Midlands News 1992

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This page from the internal newspaper, Midlands News from 1992, shows what a vibrant place Pebble Mill was at this time, with both radio and television programmes winning all kinds of accolades, and even the restaurant winning an award for healthy food! Jeremy Clarkson is looking very youthful in the top right-hand corner, but down at the bottom the photographs for Countryfile‘s day out and Sarah Rowlands and Mark Decker’s digital editing session seem to have been swapped over – oops!

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Studio 3, Living Room set

Photo by Martin Fenton, no reproduction without permission

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This photo is of a living room set up in Radio Studio 3 at Pebble Mill. This is the studio where The Archers was recorded.

The set up is pretty minimal. There is a tea towel, or similar, in the foreground, which is presumably a prop for the a scene.

Martin Fenton took the photo in autumn 2003.

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Studio 3 Doorbells

Copyright, Martin Fenton, no reproduction without permission

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These were the doorbells used on The Archers and other radio dramas which were recorded in Radio Studio 3. Any doorbell would do – as long as it was a Friedland one! I expect that Friedland were very happy to donate a demonstration board to the BBC, although I’m sure that the castors were a BBC addition, to make it easy to move around.

Thanks to Martin Fenton, who took the photo at Pebble Mill in 2003.

The following comment was left on the Pebble Mill Facebook Page:

Andy Walters: ‘I’m sure that’s still in the Archers studio with labels as to which bell is for which house.’

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The Archers’ sound effects – Sue Sweet

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Thanks to Sue Sweet for sharing this cutting from 1971, of her operating some sound effects for The Archers, in the BBC’s studios in Broad Street, Birmingham. Sue worked in the Sound Effects library at Broad Street, and would help out with effects when necessary.

Studio manager, Alastair Askham, sadly died in the early 1980s.

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Studio 3 door

Copyright, Martin Fenton, no reproduction without permission

This photo shows the ‘door’ from Radio Studio 3 at Pebble Mill. The door would have been used to create effects on Radio 4’s The Archers, as well as other radio dramas. The mini door is on castors so that it could be wheeled around to wherever in the studio it was needed, and is a box construction. It contains all the parts on a door that would make a distinctive sound: a turning key, and knob, and a door chain.

Thanks to Martin Fenton for sharing the photograph, which he took in 2003.

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

Jane Green: ‘On my way back from the bar after a hard morning’s PM@1. Was hijacked by a radio person and asked to scrunch my feet on a tray of gravel.’

Stephen Lyons: ‘ I remember well the similar one at BBC Wales Radio where I worked on Schools Radio programmes over many years.’

Malcolm Hickman: ‘Notice the stairs in the background. They had 3 different finishes on each tread. Plus at the top of the flight they had several items of door furniture.’

Angela Padgett: ‘Seen them in the Mailbox on the Behind the scenes at BBC Tour. They’re still being used.’

Ruth Kiosses: ‘I once took in my brothers Elizabethan armour for the sound department (Donald McDonald) to record for some drama. I’m sure clanging baking trays would have been the same? But they wanted authenticity.’

Colin Pierpoint: ‘I don’t know who made it. You can see the original door in the photo which was built in to the stairs f/x (extreme top right). The problem was that it had such a large selection of locks, catches and levers that to open the door required at least 8 hands! The portable one appeared later and I suspect it was to overcome the 3 extra staff required to open the original door.’

Carolyn Davies: ‘Didn’t it used to be brown?’

Kathryn Shuttleworth: ‘All the box doors were painted and the screens refurbished for the move to The Mailbox. We had the sash window from under the staircase mounted into a box too. All still in use, they don’t make ’em like that any more!’

 

 

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