Spotlight on Graphics 1992

copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

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This article is from Midlands News, the internal BBC newsletter from June 1992. It gives an insight into the work of the Graphics department at Pebble Mill, and mentions a number of the staff and programmes being worked on.

Thanks to Stuart Gandy for sharing the article.

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Janice Houghton-Wallace remembering Pebble Mill’s 21st Anniversary, & Evesham the fox

Janice with her best trio of turkeys at the National Poultry Show 2013

Evesham the fox

Janice with Barnaby the Brahma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I worked on Countryfile from 1988 until 1999 and still use my Pebble Mill 21st anniversary mug for coffee!

For the celebration weekend I organised some sheep and chickens in a special Countryfile corner by the side entrance so visitors had something to look at whilst they queued up to get in the building

My time at Pebble Mill was very special and I am grateful to everyone for being such a friendly family.

I remember driving back to Fladbury (where I stayed with Anne Stephens during the week) after working late in the editing suite. I saw a fox that had recently been run over and picked it up. Next morning, I packed it up in the post department to send to a taxidermist. Those in post had never seen the like before!!! The fox still lays under the hall table and is called Evesham.

I have been teaching vet students, writing for various magazines, written a book on turkeys Not Just For Christmas, appeared with Gordon Ramsay on the F Word, helping him with his turkeys and lots of other things since leaving Countryfile!

Janice Houghton-Wallace now living in South West Scotland.

 

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Syncing film rushes with Dawn Trotman and Oliver White

Copyright, Adapt Television History, Royal Holloway, University of London.

This video was recorded in August 2015 as part of Royal Holloway’s ADAPT project. The aim of the project is to recreate how television programmes used to be made, before digital technology. The project reunited Pebble Mill film editor, Oliver White, with former film assistant editor, Dawn Trotman. Oliver had a long and illustrious editing pedigree, cutting dramas like Nuts in May, The Red Shift, A Touch of Eastern Promise amongst many others. He retired as Avid editing came in. Dawn is now a freelance Avid editor, cutting programmes like Countryfile for many years. The ADAPT team asked Dawn and Oliver to demonstrate how film and sep-mag audio were synched up using a Picsync and Steenbeck. This film cutting room was in the London Film School.

Dawn Trotman with Oliver White

Dawn Trotman with Oliver White in the London Film School cutting room

 

 

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

Roy Thompson: ‘Remember teaching all of these film techniques, sound transfer, syncing up, track laying and dubbing to the ITO course (Introduction to Technical Operations) at Wood Norton after being taught by Henry Fowler formerly of Pebble Mill. A great exercise in logic, and creativity, for the students who, in a group of 3 or 4, were given 200 foot of 16mm reversal to make a short film. Great learning even though by then single electronic cameras were making inroads into production and news gathering. Great memories.’

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Countryfile – Ken Pollock

 

Countryfile team

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regarding Countryfile, it is fun to look at the photograph and recognise old friends/colleagues.
My involvement was to be a producer on Farming, with Martin Small, and Exec John Kenyon. We wanted to acknowledge the large “over the shoulder” audience we had on Farming, and hence wrote the brief for Countryfile. I remember it well, sitting in John Kenyon’s office sketching in the idea, and kicking around names. I came up with the Countryfile name, although we may have thought it should be two words…
Michael Grade, Controller BBC1 accepted the idea, the team went from 4 to 24, and the Countryfile bandwagon started rolling.
After poor Brain Strachan died, there was a vacancy on Top Gear, and John Kenyon told me to get some broader experience, before applying to run Countryfile. So I did, but they did not want me to run Countryfile, as I was supposedly too biased to the farming community and Mike Fitzgerald got the gig.
I stuck with Top Gear and the rest is history…

Ken Pollock

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

Patrick Flavelle: ‘I started on a rolling weekly contract working with Fitz surfacing potential stories at the fag end of Farming…led to working on the show for its first 11 years. Happy days and incredibly boozy Xmas do’s…the one after this photo was very messy!’

Mick Murphy: ‘3rd from right, 2nd row – Sue Lloyd, Director. 1st on the left, front row – Barry Paine, former BBC producer / wildlife narrator, who used to voice over some of our films. Girl behind Fitz is called Sarah…? Great picture. ‘

Jane McLean: ‘John Clarke on the left .. who I went to Russia and Siberia with for Countryfile in 1989. Should try & find the Russian pix. Talk about an eye opener. The director was Dick Colthurst (what happened to him?) and the crew was Nigel Davey, Barrie Foster, Keith Rodgerson and Andy Frizzell. We were force-fed vodka shots 24/7 – honestly! ‘

Pam Relton: ‘Dick is very successful Jane – he went to BBC Bristol after CountryFile and is now MD at Tigress Productions.’

Jane McLean: ‘Good on him. Never heard of Tigress Prods – am SO out of the loop these days re anything telly!’

Viv Ellis: ‘I recognise Yasmine O’Grady looking glam – as ever. I worked on Farming for a few months’

Roy Thompson: ‘Spent a very happy attachment to Countryfile from Wood Norton even getting to direct a piece on arts in rural communities. Very supportive and friendly team.’

Andrea Buffery: ‘This picture would look amazing next to the Countryfile team today. It consists of 30 plus people.’

Steve Johnson: ‘I worked on Countryside for a short time in mid nineties, arranged the filming of the brand new RSPB reserve at Conwy.’

Pam Relton: ‘As a real City girl, CountryFile opened my eyes to so many things. I remember my first shoot – in a battery hen farm, a barn the size of a hanger filled with chickens in cages no bigger than themselves, floor to ceiling, the noise!! I’ve not knowingly eaten anything other than free range, outdoor-reared produce since. I learned so much about the pressures on farmers and producers to comply with the big supermarkets. This was the great thing about working on programmes like this – that open up the issues to do with farming and the countryside to everyone.’

Jane McLean: ‘I was country born & bred Pam – my brother was a pig farmer – and I know exactly what you’re talking about from the other side! ‘

List of Pebble Mill programmes

Photo by Ben Peissel, no reproduction without permission

Photo by Ben Peissel, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This a list of factual television programmes, described as ‘current’, was produced before the closure of Pebble Mill, around 2004. The list is included in a document housed in the BBC Archives in Caversham.

BBC One:

Points of View, Animal Sanctuary

BBC Two:

Gardeners’ World, Gardeners’ World Specials, Gardeners’ World Live, RHS Tatton, Gardener of the Year, Small Town Gardens, Rachel’s Country Garden [I don’t think this series was actually made], Million Pound Property Challenge, SAS Survival Secrets, Big Dreams – The Secrets of Asian Success, How I made My Property Millions

BBC Three:

The Brief: India and Pakistan, Greatest Eunuch Show, Black Beauty

BBC One Daytime:

Countryfile, Call My Bluff, To Buy or Not to Buy, Trading Up, Big Strong Boys, Sunday Garden, Trading Up in the Sun

 

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

Caroline Feldon Parsons: ‘I worked on 10 of those programmes! And don’t forget all the Radio programmes that were also being currently made …’

Simon Vaughan: ‘Pebble Mill was an amazing production centre – why on earth decommission it and pull it down, such an absolute waste. Just like TVC, their like will never be seen again.’

Carole Lowe: ‘Miss Pebble Mill a great building I worked on Anne and Nick and other programmes. Sad loss to BIRMINGHAM.’

Stuart Gandy: ‘Proper broadcasting centre.’

Pete Simpkin: ‘..and of course all the Radio…Live music , recorded music, Radio 2, Radio 3, amazing amount of Radio 4 ….drama, features, documentaries, the Archers and all the Local Radio as well!’

Judith Markall: ‘A sin to knock the building down!’