Southampton Boat Show – Photo from John Burkill

Southampton Boat Show

Photo from John Burkill, no reproduction without permission.

This photo probably dates from 1976, and shows an outside broadcast from the Southampton Boat Show, produced at BBC Pebble Mill.  You can see the outside broadcast camera on a wheeled dolly, and a viewing monitor.

The Southampton Boat Show has been running annually since 1968 in Mayflower Park on the city’s waterfront.

Please add a comment if you can add more information about the programme, or identify people in the photo.

TAR – TV Apparatus Room – Photo from Ivor Williams

TAR - TV Apparatus Room ST B Line Up Desk

TAR stands for ‘TV Apparatus Room’.  This photo shows the Line Desk for Studio B (the Midlands Today Studio) at Pebble Mill.  Shown in the photo are broadcasting engineers John Macavoy & Maurice Darkin.

Thanks to Ivor Williams from Post Production for the photo.

Stuart Gandy comments: “This picture is of the studio B camera line up area in the original TAR. This part of the building was what was later to become the graphics area after about 1984, which was when a major refurb of the studios went on and the TAR moved to the room above the foyer where it stayed until the end. At the back of this room was the maintenance area which when I first started was also home to a table tennis table. A proper engineers’ sport!”

Steve Dellow comments: “Yes – this was all ripped out early ’84 when Studio B and Pres were refurbished. From what I remember, the CCU’s for Studios A, B, and C went above the foyer, alongside the ‘new’ TAR? Can still hear Mike ‘The Cardy’s’ voice coming over the intercom….’Front to back’! Which upset Ken and Simon because they insisted it should be ‘Racks to Line-up’! ”

Jane Green comments: “The Floor Managers used to get their talkbalk pieces from here – and we used to set things up in TAR at 4 in the morning to get Mids Today brekky bulletins on air with about 3 staff…..”

Pete Simpkin comments: “TAR was the communications hub where all the connections between radio and TV studios and outside broadcasts together with all the rest of the BBC and transmitters were maintained. As automation took over and circuits etc became more national there was less and less to do but the Mailbox still has a substantial communications and Central operating section where all the BBC technology is monitored.”

A Touch of Eastern Promise 1973 – Tara Prem

A Touch of Eastern Promise 1973














I’m half Indian, so I was always very anxious to reflect what I saw when I went up to Birmingham.  I wrote a film called A Touch of Eastern Promise, because when I went there I realised there were loads and loads of Indian people, not probably as many as there are now, but nothing was being done about it, and there weren’t any writers.  So Barry was script editor, because I said I wanted to write something, so I did and that was the first thing on British television ever to have an entirely Asian cast.  So I felt very proud about that as well.  But that also spun on to other things.  Michael Abbensetts came and wrote Empire Road, which Peter [Ansorge] produced, and I do think that it was quite new then, but it was very, very apparent in Birmingham – it opened a door really.   In a way it’s what Peter and I are still kicking at the same door of thirty years later.  It’s a bit sad in a way. But it was rather good that we had that opportunity.  So those sort of things I do feel quite proud of.  I do think it kicked open a door.

Tara Prem

(Excerpt from an interview with Tara Prem recorded in summer 2009 by Vanessa Jackson and Olivia Swinscoe from Birmingham City University).

A Touch of Eastern Promise was recorded in Balsall Heath Birmingham.  Michael Lindsay-Hogg was the director, David Rose the producer, Barry Hanson the script editor, Tara Prem the writer.  Mike Williams was the cameraman and Oliver White the film editor.

The cast included Dev Sagoo as Mohan, a young Indian boy who dreams of film stars, and in particular ‘Shalini’, who is coming to perform in Birmingham.  Jamila Massey played Shalini, Zareen Kamal played Lata, K.S. Matharu played Balraj Kumari, and Charan Kaur Matharu – Mrs Kumari.

Anna of the Five Towns – photos by Willoughby Gullachsen



















Photos by Willoughby Gullachsen, no reproduction without permission.

This 1985, 4 part drama series was directed at Pebble Mill by Martyn Friend, and produced by Colin Rogers.  John Harvey wrote the adaptation of Arnold Bennett’s novel, set in the potteries in the 1890s.  Bob Chaplin was the lighting director and Michael Edwards the production designer.  Dave Baumber recorded sound (Dave is the one with the moustache and not a lot of hair in the close up photo). Sue Bennett-Urwin was the 1st A.D., and can be seen directing in the last black and white photo. Filming took place in the Isle of Man in 1984, amongst other places.  This is where the photo of the cast and crew was taken.  The black and white photos were taken at the Black Country Museum near Dudley.

The series starred Linsey Beauchamp as Anna Tellwright, Emrys James as Ephraim Tellwright, Peter Davison as Henry Mynors, Anton Lesser as Willie Price and Anna Cropper as Mrs Sutton.

I believe that Anna of the Five Towns was the first location drama at Pebble Mill to be recorded single camera on video tape.  Please add a comment if you can confirm this, or can identify people in the photo of the cast and crew.

Group picture – either side of Jim Clelland (2nd on the left) are Dick Bentley (OB Lighting) and Ray Sperry (Engineer). Joyce Hawkins (Costume), Sally Englebach (Design) and Lesley Perry (Make-up) in the centre amongst others. Paul Woolston (Senior Cameraman) on right and also on camera in the tracking shot.  From costume Terry Powell, Mark Ridley,  Sally Pearson who sadly is not with us any more,  Rachel Selby.  The chap with the bald head and the moustache is Dave Baumber (sound), next to him is editor Ivor Williams and Steve Neilsen.  Infront of Dave, I think is P.A. Sally Daniels.

(Thanks to Dave Bushell, Terry Powell, Stuart Gandy, Jane Clement, Annie Gumbley and Russell Parker for their help in identifying people).


The Master of Innocence – photos by Lynda Kettle

Master of Innocence studio set

Master of Innocence dining room set

Photos by Lynda Kettle, no reproduction without permission.  Lynda Kettle was a Production Designer at BBC Pebble Mill, working on factual, entertainment and drama shows in studio and on location.  The photos were taken as records of the Sets.

The Master of Innocence was a BBC 2 contemporary military drama recorded at Pebble Mill in Studio A.  It probably dates from the early 1980s, and was probably a hosted show. Mechael Taylor was the costume designer, and Lynda Kettle the production designer.  I think actor Peter Cellier starred in the series, but I cannot find many details about the drama.

Production Designer, Lynda Kettle also worked as a theatre designer and an artist, and now runs courses from her art studio  She is a member of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, Birmingham Water Colour Society. Midland Pastel Society and Birmingham Art Circle . She exhibits her paintings several times a year at selected galleries.

Please add a comment if you can add more details about this drama.