Royal Navy helicopter landing at Pebble Mill

Photo by Keith Warrender, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to Keith Warrender for sharing this photo of a Royal Navy helicopter landing on the back lawn at Pebble Mill. This dates from the late 1970s. The landing would have been part of Pebble Mill at One, and was no doubt one of John Smith’s shows, as he had very good contacts with the military.

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

David Shute: ‘I often had the job of doing Hearts & Minds visits to the neighbours when we had noisy visitors expected. Great fun.’

Julie Hill: ‘I was at Pebble Mill then and we had harrier jump jets/ parachutes and all sorts of crazy stunts landing for Pebble Mill at One! Being told not to leave the BBC Club bar whilst the Harrier landed and took off went down very well! Oh happy days….’

Lincoln ‘Sam’ Shaw

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following is from Annie Gumbley-Williams:

I have received news from Simon Shaw of the recent passing of his father, Lincoln ‘Sam’ Shaw.
I remember Sam when I worked on Radio Birmingham & Midlands Today  in the 1970s to 80s. The photograph is of Sam in 1972 when he was Regional News Editor. I worked also with his son Simon, at Pebble Mill, when he was still in education, he used to come into Radio Birmingham to answer the phones on our Saturday Sports programme. Simon is now Executive Producer on the Antiques Roadshow. There’s a lovely photo on of his mother & father’s wedding on the opening titles.
Simon has sent the following:-

Lincoln “Sam” Shaw is a legendary name in the annals of Pebble Mill and Broad Street BBC history. Sadly we have received news of his recent death at the age of 93. Lincoln passed away peacefully in Torbay Hospital on February 19th. Many will remember Lincoln, either from his work as news editor on Midlands Today in the 60’s and 70’s, or from his days as Managing Editor English Regional Television which saw him broaden his responsibility for 8 regions across the UK. Those with longer memories may also know he was part of the pioneering small team that made the first local radio experiment in the 1960s. His son Simon tells us that Lincoln and wife Patricia enjoyed a life changing experience when he moved to south Devon in the 1980s by going back to the shop floor working as a reporter for the newly launched Radio Devon. Work that saw him filing reports until recently which recognised as the BBCs longest serving reporter. Luckily he managed to combine his work with golfing on some of the countries finest courses where he was regularly seen playing in to his 90s. His fulfilling and rich life will be celebrated in a memorial in early April at Dartington Hall. For more details please contact lincolnsmemorial@yahoo.com 

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

Roger Sutton: ‘Sam and I were members of the same golf club for a number of years but our paths never crossed at Pebble Mill. I have fond memories of our time on the course. A lovely man.’

David Shute: ‘A real gent and very agreeable colleague. Hope he’s having fun in the newsroom in the sky.’

David Shute and local radio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the beginning of the 60s the BBC mounted what I believe was first experiment of local radio in Reading. It was a three week caper, recorded but not broadcast. The station manager was Bill Coysh, Senior Talks Producer, Bristol and founder of “Any Questions.” The news editor was the dour Jack Johnson from Birmingham. I was a journalist working on the weekly Reading Standard. I’d always dreamt of working for the BBC. I did earn a few extra bob by filing copy to the South East news desk. I went to do a story about the experiment and made such a nuisance of myself that Jack gave me a small job doing a review of a local AmDram performance just to shut me up. A few days later Bill rang me to say that they’d under estimated the staffing level for the experiment and could I join them. The newspaper’s Chairman, a kindly man call John Pole, sent me on my way with his blessing. In due time, having failed to get any of the contacts I’d made interested in giving me a break in, Bill Coysh invited me to Bristol for an audition. David Dimbleby had left to go back to London and – heaven knows how – got his slot on contract. My book “A Series of little BBC Adventures”  tells quite a bit of the tale. You can read the first chapter FREE on Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Little-BBC-Adventures-David-Shute-ebook/dp/B007C4SWY8

Yoga on the Radio

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the front page of a free leaflet available to listeners, to accompany ‘Relax with Roundabout’ – yoga on the radio, an innovation by BBC Birmingham producer/presenter, Pete Simpkin, and featuring yoga teacher Pat Mellor. It was part of Pete’s ‘Roundabout’ show. The leaflet includes line drawings of the different yoga postures that Pat was going to explain to listeners on her live programmes with Pete. As far as Pete is aware, Radio Birmingham was the first, and only station to do proper yoga lessons on the radio!

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

David Shute: ‘ “Roundabout” was originally on the Light Prog. produced by Peter Duncan. In the 60’s whilst I was a reporter based in Bristol I did lot of on-air work for him including making the first ever live broadcast flying through the Sound Barrier. Those were the days when broadcasting really was fun, lucky we who were at it then.’

 

 

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Who should open Pebble Mill?

Pebble Mill building circa 1970, copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

Pebble Mill building circa 1970, copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In January 1970 the Controller of English Regions, Patrick Beech wrote a memo to the Director General of the BBC, to discuss who should open the new Pebble Mill building.

Although Patrick says that he has, ‘no great enthusiasm for such functions,’ he feels that it would be fitting to make an ‘occasion’ of the opening, particularly to show that the ‘BBC is honouring its non-metropolitan pledges and of emphasising the importance of these production centres.’ He also felt that the staff would feel let down if nothing was done officially to mark the opening of the new broadcast centre.

In terms of who to choose to open the building, there was definitely a case of not wanting to be upstaged by other local organisations recently opened by members of the Royal Family. For instance, ATV had arranged for Princess Alexandra to open their new television centre in Birmingham in March 1970, and the Snowdons had opened the Cannon Hill complex a couple of years earlier.

The memo asks for the D.G.’s opinion on the matter, and suggests that feelers should be put out to see what availability of members of the Royal Family might have.

(Patrick Beech’s memo of 15th January 1970 is held at the BBC Written Archives)

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

Gordon Astley: ‘………so who did the opening ?’

David Shute: ‘Princess Anne ! Princess Royal.’

Katheryn Shuttleworth: ‘She did the the official opening at Mailbox too. I guess wherever we end up next she’ll be invited to do the honours!’

Lynne Cullimore: ‘Pebble mill was great and I loved working there’

Cathy Houghton: ‘Not as soulless as the Mailbox.’

Graham Bentley: ‘I loved this place. Had the best atmosphere of any of the BBC buildings I ever visited.’

John Sayle: ‘I remember Pebble Mill. Always felt a bit soulless. A tad temporary. Just saying’

Malcolm Hickman: ‘Might have felt that way as an outsider, but they made more programmes there in one month that they now make in Birmingham in one year.’

John Sayle: ‘Appreciate that. Worked on some kids shows from there. Admittedly not long before they shu it down. Sad it’s gone. Like BBC Manchester, Oxford Rd. TVC Wood Lane too.’

Richard Taylor: ‘As an ‘outsider’ from Wales (and before that BH) I enjoyed working at Pebble Mill. It was so friendly, a lovely place to work. And I was quickly accepted. When the lease was secretly sold from under us I couldn’t work at the soulless mailbox so retired early.’