LevelItem
Ref NoOHP/98
TitleGritta Weil
Date18 February 2002
Extent2 minidiscs, 2 cds, 1 file, 6 AIFF files (1.59 GB)
Creator NameWeil; Gritta (1924-2009); editorial assistant
DescriptionInterview with Gritta Weil, editorial assistant for the Observer. Conducted by Steven Pritchard on 18 February 2002. 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:
Tracks 1-2
Test

Track 3
03.00 Offer of employment

Track 4
05.20 Describes the newsroom of the late 1940s

10.00 Marshall Plan conference at the Observer
16.40 Increase in the size of the paper

27.20 Involved in the production of the paper and discusses David Astor

30.00 Discusses Don McCullin, Jane Bown, and Mechtild Nawiasky
36.50 Discusses Isaac Deutscher and Haffner

46.30 How nobody was ever being sacked and the 'horror and dismay' when it began to happen
47.00 Death of President Kennedy
49.30 The paper in the 1950s - Christmas competitions, crosswords, Observer sponsored exhibitions

53.40 Annual summer outing
56.40 Suez crisis - working on 'letters to the editor'
58.00 Charles Davie, letters' editor - a humorous character who 'lived in the office'

61.15 Inundated with letters at the time of Suez
65.50 Colin Legum

Disc 2:
Track1
00.25 City pages
04.14 Working with Tristan Jones and Ken Obank. Gossiping at the newspaper
07.10 Unions
08.20 Recalls a dinner party. Argument between guests
09.45 George Orwell

10.00 Wife of Tony Benn working for the newspaper in early years
11.40 Story of colleagues, including Cliff Makins and Parrott, embracing streetlamp
13.20 Christmas feasts at Tudor Street
14.30 Emergence of unions. Working hours
16.50 Khrushchev interview, 1956
18.20 Remembers first floor of newsroom
19.25 Remembers layout of offices

22.00 Remembers colleagues
24.20 Working for a newspaper owned by a family
25.20 Changes within the newspaper
25.45 Working with Tristan
26.00 'Painful' times for the newspaper
27.45 Difficulties following Suez. Drop in readership figures
28.10 Growth in readership

31.20 Clear out in production staff
33.10 Holidays. Use of temporary assistants from agencies
37.10 Accomodation for African refugees, including heads of state
38.35 Exciting times for the Observer

41.45 Friendship with opera singer
43.00 Still in touch with those she met through the Observer
44.35 Friendship with Paris correspondent
46.45 Jane Bown and 'fobs' - Observer farewell parties
48.35 Office gossip
49.00 Dealings with the ANC

51.00 Working with Colin Legum
52.00 Legum visiting America

Track 2
00.00 Collecting addresses of Observer staff. Laurence Marks anecdote
01.45 Success of former staff meetings
02.30 Discussion of photograph of former staff party
03.00 Last days of David Astor's editorial leadership
03.45 Possible replacements as editor
05.00 Sharing an office
06.00 Helping others write books

11.40 Learning to use computers
13.30 Anecdote about American cartoonist
16.30 Covering African stories
18.50 Visiting the Barbican
19.20 Others retiring. Observer pensions. Use of retainers. Influence of the unions
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsAccess to recording via GNM Digital Repository
FormatElectronic record
CD recording
Printed document
Minidisc recording
CopyrightGuardian News & Media Ltd and Gritta Weil

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