Voice of Progress, the website I asked people to visit to hear the Christmas Pantomime ‘The Wizard of Was’ is changing its name to Sussex Coast Talking News in an effort to give folk a better idea of who we are and what we do.
Every two weeks three volunteers record items of news from the local papers and send them out on CDs for those people who are registered blind or sight limited who have asked for this free service. The area covered stretches from Bognor to Shoreham and encompasses Worthing and Littlehampton.
Extra volunteers for reading or editing are always welcome. The recordings take place in Rustington and the contact number is 01903 776569.
I had my first review of the audio pantomime yesterday. It was only verbal, but very welcome. I felt as if I had just published a book and wanted to know what people thought of it. The comments were very positive; the only criticism being inconsistent sound levels ( not down to me!) I am still waiting for comments on the script and the acting but it is early days yet. I’d love to do another one next year and am concerned that once Christmas is over no-one will bother to look at the website http://www.voiceofprogress.co.uk and search out December’s magazine.
Talking Newspapers are such an important resource yet they are not well known. This Littlehampton and Worthing charity deserves more exposure.
I have two very different talks in the next two weeks. One is for Worthy Words, the writing group run by Wendy Hughes at Worthing Library. Here I am going to tell the group about a course on radio drama that I have just completed.
The following week I am talking the Worthing Friendship Centre members on “From Manuscript to Microphone,”explaining how I went from being a novelist to recording a talking newspaper for the blind. I have some CDs with examples of the kind of thing the Voice of Progress produce. I also have some information about the Calibre audio library as they have the first of my novels.
I have not recorded any other books although I have read some poems for the listeners. I just hope they enjoy the pantomime in December.
As a reader for the talking newspaper in Littlehampton I attended a South of England Talking News Conference at St Richard’s hospital in Chichester with about 14 other groups, some from as far afield as Norfolk.
The programme was well balanced with speakers from The British Wireless Fund for the Blind, the Talking News Federation, 4Sight and Chichester Area Talking news.
The march of mobile technology and its use in communicating with blind and partially sighted people to allow them to feel part of the community was at the core of all our discussions. The future is digital.
I just hope we don’t lose our faithful listeners on the way.
I have just returned from recording a magazine for the Voice of Progress, a local newspaper for the blind. I was lucky enough to meet a folk singer/song writer who had had a fascinating background and who was willing to share it with our listeners and sing a few songs while he played the guitar.
Littlehampton and Worthing are fortunate in having this facility where free discs are sent to people who have registered with the charity so that they can hear local news and listen to items chosen by the readers, which can include pieces about history, travel nature, music and, in my case, poems and stories. I’ll add a couple of verses from one of the poems I used this morning.
Sunny Worthing is the place to stay
A town between the South Downs and the sea
Maybe you’ll never want to go away
So much to entertain you, here, is free.
There’s festivals, parades and fairs and fun
There’s jazz and folk and organ concerts too
There’s parks for younger ones to climb and run
And artists’ open houses – all to view.
I gave my pantomime to someone to consider recording and she liked it! Now to cast, direct and produce it. The folk at the Voice of Progress are all used to recording and most have done pantomimes before so it’s just a case of getting us all together at the same time.
I need to find a wicked sounding witch and someone with an unusual voice and comic timing. This must be the most exciting thing I have attempted for some time. It has really cheered me up.
I also need to work out how to do links as I could be changing my website this summer.I’m going to check on Google now and see if I can learn it!
I haven’t been blogging much as I have a script to write for a recording. The essential thing is to get the timing right. I have been given three pages of text but I need to turn that into an interview so that the listeners do not have to listen to a monologue.
Then I have to time it and leave spaces for one or two songs and a few poems. This is the fourth magazine I have produced for the Voice of Progress, a newsletter for the blind and it gets harder each time.
This is probably the most fulfilling thing I do in my retirement. Writing is fine but readers can get the same pleasure from many other sources. There aren’t as many avenues of entertainment for the less able. I hope they like it when it’s finished.