About Me

Beryl Pratt
I learned Pitman's New Era Shorthand aged 20 on a one-year secretarial course at college 1972-73. We covered all the theory in the first term, and worked towards various speed exams during the other two. I gained a certificate for 130wpm, which I subsequently improved through evening classes a few years later to 150wpm. The extra speed gained was essential in taking any stress out of writing from dictation at the workplace. I have found it a very useful skill to have, for both office work and home use.

Being artistically inclined, I enjoy writing shorthand and in 2009 I started my website to describe Pitman's New Era Shorthand in its entirety (although if you are a complete beginner you will need to follow a formal instruction book for graded lessons). Since then I have discovered that not only is shorthand taught very little nowadays compared to when I learned it, but also there is almost no reading material available for students once they have finished their instruction book, other than a handful of ancient books on Ebay and similar places. I am endeavouring to fill that gap with a variety of short pieces, some on shorthand itself and others written with a view to extending your shorthand vocabulary.

I hope you find these useful and if you wish to leave a greeting, please visit my Guestbook.

My sites:


All the theory of Pitman's New Era Shorthand, learning advice, free downloads, and many links to sites for further shorthand interest.


Blog and other reading articles in handwritten shorthand, for your practising and vocabulary extension. Every paragraph has the longhand text underneath with various theory explanations on various words and phases. The blogs started in 2012 on this blogger site and were moved to the reading site in 2016. Free downloads of all the blogs as a PDF per month, facility drills and MP3 dictation.


Short pieces written in a more lifelike scribbled style, without longhand text, for you to test your shorthand reading skills.

www.youtube.com/Lucy Paintbox

Includes my demos of writing shorthand.


My photos of countryside, plants, flowers, skies, weather for artist reference or home hobby use.


Yellow Teddy's skills have progressed to running his own website where he keeps a diary of his local travels. No doubt he records the day's details in shorthand so he has all the info to hand when updates his diary web pages.