Messing about on the river – photos by Ian Collins

Photos by VT editor Ian Collins, no reproduction without permission.

These photos are from a day off on location on the Norfolk Broads, whilst filming nights on the drama series, ‘Vanity Fair’. The photos date from May, 1987.  Included are cameramen Paul Woolston (without shirt), and Bob Meikle, grey hair and glasses, and the man with the plastic cup is probably soundman Alistair Askham.  The man with the beard is Rod Bach, and the man foreground in the 2nd shot with blondish hair and sunglasses is broadcast engineer, Chris Glover.  The man in the 2nd shot on the back, right, is engineer John Bradley.

Thanks to Andy Frizzell, Lesley Weaver, Stuart Gandy, Ian Collins, Chris Glover and Richard Stevenson for identifying those included.

6 comments on “Messing about on the river – photos by Ian Collins
  1. Crikey! Polishing off an ice lolly on the left at the back of this still is yours truly.

    I recall the Vanity Fair shoot (with many scenes at Blickling Hall). It was toward the end of my time at Pebble Mill (fond memories) before I jumped ship to Central (ITV). I was working in G41 at the time (post production and OB maintenance). As I recall, I had been sent to Norfolk as a ‘guarantee engineer’, with the aim of minimising any downtime on the production should any of the technical kit on CM2 breakdown.

    I well remember the nighttime scenes and trying to get the best pictures out of the Philips LDK-14 colour cameras and the Ampex VPR-2B videotape recorders that were fitted to the OB unit (CM2). I remember seeing the series on TX and wincing at the dreadful video lag evident on shots with candles in them; the noise on the low light scenes; and the occasional suspect corner registration. Not suprised that the BBC re-made Vanity Fair as part of the move to 16:9!

    Thanks for the memory and regards to all,

    Mark Hill.

  2. Hi Mark

    Thanks for those comments. I’d like to post your memories as a separate blog on the website. Do you have a recent photo (or an old photo) that I can put up with it. My direct email is



  3. Hello everyone!

    My first visit to the PM website and I find this! I can’t actually remember this day but it looks like we were having fun. I see I am credited above as electrician. Not so. It’s true I was a lighting electrician to start with at the Mill but the BBC kindly retrained me as a broadcast engineer and on this OB I was operating the aforementioned Ampex VPR2 VT machines.

    Terrance Dicks, one of the nicest men in television was producer. The production had two directors, directing an equal number of episodes each. Diarmuid Lawrence directed ‘our half’ and Ian Collins who’s photos you see above was the VT editor. I was Ian’s assistant during the editing.

    I have some photos I took during the shoot so I’ll try to look them out and send them in.

    Fond memories…

    Best to all,
    Chris Glover

  4. PS – The man in the second shot back, right is John Bradley, engineer not as suggested ‘another’ electrician. The man with the cup is definitely Alistair.


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