Brian MacArthur, who has just died aged 79, latterly one of the reviewing panel for The Oldie’s Review of Books, was education correspondent of The Times when I was the paper’s legal correspondent in the late 1960s. Together with the home affairs correspondent, Norman Fowler, we three shared an office in Printing House Square for about three years.
Brian went on to edit the Western Morning News and Today, I went to The Spectator and later edited The Field, and the most distinguished member of the trio became an MP, government minister, and is now Lord Speaker of the House of Lords.
The three of us kept in touch, and for the past 20 years we have met up for occasional lunches together, most recently at the Garrick Club. No one had a greater knowledge of the old Fleet Street and the workings of the print media than Brian. Yet he wore his expertise lightly, and I enjoyed his company over many years.