Saturday Night at the Mill

Photos by Robin Sunderland, no reproduction without permission

































These photos are from Saturday Night at the Mill, an entertainment magazine show, from the foyer studio. It was transmitted between 1976-81. Roy Ronnie was the producer, and Roy Norton the director. Bob Langley, Donny MacLeod and Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen welcomed a variety of guests. The cameramen in the second photo are Phil Wilson and Doug Smith.

Thanks to cameraman Robin Sunderland for taking and sharing the photos.

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

Annie Gumbley: ‘I was Roy Ronnie’s Secretary & had my training for PA from Liz Silver who worked on the series. Keith Ackrill and Tricia Sadiq (Mifflin) were part of the team too. I did about about 4 or 5 series to the finish. What memories.’

Julie Hill: ‘I remember Saturday Night at The Mill! Penny Arcatinis and I were entrusted with serving the wine to the general public.’

Chris Rogers: ‘A fab show used to watch it all the time great guests, and presenters.’

Pebble Mill at One titles from 1979

Titles sequence from the lunchtime magazine programme: Pebble Mill at One from 1979.

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

Jane Green: ‘The last PM@One!! Makes me sad ūüôĀ I was looking after Bob with the helicopters in the field. Couldn’t hear a darn thing – even with ear defenders on!’

Margaret Waine: ‘Oh what memories it brings back.’

Ann Gumbley-Williams: ‘What can I say!? ….,. My youth! My life! Nostalgia……! ? Counting out of titles…’

Jane Mclean: ‘God that music makes me cack myself!! Marian with the bike and think the sparks could be Keith Morton?’

Angela Profit (nee Horsman) RIP

copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission












Sadly I have to let you all know of the passing last week of Angela Profit, nee Horsman.
Angela’s husband John has sent the following email with details of her funeral:-

Angie’s funeral will be held at Knowle Parish Church on Friday, May 8th

at 1-30pm.

Flowers will be from family only, but any donations should be for Macmillan Nurses, Solihull or Marie Curie Hospice, Solihull, c/o

Thomas Bragg & Sons, 562 Stratford Rd, Shirley, Solihull B90 4AY. 
Angie died peacefully, with her wish to be at home with her 2 sons and me at her side.

The most amazing help came from the team of NHS District Nurses who worked far beyond their call of duty, to ensure Angie was looked after in the very best possible way.

Johnathan, Angie’s son sent the following email to me:-
Thanks again for your support, my mum loved the BBC and having a continued connection post retirement was a joy for her. I know we would love to see as many BBC friends pay their respects at the funeral.
If you missed it the first time here is a link to an article in the Birmingham Post 19th March on Angie. Click to download then you will have to go into your downloads for the page.

Our condolences go to Angie’s¬†husband & sons.

Ann Gumbley-Williams

The following comments are just some of those left on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:

Marie Phillips: ‘Who could forget the permanent smile of a vivacious cheerful lady.’

Janice Rider: ‘So sad . Who doesn’t remember Angela . Always such a cheery , lovely soul . RIP’

Jean Palmer: ‘RIP Angela. Loved to hear your happy laughter coming from the contracts office.’

Lynn Cullimore: ‘What a battle she fought. Sad. Angela you will be missed.’

Pete Simpkin: ‘Farewell and deserved rest to a wonderful lady.’

Robert Davies: ‘Never saw her without a smile. RIP beautiful lady.’





Children in Need with Alan Towers

VTS_01_2mpg_snapshot_2503_20141116_024648_zps90123d8e VTS_01_2mpg_snapshot_2514_20141116_024705_zpsefc0c07b























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

These stills are from Children in Need from the early 1980s. These would have been from the Midlands contribution into the national Children in Need show. The presenter was Alan Towers, who was one of the Midlands Today presenter. The first still shows the volunteers taking the pledges of money on the phones.

Thanks to Stuart Allen for sharing the photos.

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

Ann Gumbley Williams: ‘Worked with Alan as assistant on the very first Children in Need. I was in the Gallery on my own when London said they were coming to Birmingham in 30 seconds. Had to run around to the newsroom and grab Alan and all those involve. Just about got there in time! Such memories, the first one was so crazy and laid back and hairy! If you can be both.’

Gary Hudson: ‘I knew Alan before I worked for the BBC, and on my first day he took me to one side:”Staff job, eh? Find yourself an empty office on the fifth floor and stay there till you collect your pension.”
Variously called everything from Beckenbauer to Uncle Barmy, he was a great character, loyal friend and I miss him. His wicked sense of humour wasn’t confined to the infamous farewell speech. Who remembers the Christmas studio decorations sign-off? As I recall, it was something like: ‘Do you like our Christmas tree? The fairies put it up in the middle of the night. Thanks, boys!”

Pebble Mill Rifle Range

Photo by Ben Peissel

Photo by Ben Peissel

In the basement of BBC Pebble Mill there was, apparently, a fully functional rifle range. Journalist, Maurice Blisson used to shoot there most nights after Midlands Today went off air around 7pm. Peter Gower remembers using the range in the mid 1980s, along with fellow film editor, Roger Mulliner. Nigel Mercer remembers¬†competing, as part of a Central TV team, against some Pebble Mill Staff, ¬†at pistol shooting, at the Police Range, in about 1983. It was a fairly informal occasion. Steve Dellow¬†remembers going down in the basement to see the room with the ‘echo plates’. And Stuart Gandy also remembers¬†seeing the door to the rifle range, but never went in. He thinks it was near the photographic dark room.

Thanks to everyone who posted their memories of the rifle range on the Pebble Mill Facebook Group.

Ann Gumbley-Williams added the following comment on the Pebble Mill Facebook group: I was a member and used to shoot at the rifle range on the basement. When I was there it was run by Pip Allkins who was the son of Maisie Allkins who worked on the old telephone system where you had to plug the phones in to connect! Maisie, her husband John and Pip also helped on the BBC pantomimes that used top take place every year. They were put on in the theatre at Cadburys.