'Around midnight, the presses started to roll...'
'A noise began to build. There was the smell of oil and men in overalls appeared. The noise grew louder. It rumbled across the silence of Cathedral Square and then a ghostly swish could be heard as huge rolls of paper started to revolve. The first edition was being printed. I leaned against the door and felt the trembling floor. I thought, it's nearly 1am and I know the most important news in the world and no one else does. When I picked up a copy of the newspaper to take home, it was still warm.'
When I came across this passage while reading David McPhail's recent memoir The years before my death (Longacre, 2010), I was transported back to my own experience of waiting for the first edition of the Press a few decades ago. In my case, though, the sense of anticipation was due to the fact that the edition being printed contained my University results. In those (loooong gone) days, the results letter took several days to arrive in the post, so if you wanted to get a headstart on your celebrations, or start prepping your escape plan, you drank a few dozen coffees at Caffiends and then staggered round to pick up your newspaper just after midnight. Ah, memories. Look out for this early image of the old Press Building in the Reconstruction: conversations on a city exhibition (23 Jun 2012 – 16 Sep 2012).