Sheila Brown RIP

Sheila Brown sadly died on 14th April 2015, at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham. Sheila started work as a secretary in Personnel, and then later in the Press Office and PR department, organising visitor tours of Pebble Mill.

Sheila is shown in the right of this photograph, which was taken at the Friday Night at the Mill party in 2004. The party which marked the closing of the Pebble Mill building, prior to its demolition in 2005.

Clara Hewitt, Janet Collins, Margaret Barton, Sheila Brown

Clara Hewitt, Janet Collins, Margaret Barton, Sheila Brown. Photo by Ruth Barretto, no reproduction without permission











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

Andy Bentley: ‘Remember Shiela well, she received an MBE if I remember right. Lovely Lady.’

Malcolm Hickman: ‘We used to take parties around the Mill, including parties of staff newly arrived at Bush House. Sheila used to organise the catering and for some inexplicable reason, there was always one or two bottles of red wine left over. A very sweet lady and an accomplished ballroom dancer in her younger days.’

Jane Ward: ‘Wasn’t she a keen ballroom dancer?’

Conal O’Donnell: ‘I remember Sheila very well- quite mischievous on her way & always good fun .I am sorry to learn of her passing.’

Julian Hitchcock: ‘What a lovely, funny soul she was: her very memory brings a warm smile to all who knew her. I do hope she enjoyed her later years.’

Tim Manning: ‘I’m so sorry to hear the news about Sheila; she was – as others have said – a lovely lady, and someone who cared deeply about Pebble Mill. And yes, Jane Ward, she was a very keen and skilled ballroom dancer; when I was directing a film for The Golden Oldie Picture Show, she loaned me all her trophies and lots of memorabilia.’

Marie Phillips: ‘Sheila was very kind to me when CIN was regarded as something of a misfit in the Press Office. Very very efficient. A well deserved MBE.’

Andy Caddick: ‘We used to have long chats on the No1 bus on the way to Pebble Mill. So sad, lovely lady.’

Pat de Whalley in the studio

Pat de Whalley in studio












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

The photo is of Radio WM presenter, Pat de Whalley, at work in the studio, circa 1990.

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

Andy Walters: ‘That looks like it would have been Area 2. The window is looking into Area 3, the phone-in room. Those are very expensive Technics CD players too. Later replaced with modified Hi-Fi ones that were horrible to fix. Usually gluing buttons back on.’

Andy Caddick: ‘I would agree that this is Area 2 with Area 3 through the glass and 4 after that. Love the Mark 111 desk. Amazing to see all those carts.’

Philip Morgan: ‘A pair of Beyer DT100 cans on the MKIII desk too…’

Pete Simpkin: ‘That’s right Andy, in the old days we called area three the ops room. You can see a very hazardous pile of blue plastic carts used for jingle, trails etc on the top of the desk.Behind her dozens more. She looks as if she is carrying out one of the more hazardous operations with the equipment namely adding a sugar lump to her coffee. Surprising to see coffee let loose so close to the faders…could put us off the air in seconds if it spillt. The anglepoise arms carried the microphones which could be positioned easily by the presenter. I would guess music is on air at the moment as the only fader ‘up’ is what I know as a grams fader, probably deck two yellow top ident on fader)(hidden behind the desk bulkhead) as the arm is not on the disk on deck one.’

Radio Birmingham’s opening broadcast

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

Here is the opening broadcast from Radio Birmingham circa 1970. You’ll notice that the presenters have received pronunciation, and there isn’t the trace of a Brummie accent.

Thanks to Andy Caddick for finding and sharing this sound clip.

BBC Radio Birmingham

The following comment was left by Pete Simpkin on the Pebble Mill Facebook Group:

Pete Simpkin: ‘Quite right about the voices Vanessa-I was amazed to be accepted at Radio Birmingham just a few months after being refused a job at Radio Solent in Southampton my home town because my voice was ‘not acceptable’ there! Another aspect of recruitment of staff to many of the Local Radio second wave of stations of which Birmingham was one was that at the time there was quite a bit of relocation of staff as these stations were in effect replacing the old BBC Regions as part of the major re-organisation plan called ‘Broadcasting in the Seventies’.’