Honour for shorthand ace Ron

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Memories of days as a young local newspaper reporter struggling to master the art of Pitman shorthand have earned Ashover media consultant Ron Eyley a place in a prestigious book.

Ron is the only man among ten shorthand writers from various parts of the UK whose “inspiring stories” are featured in a leather-bound commemorative book published by the Pitman Training Group marking the 175th anniversary of Sir Isaac Pitman’s invention of his now world-renowned shorthand.

They were chosen on the strength of how their Pitman skills coupled with “self-belief, motivation and determination” brought them success in their chosen careers.

From junior reporter on the Derbyshire Times, Ron went on to become a multi-award winning journalist and subsequently Director of Journalism Studies at the UK’s largest industry-approved journalism training centre.

He later launched his own Bakewell-based public relations and publicity agency.

“In those early days, learning shorthand was essential if you wanted to keep your job on the newspaper,” said Ron, who is now 71 and lives in Ashover with his wife, Anne.

“I was lucky. Though I never completely mastered the theory of Pitman, I didn’t find it particularly difficult to write at speed and eventually got a certificate for 150wpm. Down the years it has been an incredibly useful tool, especially when it came to reporting major criminal trials. I still use Pitman every day.”