Pioneering times 

      for the

        National Council  

. . . when Richmond College was one of                    only SIX journalism colleges in England!

Thanks for visiting. Whether you are interested in journalism generally or more specifically in the training of journalists, you should find this stuff entertaining - and possibly even useful!  Enjoy the read . . . and I'd be delighted if you dropped me a line.

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                     Chapter synopses (see top of the page) will give you an                                   overview of the whole 60,000 words. You may want to read the                       entire thing in sequence but, if not,  you'll find that each                                   chapter will stand alone.

                     If you want to start with a chuckle, try Chapter Three.                                       (Chapters Nine and Ten are pretty good fun as well.)


And now - another novelist . . .


The latest former Richmond trainee to become a novelist is Francesca Hanikova.  When she finished her full-year course in the 1970s, she became a trainee reporter on The Falmouth Packet, under the watchful eye of Mike Truscott – and now the two of them have produced their first novel together.


 Lottery Loveboat (see Amazon books) was written under the pen name ‘Mel Penrose’. It was first self-published four years ago by Mike, but he and Francesca decided to work together on a revised adaptation -- and it was accepted by mainstream publishers Whisper.It’s a light-hearted tale of a shy middle-aged bachelor who has a life-changing lottery win and finds himself on an ocean cruise with six women who have him in their sights.  And there is already a second book nearing publication.


The ‘one author, two writers’ arrangement has worked well, says Francesca, who is now Mrs Peterson and mother of five. 

And here are a few more who have changed course . . .

Paul Mace, an enthusiastic football fan since he was a youngster, has written ‘One Flew Over the Magpies Nest,’ – a hefty history of his beloved Notts County.


Alan Biggs has written on sport in just about all the national dailies, as well as working for BBC radio and television, TalkSport and Sky. His ‘Confessions of a Football Reporter’ is packed with hilarious tales.


Ian Bevitt slid seamlessly from newspapers into TV directing, and his name still pops up on the screen.


Mat Dyson,  well-armed with useful journalistic skills, skipped newspapers altogether and joined the Home Office and then the Foreign Office.. He  is still visible  on TV in old screenings of his role as a senior immigration officer, and he is now with UK Border Force at Heathrow, as Assistant Director and Head of Future Operations.


Jo Overty has the best job title! After 19 years with Isle of Man news publications she now works for the Isle of Man Government and is (wait for it!) UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man Project Officer.


Paul Linford worked on four newspapers before joining  HoldTheFrontPage – the must-see news website for Britain’s provincial newspapers. Then ,about three years ago, he bought it,  and he is now HTFP’s owner/publisher.  

Who is this chap anyway?


Gerry Kreibich was one of five journalism lecturers

at Richmond College, Sheffield, throughout the 1970s

and 1980s. (For a bit more background, see the

'classroom scene' page.)


In those pioneering days the simple aim  of the

National Council for the Training of Journalists was

to impart editorial skills that would enable students

to join provincial newspapers and immediately be

useful. What happened to those students after that

was up to them . . . and many are now prominent

people in newspapers, magazines, radio and television

(and quite a few have retired!)


The work was often experimental - methods that

worked well were constantly improved, bright ideas

that failed were abandoned. Thus were laid the

foundations of much that happens today in colleges and

universities all over Britain.


Grim memories of the Yorkshire Ripper . . .


 News of the death in hospital of the ‘Yorkshire Ripper’ brought back vivid college memories. Female students, frightened to make their way home alone after lectures, used to congregate in the entrance hall and make sure

that  they left the building in groups of three or four.


 Once, on one of our visits to Sheffield’s police

headquarters, the copper who was showing us round casually pointed to another officer and said ‘There’s the chap who arrested the Ripper’.  Wow! All the girls could happily have hugged him!

See the Letters    


Every few weeks, some

former student spots

this webpage and decides

to get in touch. 

Visit the

Letters Page and you'll

find their nostalgic