Chelsea Flower Show – photo from Laura McNeill

Photo from Laura McNeill, no reproduction without permission.

The photo shows Laura McNeill (sound), with John Moorcroft (camera).  It was taken at an outside broadcast at the Chelsea Flower Show,  probably around 1990.  Given the champagne, and dinner jacket, it was probably taken on the Monday evening during the Royal Gala.

Working on the ‘Chelsea Flower Show’ was always a great occasion, and great fun.  At this time we tended to make a ‘Chelsea Special’ programme, and a ‘Gardeners’ World’ from Chelsea that would go out on the Friday night, in the normal slot.



Radio Birmingham Newsroom – photo from Annie Gumbley

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission.

The photo is of the Radio Birmingham Newsroom.  It probably dates from 1974, judging by the calendar, phones and the haircuts!  It includes: Peter Perks, Jim Rosenthal, Stuart Woodcock, Michael Woodhead and Bob Sinkinson.

Thanks to Annie Gumbley-Williams for making the photos available.

Birmingham producer/presenter Pete Simpkin adds the following comment:

“Fascinating picture because it shows just how similar Radio Newsrooms in those days were to newspaper office layouts………just phones and typewriters……….no sign of any technology……….any tape recorders and editing machines were hidden away behind pillars and in corners.
When the Newsroom moved upstairs under ten years later the whole design was more like what we now know as technology led with tape and recording facilities much more in evidence and visible…….there were cart machines in the duty editors workstation and there was even a dedicated broadcast studio in the newsroom.”

After You, Hugo – photos from John Greening

Copyright resides with the original holder, probably Willoughby Gullachsen. No reproduction without permission.

‘After You, Hugo’, was basically a silent play – starring Nola Rae a mime artist.  It was a comedy, set backstage at a seedy ‘30’s Music Hall. The Music Hall company develops a new mime act because of members’ difficulty in communicating with each other.  It was directed by Bob Jacobs, and produced at Pebble Mill by Roger Gregory.  The ‘Summer Season’ drama was transmitted in 1985.  The script was written by John David, Chris Harris and Nola Rae.

The drama featured Chris Harris, Nola Rae, Jonathan Adams, Peter Hale, Derek Tansley, Pip Hinton, Nick Cursi, Lyn Farrell, Tina Grundy, Donna Kellie and Barbi Levard.

First photo, features Chris Harris (in bag) and Nola Rae, Australian mime artist

Second photo, includes Andy Meikle (FM/PM), John Greening (AFM), tying up Chris Harris, and props guy, Dave Bushell (known as Gonzo) on the right.

Thanks to John Greening for making the photos available.


Pebble Mill the farm

Pebble Mill the farm

This picture is of the original Pebble Mill farm long before BBC Pebble Mill was even a twinkle in the Corporation’s eye.  It probably dates from the 19th Century.

The BBC acquired the site about ten years before the building was erected.  The land was actually owned by the Calthorpe Estate.

Thanks to Juliet Dean from Film Unit for making this picture available.

The future of the Pebble Mill site – Paul Newman

entrance to Pebble Mill car park

Pebble Mill security hut

7 years after the BBC decamped to the Mailbox planning permission is now well advanced for a relocated Dental Hospital where the BBC Nursery used to be, with its frontage onto the Bristol Road. The big construction project is due to start next year and open for patients around 2014. The side of the site facing Pebble Mill Road is due to be occupied by a private hospital – I don’t know which group – but there is a question mark over funding, or so my contacts tell me at the City Council. One third of the site has no fresh use planned at present, although a nature trail is under consideration alongside the brook. Last time I walked past the tree in the middle of the car park was still standing, rather forlorn, but it probably has some form of limited legal protection from the bulldozers. I suppose it’s rather ironic, if that is the right word, that a film location where a fictional medical drama was shot every day will soon become a location where real medical dramas happen every day.

Paul Newman