Raymond Lefevre – Pebble Mill at One theme

Copyright, Andy Walters, no reproduction without permission










Here is the record of the original Raymond Lefevre theme tune of Pebble Mill at One, courtesy of Andy Walters. It was released in 1978. It set him back £4.99!

Radio Birmingham top

Photos by Jane Partridge, no reproduction without permission

Radio Birmingham top, belonging to Phil Partridge. This dates from the very late 1970s or early 1980s. Thanks to Jane Partridge for taking and sharing the photos.

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

Tim Manning: ‘These were produced while negotiations about changing the name were still going on with the BBC in London; “WM”, rather than a standard place name, was a big change for BBC local radio style. John Pickles, the manager, wanted to get on with a “soft” relaunch of the station in the meantime, and for a while there was less emphasis on Radio Birmingham and more on “206” and the broader West Midlands identify.’

Andy Walters: ‘I have a feeling that dates from 78. It later morphed into the Radio WM logo. To show you how old some of our OB gear is, this logo still adorns some of it.’

Radio WM sticker on OB kit still being used!











Pete Simpkin: ‘This one was the best of all the designs for the Radio Birmingham/WM shirts…..wore all mine till they fell to pieces!!’

Radio WM’s Stuart Miller at the Birmingham Superprix

Photo by Rod Fawcett, no reproduction without permission












Radio WM engineer, Stuart Miller, at the controls for the coverage of the first Birmingham Superprix road race in 1986.

Thanks to Rod Fawcett for sharing the photo.

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

Andy Walters: ‘Would it surprise you to know we still have that mixer and DK monitoring unit at WM?’

Rod Fawcett: ‘Wow yes a little surprised!! But it was well built and I think flight cased to protect the gear…’

Iain Betson: ‘All standard BBC LR issue OB kit. MX6/2, DK2/21, ASC mod’ed PR99. It just worked. I know, I used it a lot!’

Andy Walters: ‘I must admit it gets little use but does still work. Must be thanks to the flightcase as my OB kit was stored in the garden shed on the car park at Pebble Mill for years.’

Malcolm Hickman: ‘Stuart was a great guy. I first met him when I was attached to P&ID building the Comms Centre in 1971. Radio Birmingham were in the building before it opened. There was no restaurant, but we had a kitchen and the lads came in to use the kettle.’

Keith Conlon: ‘Stuart was a great man when I was working for BBC Radio Birmingham then BBC Radio WM as a freelance Station Assistant. Very helpful offering advice with my live music sound mixing.’

Colin Pierpoint: ‘I worked with Stuart many times when he was in Radio OBs and I was in Radio 4 Midland continuity (previously the Midland Home Service). Afterwards when he was Radio Birmingham Engineer (later Radio WM) we cooperated one evening when there was a fault on air on Radio WM. He was at home and asked me to go into an unstaffed Radio WM Ops room, he then talked me round the equipment to make the necessary adjustments. That was in the days when the phone I was using to hear Stuart had a wire attached!’

Pete Simpkin: ‘Stuart was a real pioneer. Together we did the first…and… as far as l know…..only complete broadcasts for Radio Birmingham/WM of Sikh, Hindu, Muslim and Jewish worship on any radio station in the country….one of them live. It involved complex rigging and audio balances and observation of the customs and traditions of the various communities.’

Radio OB in Victoria Square

Photo from Rod Fawcett, no reproduction without permission












The photo shows Radio WM Engineer, Rod Fawcett, with Chris Nelson and Tom Horsfield, adjusting the mast, on an outside broadcast in Birmingham’s Victoria Square. The radio car is a Montego. There was obviously some Victorian theme, hence the costumes.

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

Andy Walters: ‘Those masts were awful. Looks like Tom is having a little difficulty there. Every so often a Journalist would drive under a low bridge and whack the antenna off the top of the stowed mast. The car that succeeded the one in the picture, a Peugeot 405 now resides in Coventry Motor Museum.’

Election night 2001 Studio C gallery

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




















Stuart Gandy and Keith Knowles on Election night in 2001, in Studio C gallery, in the early hours waiting for the results to come in. In the first photo you can see the names of the locations of the various OBs on the monitors.

These photos were originally posted on Pebble Mill Engineers Facebook group.

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

Stuart Gandy: ‘I remember the night well. The console in front of us with all the switches on was a special bit of kit (known as Robespierre – and I can’t remember why) that was only fetched out on election nights, that provided extra comms between the regions. It had to be connected back to comms centre with a lot of cabling a few days prior, which took quite a bit of planning and effort, but Pebble Mill was a regional election hub, so needed to communicate with a lot of places.’

Pete Simpkin: ‘I presented two General Election results Radio programmes on WM along with some local council ones and really enjoyed the through the night experience….. total exhaustion afterwards! Ten pm till 6 am the next morning was some ‘on air’ stint!!’

Andy Walters: ‘I was at the ICC that night Engineering for Radio WM. I remember it being a very late (or early morning) finish.’