CMCR9 Reconstruction – Broadcast Magazine

Broadcast magazine May 2016

Broadcast magazine May 2016

In the middle of May 2016, there was a reconstruction of the operation of the 1969 outside broadcast truck, CMCR9, which was Pebble Mill’s original CM1, and later became Manchester’s North 1. The truck was neglected for many years, but is in the process of being restored by enthusiast Steve Harris.

The reconstruction brought together retired crew who used to work on the truck in the 1970s, and resulted in the recording of a darts match! CMCR9 used to broadcast a lot of sports programmes, like Match of the Day, but would also have recorded Come Dancing, Gardeners’ World, as well as dramas.

The reconstruction was organised by Royal Holloway, University of London, and their ADAPT research project, which is recording now defunct pieces of historical television broadcasting equipment being used by the people who worked on them.

The occasion was marked by this article in the industry trade magazine – Broadcast.

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

Stephen Neal: ‘Chap in the red sweater is Roger Neal, my dad. He worked for OBs in London when CMCR9 was based there. I appear to be continuing the family tradition of working for Auntie…’

Annie Gumbley-Williams: ‘I worked in CM1. Happy days, Gardeners’ World and others’

Roger Neal: ‘I also worked on a range of small units as well, several of them called Lo21, Lo22, and Lo23. One of the LO21s is currently residing in Brian Summers front garden I believe.’

CMCR9 Reconstruction

North 3 darts North 3 reconstruction























Photographs from John Ellis, copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission.

Here are some photos from the reconstruction last week (May 17-19th 2016) of the restored outside broadcast truck, CMCR9 (Pebble Mill’s original CM1, and later Manchester’s North3). The shoot was organised by Royal Holloway, University of London’s, ADAPT project. The project is staging reconstructions with different pieces of now defunct television production equipment. The outside broadcast is by far the most ambitious reconstruction yet. The recreation was of a darts match. There were obvious some technical issues to be tackled – but the broadcast was a success.

The OB truck was restored by enthusiast, Steve Harris.

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

Keith Brook (Scouse): ‘Oh, great to see some of the old cameras. Worked on all of those. The Emmy was by far the best studio and OB camera in its time. But the Pye/Phillips LDK3 (if my memory serves me well) was great for golf because you could choose which colour to look at. White ball on dark sky. Oops, just given a secret away!’

Marty Johnston: ‘Keith, you’re absolutely right about the LDK and how we had the output of the ‘red’ tube fed to the ext. V/F. That was a well kept secret until now! Also, I fully agree that the 2001 was the best all-round camera. It was often described as a ‘cameraman’s camera’. The only time I didn’t like the EMIs was when we had to carry them!’

Keith Brook: ‘Marty, you’ve just admitted another secret. If the Emmy was too heavy, it’s because you carried it with the lens still inside!! Tut, tut. However, we all did it to save time on the derig and get to the pub/club!!’

CMCR9’s travels this year

Photo by Steve Harris, no reproduction without permission

Photo by Steve Harris, no reproduction without permission

Below is some information from Jerry Clegg about where you see the outside broadcast scanner, CMCR9, which was Pebble Mill’s original CM1, and became Manchester’s North3. The restoration of the scanner has made further progress since it was last on display, and it now has working cameras and a generator.


“North 3 will be on show this coming weekend at the Llandudno Transport Festival on Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday (April 30-May 2 2016). This is a great show in a super location. The scanner will not arrive there until Saturday morning so don’t come too early or we won’t be fully rigged!

Here is a list of North 3 events for 2016 :-
N3 Events 2016

Events 2016

Events planned for 2016 so far: (other events may be added)
April 30-May 2nd The Llandudno transport Festival
We missed it last year but will be returning for this major event in a superb location, not to be missed.
June 25th & 26th: The Kelsall Steam and Vintage Fair
One of the biggest classic commercial shows in the country, a great day out.
July 10th: The Wilmslow Show (NOT YET CONFIRMEd)
Something for everyone at this event.
August 13th & 14th: Astle Park Steam Rally.
Hundreds of classic cars, steam engines, commercials in a picturesque setting.
August 28th and 29th (Bank Holiday weekend): Shrewsbury Steam and Vintage Vehicle Rally, Onslow Park.
One of the largest and most interesting events around

CMCR9 at the Kelsall Steam Fair

Steve Harris with North 3. Copyright resides with the original holder.

current owner, Steve Harris with North 3. Copyright resides with the original holder.













The outside broadcast truck, BBC Manchester’s North 3/ Pebble Mill’s original CM1, CMCR9, will be on public display at the Kelsall Steam and Vintage Fair, between Tarvin and Delamere, Cheshire, next weekend 27th and 28th June. Details of the show may be found on their website:

The EMI 2001 and Pye PC80 cameras will be on static display only, owing to severe power limitations. However, pictures will be available from a couple Ikegami HL79s, and most of the scanner will be working (touch wood)!

We will be very pleased to see any friends or former colleagues who can make it there. Kelsall is a super show with lots of attractions.

Jerry Clegg

Martin Suker on Tom O’Connor Roadshow


Photo by Jane Mclean, no reproduction without permission.

This photo is of Martin Suker, in the outside broadcast truck, for an edition of the Tom O’Connor Roadshow, which was a live entertainment show from around the UK.

The following comment was added on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:

Jonathan Dick: ‘He [Martin Suker] was a vision-mixer I believe, based in Bristol, back in the days when they did network productions from their Studio A and OB unit. I think he went on to direct as well.’

Ray Lee: ‘The Tom O’Connor Road show was extravagant it used both CM1 Type 5 Scanner, and SCV6 Sound vehicle. I have a few photo’s from the Port Talbot venue, when I went out as a support engineer to SCV6.’

Ned Abell: [The OB truck was] CM1. The window is between the “gallery” and the sound/comms end.’


Nicky Savage, Jane Mclean, Tom O'Connor, Jo Dewar

Nicky Savage, Jane Mclean, Tom O’Connor, Jo Dewar