Pub quiz prompts Scottish charity to sponsor Talking Book for readers with sight loss

Post date: 
Friday, 15 June 2018

​A night out at a charity pub quiz has prompted a Scottish charity with international membership, to fund an audio-book for blind and partially sighted readers of their favourite author.

Devotees of the Scottish historical writer Dorothy Dunnett have donated £2,500 so RNIB can produce the very first book in her Johnson Johnson series.
The move came after Lesley Burnie, a member of the Dorothy Dunnett Society, took part in a pub-quiz in the Canon’s Gait pub in Edinburgh last year to raise funds for RNIB’s Talking Books Library. The 30,000 titles this contains are all professionally narrated and recorded and lent out free to people with sight loss.
So impressed was Lesley, whose mother has sight loss, that she proposed to her fellow members of the society that they sponsor a title of their own.
“I was invited to the RNIB pub quiz by a friend who works for the charity,” says Lesley. “It was great fun and made me wonder if any novels by Dorothy Dunnett had been transcribed into audio or braille.
“We approached RNIB who confirmed they had all Dorothy Dunnett’s historical novels but there was just one title missing from her Johnson Johnson series – the very first book funnily enough, ‘Dolly and the Singing Bird’. So at our last AGM our society agreed we’d fund that one.
“It’s wonderful to know that all Dorothy Dunnett’s novels will now be available to all her fans.”

Angela Preston, fundraising manager for RNIB Scotland, said: “We rely very much on the support of the public to help us make books available to readers with sight loss, so we’re very grateful to Lesley and her fellow society members for their generous donation.”

Dorothy Dunnett, who died in 2001, was educated at James Gillespie’s High School for Girls in Edinburgh and was married to Sir Alastair Dunnett, editor of The Scotsman. 
The enigmatic portrait painter and secret agent Johnson Johnson, and his yacht, Dolly, form the thread of the series of books.