CMCR9 Reconstruction – Broadcast Magazine

Broadcast magazine May 2016

Broadcast magazine May 2016

In the middle of May 2016, there was a reconstruction of the operation of the 1969 outside broadcast truck, CMCR9, which was Pebble Mill’s original CM1, and later became Manchester’s North 1. The truck was neglected for many years, but is in the process of being restored by enthusiast Steve Harris.

The reconstruction brought together retired crew who used to work on the truck in the 1970s, and resulted in the recording of a darts match! CMCR9 used to broadcast a lot of sports programmes, like Match of the Day, but would also have recorded Come Dancing, Gardeners’ World, as well as dramas.

The reconstruction was organised by Royal Holloway, University of London, and their ADAPT research project, which is recording now defunct pieces of historical television broadcasting equipment being used by the people who worked on them.

The occasion was marked by this article in the industry trade magazine – Broadcast.

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

Stephen Neal: ‘Chap in the red sweater is Roger Neal, my dad. He worked for OBs in London when CMCR9 was based there. I appear to be continuing the family tradition of working for Auntie…’

Annie Gumbley-Williams: ‘I worked in CM1. Happy days, Gardeners’ World and others’

Roger Neal: ‘I also worked on a range of small units as well, several of them called Lo21, Lo22, and Lo23. One of the LO21s is currently residing in Brian Summers front garden I believe.’

Move to the Mailbox

Mailbox move SG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

The article from the Birmingham Post circa 2002, explains how the move from Pebble Mill to the Mailbox was going to be a positive one, enabling technology and the studios to be improved. The move from the ‘leafy suburb’ of Edgbaston would apparently make BBC Birmingham more in touch with its audience!

Unfortunately these aims were not realised, and the move proved to be symptomatic of the decline of BBC Birmingham.

Thanks to Stuart Gandy to sharing this cutting.

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

Andy Marriott: ‘Unfortunately pretty much every move is a downsizing event, and it’s not just the BBC. I’ve been helping a friend out with a project at the old Granada site in Manchester and it’s depressing to see the facilities that existed there that they simply don’t have at their new site.’

Jean Palmer: ‘I’m sure that those who worked there could have told them it wouldn’t work. Shame we lost Pebble Mill’

Carolyn Davies: ‘All very sad….BBC Wales about to relocate….hope the same doesn’t happen…..’

Sue Farr: ‘I always suspected that London was jealous of Brimingham’s success and that was what was behind the decisions that were made. None of us believed any of it was going to benefit the Midlands, did we?’

Andrew Langstone: ‘Seems The Mailbox is the BBC’S dumping ground for things it doesn’t know where to put them.’

 

Gardeners’ World – Lavender July 1990

Gardeners' World lavender photo VJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

The photo is from the Radio Times, July 1990, and is of me (Vanessa Jackson) in a Norfolk lavender farm, with some expert, whose name I forget! I was a researcher on Gardeners’ World at the time, and I couldn’t understand why the Radio Times wanted a photo of me, with the expert, rather than one of the presenters, especially as I was at least seven months pregnant at the time!

This was shortly before the series was handed over to Catalyst Television, and produced independently for 10 years.

Here is the Radio Times entry for the episode, courtesy of the BBC Genome project: http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/3d4dfe567db54f5d9544599bfd5a5728

“A visit to Dr Stefan Buczacki ‘s low-maintenance garden in Stratford-on-Avon; the lowdown on lavender, the sweet-smelling herb for edging and hedging; jobs for the week from Barnsdale; and a report on the mail-order bugs business – breeding predators and parasites to prey on white fly and other garden pests. With Geoff Hamilton , Nigel Colborn and Pippa Greenwood. Executive producer Stephanie Silk, Editor Dennis Adams
Plant list on Ceefax page 617. “

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!’

 

 

We are BBC Birmingham – Resources & Drama

We are BBC Bham Drama, ResourcesCopyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission.

This still is from a brochure produced when BBC Birmingham moved to the Mailbox, in 2004. The brochure was for staff and people elsewhere in the industry, promoting the services and departments within BBC Birmingham.

Post production took outside bookings at this time, from series like Fifth Gear, as well as internal bookings.

Drama, did not relocate to the Mailbox, due to insufficient space, the cost, and the inability to film scenes around the premises, and instead arranged accommodation for themselves at the University of Birmingham.

Thanks to Dharmesh Rajput for sharing the brochure, and keeping it safe for the last decade.