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A rare classroom picture . . .

Taken for a college brochure, this is - as far as I'm aware - the only photograph that still exists of a journalism session at Richmond.  I can name only one person in the picture - that's me at the front solemnly telling a block-release group what I think of the interview performance we've just watched on the screen.


The shot was taken by one R.Standring in October 1984.  (If he sees this he'll probably want paying.)  Perhaps someone who was there at that time will be able to identify the trainees. I hope so. (See the story below . . .)

classroom pic.jpg





    I was in the right                 place at the                      right time . . .

 I am one of the old school of newspapermen -  gained a good School Certificate at Urmston Grammar School (Manchester) and left in 1950, busting to be a reporter.  


Warrington Guardian (interrupted by two years' national service in the R.A.F), Manchester City News,  Matlock Mercury,  sub on the Newark Advertiser, back to Matlock as editor for three years, later Peak District man on the Derbyshire Times.  


Most entry into journalism nowadays is via university. And, for all sorts of reasons, local newspapers are nothing like they used to be. Looking back, I realise how lucky I was -- the right time, the right place and all that.



                                *******  And I play jazz piano .                                          (That's got nothing to do with                                         this but it might interest a                                             kindred spirit somewhere!

                                 Have a look at the 'Musical

                                 Philosophy page . . . )

. . . and two different                                guesses at the names


Mike Davies (ex Northampton Chronicle  and Echo, Scarborough, Birmingham, Oxford and Bedfordshire) says: 'I could be wrong, but my hazy recollection of people's rear views from more than 20 years ago is (L to R) Kate Atkins (then Northampton); Heather Clark (then Leicester); Steve Hall (was Derby Telegraph editor, now the MD); Jayne ??? (Sutton-in-Ashfield); next - don't know, but nice sweater!; Dominic Kennedy (last heard of on The Times); me (though my hair looks a bit long); unknown female; Malcolm ??? (then Redditch, later BBC Radio WM.

  These are educated guesses - but it might not be my class at all!'


Joy Aldred, on the other hand, thinks it was her class, in 1985. She writes:

On the left near the front I believe is myself, next to Nicola Megson. Others are difficult from backs of heads, but in that class were Iain Carter, Ian Ross, Hilary Jennings, Julie Aubrey,and Mike Something whom we always called Mike Barnsley 'cos he came from there!


Though these have to be personal memoirs, I mustn't give the impression that I was working single-handed. This was a team effort involving four or five journalists who had decided to go into the full-time training business.


People came and went during my time at Richmond, but my main colleagues were Ron Eyley, Frank Littlewood, Lyn Cooke, Peter Collins and Geoff Bull. They had all spent years on newspapers, and in addition to their general expertise they each brought with them enthusiasm for a particular aspect of the job - the courts,  local government, features, story-spotting, interviewing, sport, the theatre, design and layout. (For good measure, Ron was a shorthand whizz-kid!)


We were - dare I say it? - a pretty good team

This was no one-man band

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