Talking Newspaper celebrates 40th anniversary


Wilmslow Talking Newspaper (WTN) are celebrating 40 years since they started to record local news and distribute it to blind and partially sighted listeners in the area.

The service was established in October 1983 with support from Wilmslow Lions Club, who provided funds to purchase the equipment needed, and the first recording took place on 3rd May 1984.

During the pandemic, Paul Chilton, committee Chairman and now the group's only technician, kept the service going single-handedly, acting as editor, reader and recordist. Nowadays teams of three volunteer readers record news items from local papers and online sources on three Thursday afternoons each month. Each edition is posted out on memory sticks to loyal local listeners and is also available online through the Speech Talking Newspaper app.

Stephanie is a founder member, having attended the initial meeting at Lindow School when WTN was established, and is still a reader almost 41 years later. She said "It's great to be part of the Wilmslow Talking Newspaper team, helping to ensure that everybody in our community can keep ahead of local news and activities. Note: we love feedback."

Denise Toms, a committee member who has been a listener for over 10 years, said "I think the Talking Newspaper is really important because it's keeping me in touch with the local news. The local community is either disappearing or going online, and for lots of people this is isolating. From that point of view it's very important because it makes things accessible."

To mark the occasion an afternoon tea at Wilmslow Library on Tuesday 25th June. Listeners and readers old and new, and anyone else interested in WTN are invited to drop into Wilmslow Library between 1 pm and 3 pm.

Photo: Paul, Belinda, Lyn and Caroline recording a recent edition.


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