Nevis Radio Fort William

SSDT 2017 - Ross Noble Trials UK photo
The film crew charted Ross Noble’s first attempt at the 2017 SSDT – In the background are Nevis Radio’s John Weller and Trials Guru’s John Moffat (on microphone) before one of the daily runs. – Photo courtesy of Trials UK Media

Trials Guru features a local radio station that covers the Scottish Six Days Trial and is the only media radio station to do so – Nevis Radio, Fort William

Nevis Radio is a community Radio station based in Fort William in the Highlands of Scotland. It has been operating for 25 years and started out by giving ski report information for the Nevis Range Ski Centre. Over the years the output grew until it had a full time schedule without needing a service from Inverness based MFR and in turn became its own entity.

Nevis Radio has two staff, one full time, and one part time, with everyone else including the board of directors being volunteers. With this in mind, the stations’ drive and overall output is driven by a passion for what they do.

Did you know … Nevis Radio was one of the first UK radio stations to broadcast on the internet? Because they love what they do, they are always looking for new ways to raise the bar in how they work – with everything.

In recent years – Nevis Radio have covered the SSDT with a four hour show daily. One year they added global streaming, and then added the ability to chat to the studio in real time. They also tried to live stream video from the SSDT Parc Ferme which proved a hit. So much so they have worked hard every year to improve this option and always try to bring along something new every year to enhance what they can offer.

2018 will be no exception with ideas currently in testing. NR are proud to  say last years’ result of a fully streamed Video service on ‘youtube’ and online listener figures as well as FM output exceeded 250,000 people which by any length is an amazing achievement for a small team.

They have also covered other events in the area like Christmas festivals, live music events and farm shows all with varied content and their own challenges but the main aim is to give a window on the event to the people of Lochaber or wherever anyone is tuned in online. The sense of achievement to hear feedback on their efforts is immense as 90% of the External events is generally produced and run by a team of three or four people at most – even of that three of those people are generally volunteers with no ‘professional’ experience.

Despite the tags of ‘Volunteer’ and ‘professional output’, NR always do their very best to give the best output they believe they can offer which has been noted on many occasions, even by others in the television and radio industry. Recently being involved in the ‘Biggest Little Railway’ on Channel 4 and more prominently on Ross Noble’s OFF ROAD SSDT effort on the Dave channel. Both production crews were suitably impressed with what a small station and a handful of dedicated people could achieve.

To listen on the good old wireless – You can get NR across Lochaber on 96.6, 102.3 and 102.4.  They have never managed to get an accurate idea of listener figures but they were given an estimation in the region of 12,500 daily from others in the industry, however NR have no way to say if that is accurate or not. In terms of the content they listen to, they are open to everything and anything as they don’t have a larger corporate network to follow! Anything from bikes, to fitness and wellbeing, farming to getting the best of your technology – as long as it’s interesting Nevis Radio will take a look. This also applies to music with a fully independent playlist containing music from today’s top forty, a number of other not so well known popular tracks, upcoming and independent artists and they always support local artists too. Because of this approach to cater from anyone from the age eighteen to eighty, Nevis Radio are a very diverse station who like to cater for everyone in our community.

Looking at the SSDT Coverage – this will be the second year the current team have done this using  this format:

Studio Anchor: Simon Abberley known as ‘Sy’ aka ‘Biscuit Boy’, plus other varied names.
Sy Abberley
Sy Abberley doing what he does

Sy is the Sustainability and Business Manager at Nevis Radio, in short the man behind the plan. In charge of all things technical and admin, Sy also creates the audio parts used and adverts for the station when he’s not on air broadcasting or coming up with another grand plan of how to enhance the service in some way. Sy has been with Nevis around ten years and started as a volunteer. He has a background in DJ’ing which is where the passion started for the music and as time passed it was noted he had good skills in all things technical and dabbled in production. After seven years of being the Production Manager at Nevis Radio, Sy undertook the transformation into the Sustainability Manager in January last year to steer Nevis to new heights in the 21st century with new ideas and take what Nevis can offer to the community.

On site Presenter: John Weller known as ‘JW’ aka Mr. Weller / Security.
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John Weller (Left) is the lead presenter at the SSDT Nevis Radio outside broadcasts – Photo: John Hulme/Trials Media

John is a dedicated volunteer to Nevis Radio. Currently hosts four shows, is a Director and chairperson of the company, and also is the Head of Music. John has always been keen on the music and preents varied shows through the week of differing styles. But has always shown a keen interest in other events such as the SSDT. In previous years John has done the camera work, also assisted in getting information for presenters such as John Moffat – our ‘SSDT Guru’. And last year hosted the SSDT coverage alongside John Moffat.

John Weller has always assisted Sy with his ‘wonderful’ ideas and supports where possible, John is very much an essential member of not just the ‘SSDT Team’ but of Nevis Radio.


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