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 Otley’s Talking Newspaper

Mandy Thompson & Judith Tomlinson

5th January 2012

The Wharfedale Observer played a large part in the talk given to us by Judith Tomlinson about the charity “Otley’s Talking Newspaper”.

It was good to hear that both Newsquest and The Post Office supported the charity by giving their services free of charge and helping to provide information and enjoyment to the 113 listeners in the Otley, Aireborough and Horsforth areas.

A Wharfedale Observer tape and CD are published each week on a Thursday and delivered by the Post Office the following day Friday. It is remarkable that this can be done so quickly by an organisation staffed only by volunteers. The editing ,reading and recording is all done on the day of the paper’s issue by a team of editors and readers helped by current technology using computer programmes, such as Adobe Audition, and a sophisticated copying system that will record 16CD’s and 11 tapes in one run.

Dependent on the listener’s request either a tape or a CD is delivered to them in a special reusable rugged plastic envelope of which five are required for each listener.

This type of organisation requires many volunteers and an ample amount of money to pay for the equipment and envelopes that require regular replacement.

From a team of 50 volunteers and a committee of 12  there are people who read for the recordings, edit the publications and most importantly collect and raise money.

As well as the weekly newspaper, “Otley Matters” and a Monthly Magazine are recorded and published for which visually impaired people have Derek Hodgson to thank for starting this charity in 1984 with a RNIB grant.

Our next meeting at Otley Methodist Church is on Thursday 19th January at 10-00am when Sir Thomas Ingilby will tell us about “Castle Life in the 21st Century

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