Kristin Mason

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Mrs Kristin Mason

I was born in 1957. I began working at the BBC in 1976 Whilst at the BBC I was known as Kristin McCarthy.



Lewes Technical College - secretarial course

Previous Jobs

Secretary at Lawson Lewis, Solicitors in Eastbourne

Temporary secretary with an agency in Hastings

Library Assistant in Bexhill Public Library

How I joined the BBC

I attended a careers Lecture at my college (Lewes Technical College, where I was studying for a Private Secretary's Certificate) given by an Appointments Department person called Pauline Noblet,. She played a film about the BBC and the Newsroom and that did it. I knew I wanted to work in this area. My friend Nikki also wanted to work for the BBC and we both applied though her interest waned when she subsequently became established in another job.

Broad BBC career

Secretary to Management Training Section, Staff Training

Secretary to Organiser, Further Education, Television

Producer's Assistant / Production Assistant, FE Tel

Studio Director / Assistant Producer

Producer, Schools TV

Series Producer, Schools TV

Commissioner, BBC jam

Commissioner / Learning Executive, BBC Learning

My training at the BBC

Producer's Assistant / Production Assistant 6-week training course at Woodstock Grove

Vision Mixer training / attachment

Studio Directors' course at Woodstock Grove

Advanced Studio Directors' Course

Management training course

Various short courses e.g. Presentation skills Project management

Feelings about the BBC whilst I worked there

I always got the impression that you ring anyone in the BBC

Periods at the BBC

1976 until 1977

I was a Secretary, Management Training Section on a Permanent staff contract. We were based at The Langham in the Staff Training department., at that time run by Leonard Chase, Head of Staff Training and Christopher Tatham was Chief Assistant, Staff Training. Secretary in the Management Training section of Staff Training.

Main memories of the period

This was a brilliant entry job at the BBC because it offered a view across the whole organisation. Everyone (then) went on management training courses and the section was run by two trainers: Gregory Clegg (Senior Assistant, Management Training) and Noreen Grout (Assistant, Management Training).

My role was essentially a team assistant; I organised the nominations, liaised with departments and Personnel (for that was what they were then called) as well as individual delegates. Handouts were organised, hospitality booked, and so on.

The life-saver publication du jour was the BBC Staff List enabling a helicopter view of the whole hierarchy and enabling you to pick likely people who might be able to answer a query.

Correspondence was entirely by phone or by memo posted in the internal post. Memos were addressed to the abbreviation of the job title, never (or rarely) to the person's name. Hence I would be S.A., M.T. writing to O.A., L.E.,Tel about an individual's attendance on a General Management (GM) Course.

The thing that struck me again and again was just how able one was to pick up the phone and ask someone something. If you started with the line that you weren't sure you had the correct person, but perhaps they could point you in the right direction, you would almost always get a friendly, gracious and helpful response.

My main mentors for the period were

Noreen Grout was fantastic; I learnt a lot.

Jesse Gossett, the hospitality waitress! (Trained at J.Lyons)

1977 until 1979

I was a Secretary to Organiser on a Permanent staff contract. We were based at Villiers House in the Further Education, Television department., at that time run by John Cain and then Sheila Innes. Moving to being in a Department Organiser's office (in this case, Tom Wymer) this was my opportunity to try out a view of production whilst maintaining the option to commit either to the admin side or move over to the production side..

Main memories of the period

I typed correspondence; memos mostly, organised meetings, typed programme 'Offers' for subsequent deliberation at 'Offers' meetings, where I absorbed the folly of the over-broadly defined audience.... I shared an office with the Head of Department's secretary (Lynne Sumpter) and ours was the traditional secretaries' office with the two private offices one on each side.

All letters and memos were taken with two carbon copies; a file copy and a 'spares file' copy which was a chronological back-up....

My main mentors for the period were

Tom Wymer

1980 until 1987