Sir John Ritblat FRICS, FSVA

Sir John RitblatThis twice married, Hampstead born property titan acquired British Land for £1 million in 1970 from the corporate raider Jim Slater. Sir John Ritblat is a leading patron of the arts and a gallery at the British Museum is named in his honour. He’s variously been described as a “charming old rogue”, “a bit of an old fashioned spiv” and “one of the great investors”. His interests include real tennis, bee keeping and antiquarian books.

 

6 COMMENTS

  1. Real Tennis….bee keeping….antiquarian books….

    Ritblat, like so many crude and rough developers, now aspires to gentlemanly English habits.
    The thought of this bully boy beekeeping and poring over his antiquarian books is just hilarious.
    You can take the Latvian out of Latvia etc….
    Eton, where he sent his boy, seems full of these foreign types. I am not sure I would want to send my son to a school full of the off springs of North London property spivs….but call me an old snob!
    The great tragedy in his life was how his first wife managed to open the door of his private jet whilst it was coming into land.

  2. Sir John is a true gentleman. Never too big to lend a hand to people in trouble if he could. That was my experience and I will always admired that.

    • Glenmore
      You have to agree that ‘Modern Life’ provides us old cynics with plenty of opportunity for cynical humour.
      The story I love about Ritblat is how he got rid of his original partner, Noel Conrad, out of Conrad Ritblat.
      I don’t think Mr Conrad would see his old partner as a kindly old Pickwickian figure, pottering in his garden looking after his bees….
      One day I must ask you whether you thought Roger Hollis a spy.

  3. Dear fellow ‘old cynic’,

    I believe grumpiness has to be focussed and responses considered.

    There is plenty of opportunity, indeed, for cynical humour.

    Sadly so little of such commentary is understood or appreciated by the targets of those observations.
    However as long as one can deliver a ‘pinprick’ to deflate some of the more egregious claims and statements, it gives me and the likes of you, reason for a quiet chuckle.

    I would look forward to having a glass or two with you one day. Do I think Roger Hollis a spy? Of course he was. The question is “was he one of ours or one of theirs?” My former friend and colleague Harry Pincher had no doubts.

    Yours aye
    Glenmore

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