Vital service saved as Advertiser/Messenger comes to the rescue

Bromsgrove Advertiser: Our turn to make the news: Editor of the Talking Newspaper for the Blind Margaret Brown, with on the left reader Linda Caleb, her husband George and Gerald Hughes. Ref:NT:03789. Our turn to make the news: Editor of the Talking Newspaper for the Blind Margaret Brown, with on the left reader Linda Caleb, her husband George and Gerald Hughes. Ref:NT:03789.

BROMSGROVE'S favourite weekly newspaper, the Advertiser/Messenger, has stepped in to save a vital community service from being forced to fold after it was shown the door on premises it has used for many years.

Every week for 40 years, close on 70 people with impaired vision look forward to the Advertiser/Messenger dropping through their letterboxes in the shape of a cassette tape.

But, the small band of volunteers who edit, record and produce the hour long tapes were dismayed recently when they received a letter informing them they had until March 1 to quit the office they had been using for several years in the county council building in Windsor Street.

Editor Margaret Brown from Old Station Road said the news came as a bitter blow.

All attempts to swiftly find alternative accommodation for the recording equipment failed -until she hit on the idea of ringing the Advertiser's High Street office for help.

After listening to their plight the paper's Editor Alan Wallcroft immediately offered the group the use of an office in which to record the tapes in readiness for the Post Office to send out to listeners who receive them on Saturday mornings.

"It's a magnificent and very generous gesture by the Advertiser," said Margaret. "If we hadn't been able to have found somewhere suitable it could have led to the service having to fold. This would have come as a great disappointment to those who look forward to receiving the tapes every week."

Alan commented: "Margaret and the other volunteers do a splendid job and give freely of their time and energy to ensure a section of the community do not miss out on receiving the news. We are delighted to be able to help."

The service does not receive any financial backing and is run entirely with the help of volunteers. Margaret's husband George, Linda Caleb and Gerald Hedge are the news readers while Ron Scott, Bernice Colson, Tom French and Ron and Linda Dent take turns making the copies.

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