THE TALKING Buchanie will celebrate its 25th anniversary this month as a much-needed organisation aiding the blind and partially-sighted people of Aberdeenshire.
The Peterhead group began in 1986, after reporters at the time met with Duncan Simpson of the Aberdeen Tape Service, who was keen to see local papers doing a tape for local folk.
The group began upstairs in the file room of the old Buchanie offices in Chapel Street with a small tape machine and a hand-held microphone, a committee was then formed in order to raise funds for improved equipment.
The people of Peterhead, including businesses and organisations were very helpful to the Talking Buchanie and suppported it in all its fundraising efforts.
The group then moved to a room in the town house however found themselves in a quandry when they had to move from there.
Group chairperson, Rosie Watt, said: “We sent out letters to various organisations and churches seeking help. We were then given a room by the Baptist Church in the old manse and we have now been there for the last few years.
“We are deeply indebted to the church.
“A lot of people in Peterhead are still unaware of the Talking Buchanie which is surprising as we’ve been on the go for many years now.
“We record the tapes on the Tuesday morning when we get the paper and they then get out to the blind and partially-sighted, who once enjoyed reading the paper themselves.
“Unfortunately our listener numbers have fallen in the last couple of years however if anyone would like a copy please feel free to get in touch.”
The tapes made by the Talking Buchanie are not only distributed in Peterhead and the surrounding areas but also as far afield as Banff, Buckie, Corby and Aberdeen.
Member of the Talking Buchanie for ten years, Pat McGarrol said: “We’re providing a much-needed service to the local people, the Buchanie has been on the go for a long time and the local people still look at it with much fondness. It’s good to catch up on the local news and I love doing it.”
Another member, Joyce Tewnion added: “It’s good for us as a group to be able to provide independence for people rather than having to get someone to read it to them.”
For more information on the Talking Buchanie contact Rosie on 01779 475396.