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Letters: Martin Woollacott obituary | The Guardian


Martin Woollacott showed great kindness to younger colleagues. In the macho world of Vietnam’s western journalists, he was encouraging of my plan to go there, when I was introduced to him in London, and then supportive in Saigon, where mocking and patronising was the default response of others.

As foreign editor of the Guardian decades later, he gave me the opportunity to travel to many places, including China and India for landmark conferences of women and of the Non-Aligned Movement.
Victoria Brittain

After retiring unwillingly as a Guardian columnist at 65, Martin Woollacott had a happier Indian summer as an occasional foreign leader writer until well into his 70s. He came with a reputation for being severe, but he could not have been a more gracious colleague.

He would arrive in the office sporting a cap that gave him the appearance of a seasoned German river boat skipper. In line with the high standards he brought to everything he did, his day would often be interspersed with exacting phone conversations with butchers and fishmongers over the precise cuts required for his cooking plans. Although his greatest journalistic days were spent far from London, this late involvement with the Guardian was a period those of us who shared it with him will always treasure.
Martin Kettle



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