‘A’ Course at Wood Norton – 1970

A Course No 1 Photo A Course No 1 Names



















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

The photo is of ‘A’ Course trainees at Wood Norton in July 1970. Note in the front row Pebble Mill’s Mark Kershaw, and Keith Brook (5th and 6th from the left). Mark worked at Pebble Mill as a cameraman, multi-camera director, series producer and deputy editor until the early 2000s. Keith left Pebble Mill in the early 1980s, and worked as a cameraman, vision mixer and director.

Thanks to Keith Brook (Scouse) for sharing the photo.

The following comments were left on the Pebble Mill Facebook group:

Stuart Gandy: ‘The engineers A course was the introduction to the BBC for all those engineers that started without having first gone to university. It was split into two parts each 6 weeks long. The first part was basic electronics needed to prepare us for broadcast engineering. The second part was operational and much more interesting. It was effectively the first time we had chance to get our hands on the equipment. Depending on which section you were destined for, you would probably be grouped off to a more specific area of training, such as TV ops, or radio etc. Most of the A course students would have stayed in the ubiquitous D block, back when I started back in 1979. An experience not to be forgotten!’

Alan Miller: ‘For what it’s worth on the second row from the left John Lunn went to Belfast , Richard Elkin to Glasgow from where he recently retired from the audio department and Rob Hastie also went to Glasgow but became a radio sports producer in London.’

Children in Need – St Basil’s

Marie Phillips_0028 Marie Phillips_0029






















Photos by Marie Phillips, no reproduction without permission.

The photos show television presenter, Ross King, presenting the Birmingham charity – St Basil’s, with a cheque for £50,000 from Children in Need. It dates from October 1992. St Basil’s is a charity for young people at risk of being homeless in the West Midlands.Ross King worked on Hot Chefs , and the entertainment show, Pebble Mill, as well as linking The Morning on One.

Marie Phillips added the following information:

‘it was a grant from Children in Need to St. Basils, but for something different to their homeless projects. This was for a womens’ refuge with mostly single mothers. I remember we visited to hand over the cheque which I think was a three year grant to fund support workers.We could not identify the location for security of the residents. I was struck by the number of cctv cameras around the building (not so common in those days) and asked why they were there. Apparently abusive husbands and boyfriends would try to get to their wives and partners and the cameras were for prevention and protection. Ross King was brilliant with everyone and showed real interest and concern and said afterwards how genuinely delighted he had been to be able to bring a little light into their lives. He was another Pebble Mill Presenter always willing to help CIN and me. Happy days!’

BBC Telephone Directory 1995/6

BBC Telephone directory 1995:6












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

This is a page from the BBC Telephone Directory of 1995/6. It promotes the Resources Department of the Midlands and East Region. This would have been after the vertical split imposed by John Birt, when Resources had to become more commercial and take paying work from Independent Production Companies. The page is lists prominent productions serviced by Pebble Mill’s Resources Department, which included design, graphics, editing, crewing – both radio and television.

Thanks to Peter Poole for making this page available.

Dawn Chorus – Pete Simpkin

Dawn Chorus PS

It’s at this time of year that International Dawn Chorus Day is marked and on the first Sunday in May 1984 to mark the start of the scheme Radio WM broadcast the first transmission of the Dawn Chorus live from Earlswood Lakes near Solihull, starting at 4 am with stereo mics in the woods and Local Naturalists Alan Richards and Brian George together with me providing a running commentary from my tent (seen on the right of picture) in which we had slept overnight! Engineer Dan Cooke manned the Radio car(left hand vehicle in the picture) and Jay Patel held the fort at the studio. The birds awoke very late that morning so several discs had to be played together with pre-recorded early morning ribaldry from all the members of WM staff. When we finished at arond 6.30 my Wife Pat arrived with very welcome hot bacon sandwiches and coffee. Dan made an On site stereo recording (Radio Cars were mono at the time) and I edited a pull together recorded repeat in stereo for the following Bank Holiday Monday. an unforgettable experience which I think has never been attempted since!

Pete Simpkin

Restored Scanner CMCR9 Events for 2013

CM1/North 3 in the snow

CM1/North 3 in the snow













The restored former BBC scanner CMCR9/ North 3 is booked to display at the following events this summer:-

  • Kelsall Steam and Vintage Rally, near Tarvin, Cheshire. 21st/22nd June 2013
  • Wilmslow Show, Wilmslow High School, Cheshire Sunday 14th July   (Not yet confirmed. Please check nearer the time.)
  • Astle Park Traction Engine Rally, Chelford, Cheshire.   10th/11th August 2013
  • 51st Shrewsbury Steam Engine Rally, Onslow Park, Shrewsbury. Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday 25/26th August 2013

(Thanks to Jerry Clegg for making this information available).