Goodbye to Pebble Mill

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

Goodbye Pebble Mill was transmitted on BBC1 in 2004, as a tribute to production at Pebble Mill, as the building closed prior to demolition. It is introduced by Toyah Wilcox and features highlights from Pebble Mill programmes and interviews with many stars.

Cliff Richard with Marie Phillips


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

The photo is of Cliff Richard with Marie Phillips, the ‘Children in Need’ co-ordinator for the Midlands Region, who was retiring. Cliff was a regular supporter of ‘Children in Need’ charities, and often took time out of his schedule to do charity work for Marie, whenever he was up in Birmingham for shows like ‘Pebble Mill’.

Marie adds the following information:

‘Cliff was recording ‘Call my Bluff’ and my friends including Royston Horsley, made sure I was in the audience, which I was thrilled about of course. At the end of the recording lovely Royston made sure I stayed in my seat and Cliff came into the audience holding a single red rose and a signed card saying, “Someone is retiring” I squeaked “It’s Me !” He handed me the rose and card – AND a Kiss, took my hand and led me onto the Studio Floor for lots of photos to be taken of me and him. There you are – fifteen years ago and I remember every detail. I still have the rose and card.’

Children in Need – Cliff Richard

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Copyright Marie Phillips, no reproduction without permission.

The photos show Cliff Richard at a Children in Need charity publicity event in 1991. The charity concerned is PHAB, an organisation which promotes people of all abilities coming together on equal terms; it is completely inclusive.

Cliff Richard is pictured with Midlands Children in Need co-ordinator, Marie Phillips.

Thanks to Marie for making the photos available.

Here is Marie’s memory of the day:

‘Being Cliff’s No.1 fan this was a great day for me !! PHAB – Physically Handicapped and Abled Bodied – were given a grant to continue with providing holidays and activities integrating handicapped and able bodied children. Cliff was recording a “Special” and I had previously asked him, via his Secretary, if he would present the cheque on our behalf. He readily agreed as he was President of PHAB then. I invited PHAB to come in during the lunch break but they did not know who was presenting the cheque as Cliff wanted no publicity. I was to wait outside the Studio for him – rehearsals ran late and he sent his lovely assistant, Roger Bruce, to apologise and wait with me – what a gent ! Cliff gave his entire lunch break to hand over the cheque and chat with the group and pose for photos. Their faces when he appeared is something I will always remember. I have to add that whenever Cliff came to Pebble Mill he always willingly, did something for CIN and visited and opened several projects for me.’

Golden Oldie Picture Show – Living Doll

Photo by Gail Herbert, no reproduction without permission.

‘Golden Oldie Picture Show’ was an entertainment show, comprising of specially shot videos, recorded for hits which pre-dated the music video era.  The show was presented 7 linked by Radio 1 D.J., Dave Lee Travis.  It was produced by John King’s department at Pebble Mill between 1985-88.

The photo is of a shoot for the hit: ‘Living Doll’, written by Lionel Bart, and made famous by Cliff Richard in 1959.  I’m assuming that the photo is of someone ‘being’ Cliff Richard.

Pete Simpkin, Radio Studio 3

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

This is the famous studio 3 at Radio Birmingham in 1979 and and shows the logistical placing of two reel to reel tape machines, two turntables, a cartridge jingle machine and the mixing desk all within reach of the presenter. It also reveals the futuristic ‘low level’ control panel so the eyeline for interviewees was not obscured, and the presence of the ash tray shows that smoking was actually allowed in studios…..but not whilst I was present!

The second photo shows Cliff Richard, who was in for a Religious Phone-in and the young lady in the picture had contacted my ‘Dream Come True’ feature to meet Cliff.  We are still trying to track her down as she does not have this picture!

Pete Simpkin