OBITUARY : Frederick Woods

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The Independent Online
May I add to Valerie Grosvenor Myer's obituary of Frederick Woods [2 March]? writes Professor Bernard Bergonzi.

In the early 1950s, when he was working as a young assistant in a south London public library, Woods started a little poetry magazine, Platform, which ran for four numbers. In 1954 he published under its imprint my first book, Descartes and the Animals, a collection of poems. It is a very attractive production, brought out by a local printer under Woods's direction, and it is a sign of his talent as a book-designer, among the other gifts which later became apparent.

When I visited him a few months ago I was impressed by his courage and optimism, despite his poor health. He was proud of the doctorate he had just acquired for his work on Winston Churchill, and was looking forward to the visits to Cambridge and America in pursuit of Churchill scholarship which, alas, he was unable to take.

Without wishing to detract from your obituary of Frederick Woods, writes John Selwyn Gilbert, I would like to point out that, before I left Argo Records, in 1969, I produced the first and I think the only records from Argo featuring Cyril Tawney, Tom Paley, Shirley Collins and the late Peter Bellamy. I also worked closely with the late Harley Usill, Argo's founder and presiding genius, who produced almost all Ewan MacColl's recordings for Argo.

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