Pebble Mill Blue Plaque

 

On Wednesday 8 September 2021 a BBC Heritage Trail blue plaque was unveiled on the site of BBC Pebble Mill, now a rehabilitation hospital, to commemorate the building and all the fantastic programmes that were created there. A small number of former BBC staff attended the ceremony. The plaque was unveiled by Midlands Today presenter, Nick Owen, who presented the last ever news programme from the broadcast centre.

Included in the photographs are:

  1. Annie Gumbley Williams, Jim Dumighan
  2. ?, Nick Owen
  3. Ken Pollack, Nick Owen
  4. Ken Pollack, Ivor Williams, John Duckmanton
  5. Norman McLeod, John Williams, Nick Owen
  6. Annie Gumbley Williams, Nick Owen, Jenny Brewer

Dome on the roof of Pebble Mill

Photo by Bhasker Solanki, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This dome appeared on the roof of the Pebble Mill office block circa 1980.

The following comments about were posted on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:

Annie Gumbley Williams: The dome was built to be used for recordings, interviews etc. Remember doing one there with Robin Cousins in Roy Ronnie & Roy Norton days. Roy Ronnie used it for meetings sometimes to get out of the office. It made a lot of noise when it rained so not good for recording!

Malcolm Hickman: It also acted like a greenhouse and anything left in there suffered with the condensation.

Andy Shepherd:The dome was bought second-hand from Granada who had used it in the summer of 1979 for their Saturday morning children’s show The Mersey Pirate. The show was based aboard the ferry MV Royal Iris moored at Liverpool Docks. The dome structure was built on the promenade deck of the vessel. The run of the series was cut short by the ITV strike which started in August.

Here are a couple more photos of the dome being installed in 1981. They are from Stuart Gandy.

Photo by Stuart Gandy, no reproduction without permission

Dome being hoisted on to the roof. Photo by Stuart Gandy, no reproduction without permission

 

Brenda Jeffcoat

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brenda Jeffcoat passed away suddenly on Thursday 13th December, aged 89. She was in good spirits a few days before she died. There are several photos below of her from her Radio Birmingham days.

Here are a couple of memories of Brenda, one from Nick Owen who says he remembers Brenda well. “A lovely lady who was always friendly and chatty”.
Here is another memory from Bunny Hall of Brenda in the 1960s…….
“I was so sorry to hear about Brenda. Although I hadn’t seen her for many, many years she also played a large part in my BBC life. I knew her right from the early sixties when she used to stand in for Olive Burrows as the teleprinter operator in an office shared with myself and
Lily Such (we were the Duplicating office, but these days probably more pompously known as ‘Office Printing’) at Carpenter Road. We always got on very well and still kept in touch after I left in 1978.”

Thanks to Annie Gumbley-Williams for the information and photographs of Brenda.

Pebble Mill Christmas Card

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to cameraman Robin Sunderland for sharing this Pebble Mill Christmas Card, which probably dates from the late 1970s, and to Annie Gumbley Williams for adding information.

The photograph was taken during a production of Saturday Night at the Mill.

Joan Armatrading

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These screen grabs are from the 1985, Joan Armatrading concert from the NEC, simulcast on BBC 2 and Radio 1, on 4th and 11th April. John Smith was the director, and Annie Gumbley Williams was the PA. Below is the entry from the Radio Times, courtesy of the BBC Genome project:

“The exciting singer songwriter, soon to embark on another long world concert tour, makes a rare British television appearance in a concert recorded recently at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham.
In her repertoire,
Joan Armatrading mixes previous chart successes with contemporary material, including ‘Love and affection’, ‘Heaven’ and ‘Temptation’.
Producer JOHN G. SMITH BBC Pebble Mill
A simultaneous broadcast with Radio 1. Viewers with stereo Radio 1 may wish to turn off TV sound and position their speakers on either side of the screen, but a few feet away.
Stereo headphones provide a suitable alternative.
(The second half of this concert will be shown next Thursday)”

https://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/19c900f984ed49c7a3b6cfe25aa40eec

Thanks to Stuart Allen for making the grabs available.