Pebble Mill at One cookery booklets

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission














Thanks to Becky Land for sharing the photo of these Pebble Mill at One cookery brochures. The booklets were published by BBC Books.

Mollie Harris’s Cottage Cookery from Pebble Mill was published by the BBC in 1976. Mollie Harris was an author and actress, she appeared as village shopkeeper, Martha Woodford, in the Radio 4 soap opera, The Archers
in the 1970s. Mollie was a country cook on Pebble Mill at One, and also wrote a country cookery book for The Archers. Additionally she wrote a three part autobiography about her life in Oxfordshire: A Kind of Magic (1969), Another Kind of Magic (1971) and The Green Years (1976). Mollie died in 1995.

Michael Smith was a regular food presenter on Pebble Mill at One. His Book of Sandwiches was published in 1979. Below is a photo of Michael Smith rehearsing on Pebble Mill at One.

Michael Smith rehearsing on Pebble Mill at One. Photo from Eurwyn Jones, no reproduction without permission.

Michael Smith rehearsing on Pebble Mill at One. Photo from Eurwyn Jones, no reproduction without permission.

The Clothes Show titles grab













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

This titles grab is from The Clothes Show, the BBC1 fashion magazine show, transmitted between 1986-2000. Roger Casstles was the executive producer, and the show was his idea. The series grew from fashion items on Pebble Mill at One, and a regional fashion show called College Rags.

Thanks to Ian Collins for making the still available.

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

Becky Land: ‘I loved to see the grabs and stills from the show that adorned the ‘bottom corridor’ grace the scenes from the early days of Doctors. They would be walking through a hospital corridor discussing serious cases and Jeff and Caryn grinning back!!! And we all came a cropper when we nipped out for a quick cuppa only to be banned from going back into our newsroom/office due to filming… oops!’

Andy Walters: ‘I know the theme tune was an edit of In The Night by the Pet Shop Boys. I also got told off for walking into shot on Doctors.’

10 years since the beginning of the end for Pebble Mill

Photo by Philip Morgan, November 2004

Photo by Philip Morgan, November 2004

Photo by Philip Morgan, no reproduction without permission.

Photo by Philip Morgan, no reproduction without permission.














Yesterday, saw the tenth anniversary of Radio WM leaving Pebble Mill. It was on the 4th July 2004, at 10am, that Radio WM signed on for the first time at the Mailbox.

The Pebble Mill building was emptied gradually during the summer of 2004, as programme runs ended, or logistics would allow. Former TV programme exec, Mark Kershaw, oversaw much of the removal process, particularly for Network Factual TV.

Thanks to Andy Walters for the reminder about this anniversary.

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

Becky Land: ‘Where has that decade gone? I remember discovering that the WM Newsroom was sandwiched between the toilets and canteen. In the early days,if the queue for lunch got too long it snaked passed the news booth and we used to ask people to pipe down as it would come out on air. Also people used to nick the chairs from that booth for others nearby meeting rooms. Nothing like running in for a bulletin and then realising that you had to do it standing up…’

Emma Taynton-Young: ‘My dad was a radio WM presenter, but left before they moved to the. Mailbox.’

Gregory Hallsworth: ‘I had the privilege of working on your Dad’s show at the ‘Palace of Broadcasting’ for five years before we were disbanded in the summer of ’96. He was a great guy and he’s very much missed!’



Pebble Mill Canteen












Photo by Tim Savage, no reproduction without permission.

This photograph is of the Pebble Mill Canteen on the 7th floor of the office block. Tim took the photo in autumn 2004 when Pebble Mill had been emptied, prior to the building being demolished in 2005.

The Canteen was at the heart of Pebble Mill, sadly it looks so clean and lifeless in this photo.  It had a excellent line in cheese scones, mid morning, and delicious cakes for afternoon tea.  You never knew who you’d meet in the Canteen, you’d frequently bump in to actors in full costume and make-up taking a break from recording a drama in Studio A.

The following comments were posted on the Pebble Mill Facebook Group:

Becky Land: ‘I remember that if you timed it right you could get a warm banana and chocolate scone for elevenses. Welcoming when on an early news reading shift. Loved sitting amongst the Archers cast and listening to the well known voices.. and the brilliant view on a clear sunny day. ‘

Gordon Astley:..’I loved the canteen/restaurants from Gosta Green/ Broad st/ Pebble Mill. Only problem I had was with the whingers who complained daily…bearing in mind it was good, honest food, served by nice people…and it was all subsidised by some old lady lady’s licence fee.’

Stuart Gandy: ‘Oh! Pebble Mill Puddings – legendary’

Brian Johnson: ‘Canteens at Broad St and Carpenter Road were great too!’

Susan Astle: ‘Cheese scones……made it easier to cope with a hangover!’

Donald Steel: ‘And Sunday roasts! I knew staff who would come in specially !’

Pete Simpkin: ‘Well said Susan, you had to be in the queue at the prompt time of 1030!’

Neil Wilson: ‘Carl’s kingdom for many years. So much missed.’

Eurwyn Jones: ‘Who can remember some of the women who worked there ?
I remember Lil, Edna, Miss Rose and a blonde Scottish girl………’

Gordon Astley: ‘Donald…..after my WM Sunday show I would often had 4 Sundays plated up..took 2 round to Mum and Dad..and 2 for us. Had to smuggle the green plates and the covers back in on Monday !!!’

Pete Simpkin: ‘Eurwyn there was an Irish lady on the canteen staff called Mary, my wife who is Irish taught me some Irish phrases to try out on her, I think I was set up by some of these! Great and friendly staff in the canteen…sorry restaurant!’

Eurwyn Jones: ‘I well remember Lil that worked there took pity on me during the bread strike and she used to smuggle various loaves to me….. Bless her.’

Gordon Astley:. ‘talking of strikes (BTW I was the first person in the BBC in Birmingham to go on strike !) There was a strike on behalf of the canteen staff who were then berated by the pickets because they went into work. They told me “It’s ok for those journos etc…they earn a lot…we can’t afford to strike !”‘

Lynn Cullimore: ‘I remember Edna’s singing in the canteen. The cheese scones were to die for…nowhere else can you get a cheese scone the same! Many memories of christmas lunches there…served by management!’

Gordon Astley: ‘.Lynn..sometimes it was only time in the year you found out who was management !! Anyone got the scones recipe ?’

Pete Simpkin: ‘Re management I recall the times there were lift failures and those of us who could manage it would think nothing of stepping it out up the whole flight of stairs and then it became clear who were the management…..they were the ones appearing to be nonchalantly taking in the view on each landing trying hard to disguise their lack of breath!!

Gordon Astley:’..just out of interest re: the 1st ABS strike I remember walking out on a Saturday morning with Barry Lankester. The press was waiting. It was the 1st BBC strike. Barry said we had been set up. Most members weren’t working that day, took the day off, there was a trip to London, (and my dad was very upset with me)..I had only just joined the Beeb. My boss (Eddie Deighton?) told me to go..and see him on Monday. I did and he said that I should not worry….but it was a shame that no other union members turned up to back us in Broad Street. It still leaves a nasty taste in my mouth. Does anyone else have memories of that day…and what was the strike about…methinks it was Broadcasting in the ’70s. ?’

Gardening Neighbours – Becky Land

Ali Ward pictured with Adam Pascoe, from ‘Gardener of the Year’

‘Gardening Neighbours’ was the first of a series of shows where a street got together to redesign their gardens and a common piece of land. Presented by the wonderful Ali Ward and Diarmuid Gavin the idea was that they would work on their gardens from designs by the experts. Even today I have used some of their tips in my own garden, so they were really useful. It was set in a leafy part of Sheffield, the exact part I cannot remember but it was lovely and on one of the city’s many hills. It was an small cul-de-sac of late Victorian/ Edwardian villas populated by a range of people from large mature families to retired couples and young marrieds. There were lots of very small babies and toddlers about through the months we were there, which was useful for me as I was heavily pregnant at the time ( I am sure the digging helped for a smooth birth ). As for the placenta incident…. The couple had decided to ‘plant’ the placenta under a special tree, despite warnings by Ali and Diarmuid that the intense nutrients would fry the poor plant. I was on sound and as the couple asked for some privacy we filmed from afar. Which was a good job as I was still suffering for severe ‘morning sickness’.. yes even at seven and eight months… My one overriding memory is the quelch and flopping sound it made as it was poured into the hole from the plastic bowl it had defrosted in…

Becky Land

The following comments were posted on the Pebble Mill Facebook Group:

Nicola Silk: ‘I was the director, Rachel Innes-Lumsden (Rachel Adamson now) produced, Nigel Walk and Ann Banks were APs, Becky (what was your surname back then – I’m sure it wasn’t Land!) researched, Chris Hardman was the PA, Ian Churchill (cam) and Ross Neasham (sound) were the crew across the whole series, Roger Casstles was the exec and James Hey cut it. I might have left out a few people…but it was 14 years ago! It was my first series director gig and I’ve got very happy memories of weekends spent in Kenbourne Grove, Netheredge over the summer of ’98.  The sound of the placenta sloshing out of its tupperware into the ground will stay with me too!’

Becky Land: ‘Wow Nicola my memory is not that good, Kenbourne Grove, Netheredge….. I do remember trying to find metal planters that were “three foot by three foot by three foot”. I was Lloyd back then, even though I was married and was close to having first baby. Hubby finally flipped when we watched an episode go out in the maternity ward the day before I gave birth. My name came up as in the credit as Becky Lloyd and he demanded I changed it!! He’s never insisted on much, poor dab. Do you have photos?’