Regional Clubs Day – photos from Gail Herbert

Photos from Gail Herbert, no reproduction without permission.

Pebble Mill had a very active BBC Club.  The Club was not only the focus of socialising and drinking, but also of sporting activity.  Each year there would be a Regional Clubs Day, where members of other BBC Clubs from around England would get together and compete in different sporting events.

Gail’s photos include:

Photo 1: Regional Clubs Day ’90, (left to right) Gail Herbert Chairman, David Waine President, Linda Parsonage Club Manager

Photo 2: BBC Pebble Mill Club members celebrating winning various cups. Some of the people in this shot are: Jane Dance, Julie Adams, Karen Hewson, Sue Brown, David Waine, Ted Woodhead, Colin Spears, Andy Turley

Photo 3: Regional Clubs Day (left to right), Sue Williams, Stan McDermott, Colin Bayliss, Billy Bennett, Tony Noble, Sue Brown, Keith Bojczuk, Colin Barnett

Pebble Mill Nursery

This image is the front cover of a booklet presented to my daughter, Hattie, when she left Pebble Mill Nursery to start school in September 1994.  She started at the Nursery in December 1990, when she was just 18 weeks old.  She is now a 20 year old student!  The photo shows Hattie enjoying a Nursery outing to Cannon Hill Park.  The booklet itself includes drawings by Hattie and her friends at Pebble Mill.

Pebble Mill Nursery was a great asset for staff.  It began in the late 198os, when David Waine was the Head of Building, although it was the brainchild of senior personnel manager Bridget Allen.  I think there were around twenty places for babies and toddlers, and it was often over subscribed, with staff having to wait for a place. The Nursery was housed in a wooden building, which had previously been a sports pavilion, round the corner from Pebble Mill, on the Bristol Road.

The Nursery was managed by Pauline, who was there for almost the entire life of the Nursery, ably supported by Sarah.  The staff running the Nursery were excellent and tended to work there for several years – always a good sign.  Towards the end of Pebble Mill the Nursery was moved to portacabins in the car park, as the original wooden building and tennis courts were demolished.

Vanessa Jackson

(Nicola Silk commented with the following additional information:

The nursery actually began life in the mid 70s… I was there! Originally set up in 1974 (in the same wooden hut), the Pebble Mill nursery was the first creche facility in the entire BBC. I was one of the first intake of 5 children and I can remember the year I spent there. Enforced afternoon naps on green camp beds with fluffy purple blankets, riding in a go-kart round the tennis courts and the time I went in without any knickers on (my mum was away filming and my dad was looking after me). These things shape a person’s life. The highlight though, and possibly the highlight of my life, was when we went over to ‘the big building’ the day the Wombles were on Pebble Mill at One. Not only did I meet my heroes but I was filmed dancing with them on the front lawn. Uncle Bulgaria was quite a mover. Despite the campaigning of the Nursery Action Group (NAG) set up by my mum, it was closed the following year. It made the local paper when it opened and somewhere there’s a cutting with photo of me posing on a slide, with 2 other kids and the wife of the Chair of the Board of Governors to mark the opening.)

David Waine

Copyright remains with the original holder, no reproduction without permission.

David Waine was Head of Building at BBC Pebble Mill from 1983, when he took over from Phil Sidey.  The photo was taken in David’s office, and in the back of shot is a still of the famous Harrier landing at Pebble Mill, from ‘Pebble Mill at One’.



Phil Sidey’s Leaving Party – photo Paul Scholes

Phil Sidey's leaving party

Photo from Paul Scholes, of Phil Sidey’s leaving party, in the Pebble Mill Foyer, Studio C, the home of ‘Pebble Mill at One’.

Phil Sidey was the head of centre from 1973 to 1983, when David Waine succeeded him.

Phil Sidey, born in 1926, died on the 15th October 1995 whilst walking in the Peak District, below is a quote from his obituary in the Independent, written by Leonard Miall:

‘As the Head of the BBC Network Production Centre at Birmingham, Phil Sidey was the man who converted Pebble Mill from a structural white elephant into a thriving source of daytime television. He was the first manager of Radio Leeds and played a leading role in establishing lively local broadcasting on a financial shoestring. He was a programme innovator with a spate of lively ideas and an abrasive tongue which tended to upset some of his colleagues. He was also an accomplished public speaker and a successful chairman of the Royal Television Society.’

Please add a comment if you knew Phil Sidey and can add more information, or if you can identify people in the photo.

21st Anniversary of Pebble Mill

Juliet Dean of the Film Unit had kept this brochure and photos – thanks to her.

The 21st anniversary of Pebble Mill was held in 1992.

The first photo features (left to right) Jerry Johns (Press Office), David Waine (Head of Building), Lord Mayor of Birmingham and wife, Rod Natkiel (Head of Network Programmes).

The second photo features the Lord Mayor of Birmingham with a lady who’d baked a cake of the Pebble Mill building to commemorate the 21st anniversary.

A brochure was printed to celebrate the anniversary, the rest of the photos are of the brochure.

Jerry Johns, David Waine, Lord Mayor & wife, Rod Natkiel