A special paint was developed to paint on the floor of Studio A, the television drama studio – it was called ‘Pebble Mill peelable’ and was available commercially.
The following comments were posted on the Pebble Mill Facebook Page, about this special paint, what it did, and whether it was a good thing – or not!
Raymond Lee: ‘Before Pebble Mill peelable the studio floor was painted in water based paints, which ran if anything got spilt on them. Also it required a day between productions to wash the studio floor and let it dry, before the next painting could take place. One of the downsides of of the peelable paint was that after a number of layers the floor became quite uneven, so tracking shots became increasingly wobbly! I’m fairly sure it was only used in Studio A, and not the foyer. A base coat was put on the studio floor, which involved closing the studio for a couple of days. The fumes were quite pungent. Then the special floor paint was used to create the required floor using rollers, as previously. When a new drama went in the next floor scene was just painted on top. This continued for a number of productions, and then the paint was peeled off a bit like lino back to the base layer.’
Lynn Cullimore: ‘Yes, I remember it and it was a company headed by a man called Terry Field – I would think he is long retired now. It was really rated apparently. I knew Terry as he was a friend of John Woods in the press office when I then worked. They did use it in Studio A I believe but I am not sure if they did in the foyer.’
Guy Heselden: ‘The paint used at the London studios sounds similar. It goes on with a roller and can be touched up or painted over as and when and then when required gets washed off back to the bare brown coloured studio floor, ready for a new coat of paint!’
Gerry King: ‘Pebble Mill Peelable existed for many years totally dependent on Pebble Mill studios for income. They had premises on the Hagley Road close to the Plough & Harrow. For the life of me I cannot remember the name of their MD.’
Keith Brook (Scouse): ‘It was the most awful invention ever to fall on the lovely lino floors of Studio A. The original water paint system could be sucked up immediately after the sets had been removed and the new floor painted soon after. That system had the added effect of cleaning the floor and so we were left with a smooth surface to do our famous tracking shots. Pebble Mill Peelable often had it’s thick base coat put down without the floor being cleaned first. To add insult to injury, subsequent layers weren’t cleaned off either and the build- up was horrific. Many of the camera crew carried a Stanley knife and cut out the offending items which annoyed the manager who had introduced the paint. A short lecture on camerawork shut him up until the next time he wanted to flex his muscles.’