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 Outside Broadcast Re-enactment

Photo by Steve Harris, no reproduction without permission

Photo by Steve Harris, no reproduction without permission

A re-enactment of the outside broadcast truck above, CMCR9, Pebble Mill’s original CM1 is being organised for May 2016. The team from Royal Holloway, University of London, have so far organised quite a large team of crew who worked on type 2 OB trucks. However, they still need some more people to be involved, including at least one more cameraman, an engineering manager, a PA, and more than anything they need some riggers! If you worked on these type of OB trucks, and might want to get involved, then please add a comment and I will pass on your details to the organisers. The idea is to recreate as far as possible an actual recording with the truck. The recording will be in the North West.

CMCR9 at Onslow

CMCR9 in Onslow, 2013. Photo by Steve Harris, no reproduction without permission.

CMCR9 in Onslow, 2013. Photo by Steve Harris, no reproduction without permission.













The veteran BBC Type-2 scanner CMCR 9 formerly LO5/Midland/North 3 will be on public display at the Shrewsbury Steam Rally at Onslow Park next weekend.

Please note that the show is on Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday 30th and 31st August 2015, so don’t turn up on the Saturday or you will be disappointed! This will be the last outing of the summer for North 3. The only other outing this year will probably be Salford Quays in October.

The organizer’s website for Onslow Park Steam Rally is :-

As always, it would be great to meet up with some of you there. Come on you Midland folk, this is our farthest south expedition of the year!

Jerry Clegg