8 Years since Radio WM left Pebble Mill

Pebble Mill just before WM signed off from the building. From Andy Walters













This is a Facebook conversation commemorating the departure of Radio WM from the Pebble Mill building, eight years ago.

Andy Walters: Happy 8th Anniversary of BBC WMs first broadcast from The Mailbox. Has it really been that long since we left Pebble Mill?

Brian Christopher Winter: I remember back in 2000 and 2001 about all the talk of the proposed move out of Pebble Mill. Time has flown by.

Andy Walters: I was told on my first day of work there in 2001 that they were looking at an imminent move which it turns out was over three years away. We were talking about Pebble Mill over the weekend. You couldn’t believe these days that WM had a smoking room opposite the studios at the mill! Other defunct things like a Gram Library with shelves piled high. Lines of tape machines and cart triple stacks and the lovely old BBC Designs Dept. Mk 3 desks.’

Nik Andrews: ‘I wonder if in years to come some young BBC engineer will be lamenting over the current systems used.’

Pete Simpkin: ‘Andy re the smoking at PM, just after the no smokng ban was introduced at the Mill I was the Afternoon Presenter on duty when I had to interview live a certain Peer of the Realm, as he sat down in the studio he took out a ciggy and was preparing to light it when I pointed out the new No smoking sign, he looked at me wih a ‘yes but that doesn’t mean ME does it’ and I was just about to send for managerial reinforcements when the on air disk ran out and I had to do the interview without the pre-chat. He was most unco-operative with his answers and at the end as I started to say ‘Thank you for coming in…’ he was already out of the door and runing down the corridor!’

Andy Walters: ‘I think something similar happened (and this was in the early 2000’s) with Julie Goodyear who couldn’t bear to be without a ciggy for more than a few minutes. Did nothing for Ed’s respiratory problems either.’

Radio Birmingham Shop in New Street

Photo from Pete Simpkin, no reproduction without permission.

The photo shows the Radio Birmingham shop in New Street, Birmingham.  Producer and presenter Pete Simpkin points to the entrance!

The following information was added on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:

Michael Fisher: ‘Yes I remember when it opened up. Carol was the receptionist who looked after the shop. The small studio came in handy at times for news reports rather than dashing back to Pebble Mill. It also provided a city centre profile for the radio station and was very close to the City Hall but was on the edge of the New St shopping area. However it was probably an idea before its time as local radio later branched out. Pete Simpkin will recall that at the time we had “Sinky” in Coventry & covered Wolverhampton & Black Country (Chris Phipps programme) as well as parts of rural Worcs. Warks. & Staffs. almost extending as far as Cannock. I managed to get Nuneaton covered in the non-league soccer that I started for Jim Rosental to go with our six league clubs Blues, Villa, Sky Blues, Wolves, Albion & Walsall who I enjoyed reporting on.

Pete Simpkin: ‘Well remembered Michael, in fact I went on to replace Barry Lankester who had followed Chris Phipps to Wolverhampton and spent an enjoyable year ar the Queen sreet studio. Representing the BBC I was included as one of Wolverhamptons 1000 people in their millenium year!’

Andy Walters: ‘We moved out of the Queen Street studio in 2002. There’s now a radio & TV facility in Wolverhampton by the Wolves ground.’

Pete Simpkin: ‘Thanks Andy,I wonder if all the old files and tapes moved with you? I well remember having to do a live lunchtime discussion programme from the little studio at Queen St, we only had two microphones and I really needed four so I went round to Tandy’s and bought two table mics, plugged them into the mixer and it all worked perfectly.There was no way these unofficial items would ever be claimable on exes so as they were mine I took them home and used them in retirement jobs for many years!’