23 Jul 02. BATTLESPACE was sad to hear of the news of the death of Lord Weinstock at the age of 77. It was noticeable that Lord Weinstock never recovered from the early death of his son Simon and the collapse of his Marconi empire built up with such care over thirty years must have been the final straw.
His dislike of politicians, whom he once said (quite rightly) that they never understood was noticeable by his choice of a number of key players from the Conservative Party, Lord Prior and Sara Morrison to key posts in his empire.
He supplied us with news stories over the years and GEC personnel interviewed by BATTLESPACE lived in fear of the late night call to discuss figures.
He gave us the Nimrod saga and when Sir Richard Clayton’s funeral took place after his tragic death the lights went out in the church during the Nimrod music!
He jousted with Peter Levene over the Nimrod cancellation and at a time when the system was close to ironing out is problems after GEC was forced to pay back £15m in cash to the MoD. He was rumoured to have said to the MoD that “You will never buy a U.S. solution whilst GEC is here!” (How wrong he was. The Editor and Antony Preston worked closely with his office to prevent a Panorama story on torpedoes in 1984 and we used Sir Richard’s views on procurement in our first issue written by Antony Preston.
It is fitting that he should die during Farnborough at a time when the Typhoon performed an excellent display developed at his former plant at Warton which he always coveted.