Nanny – track laying sheets

Nanny track laying 1 OW Nanny track laying 2 OW










































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

These kind of sheets were prepared by the person track-laying a piece of film, to inform the dubbing mixer about what was intended for the audio mix. In this case, film editor, Oliver White, was also the track-layer. The sheets are from episode 6 of the 1981 drama series, Nanny. Wendy Craig played the title role.

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

Roger Slater: ‘The numbers are film footage from zero at first frame and were on a large display beneath the screen in the dubbing theatre. The yellow blocks represent where the sound is in the tracks and were hard cuts or mixes as decided in the mixing. The arrows are just an indication of where to go. This is a very simple chart with a few tracks, You could be mixing 8 -10 or up to 40 tracks on a big drama or film.’

Dave Baumber in Dubbing Theatre

Dave Baumber 1 PP

Dave Baumber in Dubbing Theatre PP





















Photos by Peter Poole, no reproduction without permission.

These photos of are dubbing mixer, Dave Baumber, taken around 1976. The top photo was taken in the room next to the mixer area, which housed the sepmag bays. The bottom photo was taken in the dubbing theatre. Dave mixed a myriad of programmes at Pebble Mill, both dramas and factual programmes. He was certainly one of Pebble Mill’s best dubbing mixers, and was frequently requested by producers and directors.

Dave moved up to Birmingham, from working at the BBC in London in the 1970s in the early days of Pebble Mill. He worked on many of the English Regions Drama department productions.

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

Victoria Trow: ‘Dave Baumber taught me to tracklay, which stood me in very good stead when I went to London. Thank you Dave.’

Peter Poole: ‘Film unit was a great place to work. Such lovely and fun people.’

Mark Heslop: ‘Many a night and long day sat in those rooms, especially during “Trainer”‘

Strange Events at Pebble Mill – blog by Peter Poole

Archers' Studio, circa 1971

photo by Philip Morgan

This event was told to me about Radio Studio 3. This was the drama studio made famous by ‘The Archers’. One morning when the studio door was unlocked it would not fully open. This was due to several chairs that had been pushed against the door from the inside. This door was the only entrance so it’s a mystery how this happened. This may be a tall story told to new BBC staff. I can’t remember who told me. Has anyone else heard this story? I found another story about this studio on this website .

This other event happened to me. It was the late 1970s and I was working alone one evening in the dubbing theatre. A little later Brian Telford came in with a tape recorded earlier in a village church. This was a recording of organ music for The Archers. The tape had a high frequency noise on it. Brian wanted to filter this noise using the dubbing theatre’s graphic equaliser. As we listened a very loud crash could be heard when the music had finished. But it sounded very strange, as if it was backwards. I played the tape backwards and the sound of a large door being slammed shut was heard. Brian said he was unaware of any such sound when the recording was made. I can’t remember what happened to the tape or if any investigations followed this event. The high frequency noise was probably due to RF induction. That is the microphone cable acting as an aerial and picking up a signal from a radio transmitter. If the church was near to the Droitwich transmitter  this could happen. Maybe Brian faked the tape and it was all a practical joke. If this was the case he did a great job. But I feel this was unlikely. I’m very sceptical about the paranormal but can’t explain how this backwards door slam was recorded. Anyone have any ideas?

Peter Poole
(It is Roger Slater being the spot operator, knocking on the door, in the background of the Archers’ Studio photo)