Christian Marchers – Pete Simpkin

Here is another group who provided programme material…they came on a sponsored walk from Walsall and were raising money for a tape recorder to help them in their endeavours. They are being greeted at the Mill by Religious Programmes Organiser the Rev Michael Blood and Pete Simpkin the Producer of religious programmes.

The Green Machine – Pete Simpkin

The creators of 'The Green Machine'

‘The Green Machine’ was another innovative show from the community, a sort of ‘with it’ religious education experiment from the Birmingham Council of Churches which had a great response. Shown here are the creators of the programme the Revs David Tennant and Laurie Green with presenter John Cornbill.

Pete Simpkin

Sikh Worship – Pete Simpkin

Rigging for the broadcast

‘Sikh Worship’ Not actually at PM but typical of the pioneering ideas coming from it. This was a live relay of Sikh worship from the Graham Street Gudwarah. Here can be seen Pete and engineer Stuart Miller preparing for the broadcast. Radio Birmingham was the first to transmit live non Christian worship in the UK and this has incidentally never been repeated.

Maureen and the Coffee – Pete Simpkin

Maureen & Pete

‘Maureen and the coffee’ One Christmas eve the BBC canteen had closed early for the holidays and we cheekily regretted the fact on air. This lady Maureen lived in one of the tower blocks nearby in Edgbaston and walked down to the studio with refreshments for we forgotten broadcasters!

Pete Simpkin

Brass Band Competition – Pete Simpkin

Dunchurch Silver Band

This shows Barry Lankester and I producing the annual Local Radio Knockout Contest organised by the West Midlands Brass Band Association. This was typical of the programming of the early days of BBC local radio….and the way in which the building itself was used to communicate with the public.  A community organisation would get the programmes organised and we would get them on air.

Barry Lankester was the driving force behind all sorts of artistic productions involving over the years literally thousands of local music makers from bands of all types, classical and pop , choirs and many others trooping into Pebble Mill, usually at weekends to record a multitude of broadcasts encouraging and entertaining the listeners.  The band shown in the picture is the Dunchurch Silver.

Pete Simpkin