Ray Sperry

I have received news that Ray Sperry, one of Pebble Mill’s vision crew, has died. Ray started working for the BBC in Birmingham back in the Gosta Green / Broad Street days and during the Pebble Mill period; working both on O.B.s and in the studios.  He rose to become Vision Supervisor on CM1 and CM2, and like everyone else in OBs, lost his job when Outside Broadcasts in the Midlands closed down, in 1992.

A much loved member of the crew, Ray was always convivial, professional and knowledgeable.

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Radio WM presenter, John Taynton, with Muhammad Ali. The date will be around 1983-4, which was when John was still presenting with BRMB, before his move to Radio WM. BRMB Programme Controller, Bob Hopton is stood next to John.

Thanks to John’s son, Phil Taynton, for sharing the photo.

The following comment were added to the Pebble Mill Facebook page:

John Evans: ‘WM’s interview with Ali was done by the late Ed Doolan with me (as sports editor) alongside Ed in the studio, so I imagine the photo is at BRMB.’


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The following is from Annie Gumbley-Williams:

I have received news from Simon Shaw of the recent passing of his father, Lincoln ‘Sam’ Shaw.
I remember Sam when I worked on Radio Birmingham & Midlands Today  in the 1970s to 80s. The photograph is of Sam in 1972 when he was Regional News Editor. I worked also with his son Simon, at Pebble Mill, when he was still in education, he used to come into Radio Birmingham to answer the phones on our Saturday Sports programme. Simon is now Executive Producer on the Antiques Roadshow. There’s a lovely photo on of his mother & father’s wedding on the opening titles.
Simon has sent the following:-

Lincoln “Sam” Shaw is a legendary name in the annals of Pebble Mill and Broad Street BBC history. Sadly we have received news of his recent death at the age of 93. Lincoln passed away peacefully in Torbay Hospital on February 19th. Many will remember Lincoln, either from his work as news editor on Midlands Today in the 60’s and 70’s, or from his days as Managing Editor English Regional Television which saw him broaden his responsibility for 8 regions across the UK. Those with longer memories may also know he was part of the pioneering small team that made the first local radio experiment in the 1960s. His son Simon tells us that Lincoln and wife Patricia enjoyed a life changing experience when he moved to south Devon in the 1980s by going back to the shop floor working as a reporter for the newly launched Radio Devon. Work that saw him filing reports until recently which recognised as the BBCs longest serving reporter. Luckily he managed to combine his work with golfing on some of the countries finest courses where he was regularly seen playing in to his 90s. His fulfilling and rich life will be celebrated in a memorial in early April at Dartington Hall. For more details please contact [email protected]

Albert and John Mills, make sure that the horse doesn’t run off. Photos from Albert Sheard, no reproduction without permission

The horse is led across the car park to Studio A

Blacksmith’s set for Great Expectations in Studio A

The horse’s starring role











































These photographs are from the 1981, BBC1 serial of Great Expectations. They show the lengths that were taken with Studio drama to recreate authentic looking sets.

Thanks to Albert Sheard for sharing the photographs.

Photos from Gregory Hallsworth, no reproduction without permission














Radio WM mug from the early 1990s, featuring presenter John Taynton.

Thanks to Gregory Hallsworth for taking and sharing the photos.

The following comments were posted on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:

Andy Walters: ‘This particular show was shared with the four other stations in the West Midlands region. Shropshire, Stoke, Hereford & Worcester and Coventry & Warwickshire but came from WM.’

Gregory Hallsworth: ‘The show was also taken by the four East Midlands stations as well (Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, Lincoln) so quite a wide coverage area!’

Jon Pountney: ‘He was a great broadcaster, I can hear his voice now.’