Dorking & District Talking Newspaper was set up in 1987, thanks to  the Dorking Deepdene Rotary Club, who formed a steering group under the chairmanship of Peter Wills. The aim was to keep blind and partially sighted people in the area in touch with local news and events. At the time talking newspapers were just getting started across Britain as a free service provided by volunteers reading their local newspapers on to 90-minute cassette tapes which were posted to the listeners. In our case the content was drawn from the Dorking Advertiser, then a busy local paper. A recording session of the Talking Newspaper

The first edition was produced in February 1988. The news took up one 45-minute side of the cassette, with announcements and the sports news on the second side. 

We also offered a 30 minute audio magazine to follow this, containing other items of local or general interest,. This included interviews, health information, news of High Street changes, What’s On, as well as items on living with sight loss, jokes, poems and much more.

In 2010 the production changed from cassettes to USB memory sticks which are posted in special pouches to our listeners. 

During the Covid lockdown we were reduced to a monthly service, but picked up afterwards to fortnightly editions.  Now, in co-operation with neighbouring Bookham & Leatherhead Talking Newspaper, our listeners are once again receiving a weekly service to enjoy.

We have also expanded our “Dorking Talking” magazine to a full hour.