Tributes paid to Exmouth Talking Newspaper founder

PUBLISHED: 17:28 20 August 2018 | UPDATED: 17:28 20 August 2018

Tributes have been paid to Don Leech, a founder of Exmouth and District Talking Newspaper, who died earlier this month, aged 91.

Tributes have been paid to Don Leech, a founder of Exmouth and District Talking Newspaper, who died earlier this month, aged 91.


Tributes have been paid to Don Leech, a founder of Exmouth and District Talking Newspaper, who died earlier this month, aged 91.

The great-grandfather and dad-of-two was in the early 1980s instrumental in setting up the news service, with Dorothy Bowman.

Together the pair set up Exmouth and District Talking Newspaper for the Blind.

Don’s daughter, Tessa Henley, said: “This was a group in which he took great pride.

“Under his and Dorothy’s stewardship it started out with a few members who weekly edited the news and recorded it on cassette tape.

“Eventually funds were raised so that they could buy and equip their own purpose built studio and were able to distribute the news on memory sticks.

“It was through this work with the Talking Newspaper that Don and his wife, Audrey, were invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace.”

Don, Audrey, and family, moved to Exmouth in 1966 when he became a lecturer at Rolle College.

His job involved him setting up an audio visual aids resources centre and he went on to become a senior lecturer in educational technology.

Don and Audrey were keen members of the Exmouth Twinning Association; he became the chairman in 1986 and continued in this role until 1992.

He was a member of Probus; he and Audrey were also members of the Exmouth Historical and Archaeological Society.

Photography had always been a hobby; Don was a member of the Exmouth Photo Group.

He had his own dark room but soon embraced digital photography. Additionally, he had an interest in three-dimensional photos.

Tessa said: “His last talk to the group was on 3-D photography but at the end of the talk he had to admit that he was unable to enjoy any of the photos that he had shown as he had been blind in one eye since the age of four.”

Don Leech died on August 4 at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. He leaves two daughters, their husbands, two grandsons, their partners and a great-granddaughter.

Don’s funeral is at 1.30pm on Tuesday, August 28, at Exeter Crematorium, St Peter’s Chapel.

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