My Name is Mike Dickins, I am retired and I live in Kidderminster, Worcestershire.
In 1981 I joined a voluntary organisation called the local Wyre Forest Talking Newspaper for the blind – if you have not heard of it, it is a free national service with many regional groups of volunteers who read and record a digest of local news for blind listeners – when my wife Sue and I wanted to get involved in an activity we could do together. I developed an interest in audio recording outside of the Talking Newspaper studio and, entirely self-taught, I began to produce audio material for inclusion in the weekly news tape.
The most popular subjects with listeners were often recordings made during visits to the local Nature Reserve that I made with a local forest-warden friend of mine, John Robinson. These were recorded spontaneously, during unscripted walkabouts we had as we explored the forest and countryside in the different seasons of the year.
The BBC Local Radio Station, BBC Hereford and Worcester, began to take our output when it started broadcasting in 1987 and I eventually moved into longer holiday pieces and features on local people and places.
I joined the British Sound Recording Association in 2001 and immediately benefitted from contact there with like-minded people. Through the Association’s own system of competitions I became eligible for the British Association of Tape Recording Clubs (BATRC) competition which feeds into CIMES (Confederation Internationale du Meilleur Enregistrement Sonore).
I have been presented with several first prizes in the documentary class of CIMES and, in 2007, with a programme recorded at the Tram Museum at Crich, Derbyshire, I won the Jean Thevenot medal when I was awarded the Audio Grand Prix, which had not been won by the UK for 30 years.
I am most recently developing a series on creative people. Artists, musicians, tradespeople and craftsmen and women who could be said to be from a bygone time. In October this year my programme about Chris the Roofer is going to CIMES as the UK entry for the Documentary Class.