Thanks to Alec’s son, Michael for sharing these photos. They are of cameraman Alec Robson’s retirement party at BBC Pebble Mill. Alec sadly died in 2020.
Photo from Karen Lamb, no reproduction without permission.
The photo shows the Pebble Mill camera crews and dates from the early 1990s, probably from the leaving do of Robin Sunderland, and perhaps Dave Wilkins.
Back row, Phil Wilson, Doug Smith, Noel Paley, James French, Adrian Kelly, Don Cooper, Dave Lawson (far left)
Middle row, Karen Lamb, Eric Wise, Dave Farline, Dave Wilkins, Dave Ballantyne,
Front row, Keith Salmon, Robin Sunderland, Andy Payne, John Moorcroft.
This was the presentation of the GTC’s (Guild of Television Camermen) TiCA (Television Cameraman’s Award) to the Pebble Mill camera department for Pebble Mill at One circa 1979.
The names are as follows:
Back (L to R): Doug Smith, Robin Sunderland, Bob Meikle, Don Cooper, Paul Woolston, Tony Wigley, Phil Wilson, Mike Solomons (GTC Chairman from Thames TV), Brian Cave, Jim Gray, Bob Hubbard, Chris Allen, not sure (perhaps Phil Sidey?), Jack Rooke, Keith Salmon, Dave Lawson, Dave Doogood, Dave Wilkins, Pete Edwards, Tim Konewko, Bhasker Solanki.
Kneeling down (L to R): Barrie Foster, Keith ‘Scouse’ Brook, Roger Mulliner, Dave Ballantyne, John Couzens, Eric Wise
(Thanks to James French for providing the names, Annie Gumbley Williams for sending me the photo and to Roger Mulliner for sharing it in the first place).
The following comments were left on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:
Richard Stevenson: ‘That is an amazing picture! I have never seen so many cameramen in ties! Brilliant.’
Lynn Cullimore: ‘They all look so young and thats because they were – then. hah.’
Bob Bishop: ‘There are no women in the photograph, would that be the same today.’
Keith Brook (Scouse): ‘We were told to dress up by management. Bhaskar Solanki, far right (physically, not politically) went on to be a very, very successful news cameraman and is now a senior producer. Good for him!! I should also mention that I’m the only one wearing a waistcoat. Even then, standards were sloppy!!’
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.
(Norman McLeod remembers the following incident involving the VPR20, a portable 1″ recorder)
Nigel Evans and Ian Dewar spent 3 days and nights trying to repair the beast in Raffles Hotel Singapore – a ‘Pebble Mill at One’ Summer shoot in 1984 with Donny MacLeod, Paul Coia, Peter Seabrook. Eventually, an Ampex engineer was diverted from Malaysia with chips. The then Video Manager refused to let us take one of the new-fangled Beta portables as back up, so we had to borrow a Singapore TV VHS for the first part of the month. Don Cooper was camera, Roger Casstles directed, Arthur Binnie producer, Nicky Barfoot prodn. asst. Dick Bentley E.M. All our credit cards (especially Dick’s) were hammered to pay for facilities not covered by production – especially the Tiger beer.
Also used on Loch Ness on a Scottish adventure with John Smith – Whisky distillery at dawn: and the “Sealink Cycle Race” with Norman Steemson sitting in the boot of a Rover hatchback from the Isle of Wight to Sheffield.