CHAMPAGNE bottles were popped open as broadcasters said farewell to another season of Cookham Summer FM (CSFM) which this year was said to have united the village like never before.

The month-long broadcast on 87.9FM from Cookham's railway station ended with a cheer on Sunday as hundreds of residents raised their glasses and gathered outside The Crown pub in the Moor to enjoy a farewell party with live music from CSFM supporter Matt Smith.

CSFM organiser Liz Kwantes said: "We had a fantastic finale with a party at the Crown. Lots of people turned up. Then about 40 of us went to the station to sing Auld Lang Syne and drank champagne at midnight."

This year was the third time that Cookham Summer FM the brainchild of children's television presenter and Cookham resident Timmy Mallett has received a temporary radio licence from broadcasting regulators Ofcom.

Miss Kwantes said the feedback from this year's 654 hours of non-stop broadcasting, which included live broadcasts from summer fetes and church services, book readings, and interviews with celebrities like the Duke of Edinburgh, was very positive.

She said: "People liked it because it helped them find out more about Cookham."

Timmy's wife Lynda Mallett, another CSFM organiser, said: "We know that Cookham Summer FM was worth the effort from people stopping me in Maidenhead and Windsor and Bourne End just to tell me that.

"And from the loads of emails from around the world from people telling us how their past life in Cookham was brought to life again by listening in online. New friends and contacts have been made. The Three Cookhams have been brought together like never before."

She added: "We've heard all types of stories and heard all types of voices. We've brought local headmasters together who've bizarrely never met before. We have had our medical practitioners put together with complementary medicine folk."

There are no plans to broadcast again next year as it takes more than a year to plan a new season.