Anthony talks poetry for the talking newspaper

Anthony’s skills were picked up in the USA where he got the opportunity to be part of the audible local ledger.

Anthony’s skills were picked up in the USA where he got the opportunity to be part of the audible local ledger.

The Talking Newspaper is a life-enhancing aid for those whose sight is impaired.

Recently Anthony Payne from St Bees, a volunteer reader with the Whitehaven Talking Newspaper, had the opportunity to read for a similar organisation in the USA.

He and his wife were holidaying during the summer with their son’s parents-in-law in Popponesset in Cape Cod.

This was a family get-together for everyone to meet their new grandson, when he was invited to read for the Audible Local Ledger in their studios in the town of Mashpee.

The Audible Local Ledger is the Massachusetts equivalent of the Talking Newspaper.

It has a purpose-equipped studio complex in the centre of Mashpee with four high-tech recording studios.

In the studios the volunteers record material in half-hour and one-hour slots from a wide variety of local and national newspapers and periodicals.

Director Sherry Bergeron said: “Everything is recorded in advance and nothing goes out live.

“It is broadcast via dedicated radios to some 1800 listeners in the Eastern Cape and the islands (for example, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Island).

“The material is then available over the internet, and I know that I have at least one listener in Australia.”

The programme runs for 24 hours a day.

Largely the content is drawn from such publications as the New York Times or the Boston Globe.

There are also items such as the Fiction Hour or the African American Hour, and articles from high-end publications such as the Smithsonian Magazine and the National Geographic.

From Monday to Friday up to ten hours of content is provided by local sources, including special offers at the local supermarkets.

Anthony said: “I recorded two half-hour programmes of my humorous verse.”

“It was a rather different set-up from the one in Whitehaven, as I was reading into a computer-operated recorder entirely alone in the studio.”

“It is very exciting to think that I will be heard by such a wide audience.

“I was very pleased to be able to help, as I was told by Sherry that the lady who usually does poetry-reading has had to withdraw for health reasons.”

“At the Talking Newspaper we receive so many messages from people saying how much they appreciate the service, and that makes it all the more worthwhile.”

This is the second time Anthony has recorded his poems for the Audible Local Ledger, and he has been invited to make a repeat visit in the future.