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Kennet Cassette enjoys anniversary

The weekly tape recording of reports from the Newbury Weekly News has been going for 35 years

A SERVICE which allows blind people and the partially sighted to enjoy the Newbury Weekly News every week celebrated its 35th anniversary last week.

The first edition of the Kennet Cassette recordings of the local news came out on May 20, 1976.

The service was founded by Peter Dann who came up the idea when the Rotary Club he was a member of, was looking for a community project to invest in.

The Kennet Cassette, which has 1,860 editions under its belt, is a weekly tape recording of reports from the NWN.

Mr Dann said that he hoped the service continued until he needed to use it.

He said: "Local news is the stuff of life for some people.

"If you live in Newbury this [the toilets at Park Way] is interesting.

"It gives the blind something to talk about when they have sighted visitors.

"It's about keeping people in touch with their surroundings."

He said that the number of recipients had dropped from 170 in its peak to 115 now, and said that this was because of improvements in eye health care.

Mr Dann said that once they are unable to use cassette tapes anymore they would probably move the service onto memory stick.

He added: "I'm not looking forward to explaining how it works!"

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