Macclesfield Talking Newspaper - Starting Out
In 1973 Marjorie Snow, at that time General Secretary of the Macclesfield Society for the Blind, was reviewing the Society's services for the blind and partially-sighted people. She thought a taped weekly news service using the tapes and machines supplied by the Talking Book organisation would be of benefit as it would enable the visually impaired to be kept in touch with local news and events which are not covered by radio and television.

This idea was taken to the next meeting of the Blind Society Committee who were very interested in it and asked Mrs.Snow to investigate costs and facilities required.

Mrs.Snow recruited Henry Johnson (technical expert from Hodgsons Ltd.) and Neville Paul (Talking Book technicion) to advise her on technical matters and she arranged visits to the nearest Talking Newspapers which at that time were Colchester in Essex and Newtown in Wales.

Having seen Talking Newspapers in action, Mrs.Snow and her helpers discussed requirements. She was now uncertain of the wisdom of using Talking Book equipment and advice from Leeds University indicated that the 90 minute "compact" cassette would be a better long term choice, even though initial costs would be much higher, as this would entail provision of suitable tape players to loan to listeners.

To produce a satisfactory Talking Newspaper, equipment costing about £3000 would be needed, rooms for establishing a recording studio, tape duplication facilities and an office would be required, together with an army of dedicated volunteers. These would not only be the readers but all the backstage workers needed to operate equipment, to edit and provide news and general interest items, pack and unpack tape envelopes, keep records and attend to administration, as well as visiting listeners to deliver and demonstrate tape players.

By now the Blind Society committee under the Chairmanship of Mrs.Enid Morley, had consulted its membership and found that the idea was well received. In spite of the costs and work involved, the go ahead was given and Mrs.Snow was authorised to purchase equipment, convert the top floor of the premises on Queen Victoria Street and to organise volunteers.

   Mrs Marjorie Snow

1973 General Secretary of the Macclesfield Society for the Blind

    Mrs Enid Morley

Chairman Macclesfield Blind Society Committee, 1973

Registered Charity Number 505128
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