On the FT’s last night in Bracken House - it was Easter 1989, the evening of Good Friday - I was editing on the main night newsdesk, recalls Peter Whitehead. Alain Cass was news editing and he instructed whoever was writing the Column One news briefs to make the first letter of each item spell FAREWELL BRACKEN. As the evening wore on and each desk around us (UK subs, Frankfurt, Foreign) finished for the night and went home, their terminals were packed up by the removals crew to be re-assembled at One Southwark Bridge over the weekend. At about 1am we were ready to send the last front page for the final “slip” edition to the presses. The editor, Geoff Owen, pictured above, had stayed in the building and by this time there were only two or three screens left in the whole of the Blue Lagoon (as the newsroom was nicknamed after a long-debated blue paint refresh in the late 1970s) and we were surrounded by a sea of empty desks. In this surreal setting, Geoff used the last functioning terminal to press the last buttons (we had to tell him which ones) to send the last Bracken House page away. The screen was then immediately packed up in a box and taken away. View Larger

On the FT’s last night in Bracken House - it was Easter 1989, the evening of Good Friday - I was editing on the main night newsdesk, recalls Peter Whitehead. Alain Cass was news editing and he instructed whoever was writing the Column One news briefs to make the first letter of each item spell FAREWELL BRACKEN. As the evening wore on and each desk around us (UK subs, Frankfurt, Foreign) finished for the night and went home, their terminals were packed up by the removals crew to be re-assembled at One Southwark Bridge over the weekend. At about 1am we were ready to send the last front page for the final “slip” edition to the presses. The editor, Geoff Owen, pictured above, had stayed in the building and by this time there were only two or three screens left in the whole of the Blue Lagoon (as the newsroom was nicknamed after a long-debated blue paint refresh in the late 1970s) and we were surrounded by a sea of empty desks. In this surreal setting, Geoff used the last functioning terminal to press the last buttons (we had to tell him which ones) to send the last Bracken House page away. The screen was then immediately packed up in a box and taken away.



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