Grantham Journal letters: Disturbed by news of cut in service
The Talking Newspaper Grantham records news from the Grantham Journal each week posting discs to the blind and vision disabled who can no longer see to read or write.
As a grateful beneficiary of this service, I am greatly disturbed to learn it has become necessary to reduce this service which keeps us in touch with local news and events due to lack of volunteers. Surely there must be at least one person who has the technical knowledge and know-how to record a program who can spare a few hours each week!
Many years ago I was one of the first volunteers to read the news. In those days the recording studio wqas on the top floor of what was Barclays Bank. There are lots of stairs to climb to the top but now there is a roomy comfortable home for the newspaper in Wharf Road and friendly people.
Later I volunteered to read on the magazine which is recorded half way on the disc. This is informative and entertaining, with several members of Grantham Writers attending for just an hour or so to record items of interest and read some short stories, poems, and anecdotes, choosing as far as possible light-hearted items. There was quite a lot of laughter on those -then - tapes as we never knew what each of us was going to read, but we had a good response from our listeners. Mr Barrington Bell - I hope I have that right - was our wonderful technician. Many years ago my husband James (Jim) was totally blind and wanted to know why there was no talking newspaper. Mrs Jean Templeton was visitor for blind people and told us it had been tried but had not been a success. ‘So’, said my hubby, ‘try again’.
Money was raised by the blind group with a raffle and, of course, donations. Mrs Templeton approached the lovely Bill Cross who agreed to take it on and then Talking Newspaper was born and thrived under Bill who would be sad to know that, due to lack of volunteers giving a couple of hours a week to help blind people keep in touch, cutting the weekly service to two weeks has to be taken to keep the service going at all.
Grantham has many writers and some members of Grantham Writers have been successful writing novels and stories published in magazines. I am sure they - like us - then old guard have lots of anecdotes. If you really can’t spare the time could you offer some light-hearted writing to be read on the magazine?
Come on Grantham, don’t let us lose this service which means so much to those of us who can’t see to read for ourselves.