Exmouth Talking Newspaper celebrates 40th birthday

three people cutting cake

John Hargraves (acting chairman) Eve Holland retiring after 15 years as a volunteer for ETN, Gill Laws (secretary) - Credit: Exmouth Talking Newspaper

Exmouth Talking Newspaper celebrated its 40th Birthday on October 16 with a party at the Devoncourt Hotel, Exmouth.  

Held under coronavirus restrictions and the hand gel firmly within reach, it was the first time listeners and volunteers have been able to meet together for over two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.  

Once the annual general meeting with the shareholders was out the way, acting chairman John Hargraves put arrangements in place for the regular recording of the local newspapers to once again continue fortnightly, after being suspended due to Covid. And now recordings have been extended to include magazine titles.  

The meeting paid tribute to Dr Bob Donald, who has been a volunteer registrar and chairman and Brian Webber, Editor and ETN Auditor, who both sadly passed away.  

Tributes were also paid to Pat Heck who is stepping down as a committee member.  

cake on a table

Cake supplied by volunteers Diane and Karen Routely - Credit: Exmouth Talking Newspaper

Volunteers Diane and Karen Routely baked a birthday cake and made cream teas for the group before singing Happy Birthday and blowing out the candles on the cake! 

Committee members were also elected at the meeting. Three members were re-elected: John Hargraves, Gill Laws and Rebecca Books and three new members were welcomed to the team of volunteers: Rosalynde Tucker, Salena Hutton and Jean Gregory. Three other members continue in their roles: Judith Stradling, Heather Webber and Ian Lacey.

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Exmouth Talking Newspaper is regarded as the leading Talking Newspaper in the country. The first Exmouth Talking Newspaper was started at home and released on tape in October 1981. In 2005 recordings were moved into a 'studio' (an old workshop with a mud floor and corrugated iron roof). The next year £58,000 was raised to soundproof the building.  

The secretary was delighted to receive a cheque from Mary Philby, the former Chairman of Exmouth Voluntary Services (EVS), which will help with the expenses of running the ETN. 

If anyone knows of someone who might benefit from receiving recordings by ETN please contact the secretary, Gill Laws, on 01395 266968 for further information.

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