The History of the New Milton Talking Newspaper may be summarised as follows:

Early Days

We were founded in 1998 and charitable status was obtained in June 1999. Our founders were Joan Mulkern, Geoffrey Briddon, Olive Cumberland and Val Raymond who is still a Sound Technician and Reader.

The founders consulted other Talking Newspapers in the area as to their methods of working. Various grants were obtained including £5,000 from the National Lottery.

The first edition was recorded on 18 June 1999 in a small studio in the Memorial Hall, Whitefield Road, New Milton.

To hear founder member, Val Raymond, looking back at the early days please click on the link below:

In the Beginning

Major Changes


In 2004, the Newspaper was offered free accommodation in a small building within the grounds of Durlston Court School.

After 10 years based at Durlston Court School in Barton on Sea, the Talking Newspaper were asked to vacate the premises by the middle of July 2014, as the School needed the space back. We are very grateful to the School for giving us a home free of charge for so many years.

Talking Newspaper moves back to New Milton

The New Milton Town Council kindly agreed that the Talking Newspaper might use the vacant tennis pavilion in the Recreation Ground.

The last Talking Newspaper at Durlston was recorded on 4 July and equipment was packed up ready for the move the following week.

For an account of our final day at Durlston click on the link below:

Farewell to Durlston

A team of volunteers lead by Bob Lowe organised a move to the new premises on Tuesday 8 July and everything was made ready by Friday 11 July for the first recording in our new home – a magnificent effort.

For photographs of the recording and despatch of the Talking Newspaper on Friday 11 July, click on the link below:

Back in New Milton


The Talking Newspaper was offered initially on audio cassette tape.

A Lottery grant was obtained so that we could become fully digital and we were able to provide the Talking Newspaper on compact disk (CD).

Portsmouth TN advised on us on how we could offer our listeners the Talking Newspaper on memory stick playable on MP3/USB players. The first memory sticks were issued on 4 June 2010.

We invested in a bulk supply of  players which listeners may choose to buy at an inexpensive price. A volunteer is available to demonstrate the simple but effective operation of this player to each new listener .

Audio Cassette Tapes

One of our recurring problems was fitting our recordings on to two sides of an audio cassette tape. The decision was taken with effect from 1 September 2012 to stop offering our listeners the Talking Newspaper on audio cassette tape and we switched as many listeners as possible to memory sticks or CDs.

Grant from the Community Chest

The Talking Newspaper continually needs to seek and attract new volunteers, listeners and donors.

In 2012 application was made to Radio Solent for a grant under the Community Chest to fund a new logo and new website.

As part of the application process, Colin Bower was interviewed live on Katie Martin’s programme and we obtained the grant we were seeking.

New Logo

Posters and flyers were redesigned to incorporate the new logo and to make reference to the new website.

New Website

The website was designed using the new logo and launched on 1 September 2012.

The main aim of our website is to provide information and examples of the Talking Newspaper itself, to make visally-impaired people (and their relatives, friends and carers) aware of the existence of the Talking Newspaper, so that they may consider going on the Mailing List.

The Talking Newspaper also aims to provide information to potential and current volunteers.

Retirement of Joan Mulkern

After 13 years at the helm Joan Mulkern retired on 16 November 2012 and moved nearer her son in Sussex.

Please click on link below for more details:

Retirement of Joan Mulkern

2012 – A Memorable Year

For a fuller summary of events that took place in 2012, please click on the link below:

2012 – A Memorable Year

What made the news in 2013?

For what made the news in 2013,please click on the link below:

What made the news in 2013?

What was new in 2014?

For activities that were new in 2014, please click on the link below:

What was new in 2014?

One of the memories of 2014 must be Bob Lowe’s involvement with the Silver Line. For an outline of Bob’s involvement, please click on the link below:

Bob Lowe’s involvement with the Silver Line?

What was new in 2015?

In September 2015 we started an experiment to see if it was viable to issue a monthly or quarterly Talking Magazine.

It was planned to include the occasional interview with a local person who had lived an interesting life. In the end we recorded 3 Talking Magazines and a Christmas edition, with 3 interviews in all. The Magazines were well-received and the decision was taken to continue with Magazines on a quarterly basis. Please click on the relevant links in the Menu to hear the Magazines and Interviews.

For the full account of activities in 2015 please click on the link below:

What was new in 2015

What was new in 2016?

In 2016, we continued the Quarterly Talking Magazines and occasional interviews. We introduced the News Taster to give visitors to the website a flavour of what is in our weekly Talking Newspapers.

The most extraordinary event in 2016, was when Bob Lowe became a presenter on the BBC1 programme Inside Out when he was filmed going into the presses of our main source of news, the New Milton Advertiser & Lymington Times (the A & T), and then editing an edition of the Talking Newspaper.

To view Bob’s amazing performance please click on the link below:

Bob Lowe on Inside Out

For the full list of activities that were new in 2016, please click on the link below:

What was new in 2016?