Ref NoOHP/101
TitlePeter Wilby
Date14 November 2001
Extent1 minidisc, 1 cd, 1 file, 2 AIFF files (527.5 MB)
Creator NameWilby; Peter John (1944-); journalist
DescriptionInterview with Peter Wilby, journalist for the Observer. Conducted by Harold Frayman on 14 November 2001. Also includes a data sheet containing biographical details about the subject and information about the recording.

Summary contents of interview (with rough timings):

Disc 1:
Track 1
00.00 Started in 1968 as a general reporter
01.20 Student in Brighton writing a weekly essays - perfect training for Sunday journalism
03.20 Got onto the paper by being researcher on book by Observer journalist
03.40 Covered a lot of student rebellions in the early years
04.00 Felt he was given role of covering education because he was the most recently educated
05.10 Was the first Observer education correspondent who wasn't also an expert on religious affairs
06.00 Discusses big education stories (became education correspondent in 1972)
07.15 Other stories; Northern Ireland, environmental, hostage stories, race relations, BBC

10.20 Northern Ireland - Mary Holland on civil rights/Catholic grievances
11.20 Experiences in Northern Ireland - took a walk in the Bogside at night
13.20 Big stories - LSE, stopping the South African cricket tour in 1970
14.15 Observer then based at 160 Queen Victoria Street, London
14.15 Obsever back then didn't have a proper newsroom but felt part of Fleet Street
16.00 Felt it was a friendly place with some tension between the younger reporters and the 'old guard'
17.10 Donald Trelford 'catapulted' to deputy editor
18.00 Ken Obank famous for his tempers - once threw a typewriter out of a window

20.00 Observer Foreign News Service and Ken [?Ronald] Harker, night editor anecdote
21.40 Observer pubs - Baynard Castle, Mermaid Theatre, Blackfriars
23.40 Long lunches
26.00 Message chute going through gents' lavatory - anecdote
27.30 Received brief journalistic training
29.00 Certain types of story repeating themselves over the years

33.40 General elections
35.00 Nora Beloff story 'heading the wrong way down a one-way street'
35.55 Discusses characters incl. Lajos Lederer, Ivan Yates, David Wilson, Colin Legum
35.55 Hearing Nora Beloff's conversations, often telling politicians where they were going wrong
35.55 Charles Davy, letters editor, who went round in carpet slippers)
35.55 Peter Deeley, Neal Ascherson
35.55 Those he shared an office with - Robert Cheshire, Eric Clark, Joanna Slaughter and Laurence Marks

45.20 Did he enjoy himself? Yes though there were times of boredom and frustration
46.20 Worst times - early 70s when the Times moved to Gray's Inn Road, financial problems
46.20 'You'd fear that you'd come in in the morning and the place would be gone'
46.20 Took voluntary redundancy in 1975
47.00 Tristan Jones, general manager, 'I never discuss the weather'

Track 2
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsAccess to recording via GNM Digital Repository
FormatElectronic record
CD recording
Printed document
Minidisc recording
CopyrightGuardian News & Media Ltd and Peter Wilby

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