Lincoln ‘Sam’ Shaw

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The following is from Annie Gumbley-Williams:

I have received news from Simon Shaw of the recent passing of his father, Lincoln ‘Sam’ Shaw.
I remember Sam when I worked on Radio Birmingham & Midlands Today  in the 1970s to 80s. The photograph is of Sam in 1972 when he was Regional News Editor. I worked also with his son Simon, at Pebble Mill, when he was still in education, he used to come into Radio Birmingham to answer the phones on our Saturday Sports programme. Simon is now Executive Producer on the Antiques Roadshow. There’s a lovely photo on of his mother & father’s wedding on the opening titles.
Simon has sent the following:-

Lincoln “Sam” Shaw is a legendary name in the annals of Pebble Mill and Broad Street BBC history. Sadly we have received news of his recent death at the age of 93. Lincoln passed away peacefully in Torbay Hospital on February 19th. Many will remember Lincoln, either from his work as news editor on Midlands Today in the 60’s and 70’s, or from his days as Managing Editor English Regional Television which saw him broaden his responsibility for 8 regions across the UK. Those with longer memories may also know he was part of the pioneering small team that made the first local radio experiment in the 1960s. His son Simon tells us that Lincoln and wife Patricia enjoyed a life changing experience when he moved to south Devon in the 1980s by going back to the shop floor working as a reporter for the newly launched Radio Devon. Work that saw him filing reports until recently which recognised as the BBCs longest serving reporter. Luckily he managed to combine his work with golfing on some of the countries finest courses where he was regularly seen playing in to his 90s. His fulfilling and rich life will be celebrated in a memorial in early April at Dartington Hall. For more details please contact 

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

Roger Sutton: ‘Sam and I were members of the same golf club for a number of years but our paths never crossed at Pebble Mill. I have fond memories of our time on the course. A lovely man.’

David Shute: ‘A real gent and very agreeable colleague. Hope he’s having fun in the newsroom in the sky.’

John Cheshire

Midlands Today studio at Broad Street. Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission.












I have heard from Annie Gumbley Williams that John Cheshire died last Friday, 5th May 2017. This news was given to her by John Pierce. Both the Johns joined the BBC at Broad Street, and then moved to Pebble Mill in 1971, when the new building opened. John was a mechanical and electrical engineer, which is an unusual and very useful combination in broadcasting.

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

Malcolm Hickman: ‘John Cheshire was in Carpenter Road Mech workshop when I started in Services in 1971, before we moved to the Mill. He was always very obliging, nothing was too much trouble. A real gent. It is a sad loss.’

Colin Pierpoint: ‘The studio shown is Studio 4, which was a Radio Studio (and I remember that Charles Parker recorded Peggy Seeger and Ewan McGregor for some of his Radio Ballads – some of which I edited). Studio 4 was converted to television with instructions that we must look after the equipment (Black and white vidicon cameras) which will be moved to Pebble Mill. Needless to say they weren’t. The previous television studio at Broad Street was Studio 1 which was EVEN SMALLER!



Andy Cross

Photo from Lesley Weaver, no reproduction without permission

Andy Cross who worked with Magpie Films at Pebble Mill has passed away (Dec 2016). Andy worked as Sound Recordist. He leaves a wife, two sons at university and a daughter aged 11 or 12 years.

The funeral will take place at Lichfield & District Crematorium, Fladley Lane, Fradley, Lichfield, WS13 8GA. Time 11.30, on Thursday, 29th December.

(Thanks to Annie Gumbley-Williams for sharing this sad news).

Dawn Wigley (Robertson)

Dawn Wigley (Robertson), a member of Pebble Mill’s Drama Department for many years, died on Saturday 3rd December 2016, following a brave battle in recent years, against serious health problems.

Dawn, then Production Manager, met Tony Wigley on an OB drama shoot in the North East. They married and settled in Cleeve Prior, Worcs.

Dawn moved to Birmingham Drama as a Production Manager, later becoming Drama Organiser.
Tony predeceased her in Autumn 2015.

The cremation will be private, but a reception for former colleagues will take place at the King’s Arms in Cleeve Prior on a date to be announced.

(Thanks to Annie Gumbley-Williams for sharing this news about Dawn.)

Tony Wigley, photo from Bill Bohanna, no reproduction without permission.

Pebble Mill on Midlands Today

There was a moving item on Midlands Today tonight (10th Nov 2016), with Nick Owen interviewing Pebble Mill series editor, Steve Weddle, about the campaign to erect a blue plaque to commemorate BBC Pebble Mill. The campaign seems to be building a momentum, and fingers crossed, the plaque will soon become a reality.

Nick also interviewed cameraman, John Williams, who shot a wealth of dramas and factual series during his long career at Pebble Mill. John has just published an autobiography about his life as a cameraman entitled, Shoot First – No Ordinary Life.

John's book: Shoot First

John’s book: Shoot First













Coincidentally, today marks the 45th anniversary of Princess Anne officially opening BBC Pebble Mill in 1971!

Princess Anne opening Pebble Mill 10th Nov 1971. Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission.

Princess Anne opening Pebble Mill 10th Nov 1971. Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission.














Annie Gumbley adds that:

‘Steve Weddle did a brilliant interview with Adrian Goldberg on Radio WM this morning. At 4.15pm today Nick Owen will be on Radio WM talking about Pebble Mill & at 6.30 tonight on Midlands Today John Williams will be interviewed by Nick Owen talking about his book & Pebble Mill. The amazing thing is that today is the 45th Anniversary of the official opening of Pebble Mill Studios, opened by Princess Anne who arrived at 12 noon, on 10th November 1971. The photo shows John Williams, myself, Ivor Williams and Nick Owen where Ivor and myself (+Molly Dog) met up with them to pass on some photos of the event in 1971.’

John Williams, Annie Gumbley-Williams, Ivor Williams, Nick Owen

John Williams, Annie Gumbley-Williams, Ivor Williams, Nick Owen. Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission.