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Features writer who served weekly for two decades dies aged 89

Ruth GorbA features writer who served a weekly newspaper for two decades has died aged 89.

Tributes have been paid to Ruth Gorb, who worked for the Hampstead & Highgate Express.

Ruth, pictured, also served as a contributor to the Camden New Journal in more recent years.

According to a Ham & High obituary by Amanda Blinkhorn, she was one of Hampstead’s “most elegant champions and ambassadors”.

Amanda wrote: “The then-editor of the Ham & High, Gerry Isaaman, recruited her, fittingly, at a Hampstead dinner party.

“Her interviews were conducted within the bounds of Hampstead and Highgate, at a push, Crouch End, and her enviable cache of book reviewers, which included Hunter Davies, Melvyn Bragg, John Le Carre and Michael Foot, lived in the same postcodes.

“The Ruth Gorb page was Hampstead’s Desert Island Discs, you hadn’t made it until she had glided through your door, admired your children, made a kind but telling assessment of your wallpaper, and gently cross-examined you on your latest venture.”

Roger Blitz, another former Ham & High reporter who now works on the Financial Times, added: “She took immense pride in the Ruth Gorb page but she wore the praise showered upon it with due modesty.”

Former Ham & High photographer Nigel Sutton said: “She was the most fantastic interviewer.

“Ruth always insisted that she interview people in their homes, because the moment she had stepped through their door she could take one look and know so much about them.”

Ruth, who died on 24 February, was married to Peter Gorb from 1958 until his death in 2013. She is survived by sons Adam and Simon, daughter-in-law Liz, and grandchildren Ben and Juliette.

Her funeral will be held at Golders Green Crematorium, in London, at 3pm on Friday 17 March.