Film ID: YFA 4116 Video of CALDERDALE TALKING NEWSPAPER c.1981 Visitor TabsDescription Made by members of the Halifax Cine club, this is a film of Calderdale talking newspaper, a free service of cassette tapes recording articles from local newspapers for those with hearing impairment. The film explains how the newspaper was started and how it is run, calling for contributions. The film begins with a mock newspaper article with the title, 'Calderdale Talking Newspaper', written by Ernest Hardy. A postman delivers a tape to an elderly woman with sight impairment, who then puts it into a tape machine and plays it. The woman explains how she has long wanted for this facility as before she couldn't read the Halifax Courier and Guardian. Another elderly woman arrives home with a guide dog explaining how the idea got off the ground. The film shows Mrs Jackie Stark sitting at her desk, the volunteer bureau organiser who helped start off the project. She received numerous requests for such a service, and she sits with Darrel Bachelor, a blind social worker, who explained the difficulties of blind people, of which there are 750 registered in Calderdale. Jackie Stark contacted other talking newspapers and recruited volunteers. The first cassette was recorded on 24th October 1979. After 12 months Calderdale owned its own recording and copying equipment and was able to provide cassette players to those who did not possess them, due to the generosity of individuals, organisations and companies throughout the area. The envelopes have an address label that can be turned around to be posted back. Someone ticks off the packages in a register. The cassettes are passed through an eraser. Norman edits the news form the 4 local newspapers, cutting out articles and pasting them onto sheets. Recording sessions take place fortnightly onto 90 minute cassettes. Those doing the recording are shown in a room with the recording equipment. Stuart fast copies the recordings onto 320 cassettes using two fast copying machines and one slave module. Random tests are made to ensure that a good quality copy is obtained. The tapes are put into jiffy bags, post free, and Fred takes a full sack to the post office. The film ends explaining that this is a free service dependent on contributions from the community, which are gratefully received. The End Context Local Halifax Cine Club members are on hand to document the new Calderdale Talking Newspaper not long after its first cassette was recorded on 24th October, 1979. Volunteers have got together to bring highlights of all the local news to those in the area with a visual impairment, painstakingly selecting choice articles, recording them fortnightly onto 90-minute cassettes, and posting them in special re-usable envelopes. This is one of many documentaries made by Halifax Cine Club highlighting aspects of their local area and community. The first talking newspaper in Britain was established in Cardiganshire in January 1970, after librarian Ronald Sturt paid a study visit to Västerås in Sweden in 1968 and saw one in operation. The idea caught on across the country, and by 1974 there were enough to warrant the formation of the Talking Newspaper Association of the United Kingdom (TNAUK). Calderdale Talking Newspaper Association is still in operation but has now moved on from cassettes and provides free audio files on a USB memory stick which can be played on an MP3 player.