Leopard’s offices in Marsh Wall were wrecked by the IRA bomb blast last
Friday night, leaving the agency with no choice but to operate out of a
pair of suites in a Docklands hotel.
Senior agency staff were not allowed near the wreckage until midday on
Monday, when they were accompanied by police and safety officers who
allowed them to pick up a few vital items from among the debris.
Roy Warman, the joint chief executive of Leopard, said: ‘Our office is
covered in shattered glass and the ceiling and windows are still falling
Agency staff have been warned that it could be as long as a year before
they can return to their workplace, and in the meantime 15 of the 30
staff are running an emergency operation from two suites in the
Britannia Hotel. A medium-term housing solution is being negotiated with
the insurance company.
Warman described his lucky escape on Friday night, when he left
Leopard’s offices only two minutes before the bomb went off. He had
tried unsuccessfully to call a colleague in the US and, if the phone had
been answered, Warman would have been talking at his desk when the bomb
went off at 7.01pm.
The Franklin Mint building was also destroyed in the blast, but staff
have managed to continue its business following crisis conferences all
weekend, and the rapid setting up of an emergency direct response line.
Bell Cablemedia was also hit, but its delicate equipment was housed
behind reinforced walls, and the company had an alternative emergency
site at Waltham Park, near Redbrige, to which most of its 200 staff were
The Builder Group, publisher of the Riba Journal and Electrical
Contractor, also suffered significant bomb damage.