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    in Sheffield . . .


   . . . 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.                               




Out-of-the-blue messages from former students have arrived on this website ever since it was first launched about 20 years ago. The Letters Page, indeed, outgrew its space, and there is now an equally fascinating More Letters  page.  The result -- dozens of first-person accounts that bring to life the UK newspaper scene in the 1970s and 1980s, a scene that sadly is almost unrecognisable today.


There has also been the great pleasure, over the years, of putting many former students in contact with classmates they haven’t seen since college days.  (At one time it turned out that there were three ex-Richmond people on the Daily Mail staff who didn’t know they shared that connection!)


Wow - what a title!

How’s this for a great book-title  - No One Round Here Reads Tolstoy!  It’s the latest work by  Mark Hodkinson, a full-time journalism student at Richmond in1982.   Billed as ‘the memoirs of a working-class reader’, it’s the highly entertaining confessional piece of someone who loves books so much that he owns more than he could ever read (3,500 of them in fact). And, incidentally, it briefly recalls his college days.

  Mark’s first paper was the Middleton, Moston and Blackley Guardian, and he worked on the Oldham Evening Chronicle and the Halifax Courier before turning freelance in the early 1990s. 


Ex-student Neil gives us

      all a brilliant read . . . 

Neil Benson (with us in 1973/4)  has  written a top-notch cracker of a book about his varied and colourful 45 years in the business  -- he has worked in Sheffield, Northampton, Bradford, Coventry, Newcastle and on Teeside, held two editorships, and been a Daily Express sub-editor in Manchester. 

   The book (Takahe Publishing Ltd, £10.95) is available from most online book stores.  Take my word for it -- you'll love it!


. . . and Michael launches

               his debut thriller


A number of ex-Richmond reporters have become authors over the years – but Michael Davies has really done it in style, with books, plays and even a musical.   Michael, who was at college in 1983/1984, started out on the Northampton Chronicle and Echo but was later 'all over the place'  --at  Milton Keynes, Scarborough, Birmingham, Oxford.    His debut solo novel – Outback -- is  published by HarperCollins.  



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 ,a few 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 news- papers, 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.




Go to Gallery Seven

  to read the


catch-up letters

of the

1974/5 students






UPDATE  2022


             HONOURS LIST


Simon Bradshaw, a Richmond student in 1979,  has been awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the community . . . his reward for keeping the Henley Standard alive against the odds right through the pandemic lockdowns.


He has been editor of the Standard for 14 years, and his award in the New Year Honours list came as a complete surprise. 

Since his far-off college days, Simon has held top posts with Bradford Telegraph and Argus, Edinburgh Evening News, Newcastle Chronicle, the Brighton Argus and the Scottish Daily Record. 


UPDATE 2020 

            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!

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