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bringing Local News to the Blind and Visually Impaired

Notices and Forthcoming Events


The August edition of the Talking News Federation Magazine 'Parabola' is out and makes a good read. Several articles draw attention to the support that many Rotary Clubs have given to local Talking Newspapers. We have Havant Rotary Club to thank for the purchase of our tape duplicating machines and other support early in the life of HBTN.


Details of our 25th annual general meeting, including pictures of the event and our award presentation for Meritorius Service to HBTN in Memory of Pat Nunn, may be found on our Meetings page

New Hand-held reading device

We thought our VIPs might like to know that there is a new smart-phone-like handheld reading device available which sounds amazing. Here is what they say about it.
'We would like to introduce you and your members to a new easy-to-use reading device called In Your Pocket. In Your Pocket is a mobile device specifically designed for people who are blind or have low vision, and it is controlled by talking to it. Press a button and say read me the Guardian, or play podcasts about dogs, or find books by Ian Fleming.
'We are currently working with Peterborough Talking Newspapers, and they have kindly recorded an interview with a local blind couple who use In Your Pocket every day. They describe how it enhances their lives, giving access to newspapers and magazines, and thousands of books and podcasts, as well as information about the weather, time and GPS location (just ask, where am I ?).
Some local newspapers are already available on In Your Pocket.
'In Your Pocket is always developing, with new features being made available to all subscribers at no additional cost. For example, we are excited to be launching phone functionality in early March, so you will be able to make phone calls and manage your contacts simply by asking, Call James Bond, or Add a contact for Miss Moneypenny.
'Please visit our website for more information. You can view the demonstration video on Youtube

Recent Events


Our Chairman, Peter, writes: "Great BBQ this year! A far cry from 2017, when overnight gales and torrential rain wrecked a new party tent. What a difference this year! 26 of us attended the Havant Talking News BBQ 2018 - on yet another (!) wonderful July afternoon. Nestling in the shade of cherry and fir trees we soaked in the pleasures of the garden scenery, liquid refreshment and company - both old and new. Le Chef, hidden in the smoke and flames of his cooking machine, worked on sausages from the locality and chicken thighs from - who knows where [Ed: chickens, Peter]. The kindness and endeavour of many, produced a multitude of salads and puds, from at least 3 corners of the Borough and these, added to the output from the smoking BBQ, made for a great feast. Wandering around I chatted with; Malcolm Gunton, our very 1st Chairman and now our head of readers; Harley Jones, another ex-chair; Donald Wells, an editor and fund raiser - all very long standing members of HBTN. Also there was John Worley a new Reader; Liz Wade from Distribution, who is stepping into Shirley Froud's shoes as catering organiser; Nancy Lane a Listener and Head of Quality Control; and Joan Hooper, a Reader and now also helping on our Publicity Team. I could go on but I am just making the point of the multi-faceted nature of our organisation and the range and variety of tasks undertaken. All in a good cause - to get the Talking News to our band of Listeners The BBQ gave many a chance to talk to others, whom they knew of but in some cases had never met. It is a feature of our work that some teams work in isolation from others or even work from their homes. Events like the BBQ help us bond! The bonding works in both rain and sunshine - but sunshine is much better!"

Jill Brereton

Early and tireless supporter of HBTN, Jill Brereton, has died. I quote from Chairman Peter Loveridge's letter of condolence to her family: "Over many years Jill gave a lot to the Havant Borough Talking Newspaper and she was a valued and highly regarded member of the team. It was Jill’s inspirational work at fundraising that laid the groundwork for our sound financial footing and thus our current premises, without her contribution our ability to continue to provide our Newsletter would have been sorely tested. For much of this time she was also our Treasurer, a post that takes up considerable time. Jill’s commitment in terms of time, energy and interest was inspirational. That apart Jill was a loved member of the group and there are many here at the Newspaper who are greatly saddened by your loss."

Stella Capp

We are immensely sad to have to tell you that one of our long-serving and much-valued volunteers, Stella Capp, died recently. Our listeners will have heard Stella's name mentioned often as she was an integral part of our editorial team. For many years, Stella, alongside recently-retired volunteer Tony Doye, produced our quarterly magazine, Look Hear. She also worked with our Distribution team and sat on our Talking Newspaper committee. And - in her spare time! - she was a stalwart member of our quiz team, The Visionaries, who lifted the trophy at the Mayor of Havant's Quiz Evening on a number of occasions. Stella will be greatly missed by everyone at Havant Borough Talking Newspaper and we send our condolences to her family and friends.

Stella's funeral will take place at 13:45pm on Tuesday 16th January at The Oaks Crematorium in Havant. Afterwards there will be a small gathering at The Wheelwright Arms, Emsworth Road, Havant for all who knew Stella.

Donations please to HBTN, the Charity Stella supported so well and for so long.

Tim Gudgin

It is with great sorrow that we have received notice that Tim Gudgin died on November 8th. His daughter Sarah Rees let us know and his obituary appeared in Monday's Telegraph. Tim joined HBTN before he retired as a very welcome reader and was soon after a member of the committee and head of readers, although after his move to Chichester it became more difficult for him to attend meetings and recording sessions. Tim had an instantly recognisable and lovely voice and presentation style, as perhaps one might expect having been BBC trained! On our volunteers page there is a link to a tribute to Tim from his BBC Sports colleagues on his retirement in 2011. He was one of life's gentlemen and will be sorely missed at HBTN by all who knew him. All details of funeral arrangements, to take place at Chichester Crematorium on Monday 20th November, can be found in the above obituary notice.
The Times published a full obituary on Saturday 18th November which, for those interested, is reproduced here.

Older Persons Information Fair

Pat Toothill and Peter Loveridge attended the Older Persons Fair on Hayling Island on Friday 13th October 2017 Despite the inauspicious date it proved to be a worthwhile event for the Talking News to be at. Our stall (a table with a cloth on and various bits and pieces designed to grab peoples attention) sat along side some 30 others. All the Emergency services were there, Fire, Police, NHS, and the Men’s Shed. Various care services were represented, some care homes, care-at-home and meal services. Also there were Hampshire Libraries who were showing their extensive services for the elderly and for those with impaired vision. Pat was busy doing the rounds of the various stalls, explaining our purpose to those not in the know and gathering information for possible inclusion in our recordings. Whilst there did not appear to as many people coming through the door as was the case last year there was a steady flow for the first couple of hours - it then became apparent that many preferred their lunch and snooze over the 12 to 2pm period - who wouldn’t! We did manage to make contact with a couple of people who were interested in our service and managed to farm out a large number of leaflets to the care services present. Overall it was a worthwhile event helping to keep The Talking News and the service it provides in the public mind.

Tony Doye retires

Many of our listeners and volunteers will be sad to learn that Tony Doye, stalwart of the Talking News since 1994 and reader beloved by many for his warm and friendly voice, has decided to retire. Apart from being a reader from the earliest days with HBTN, Tony has been a committee member and for many years was in charge of the quarterly magazine Look Hear. Tony's last recording for the Talking News was as presenter on the 591st edition, recorded on the 8th of August, which you can hear in full on our 'Listen in!' page. At the end of that edition, Tony was interviewed by Elizabeth White, and you can hear that interview in this audio link.

'Losing My Sight' Magazine becomes a Charity

A Magazine for visually impaired and blind people launched in March 2016 has become a registered charity and received funding from The Big Lottery Awards For All. The creation of Editor in Chief Dave Taylor after losing 75% of his visual field, the aim of the magazine is to help visually impaired and blind people who have recently been diagnosed with sight loss and to get others to integrate back into the community. The Charity was registered in March this year and was successful in gaining a grant of £9,643 to facilitate several projects in Portsmouth through the first year.
The story behind the creation of the magazine and its launch in Fratton Community Centre can be read in the on-line AboutMyArea Guide for the Portsmouth Area.
You can view the magazine on-line at or you can contact the team by emailing or by calling 07462 242 143


What has now become an annual event, the BBQ, took place on Friday 21st July. Certainly not the best of weekends for BBQs but the Friday afternoon, whilst a little gloomy and fresh weather-wise, did us fine. Some 18 of us attended and the company and BBQ’d fare suited us very well.
What was very pleasing was that it provided the opportunity for people to meet and chat, the best bit being that for some they met other volunteers for the first time. Peter had set out his lawn with a croquet course but the weather somehow dampened our appetite for sport - but not for food! Peter gets another mention as he failed to take any photos of the event, and in this he was not alone. He did however photograph his new party tent the following morning following the heavy rain and strong winds of the Friday night. As you can see all was not well. Peter has since been busy heating, reshaping and strengthening bent metal poles, jury rigging broken connectors with wife Sue doing a bit of sewing on the tent. He feels he now has a working, albeit not very robust, party tent ready for next year.The morning after the night before

Open Sight Equipment and Information Day 27th July

Open Sight Hampshire’s principal organisations supporting people with sight loss held a Free Sight Loss Equipment and Information Day at Hayling Island Community Centre. Our chairman Peter Loveridge was there with Malcolm Gunton and here is Peter's report.
Our stand "I had an interesting day at the Hayling Island Community Centre. It was the Open Sight Hampshire event and ran for most of the day. There were around 20 organisations represented, each with their own table to display their wares and services.
Of particular interest to us were the Hampshire Library Services for VIPs, the Macular Society, RNIB, the Red Cross, our local electricity provider SSE and Blind Veterans UK. In addition, there were several providers of technical gadgets and gizmos to assist VIPs with reading and managing their computers.
Throughout the day there was a steady trickle of local VIPs who came to see what was available to assist in their daily lives. I was helped during the day by Malcolm Gunton and our stall was decked out with a boombox, memory stick, blue pouch and other bits and pieces to show how we operate and produce the Talking News. Sadly I picked up the wrong boombox from the office and had one that worked in all respects apart from recognising that a memory stick had been inserted - no real problem as it presented a good example of why we have moved to a new model. We also had a display board with information and an eye-catching banner - all to attract attention (although having looked at the photo I took the layout needs a bit of revamping). It worked though, most stopped to talk and pleasingly many were already on our books as Listeners. We had 2 new Listeners sign up and pay for new boom-boxes and one other strong possibility.
Did anything on display interest me? The answer is definitely ‘Yes’.
The magnifying viewers now available are not only amazing in their clarity but also so flexible. Some will read the text being viewed, even newspaper articles - but a bit of a way to go on that one. One particular innovation caught my eye, no pun intended, and that was an attachment to normal reading glasses carrying a very small camera and speaker. When you look at the book or magazine article it starts to read the article to you. Clever in itself but what was really impressive was that the camera is looking further ahead in the text and contextualises the subsequent spoken words with tonal emphasises removing the sense that you are listening to computer generated speech - more like a normal human reader. Things are getting better. As we know these gadgets, with the small numbers produced, are not cheap - but they are there.
I also spent some time talking with our table neighbours ‘Computer Room Services’ run by an inspirational guy called Steve Nutt, who, although blind, runs his life through his Chrome Notebook and his Smartphone. He provides bespoke advice and training on how a VIP may make best use out the technology available now.
The services available from our Libraries also impressed me. MP3 books, large print books and jigsaws, and downloadable National Magazines. Some of the MP3 books, called Play Away, are incorporated in a small MP3 player with an ear piece. These can be listened to anywhere, in the car, in bed or for the adventurous on the beach. All these services are free for VIPs. I know most of this is known by many but the extent of what is available impressed me. Another charitable provider of interest is Living Paintings. They provide audio descriptions of Albums covering for example Modern Art, Garden Design and Tours of some British Cities. Blind Veterans UK was also interest. They have an office in Brighton which I will visit when I am next in Brighton (I have to admit I have not been there for 2 or 3 years - but who knows) We took advantage of our presence to ensure our services and leaflets were known and distributed.
A little addendum - I had a request from Valerie Martin, one of our listeners, for more articles from Brian Kidd in 'The News' on Saturday on gardening - which is something she is able to do. Editors and Producers take note!"

Chairman's Talk

In early June I had the privilege of giving a talk to the Bedhampton Cooperative Friendship Group. The location was the Bedhampton Social Hall and it was attended by some 25, nearly but not quite all ladies. This Group meets weekly and they always try to have a speaker after their tea and chat. This time it was the turn of the Havant Talking News, allowing me to explain and promote our service to the Visually Impaired in our community. For some 40 minutes I talked and answered questions about how we put out Newspaper together, how we are trying to spread the word about our service, and how our many volunteers work to do just that. I had taken along several visual aids including one of our ‘boomboxes’ allowing for a listen-in on our most recent recording - this was clearly quite good as at one point I realised several of the audience were more interested in the Newspaper article I was playing than they were in my talking! Fortunately I also took along one of our collection boxes which prompted spontaneous donations which tripled the kind donation the Group had made to our cause. A most worthwhile exercise.
Chairman Peter Loveridge

Cream Tea for Listeners, Friends and Volunteers

The sun shone for us in Havant for our Cream Tea. A splendid assortment of sandwiches, scones with jam and cream, and delicious home-made cakes beautifully prepared and served by our volunteers was enjoyed by all, and there was more than enough to provide nearly all with 'doggie bags' at the end. Johnny Elk amusingly entertained us to Country and Western songs, to some of which we even managed to sing along, so thanks to Head of Distribution Marion for finding such a good entertainer. Our secretary Ann managed to collect a good range of prizes for the raffle, and many who came did not go away empty-handed. Thanks to all who helped organise the afternoon on behalf of all the listeners, friends and volunteers who came along as I did to a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.
Johnny Elk, singer-guitarist entertains us Stella and Christine sorting the raffle tickets Jean and Friends Hoping to win a prize Hoping to win a prize


Details of our 24th annual general meeting, including pictures of the event and our new Award for Meritorius Service to HBTN in Memory of Pat Nunn, may be found on our Meetings page


Editions of the Talking News Federation Publication 'Parabola'

The Spring 2017 Edition has now been added. Previous edition links can be found in the Archive link

HBTN has a Facebook Group!

Yes, we have finally succumbed (not before time, some might say!) to the social media revolution and have our own page. We hope this will facilitate wider publicity for our charity, attract a new generation of followers, and promote our cause to potential new listeners, volunteers and donors. So get active - view our page, add your comments and posts, share it with your other Facebook friends and of course, Like us!. This has been set up as a public group (so be circumspect about what you post!) but new members have to be approved. If you want to know more, send us a message on our Contact form.

Pat Nunn, 1926-2016

Pat Nunn in happy times Pat Nunn on retiring as PresidentPat Nunn It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Pat Nunn on Saturday, 23rd April 2016. Pat was one of the constants of HBTN since its foundation in 1993 and will be sorely missed by all who knew her. Our sincere condolences go out to all her family.
The funeral service for Pat was held at Portchester Crematorium on Thursday, 5th May. The family have requested no flowers, but donations will be passed to the Havant Borough Talking Newspaper, for which Pat worked tirelessly over the years, as founder member, promoter, fund-raiser, president and not least of these, organiser and head of distribution.

Ann Cartwright, HBTN's secretary, has worked alongside Pat for many years. Here's what she has to say about Pat:
"We at HBTN were very saddened hear that our friend and colleague, Pat Nunn, had passed away. What to say about Pat. I have spoken to the people who were with Pat from the beginning. Jean Legg was told of a lady who had just retired and was looking for a project to Volunteer with. Enter Pat, who brought in others with her enthusiasm. The theme that runs through my conversations is that Pat was very encouraging, having patience to train people, me in particular, because I had never been a secretary before. Pat interviewed people and they never realised it, because it was an ordinary conversation. Pat had covered every position in HBTN, so she knew what she was talking about. Right up until Pat became too ill to continue, just before Christmas, she was the go to person for information. She was an expert on all things HBTN. To say that Pat will be missed is putting it mildly. Our deepest sympathies go out to her children, Kathleen, Teresa, Gerald and all of the Nunn Family. RIP dear friend."

This poem was provided by Harley and Betty Jones:
              Ode To Patricia Nunn
   Pat Nunn was a lady, the finest you could find
   She was a person you could trust and very, very kind
   The Havant Borough Talking News will miss her now she’s gone
   But will never be forgotten, for her influence was strong.

   My wife and I first met her when the HBTN was new
   We all became the best of friends as volunteers we grew
   Into a group to help the blind in any way we could
   It was for her important that everything was good.

   She always was the driving force behind the group’s success
   So now she’s gone please carry on and all give of your best
   The listeners were important, always foremost in her mind
   A more dedicated lady will be difficult to find.

   We think of her and always will; she was the Talking News
   Reliable, and always there is everybody’s views
   Now rest in peace kind lady we all say our goodbye
   And rest assured without you the HBTN will never die.

   God Bless you ---- Ralf is waiting.

   Harley and Betty Jones.

Events, Visits and Social Activities

For a look at some of our previous events, visits and social activities, click on our Archive link

Click on the next page for information about our committee members.

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