Staff at The News say fond farewell to Hilsea home

MOVING OUT Reporters Emma Judd and Sam Bannister packing up at Hilsea yesterday. Picture: Paul Jacobs  (131755-1)
MOVING OUT Reporters Emma Judd and Sam Bannister packing up at Hilsea yesterday. Picture: Paul Jacobs (131755-1)
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TODAY officially marks the end of an era.

After nearly 44 years and around 13,700 editions, The News’s editorial, sales and promotions teams have left Hilsea.

From Monday our reporters will be working out of a new base at 1000 Lakeside, the building which once housed IBM in North Harbour.

The News Centre has been an icon in the north of the city ever since the paper moved in during 1969.

But the building which once clattered with the sound of typewriters and hummed with deadline tension is no longer able to house a 21st century multi-media organisation.

‘We did use typewriters, and we also smoked in the newsroom, and there would be an announcement over the tannoy when an edition was printing,’ said associate editor Mark Acheson, who has worked at The News since 1976.

‘But the job was then as it is today – it’s about finding the stories that people are interested in, stimulating discussions.

‘That hasn’t changed but the technology we use has.

‘When I came here it was seven years after we left Stanhope Road, and people talked about that as an end of an era.

‘But it doesn’t matter where we work as long as we work in the community.’

Another of The News’s staff is Chris Owen, 54, who is the paper’s chief reporter.

He has been at the paper for 35 years, starting in the newsroom as a trainee.

‘The move is long overdue,’ said Chris.

‘The News Centre was a building of its time, and served its edge-of-city purpose perfectly in the late 1960s to give us greater access to the wider community and our distribution outlets in Hampshire, Sussex and, at the time, the Isle of Wight.

‘But as the industry leaps forward to the digital age it’s vital that we have an office to match and the move to Lakeside is the right thing.’

The News’s advertising department will remain behind at The News Centre for another week, to allow the transition between buildings to be as smooth as possible.

The printing presses will also remain on the site, as the cost of moving them would run into tens of millions of pounds.

The News will have a front counter in the foyer of 1000 Lakeside, with other staff based on the third floor.

Our telephone contact details and email addresses remain the same.