Anna of the Five Towns was transmitted from 9 Jan 1985 on BBC 2.
Some sad news. Dave Baumber, ace sound recordist and dubbing mixer has died after a short illness. My Pebble Mill friends will be shocked, as I was, but for those of you who think they don’t know him, well, I’ll remind you of his work. My Doctor Who friends will have heard his work as a grams operator on the 1966 adventure serial The Moonbase.
Dave was a BAFTA award winning sound supervisor for Boys from the Blackstuff in 1983, but fans of cult TV will have heard his work as a sound recordist on Tom’s Midnight Garden and Torchwood and as a dubbing mixer on Artemis 81, Gangsters, Spyship, various ‘Play for Today’ editions including Nuts in May, Red Shift, Penda’s Fen and Licking Hitler.
Dave looked after the sound on many of the major series to come out of Pebble Mill including Anna of the Five Towns, All Creatures Great and Small, All Quiet on the Preston Front, Martin Chuzzlewit, Dangerfield and Dalziel & Pascoe.
By 2004 Dave had itchy feet and was keen to get back to doing more location sound. He was my sound recordist on Casualty Saved My Life. He had stints on the real thing, Casualty in Bristol and then the aforementioned Torchwood.
Apart from being brilliant at his job, he was a really nice guy.
The following comments were left on the Pebble Mill Facebook Page:
Ray Holman: ‘So sad. I worked with Dave on several series, some at Pebble Mill such as All Creatures and the last one was in Cardiff on Torchwood. What a shock and what a lovely man, I’m so sorry.’
Steve Weddle: ‘A true professional who made everything he did seem deceptively easy. Happy times.’
Jeff Matthews: ‘I am devastated and totally saddened by this terrible news. I worked with Dave on Torchwood and had many a ‘soundman’s’ type chat with him. He retired and went to drink wine in France. I hope he had lots of fun. A very sad loss.’
Photos by Willoughby Gullachsen, no reproduction without permission.
This 1985, 4 part drama series was directed at Pebble Mill by Martyn Friend, and produced by Colin Rogers. John Harvey wrote the adaptation of Arnold Bennett’s novel, set in the potteries in the 1890s. Bob Chaplin was the lighting director and Michael Edwards the production designer. Dave Baumber recorded sound (Dave is the one with the moustache and not a lot of hair in the close up photo). Sue Bennett-Urwin was the 1st A.D., and can be seen directing in the last black and white photo. Filming took place in the Isle of Man in 1984, amongst other places. This is where the photo of the cast and crew was taken. The black and white photos were taken at the Black Country Museum near Dudley.
The series starred Linsey Beauchamp as Anna Tellwright, Emrys James as Ephraim Tellwright, Peter Davison as Henry Mynors, Anton Lesser as Willie Price and Anna Cropper as Mrs Sutton.
I believe that Anna of the Five Towns was the first location drama at Pebble Mill to be recorded single camera on video tape. Please add a comment if you can confirm this, or can identify people in the photo of the cast and crew.
Group picture – either side of Jim Clelland (2nd on the left) are Dick Bentley (OB Lighting) and Ray Sperry (Engineer). Joyce Hawkins (Costume), Sally Englebach (Design) and Lesley Perry (Make-up) in the centre amongst others. Paul Woolston (Senior Cameraman) on right and also on camera in the tracking shot. From costume Terry Powell, Mark Ridley, Sally Pearson who sadly is not with us any more, Rachel Selby. The chap with the bald head and the moustache is Dave Baumber (sound), next to him is editor Ivor Williams and Steve Neilsen. Infront of Dave, I think is P.A. Sally Daniels.
(Thanks to Dave Bushell, Terry Powell, Stuart Gandy, Jane Clement, Annie Gumbley and Russell Parker for their help in identifying people).