Superstars – photos James French

Photos by James French, no reproduction without permission.

The photos were taken during a recording of Superstars in Nottingham in 1983. This was a London production, but used Pebble Mill scanners, if the recording was in the Midlands and a PM truck was available – in this case CM1.

Crew 3 was on CM1 at the time. The cameras are Philips LDK 5s with Schneider lenses.

The pics show:

Dave Ballantyne sitting on the Elemac dolly with, I think, George Stevenson tracking him.
Dave again, sitting on a Vinten Kestrel crane (though you can’t see it)
Dave again, Bob Meikle and Eric Wise relaxing at lunchtime
James French, standing on the platform of the Moonshot hoist, shown in the last pic.

Crew 3’s Supervisor was Keith Salmon but he was on leave, so Dave B was acting.

Thanks to James French for sharing the photos.

Superstars; Dave Bob & Eric 2

CM1/ North 3 in the snow – Jerry Clegg

CM1/North 3 in the snow

CM1/North 3 in the snow. Photo Steve Harris no reproduction without permission














Outside Broadcast Scanner CM1/ North 3

Behind the scenes, much work is going on. Steve Jones recently restored the dc power supplies to operation and he and Steve Harris re-installed them beneath the comms bay in the sound control room. On switching on, the whole place came to life. EMX phones started ringing, indicator lights were flashing and amazingly the sound desk sprung into life without any smoke! There was some output from the sound desk and about half the channels actually worked although the PPMs didn’t. One was indicating hard left and the other hard right! However, early tests are showing quite promising results.

We are very pleased that the engineering team has been joined by Richard Ellis, formerly the Chief Engineer of Pye TVT and Granada Television and  now a Visiting Professor in Media Technology at Salford University., but tempted back to work his magic on the original Pye SPGs from the type-2 CMCRs which he designed back in the 1960’s. We have several of these from North 1 and North 3. The SPG installed in North 3 for the time being is a more modern example.

We’ll let you know when we have details of the first public outing for 2013.

Jerry Clegg

CMCR9 Vision Area

CMCR9 Vision area

CMCR9 Vision area


CMCR9 Vision area 2

CMCR9 Vision area 2

CMCR9 Philips CCUs

CMCR9 Philips CCUs





















Photos by John Abbott, no reproduction without permission.

These photos are from the 1969 outside broadcast scanner, CMCR9, which was Pebble Mill’s original CM1. This scanner became Manchester’s North 3, in around 1979.

The photos show the Vision area of the truck, as well as the Camera Control Units for the original Philips/Pye cameras.

This scanner has recently been restored by a team up in Manchester, and is now owned by Steve Harris.

Rob Cherry added the following comment on the Pebble Mill Facebook Group:

‘Having completed an ‘A’ course at Evesham in December 1974 I went to Pebble Mill Audio Unit and was put out on OBs for that long, hot summer of 1975. All sorts of stuff including the final of “Sportstown” from Wales, somewhere, with Alan Edwards as EM1 or whatever it was called; culminating in what I believe was the first World One-Day Cricket competition in England, including the final at Lord’s. I had to pinch myself. I’m getting paid, for this?’

CMCR9 on Gardeners’ World

CNV00022 CMCR9 Percy Thrower's CNV00015 CMCR9 Gardeners' World Camera Rostrum






















Photos by John Abbott, no reproduction without permission.

These photos are from an outside broadcast for ‘Gardeners’ World’ with the scanner CMCR9, which was Pebble Mill’s CM1, and later became Manchester’s North 3. The first photo is outside Percy Thrower’s garden. The second is of a rostrum set up for the ‘Gardeners’ World’ OB. I think that the dark shape in the foreground of the second photo is the flap on the roof of the scanner, which was for the inlet and outlet for the air conditioning unit, which was fitted above the cab.

Percy Thrower presented ‘Gardeners’ World’ from 1969 until 1975, when he was dropped by the BBC, because of a contract he entered into with Plant Protection, a subsidiary of ICI, to appear in some commercials.

Keith Brook (Scouse) has identified the right hand cameraman up the tower as Don Cooper and thinks that it’s Tony Wigley in the blue jacket to the right of the lower camera.

CM1 and CM2 last OB

CM1 and CM2 last OB DR













Photograph by Diane Reid, no reproduction without permission.

The photo is of the last outside broadcast from Pebble Mill, by the scanners CM1 and CM2. It was a live Sunday morning worship from Edenham.  The day started with bacon butties made by friendly parishioners and riggers’ tea!

Included are l-r, Tim Konewko, Steve Pierson, John Allinson, ?, ?, Phil Wilson, JJ Moore, ?, Jack Rooke, John Brierley, Robin Sunderland, Dave Ballantyne, Colin the big strong rigger,John Kimberley (I think), Ron the rigger supervisor at the back, Rod Bach (blue jacket to keep you in sync!!), then a bunch of ‘don’t knows’ until we come to Ray Bradbury (or Bradley) in black jacket and open shirt, Ron Pickering, Pat Childs, Roger Sutton and finally Norman Macloud (sp) on the right.

(Thanks to Keith Brook (Scouse), Jane Maclean and Janet Collins for identifying so many former colleagues).