Former teacher turned author reveals latest book
March 25, 2021

A former Rydal Penrhos teacher turned author has revealed details of his next historical fiction novel.

Geoff Burke a former teacher and member of the common room worked at Rydal and Rydal Penrhos following the merger from 1983-1997, holding the positions of Head of Art and Boarding Housemaster at New House.

What people may not know about Mr Burke is he is also a talented author and has been busy writing several books over the last couple of years with his good friend Nick Fisher under the pen name N.G. Neville.

Their first book ‘Degeneration The Story of Betsy Roberts’ expanded into ‘Betsy Roberts‘ published by Cambria Book Publishing and Amazon.

The incredible story is set in 18th and 19th century Britain and America and involved considerable research which Geoff described as both “fascinating and challenging”.

Geoff and Nick also have a new novel in the pipeline which is a collection of stories entitled ‘Death and Salvation’ and is expected to be published later this year.

In addition to his writing exploits, Mr Burke delved into the music business following retirement and formed a booking agency, management company and record label, which was based mainly in London.

He then switched location to Sweden working with Sony Music and now co-runs the Llandudno Jazz Festival, which is always one of the highlights of the town’s social calendar, attracting hundreds of revellers annually.

Mr Burke created the festival alongside his late son, Edward. Nico Widdowson, a former Rydal Penrhos pupil, appeared at this festival in 2018 with his Leeds-based group “The Mabgate Swingers Party”.

Geoff, said: “In the future, my plans are to do more writing and to pursue my love of live music as well as co-running an Art collective called The Swinley Group with my wife Beth and Nick Fisher. My dear ex-colleague Ceri Leeder is one of the members, her paintings are brilliant.

“I have many wonderful memories of working with many brilliant colleagues and talented pupils. Rydal Penrhos holds a special place in my heart.”

Among the special memories Mr Burke has from his time at Rydal Penrhos includes Art trips to Paris, Amsterdam and London with Sixth Formers, running the school’s tennis team, assisting with rugby and cricket coaching as well as performing with “so many talented musicians and singers”.

Another big favourite for the former teacher was the annual Rydal Blues and Jazz Nights, which raised money for regional and national causes such as the NSPCC.


Anyone wishing to enquire about Rydal Penrhos School can do so by calling 01492 530155, email admissions@rydalpenrhos.com or register your interest online here: https://rydalpenrhos.com/admissions/apply-now.