Silky voice of Times retires

For 10 years he was one of the voices of The Shetland Times, recording the paper every Friday morning for the benefit of the partially sighted and blind.

But last week Donald Silk retired from the voluntary role, which involves reading extracts from the printed version onto tapes that are then sent free by the library service to people in Shetland and beyond, including London.

Mr Silk said that he had enjoyed doing the recordings. “It’s been a pleasure doing it. It’s good for people to get the benefit of it. They seem to appreciate it and it keeps them in touch with what’s going on.”

Mr Silk said he had tried to make the selection varied, reading the main stories and features, including Views from the Scord, Isles Views and North Mainland Notes, Our Readers’ Views and the births, marriages and deaths section.

“I tried to put a bit of expression into the reading and always asked for feedback,” he said.

Mr Silk’s career with the library service began over 40 years ago in September 1968, when he drove the mobile library van around the isles. He did that until 1999 when he “officially” retired, but began recording The Shetland Times soon afterwards.

“They were looking for someone to do it so I just thought I would,” he said. “It gave me something to do on a Friday morning.”

As for his second retirement, Mr Silk said he had no plans. “I’ll get to lie in my bed a bit longer on a Friday!” he joked.

The library would like to remind the public that if anyone is interested in the service and would like to receive the talking paper, or find out more, contact Shetland Library on (01595) 743868.


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