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Chatterbox talking newspaper celebrates 2,000 editions in 40 years

Chatterbox, the Norwich Talking Newspaper records its 2000th edition.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018

Chatterbox, the Norwich Talking Newspaper records its 2000th edition. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

Archant 2017

For four decades they have been reciting news for the blind community in Norwich and last week published their 2,000th edition.

Chatterbox, the Norwich Talking Newspaper records its 2000th edition.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018Chatterbox, the Norwich Talking Newspaper records its 2000th edition. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

But for only the second time in their history, the landmark edition will be sent out late after snow and icy conditions from the Beast from the East delayed distribution.

The main audio publication since 1979 has been weekly news taken from the Norwich Evening News and Eastern Daily Press. A quarterly magazine of local live interviews was added in 1998. In 2013, a further magazine was added taking articles from Archant’s well-known EDP Norfolk monthly magazine.

All early recordings were produced on cassette tapes and Chatterbox always provided tape players to make the whole service entirely free of charge. Today, Chatterbox produces recordings using computer memory sticks and equips all listeners with compatible players.

As the Royal Mail waive fees for postage to and from blind people, there is no cost for them to sign up.

David Potten, chair of trustees at Chatterbox, said they celebrated the landmark by inviting in some guest speakers to record the 2,000th talking newspaper.

“Oddly enough there is only two occasions in 40 years we have failed to produce on schedule, and last week was one of them because of the snow,” he said. “So the 2,000th edition was a little late.”

On Thursday the team welcomed some guest speakers, including editor of the EDP and Evening News David Powles, High Sheriff of Norfolk James Bagge, and Lord Mayor of Norwich David Fullman.

“David Fullman told me 40 years ago he was asked to collect money in the streets for Chatterbox with a tin can by one of our three founders - Stan Peterson.

“We have been very lucky that in the early years there was a lot of fundraising events at the Theatre Royal and as a result we were able to buy our own property on King Street. Our major aim in this 40th year is to get more listeners. 
“We send out USB sticks to about 400 people every week and everything is free.”

Anyone who wants to find out more about Chatterbox can call them on 01603 765365 or email on contact@cbtn.org.uk.

Alternatively write to Chatterbox Talking Newspaper at Peterson House, 240 King Street, NR1 2TT

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