and this was part of the success. DBBC took students with a wide range of abilities and needs, thus giving a real meaning to the words ‘diversity’ and ‘integration’ as all were encouraged to work with and help each other.


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“My time at DBBC has been great throughout. I must say at first I was a little nervous, as I had no experience of the course I have done.

All the staff have been friendly and good to work with and I am now able to use and understand broadcasting equipment.”