KeeP 106 is the broadcasting name of the community radio station for Dorchester and the surrounding area operated on a not-for-profit basis by Ridgeway Community Radio, a community interest company (CIC). A group of enthusiastic volunteers, all of whom have experience in broadcasting, run the station which broadcasts 24 hours a day. There are no commercial interests involved – the volunteers merely want to be part of, and provide a service to the community.
The name is derived from the fact that the station is based in The Little Keep located at the far end of, what was, the parade ground opposite The Keep which is now a Military Museum (the ‘Big’ Keep, so to speak). The Little Keep once served as the Officers’ Quarters and is all that remains of the original Militia Barracks built in 1866. Also housed in the same building is The Arts Development Company – their website has more information about the building’s history – Artsreach and Pageant Productions. The 106 part of the station’s name reminds the listener where to find the station on a radio since the frequency is 106.3 Mhz FM.
This community radio station was inspired by the former hospital radio station at Dorset County Hospital which had been broadcasting to patients for 20 years as Ridgeway Radio and before that as West Dorset Hospital Radio when the first phase of the hospital was built. Though in fact hospital radio in Dorchester began well over 50 years ago with the formation of the Dorchester Hospital Broadcasting Service at the original Dorchester Hospital which was located in Princes Street.
The station’s slogans are ‘True Community Spirit’, ‘Proud to be different’ and ‘Something For Everyone’. We broadcast a diverse range of music from all genres, together with a number of speech-based, magazine-style programmes. See our Schedule page for more details.
We can provide an important link between local organisations and the general public and we invite representatives to contact us and take part in our programmes and spread their word or promote their not-for-profit events, etc. Please see this page to get in touch.
KeeP 106 also offers inexpensive sponsorship and advertising packages for local businesses and there are more details here. Funds raised in this way go towards our running costs to ensure the station can continue this free service to the community.
How to find us:
The Little Keep, Barrack Road, Dorchester, DT1 1SQ
KeeP 106 is supported by a number of businesses and organisations. Please visit their websites here:
There are various ways to listen to KeeP 106
Thank you to these wonderful listeners who have taken the trouble to send us the comments below…
• “Keep up the great work on KeeP 106, love listening to it – a breath of fresh air compared to national radio.”
• “Hi there, this is Dartmoor calling! I’m Dorchester born! Just stumbled across Keep106 whilst surfing the net. What a revelation, I can now keep up with beloved Dorchester! In these difficult times I’ve not visited my spiritual home in yonks. Now I can be there every day! Many, many thanks.”
• “We listened to your choices and really enjoyed them. It’s a lovely idea to do a programme [Friend’s Choice] like that. Your Vaughan-Williams choice is one of my favourite pieces and I haven’t heard it for years – takes me straight back to living in North Dorset….Good nostalgic stuff.”
• “Hi Geoff, thanks for playing my ‘double decker’ suggestion on Solid Gold Sixties yesterday. A good show.”
• “If Peter Foster is on the circuit, I am loving Keep 106, and I hope everybody tunes in. Play Class 84 a tune sometime Peter!!”
• “Just discovered you this week. Listening all the time now. Great and interesting selection of music, love the local and national news and presentation of it as well.”
• “Yesterday afternoon I was spending tedious time in my kitchen dealing with apple fallers and switched on KeeP 106 and thought, “I know that voice”. Old friend Andy presenting music broadly folk and not all to my taste but some certainly were, also those from other friend Andy. Then Friend’s Choices, the first two youthful choices were part of my childhood and early teens that I’ve not heard for decades. Just before the end and out of nowhere, a memory shot into my head of, ‘The Blacksmith Blues’ and its first verse c. 1950/1, I loved it. Most of the other choices appealed also the biographical details. So, many thanks for cheering up my somewhat drudgery-like task on a miserable afternoon.”
• “Having lost Wessex FM radio, and looking around for another local radio station, I stumbled upon your Keep 106 radio, so glad I did, what a find! You are now playing daily in my kitchen via Alexa, and on my portable radio outside weather permitting on 106.3fm whilst having our lunch. Keep up the good work. Anyway couldn’t resist letting you all know how much appreciated you are.”
• “As a newcomer to KeeP 106 on line, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed listening to both your Organ show and now the Big Band show. Dance music heightens the longing of my wife and I to get back to ballroom dancing. Thanks very much.”
• “There are a group of us in California who love Dorchester (and miss it!). We really enjoy listening to KeeP 106. I like Mandy Sylvester’s show because she chooses great songs from many eras. Also her voice is very soothing and she is funny in an understated way.”
• “That was GREAT! A lovely distraction in the middle of lockdown, thank you.”
• “Several friends found Keep106 for the first time and said they were delighted with the variety and quality of the programmes they found.”
• “Hello, I tuned in to your radio station for the first time today, during my drive home (from Plymouth to Southampton), and it was amazing! Admittedly I was feeling rather tired and then at 19.19 you played a Doris Day song, one I haven’t heard before and it definitely woke me up as I loved it!…..I look forward to listening to your station again when travelling through Dorchester many thanks.”
• “When I hear the term ‘community radio’ it conjures up a rather bland mix of local news reporting and middle of the road music. Keep 106, which I have only recently started to regularly listen to, blows that image out of the water. The programmes cover an enormous and diverse range of musical genres, both mainstream and minority interest. Classical, jazz, folk, soul, blues, country, nostalgic 50s and 60s right up to present day releases. Also, there is in depth coverage of both local and national news items, magazine programmes, traffic news, interviews with local personalities and a look at the local arts scene. This is not a station to just use as ‘wallpaper’ in the background, it is a serious alternative for the Dorset listener who wants a hybrid mix of the mainstream BBC radio stations with an added local and community emphasis. The programming has something to appeal to all age groups and tastes in music. It is remarkable that this is run by volunteers as the standard is so high.“