In the beginning
The Swindon and District Talking Newspaper Association was formed in 1981 as a result of a local blind person, Gerry England, hearing a similar tape produced by a group of people in Scotland.
Gerry felt that a town the size of Swindon should have its own talking newspaper to cater for the growing number of visually impaired people in the local community. He approached various charitable organisations and eventually the Rotary Club agreed to buy the basic equipment.
The first edition of the tape, known as STAN, which is a corruption of its abbreviated title, was produced in April 1982 on reel-to-reel tape equipment and taken to listeners together with the large tape deck!
The Association initially had no premises of its own, and the recordings were originally made at the Swindon Viewpoint studios, before moving to the home of STAN founder Shirley Ludford. In October 1983 the upper floor of the local blind association's headquarters became vacant and a room, which had previously been the caretaker's lounge was converted into a recording studio and control room. By now STAN was delivered on compact cassettes.
STAN has been at Craven House in Victoria Road, Swindon, ever since.
A milestone in the history of STAN was the Committee's decision to change from fortnightly to weekly production in 1987. In the five years since the first edition of STAN the circulation had risen from 70 to around 180.
Since 2010, the talking newspaper has been produced
on a USB memory stick, which listeners play on a 'boom box', which is
provided free of charge. The memory stick can also be played on a
computer or any device capable of reading mp3 files from a USB stick
Registered Charity No. 284665
Telephone 01793 522511