Internal blog post
Operations Manager Update #18

Afternoon everyone,

I’d like to chat a little bit about our neighbours in this update. As you know, we have a few: The Courtyard Cafe, Gymboree, The Peacock (I am sure you are all familiar with this one!), Mind in Mid Herts, William Lawrence Advertising, The Yoga Hall and Talking Newspapers. And of course, we are in a building courtesy of St Peter’s Church.

If any of that is new to you, I would highly encourage you to introduce yourself to all and sundry. They do incredible work for the community and offer invaluable services. Alongside paid staff members, many have volunteers and one of them is Talking Newspapers. They help residents who have lost their sight, know what is going on in and around their local area. Visually impaired people gain access to interviews, discussions (i.e. talking book releases), previews of local music, theatre (including audio assisted productions), local writers (short stories, poems) reading their work and are kept up to date with the community.

The Talking Newspapers office has a live studio environment, as does Radio Verulam. However, with their proximity to the stairwell and lack of adequate soundproofing due to cost constraints, any noise from the stairwell carries right through. Even to the point of disrupting recordings of Talking Newspapers and also, Rob Pearman’s programme, Local Life with Radio Verulam.

Recently, both the studio door and bottom stairwell doors have been slammed so hard, TN volunteers have had to re-record their content. Volunteers or guests of Radio Verulam are also using their mobile phones on speaker and stomping up or down the stairs (perhaps leaving or entering in a hurry).

In the first instance:

  • When you enter/exit the studio or stairwell, there is no need to slam the door shut. They have been replaced recently and closing them does suffice.
  • Please refrain from using the speaker on a mobile phone.
  • Enter quietly and always check if the ‘Quiet Please’ sign is illuminated. This will let you know if TN is in live recording mode.

If you present or produce a talks programme, do let your guests know as well. It only takes minutes and is very important so as not to compromise the work TN do. St Albans District Talking Newspapers hold a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, and really do make a big, positive impact in our community.

Your ongoing help and courtesy of our good neighbours and fellow volunteers are appreciated.

WELCOME – last week I did a fairly hefty roll call on who our new volunteers are and those who have moved on. As anticipated, I left out a couple of volunteers:

Tech ops – 

Hannah Cowell: an excellent technical operator on audio equipment and audio editing. She has moved to live in London while studying at university, but will still be helping out at OBs. Many of you may have met during the Herts Show and Roundwood Park School projects. Hannah will also be helping in the background on podcasting and archiving; which is incredibly helpful work that often goes on in the background.

Academic – 

Josephine Coleman: Jo has been involved with Radio Verulam for 20 years and lives in Harpenden. She often helps out at the Christmas events in Harpenden and many other OBs. She is a lecturer in Media & PR at Brunel Uni and also finishing a PhD in production practices in local community radio at Birkbeck, London – of which some of her fieldwork involved Radio Verulam. She is also Chair of MeCCSA Radio Studies Network and worked at both the BBC and commercial stations.

Aylett’s Apple Day  – This Saturday 19 October, you can catch Clive, Dave A, Ed, Peter Glover, Amanda and Zara live in Aylett’s for their Apple Festival weekend. Darrell Andrews will be live in the studio and we’ll be chatting to residents and visitors from 12pm to 3pm.

Please do pop down with family and friends! It is a lovely weekend and a great chance to see how we do outside events. The day is jam-packed day with everything from food and drink to try and buy, making apple bird feeders, wood and gardening workshops, plus beekeeping tips and children’s activities.

Volunteer social catch up – In November we’ll be hosting a social catch up for everyone. Based on availability, it'll be on a Sunday afternoon or Mon/Tues evening. Watch this space for more information, we have some big events in the pipeline for you to get involved in.

As always, feel free to drop me a line with any feedback or suggestions: