Talking newspapers for blind and visually impaired people in Oxford & district
Oxtalk talking newspaper USB stick

ASDA Wheatley fundraising 9th Dec 2023

On 9th December fundraising day at ASDA in Wheatley £243 was donated by the ASDA shoppers. Thank you to the ASDA shoppers.
Margaret, Chair of Oxtalk
Oxtalk volunteers fundraising at ASDA Wheatley

Oxtalk volunteers fundraising at ASDA Wheatley

Botley Road closure April 2023

On Tuesday 11th April 2023 road works began on the Botley Road railway bridge. Until the end of October ’23 vehicles will not be able to drive under the bridge. There will be a pedestrian walkway on the right hand side of the bridge, when travelling from Osney/Botley to Oxford, which goes through a not very high tunnel. Obviously on your left hand side when travelling from Frideswide Sq/Oxford to Osney/ Botley and beyond.

When travelling by bus from Botley in the direction of Oxford, passengers will have to leave the bus at Osney Island bus stop and walk to Frideswide Sq. Retain any bus ticket you have purchased to show to the driver of a bus going into Oxford. The Oxford buses will leave from the forecourt of the Railway Station. The return journey from Oxford and the Rail Station, walk on the left hand side of the road from Frideswide Sq to the bus stop outside St Frideswide Chuch, Osney Island.

Accessible transport information while the closure on Botley Road is in place

To book a seat or a wheelchair space ring the phone number in the Botley Road Flyer poster below. Any comments or queries about the service should be sent using the email shown in the poster below:

Botley Road Flyer

And here is a link to The Botley Road audio guide, recorded by Oxtalk volunteers.

Good wishes

Margaret (Chair of Oxtalk)

Oxtalk’s Annual General Meeting October 2022

Oxtalk’s AGM was held on Saturday 29th October 2022 at St Clement’s Centre, Cross Street, Oxford. Many thanks to all who attended. The Chair’s Annual Report is included here as a pdf.

Margaret A Simpson

New Oxtalk phone number

For all our listeners, please note that the new telephone number for comments about Oxtalk is 07496 062280. Please leave your name and number so we can return your call. Many thanks.

Information about postal deliveries

Information about postal deliveries
Between the beginning of November and the 2nd December there will be many postal strike days.
During the next 4 weeks there are 3 days in each week identified for strike action. For the week 28th November to 2nd December there will be 4 days of strike action.
I am letting you know this so that you are prepared for delays in Oxtalk being delivered to you.
The Oxtalk volunteers will be recording Oxtalk each week as per usual and the wallets taken to the post office, as per usual, but we then have no control as to when Oxtalk will be delivered to you.
When you have listened to Oxtalk during the next few weeks please return your wallet as per usual so we can continue the service to you.
We are sorry you are going to have a very interrupted service.
For listeners who are looking at the website you can listen to Oxtalk via the website and or using Alexa. Alexa instructions are included in every Oxtalk recording.
Good wishes to all Oxtalk listeners.

Oxtalk’s Annual General Meeting October 2021

Oxtalk’s AGM, held on Saturday 16th October 2021, was a very well attended Zoom meeting. An audio recording of the AGM is available on request. The meeting was followed by a very interesting talk from Martin Harris, local Oxford Historian. The Chair’s Annual Report is also included as a pdf Oxtalk Chair’s 2021 Report. Many thanks to all!
Margaret A Simpson

8th December 2020

Download MP3

International Volunteers Day

To help promote Volunteering Day, OCVA have generously included a feature about Oxtalk on their website. You can access the article directly using the following link:


10th November 2020

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15th September 2020

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11th August 2020

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7th July 2020

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9th June 2020

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12th May 2020

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28th April 2020

Download MP3

27th August 2019

40 Years Recognition!

To mark Oxtalk’s 40 years of weekly recordings which are posted out to visually impaired listeners, Radio Oxford interviewer Annie Othen interviewed Margaret Brinkhurst (listener and Trustee Listener Representative) via phone link at home and Trevor Dawn (volunteer for many years) and Margaret Simpson (Chair) at the Summertown Studio this morning, Tuesday 19 February. To listen to the interview click the Play button below:

Oxtalk Autumn Meeting and AGM 2018

The Oxtalk Autumn Meeting and AGM was held on Saturday 13th October. The Chair’s report is included as a pdf file here.

We were delighted to welcome Nathan Tree, Advice Worker at OAB, who gave a most enjoyable talk to our members. Nathan was accompanied by his guide dog Maisie and his mum.

Afternoon tea was prepared by members of the Committee, and the photographs below were taken by Pete West. Many thanks to all!

Photo of Nathan Tree with his guide dog Maisie and his Mum.

Nathan Tree with his guide dog Maisie and his Mum.

Maisie has heard it all before!

Maisie has heard it all before!

High 5, Maisie!

High 5, Maisie!











Nathan's guide dog Maisie

Nathan’s guide dog Maisie.

Nathan introduced his guide dog Maisie to members of the audience

Nathan introduced his guide dog Maisie to members of the audience.






25th September 2018

14th August 2018

10th July 2018

Many thanks to Cala Homes, Chiltern, for their generous donation.

Oxtalk has been selected to receive a donation from Cala Homes, Chiltern. With this generous donation of £1550.00 Oxtalk plans to buy a new Duplicator/Copier. Very many grateful thanks to Cala Homes, Chiltern – thank you.

OCVA Awards Tuesday 5 June 2018 in Oxford Town Hall

Oxtalk was shortlisted for the ‘Working Together Award’, as we were last year. Imagine my amazement and immediate pride and joy when it was announced that Oxtalk working with OAB had been selected as the overall winner of the ‘Working Together Award 2018’. Thank you to all Oxtalk volunteers for supporting and helping Oxtalk gain this recognition. Many thanks.
Margaret, Chair of Oxtalk

1st May 2018

27th March 2018

20th March 2018

16th January 2018

5th December 2017

Oxtalk awareness

On Thursday 30th November at the North Oxford Community Centre in Summertown, Oxtalk’s Anne Ambler gave a talk about the work of the Oxford & District Talking News to the Macular Society’s Oxford Support Group. Many thanks to all those who attended. Any organisation wishing to arrange a similar talk, in return for a small donation to our funds, please email us at mail@oxtalk.org.uk.

Oxtalk Autumn Meeting and AGM 2017

The Oxtalk Autumn Meeting and AGM was held on Saturday 2 October. The Treasurer’s Report was agreed and accepted and the Committee were re-elected. The Chair’s report is included here.

Following the AGM Ana Navakovic, assisted by Guy Lawfull, gave a very interesting talk about her work as an Audio Describer, mainly in live theatre and usually at Oxford Playhouse. The Autumn Meeting concluded with a very enjoyable afternoon tea prepared by Committee members.









17th October 2017

A generous donation from Oxford Round Table

Oxford Round Table Chairman, Stuart Langston and members presented Oxtalk with  a cheque for £1250 on Tuesday 11 July, 2017.


Margaret Simpson, Oxtalk Chair said, “This very generous donation will make such a difference as it will enable us to buy some new audio players for future listeners. Oxford Round Table support means a lot to us and we are very grateful for this support and thank them very much. Thank you never sounds enough!”


After the presentation, which took place at Oxfordshire Association for the Blind, the Oxford Round Tablers stayed to sit in on the weekly Oxtalk recording.










Radio Oxford publicity for Oxtalk!

A bit of local publicity for Oxtalk, thanks to Radio Oxford! Sheila Gregory, an Oxtalk listener and Margaret Simpson, Chair of Oxtalk were interviewed by Al Ryan for the Radio Oxford Volunteer slot on the Sunday 10 September early morning programme. If you missed the radio broadcast you can listen to the interview online via this direct link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05dlp0p#playt=02h26m50s

ASDA fundraising thank-yous!

On Friday 1 September 2017 9 Oxtalk volunteers spent the day at ASDA, Wheatley, collecting from the generous ASDA shoppers as well as making them aware of Oxtalk by chatting to them and handing out Oxtalk leaflets. Thank you to ASDA for allocating Oxtalk this opportunity, thanks to the Oxtalk volunteers and a big thank you to ASDA shoppers who contributed to the £316.30 donated. Margaret

5th September 2017

25th July, 2017

2nd May 2017

21st February 2017

17th January 2017

29th November 2016

15th November 2016

Oxtalk’s new theme tune

Oxtalk has a new theme tune! FAT PIG TANGO was composed by Chad Clark, who also sings the song and plays the harmonica. Chad is very generously allowing Oxtalk to use this track as its theme tune, and sections of the music will be played at the start and end of the weekly Oxtalk recording from 25th October onwards. Chad has been a Technical Officer for Oxtalk for over 5 years now, helping to produce the weekly Oxtalk Talking Newspaper for listeners who are visually impaired. We hope you enjoy the new music and will soon find your feet tapping!

More of Chad’s music can be heard on his own website: www.misterchad.com/harp.htm

11th October 2016

4th October 2016

23rd August 2016

16th August 2016

Oxtalk on That’s Oxfordshire tv!

Many thanks to Craig Punfield from That’s Oxfordshire (Freeview TV channel 7) who recently paid Oxtalk a visit to find out more about the Talking News service and to film some of our hard-working volunteers in action. Below is the resulting 3 minute long video report which was first aired on That’s Oxfordshire at the beginning of August.


26th July 2016

12th July 2016

7th June 2016

10th May 2016

26th April 2016

29th March 2016

22nd March 2016

23rd February 2016

9th February 2016

12th January 2016

5th January 2016

Re-launch update

We have worked through the first 16 weeks of recording since the re-launch of Oxtalk on Tuesday 12 May 2015 at OAB. Overall it has been a successful 4 months which is thanks to you and OAB.

Because we are now recording and copying on the same night, this meant changes for quite a few people and I thank those who made the changes.

Technical Officers – the TOs are the people who have had to make the new equipment work and there have been ‘hiccups’ but these have not stopped there being a weekly recording. Thank you TOs for working so hard and producing such good quality recordings.

Readers – a replacement Reader has been found when necessary and there have always been 3 Readers on every Tuesday night. Copiers have appreciated the help given by the Readers in filling the pouches.

Copiers – we started with just 1 Copier per Tuesday night but as the listener numbers increased, plus having to produce address cards for the new listeners on a Tuesday night, it was agreed that there needed to be 2 Copiers every Tuesday. There will be 2 Copiers for every Tuesday night in the next Rota. Thank you to everyone for doing extra nights.

News Editors – there have been new combinations during the last 4 months and there are new News Editors in the next 16 weeks.

I am hopeful the next 16 weeks ‘productions’ up to Christmas will be well received by the listeners. Listeners are so pleased to be receiving Oxtalk again and we do hear from various listeners from time to time.

So once again my thanks to everyone. I will not be seeing you as frequently in the future.

Very many thanks. Here’s to the next 16 weeks – and then it will be Christmas!!!

Margaret A Simpson

31 August 2015

24th November 2015

17th November 2015

Oxtalk Chair’s Annual Report 2015

Please click the link to download a copy of the Chair’s Report for 2015 . This was presented by Margaret Simpson at the Autumn meeting, which took place on Saturday 17th October. The complete text of the report is included below:

Chair’s Report to the Annual General Meeting 2015

Welcome to the 2015 Oxtalk Autumn Meeting.

I am pleased so many listeners are attending and ‘thank you’ to the volunteer drivers for being their ‘chauffeurs’.

This has been an interesting year to say the least and one which I hope will never be repeated – certainly not whilst I am involved with Oxtalk.

I am not one to dwell in the past but I appreciate I have to report the year’s events for this official report.

I mentioned at last year’s AGM the possibility that Radio Cherwell and Oxtalk would have leave the Churchill Hospital site – OUHT wanted the land for a development opportunity. Thank you to those of you who, following the meeting, gave me the contacts for possible alternative organisations which had recording equipment and/or recording studios. All these were followed up.

OUHT did give Radio Cherwell notice to quit by the end of February 2015 and Neil Stockton gave Oxtalk notice to quit by 21 January 2015 , which we did – thank you to all the people who helped to clear out Oxtalk’s accumulated property, some of which is still being held in various peoples’ homes, rent free!

The last recording at Radio Cherwell was on 20 January and the last copying session on 21 January. Oxtalk was then silent until the relaunch on Tuesday 12 May. In the short time available the Committee checked out possible alternative sites and the discussions with Oxfordshire for the Blind [OAB] were proving to be the most promising. So in the intervening 4 months a decision was made to accept OAB’s Trustees offer for Oxtalk to be based at Bradbury Lodge, one night a week. To comply with OAB’s Insurer’s requirements their staff and Trustees had to agree to either a member of staff or a Trustee being on duty each week. This they very generously agreed to.

As you will appreciate many things were going on in parallel:-

Oxtalk restarted with a number of new listeners and has now been back in production for 6 months. I know listeners appreciate receiving the weekly news again as they let me know from time to time. In these 6 months the number of listeners has fluctuated as some no longer receive Oxtalk.

I have been told that Oxtalk should have stayed with Radio Cherwell as they are still in the old building but we had no choice. Many volunteers have told me they really appreciate being at OAB, being in a warm comfortable building, being made to feel welcome and just this last week Caroline Ludden of OAB told me that she had received a similar message on OAB’s facebook page and this pleased OAB. It pleases me too that 1 of Oxtalk’s volunteers sent this unsolicited positive message to Colin and his staff, a message that will no doubt be passed on to the Trustees.

Oxtalk are making a small contribution towards the utilities that are used on a Tuesday night.

Those of you who attend other groups and clubs could suggest they ask Anne Ambler to give a talk about Oxtalk. You know about Oxtalk but perhaps not everyone at your club does.

I am very confident that Oxtalk’s future is secure with the new partnership now established with OAB. Both organisations have a common purpose. We have a strong, reliable and supportive group of volunteers producing a weekly talking newspaper enjoyed by the listeners who receive it.

During these last few months I have been supported by an excellent group of Committee members and I appreciate the support given to me. My thanks to you.

I close by wishing Oxtalk a very positive, successful and calm 12 months.

Margaret A Simpson

Chair – Oxtalk

16 October 2015

13th October 2015

6th October 2015

29th September 2015

1st September 2015

25th August 2015

18th August 2015

11th August 2015

4th August 2015

21st July 2015

23rd June 2015

9th June 2015


2nd June 2015


19th May 2015


12th May 2015


Oxtalk 2015: Letter from the Chair

2015 OXTALK’s Future Arrangements

[This information has been sent out to all OXTALK volunteers.]

Dear OXTALK Volunteer,

In my last email I told you that the last recording of OXTALK Talking Newspaper from the Radio Cherwell recording studio will be on Tuesday 20 January 2015 and the last copying session will be on Wednesday 21 January 2015. After which we will remove all OXTALK’s equipment and bid farewell to OXTALK’s very supportive partner of over 30 years, Neil Stockton – Chairman of Radio Cherwell and Radio Cherwell’s volunteers.

I will inform the listeners of the ‘break in service’ as part of Tuesday night’s recording on 20 JANUARY 2015.

I am very pleased to be able to tell you that just this week at the Oxfordshire Association for the Blind Trustees’ Meeting, the Trustees agreed to offer OXTALK the use of OAB’s premises one night a week – a Tuesday night. Both the OXTALK Committee and the OAB Trustees and staff look forward to developing this new partnership to the benefit of our client group and service users. Colin Cure, Director of OAB, has been very supportive throughout all the discussions. The final details have to be agreed but I can inform you that OAB Trustees are allowing OXTALK to use the premises rent free. OXTALK will make a contribution to the evening’s heating and lighting costs.

We are immensely appreciative of this generous offer. It does mean we can now start the preparations to organise the re-launch of OXTALK.

In future recording and copying will be on the same night – a Tuesday night. This will obviously be okay for the Editors, TOs and Readers. I appreciate this may a pose a problem for some of the Copiers, so I am attaching a questionnaire which I ask everyone to complete and return the questionnaire to me as soon as possible and no later than Saturday 7 February 2015.

Oxfordshire Association for the Blind [OAB] is located at the end of Abingdon Road- on the old Rivermeade Hospital site and opposite the Park & Ride. The address is:-

Bradbury Lodge, Gordon Woodward Way, Oxford OX1 4XL
Tel. 01865 725595

Website:- www.oxeyes.org.uk

If you visit the website you may find you recognise the building in the photographs.

There is plenty of private and on-road car parking. There is a bus stop on the Abingdon Road just a short walk from OAB.


 What needs to be done before we can re-launch.

We are hoping to have OXTALK back in production by Easter at the very latest. Earlier if everything goes smoothly!

I look forward to your continued support for OXTALK.

Good wishes.

Margaret A Simpson
Chair of OXTALK

16 January 2015

20th January 2015


13th January 2015


16th December 2014


9th December 2014


OAB November newsletter

We are pleased to share with you the latest OAB newsletter which is now available online at:


OXTALK Chair’s annual report 2014

Please click to download a copy of the OXTALK Chair’s Report 2014 . This was presented by Margaret Simpson at the Autumn meeting, which took place on Saturday 25th October. The complete text of the report is included below:



Good afternoon and welcome to this Saturday afternoon Autumn Meeting.

We, the Committee, thought we would hold this year’s meeting at this time in the hope that it was a more attractive time for listeners and volunteers. We are delighted 13 listeners have been able to attend, many more than have attended previous meetings for very many years. So thank you to everyone who is here. We will be very pleased to hear your comments about the afternoon.

The procedures for the referral of new listeners has remained the same with the Oxfordshire County Council’s Visual Impairment Team referring the majority of new listeners regularly through-out the year. This is followed by the small team of OXTALK trainers making home visits. At the home visit the trainer takes one of the BOOMBOX Plus players, this is both a radio and digital player and has been very well received by all who are now using it. Before deciding which player to buy this year we asked Margaret Brinkhurst and Irene Read for their opinions. Margaret and Irene are themselves visually impaired and Committee members. It was on their recommendations that the BoomBox Plus was purchased. Thanks to them for this advice and thank you to the trainers. Many of the younger people referred decide to listen on-line or use whatever digital player they have already. We post out on average 90 memory sticks a week and despite receiving Google Analytics Reports we are not able to find out how many people do listen on-line.

There was another Ashmolean touch tour during the year. Thank you to the volunteer drivers who drove listeners to and from the Ashmolean and thank you to the volunteers who have driven some of the listeners to this meeting – and hopefully they will drive you home again!!

During 2014 Anne and Geoff Ambler spent many a jolly hour completing grant application forms and organising fund raising events. Their hard work has been successful and as you heard from Geoff OXTALK is financially sound for the next year. Thank you to Anne and Geoff.

As many of you will be aware OUHT have decided, that the building RC has used for many years as the home for Oxford Hospital Radio Station, has to close. This has also been the recording and copying base for OXTALK too. [If NS is present ask if he wishes to say anything.] RC have been in negotiations with OUHT for most of the year, the building was going to be taken out of use by OUHT first at the end of June and then the end of September and as of today I cannot let you know when OUHT may close the building. RC has now been offered an alternative building – The Old Gatehouse on the Churchill site. This building is a quarter the size of the current building, is in a very dilapidated state and needs £75,000 spending on it to make it fit for purpose. RC has to find this money and so are desperately fund raising as the money has to be raised as quickly as possible – not an easy task. Because of the reduction in size there will be only 1 recording studio which RC anticipate they will be using every night. It is therefore very probable that OXTALK will have to find a new recording and copying base. A change of venue is going to affect all OXTALK volunteers and I will be liaising with the volunteers in the very near future. If and when OXTALK has to move to new premises then there very probably will be a period of time when we will not be able to produce OXTALK. Hopefully we will have time to let listeners know that OXTALK is going ‘off air’ and for approximately how long. Please be assured we will keep it as short a time as is possible.

At this time of the year I ask all the volunteers if they are available for the next year – 2015. At the end of 2014 5 Copiers are leaving and 6 Readers. I have been able to replace 5 Readers but as yet none of the Copiers. But we have until the end of this year to find replacements and I say we because I am asking you to speak to your friends and family to ask if anyone is interested in joining us. In the Summer Larry Sider joined as a TO, so there are 5 TOs and 1 Reserve TO. Without TOs there would be no OXTALK. Of the 11 volunteers we are saying “thank you and good bye to” some have been connected with OXTALK for many years, Carol Aistrop, Sue and Tamsin Morris and Margaret Croucher. Carol Aistrop in particular is some whose name will be known to you.

At the beginning of September Muriel Wittrick died and for those listeners and volunteers who were involved over 30 years ago you will know that Muriel and Keith Wittrick were the founder members and the driving force in establishing OXTALK. With the anticipated changes to the Recording Studio for RC and therefore the resulting changes for OXTALK, 2015 is going to be the start of a new phase for OXTALK.

Not only do we say “thank you” to the people who are leaving I say “thank you” to all the volunteers who support OXTALK, because without their continuing support there would be no OXTALK. So much goes on unseen and at the AGM I can publically thank the Committee members for their willingness to give the extra that is required. Thank you.

You will be able to say “thank you” yourselves as some of the Committee Members have taken part in the OXTALK bake-off to produce the refreshments we will shortly be enjoying!

Thank you for coming. Please be patient with any ‘break in service’ that might occur in 2015 and remember to change your clocks and watches when you go home tonight – we gain an extra hour tomorrow!

Margaret A Simpson

25 October 2014

18th November 2014


OXTALK needs volunteers – can you help?


You could use some each month to help produce


which is distributed to people with a visual impairment. Many of our blind

listeners cannot read any of the local newspaper and rely on OXTALK to

keep them informed of what is happening in their local Oxford and District






To find out more contact mail@oxtalk.org.uk


We look forward to hearing from you.

11th November 2014


21st October 2014


14th October 2014


30th September 2014


23rd September 2014


16th September 2014


26th August 2014


5th August 2014


29th July 2014


22nd July 2014


1st July 2014


24th June 2014


3rd June 2014


27th May 2014


Members' Area