Pebble Mill at One, location OB – photos by Ian Collins

Photos by Ian Collins, no reproduction without permission.

These photos are of a ‘Pebble Mill at One’ outside broadcast. They probably date from the early to mid 1980s. Included are PA/vision mixer, Trudy Stanton, and director, Tony Rayner (blue anorak), producer Roger Ecclestone (with cigarette), and presenter Marjorie Lofhouse in the fur jacket. Brian Watkiss, VT editor, is seated in the brown shirt.

Regional TV Presentation Studio – Peter Poole

Photos by Peter Poole, no reproduction without permission. I took these photos in 2003. They show the self-opt presentation studio which was operated by the news reader. They could opt out of the network programme and switch all the Midlands transmitters to enable a regional news bulletin. With the increasing number of regional bulletins during the Breakfast programme a dedicated production gallery was installed. This freed the news reader from any equipment operation. The gallery enabled video reports to be played and was operated by the director. This area also housed the computer graphics equipment. This was used for the weather maps.

Peter Poole

Stuart Gandy adds the following information: ‘In 1991 there was a project to make the presentation studios in all the regions stereo and included a new self op desk that the presenters used in the studio itself. At Pebble Mill though it was decided to build a gallery for the pres studio as well, that could be used to direct the shorter bulletins from instead of using the main gallery, so needing less people. Hence this was built with a tiny budget. The far end of the gallery here was where the news paintbox was located that was used to produce at very short notice, the graphics for Midlands Today.’

Pete Simpkin remembers visiting the self opt desk: ‘I remember visiting the late David Stevens at work in the self op days and noticed he sat on phone directories as he was a little short to be correctly framed by the locked off camera.’

Mary Sanchez remembers working in the Regional news gallery, ‘ I remember gallery B very well- worked from there for years- vision mixing and directing Midlands Today and Midlands at Westminster etc … Many happy ( and lots of scary!) memories! Self opt desk at 6am – hilarious with carol , sheila and Mandy ….!!’

Roz Gower remembers, ‘the terrifying experience of directing and vision mixing Mids Today! Did the gallery really look that tatty? And the monitor stack looks positively Heath Robinson! But in spite of the gut wrenching nerves it was somehow all great fun.’

Midlands Today colleagues – photo from Laura McNeill

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

The photo of Midlands Today colleagues includes (left to right): Mary Sanchez (floor manager), Lindsay Doyle (Arts Reporter, Midlands Today), Laura McNeill (sound).

It was taken at the launch event of Laura’s sound company, after she left BBC Birmingham

Regional Top Gear – Jim Knight’s photos

Photos by Jim Knights, no reproduction without permission.

These photos date from the early days of a regional Top Gear programme.  It was a film shoot somewhere in Europe.  The director is Derek Smith, the PA is Claire (surname not remembered), Jim Knights is the camerman.

It looks like a good time was had by all – and the crew was certainly well fed and watered, even if the crew car wasn’t very impressive!

crew trying it on with the PA

Regional News Opt-Out – photos by Jim Knights

Photos by Jim Knights, no reproduction without permission.

These photos are of a regional news opt out programme recorded in Berlin, and presumably about the Berlin Wall.  Jim Knights was the cameraman, and appears in most of the programmes.  The programme was probably produced at Pebble Mill, although it may pre-date the Pebble Mill years, and be from when the Birmingham newsroom was in Broad Street.

Please add a comment if you can identify other people in the photos, can date it, or add more information.