PRE OPEN PRE-OPEN PARTIES

How could we ever have realised just how big LIFFE was going to get...I don't suppose any of us knew...but we were flung into a round of pre-open parties....Seriously I could g to three in a day...Every company who had bought  seats on LIFFE threw massive cocktail parties....As a young women born in London, spending my childhood n the streets this was a totally new world for me...Unlike most of the other people working for LIFFE I was a single mother of 2 very young children whose father had dissolved like Alka Seltzer.  To say he was useless is an understatement and when I left him he advised me that I would end up working in Tesco's....and yet here I was...at these amazing cocktail parties with these incredible people...I think it did go to my head...I wanted so badly to be part of this.....yet I wasn't even sure what this was....Anyway the day dawned that we had all been waiting and preparing for nearly a year....September 30th 1982..I will never forget it...We had trained and trained for this and now it was about to happen....The new LIFFE market was about to open....and the city would never be the same again...Many books have been written about LIFFE, but I don't think any have been written about how it affected women in the city at that time...I hope that if you bear with me you will find out just how we coped in a seriously man's world, and I hope...no I  KNOW that we helped change how women were accepted more and more as time went on.. Anyway I am seriously getting off the subject....The bell rang by the Governor of the BOE and all hell broke lose....Nothing could have prepared us for the mania that was going on in the pits...How we kept up with the price reporting and matching trades still leaves me wondering.....but we did....and it was the most wonderful time of my life....I belonged to this massive throng of people in brightly coloured jackets, screaming  and shouting their orders out...The booth staff screaming and hand signalling the orders into the pits...It was exhilarating and really hard work...but we got through the first day and as the final bell tolled for end of trading we all heaved a sigh of relief that we had actually managed to get through the day without something dire happening to us....However...the matching department were snowed under and it was everyone to the pumps to help...we had to match the trades so ICCH could clear them...and traders had to stay behind until this was done....Sadly....one young errant lad, who I must say was the only guy in the team, sat down, put his feet up on the terminal....and yep...you've got it...crashed the system....I mean...really !!!   we had got through the day....and final minutes and he crashes the system.....Luckily we had an amazing back up team who got us up and running within the hour....but this young man was seriously not flavour of the month....We had all the trades matched and cleared another hour later...and then it was back out to the Greenhouse where the champagne flowed for the rest of the night...Don't forget that we were a lot younger then and lived on adrenaline, which of course is what we needed....So LIFFE was born......the city was never the same again...The bowler hat and bowler brigade were soon to be a thing of the past....we were here.....and here to stay.....