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Lecturer’s online memoir chalks up 30,000th hit

A journalism lecturer’s popular online memoir has chalked up its 30,000th hit less than four years after it first went live.

Gerry Kreibich, who taught hundreds of journalists at Richmond College, Sheffield, in the 1970s and 80s, first put his Memoirs of a Pioneers Journalism Lecturer online at the end of 2006.

The former Matlock Mercury editor had originally planned to publish the work in book form as a companion to an earlier volume, Far Off Days at Richmond College, featuring recollections of former students compiled by Gerry.

However it went online after Gerry’s publisher persuaded him that “journalist’s don’t buy books!”

Said Gerry: “It’s great, every few weeks, to get an out-of-the-blue e-mail from some ex-student from 30 or 40 years ago who says ‘Hi Gerry – just spotted your page…’ Ex-Richmond people really are dotted about all over the globe.

“Despite all this, though, there are still a few unidentified characters on the various group pictures. So there are still some people out there who are unaware that their cheery young faces are featured on Gerry’s Page for all the world to see.

“There have been some nice spin-offs from the contact with former students. Our granddaughter is studying in Cape Town…and she popped into the Cape Argus office a couple of weeks ago and introduced herself to ex-Richmond Dave Chambers (sometime Halifax Courier, Newcastle Journal and Daily Telegraph), who is now the Argus’s editor of independent productions.

“Dave treated her to coffee and took her up to the newsroom to meet the reporters and sent me a pic as evidence. Small world, eh.”

Gerry started his career on the Warrington Guardian and was later a reporter on the Manchester City News, a sub on the Newark Advertiser and a roving Peak District man on the Derbyshire Times, before becoming editor of the Mercury.

When he went into full-time training in the early 70s, Gerry joined Ron Eyley and Frank Littlewood at Richmond College, which later became known as Stradbroke College before its eventual closure.