Tony Newbury

Photo of Tony Newbury and the late Geoff Watts, by Ian Collins, circa 1972. No reproduction without permission.

Photo by John Williams, circa 1974. No reproduction without permission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tony Newbury died 20thDec 2018 at the Q.E. Hospital.

The following information about Tony is from John Duckmanton, who was a friend of Tony’s since the early 1970s.

Tony was an electronics engineer, he was in the armed forces before he joined the BBC. He worked at the BBC in the 1960s at Carpenter Rd and Broad St, and then at Pebble Mill. He was an inventive and very practical man who built a house in Evesham with Geoff Watts. This gave him a taste for building, and so he left the BBC and became a builder, building bungalows and houses in West Midlands. Tony was a very strong man. There was a fireplace in the Evesham house which needed to be taken upstairs, about 6 of his friends, including John came round and carried it upstairs, when it was up there Tony just put it under one arm and carried it into the bedroom, as if it weighed almost nothing. He was also famous for his tables. He felt that the legs were always in the wrong place, and therefore designed a table with no legs, which was cantilevered from the wall –and incredibly strong.

John remembers an occasion when Tony built a talkback box in the early days of wireless talkback. He was given a talkback in a flimsy plastic box with batteries that lasted around 30mins and asked to rebuild it. As with many things he over specced the modification, ending up with a much bigger box about the size of a house brick, but it was much more robust and with very long-lasting batteries. On another occasion the problem was an insufficiently bright programme countdown clock, when Tony had finished with it, there were complaints that it was too bright and causing reflections on everything!

When Tony worked at the studios in Broad Street he had an old mini whose sliding windows made it very easy to break into. Tony’s solution was to install a fuel switch under the front seat, so that if it wasn’t pressed the fuel supply would cut out after a few hundred yards. He would regularly go searching for it close to Broad Street, if it wasn’t where he’d parked it, as the thieves never found the fuel switch. Once he couldn’t find it, but the police found it a few days later, but said to him that they couldn’t get it started!

Tony had a kidney removed about 20yrs ago but carried on as strong as ever. Several years back, he had problems with the other kidney and needed regular dialysis, however he didn’t get on very well with dialysis and did not have as much as the hospital thought he should. He died from complications with his kidney condition just before Christmas.

Pebble Mill Christmas Card

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to cameraman Robin Sunderland for sharing this Pebble Mill Christmas Card, which probably dates from the late 1970s, and to Annie Gumbley Williams for adding information.

The photograph was taken during a production of Saturday Night at the Mill.

Nick Owen on Inside Out

Here is a link to Inside Out from the Midlands including a piece presented by Nick Owen about local television/film industry, as it was & as it is now, plus going forward, despite Channel 4 not coming here. Nick is outside the new hospital at the Pebble Mill site talking about the ‘old’ days, the broadcasters, the independents and film makers, and showing various clips. He interviews Joe Godwin along with Roger Shannon, Steven Knight and Colette Foster, as well as some of my Media Production students at Birmingham City University – I’m also in it very briefly, blink and you’ll miss it! Worth a watch and here is a link to the iPlayer, only available for another 16 days The piece appears at about 10 minutes into the programme.

Goodbye to Pebble Mill

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

Goodbye Pebble Mill was transmitted on BBC1 in 2004, as a tribute to production at Pebble Mill, as the building closed prior to demolition. It is introduced by Toyah Wilcox and features highlights from Pebble Mill programmes and interviews with many stars.

Memories of Broad Street

Photo by Martin Fenton, no reproduction without permission. These audio tapes are from Radio Studio 3 at Pebble Mill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I joined the BBC in Broad street as a Studio Manager in 1963 after about 3 months training in London, one of my first experiences was as Spot Effects S.M on The Archers. Tony Shryane -Producer- sat at the mixing desk, controlling the programme levels. There was a Studio Manager playing in Sound effects off 78rpm records and also from from recorded tapes- recorded originally on 5″ full track tapes @ 7.5″/sec. on an EMI Midget battery powered tape machine. These tapes were edited and compiled onto 10.5″ dia.tape reels of which at that time there were about 2 dozen. These were catalogued originally in a box file but later on fullscap sheets in a spring back folder.

Within a few months I moved on from pouring cups of ‘tea’, opening and closing doors etc to become the Gram and tape S.M. Agriculture was as ever becoming more developed and this meant more mechanisation and more recordings required. F.M radio was expanding and quality sound effects were also required to replace some of the original 78 rpm recordings.

Another S.M joined the Archers Team-Peter Belham- and between the two of us we increased the Tape library for the programme vastly ,and were recording in Stereo, looking to the future for not only The Archers but Birmingham Radio Drama output. This library of effects moved to Studio 3 at Pebble Mill, along with a Mini Archive of significant Archers episodes. Before this time Tony Shryane had asked me to take over at the Mixing Desk. Peter, was grams SM but also mixed from time to time but was also Mixing Radio Drama. We tended to swop roles back and forth as needed and I was quite often Grams S.M. when Peter was mixing a Radio Play. On Tony Shryanes retirement I felt it was time to move on from The Archers. Some years after both Peter and I had retired Mark Decker moved the effects library to the Mail Box and began the process of transferring it to C.D before his untimely death from cancer.

John Pierce