Talking newspaper champion dies

Alan Sadler
Alan Sadler

A MAN who played a leading role in the running of the Pendle Voice talking newspaper for more than 30 years has died.

Alan Sadler (79), of Edge End Avenue, Brierfield, was chairman of the group which established what was originally the Pendle Talking Newspaper when it was established in the mid-1970s, producing tapes of 90 minutes of news, mainly from the pages of Leader Times Newspapers, for the blind and visually impaired.

Over the years, the output from the organisation’s offices, originally in Colne but for many years in Smith Street, Nelson, has expanded to cover other newspapers and magazines, with the number of listeners having risen from just three in 1975 to several hundred today, with tapes and CDs being produced from weekly, fortnightly, monthly, bi-monthly and quarterly publications by a team of volunteers.

Born in Burnley, Mr Sadler moved to Nelson aged five and had a life-long interest in caravans. As a boy, he enjoyed caravan holidays with his family and when he grew up, he entered and organised caravan rallies with his father, George.

After attending Walverden Secondary School, Nelson, and a two-year stint in National Service, he began work in the family’s fish and fruit shop in Barkerhouse Road.

It was at that time Mr Sadler’s father started a caravan transporting business - Nelson Caravan and Boat Transport Service - and when his parents went to stay in Australia for three years, Mr Sadler had to look after both that business and the shop.

It soon became obvious one would have to go - and so he chose to sell the shop, concentrating on the business which saw him make regular trips to places such as Felixstowe, Dover and Hull.

As well as his involvement with the talking newspaper, Mr Sadler was a member of Nelson Round Table, the 41 Club and Pendle Lions.

He was a churchwarden at St Paul’s Church and chairman of governors at St Paul’s Primary School until July.

He is survived by his wife, Pat and two daughters, Carole and Jane.