Opening of the BBC Club – commemorative beer

Beer from opening of the BBC Club GKPhoto by Gerry King, no reproduction without permission.

This Mitchells and Butlers ale was produced to celebrate the opening of the new BBC Club at Pebble Mill in 1982. Amazing that a local brewery would produce a special label for this event, but then I suppose they knew how many pints would be drunk there over the years!

Thanks to Gerry King for resisting drinking the beer, and for sharing the photo.


Sony BVE 900












Photo by Paul Vanezis, no reproduction without permission.

These Sony BVE 900 edit controllers were used extensively in tape edit suites in the 1990s at BBC Pebble Mill.

The following information was added by Ray Lee:

‘This was the standard edit controller control panel used in all the News Betacam edit suites. Normally it controlled 2 players and a recorder, although as can be seen from the picture there are 6 source select buttons on the top right and it could control the recorder, up to 3 betacam players, and 2 other sources. The numeric key pad could be used to enter specific time codes, and there were keys to enable the capture of timecodes as edit points on the fly, and also to trim them up or down. It allowed spilt edits where pictures and sound were edited in different places as a single operation, so for instance the outgoing sound could continue with the incoming picture and then switch to the incoming sound a few moments later. It enabled rather more complex editing than could be acheived with the Betacam front panel, and could use EDL’s (Edit decision lists).The control panel shown connected to a 4U rack controller that connected to the other equipment in the edit suite. In the late 80’s and through 90’s it was the workhorse of news and regional editing.’

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

Gerry King: ‘A bit of kit I liked because it worked constantly, reliably and made editing that bit easier til computers took over.’

Pebble Mill Peelable


Two Point 4 Children, photo and design by Lynda Kettle

Two Point 4 Children, photo and design by Lynda Kettle













A special paint was developed to paint on the floor of Studio A, the television drama studio – it was called ‘Pebble Mill peelable’ and was available commercially.

The following comments were posted on the Pebble Mill Facebook Page, about this special paint, what it did, and whether it was a good thing – or not!

Raymond Lee: ‘Before Pebble Mill peelable the studio floor was painted in water based paints, which ran if anything got spilt on them. Also it required a day between productions to wash the studio floor and let it dry, before the next painting could take place. One of the downsides of of the peelable paint was that after a number of layers the floor became quite uneven, so tracking shots became increasingly wobbly! I’m fairly sure it was only used in Studio A, and not the foyer. A base coat was put on the studio floor, which involved closing the studio for a couple of days. The fumes were quite pungent. Then the special floor paint was used to create the required floor using rollers, as previously. When a new drama went in the next floor scene was just painted on top. This continued for a number of productions, and then the paint was peeled off a bit like lino back to the base layer.’

Lynn Cullimore: ‘Yes, I remember it and it was a company headed by a man called Terry Field – I would think he is long retired now. It was really rated apparently. I knew Terry as he was a friend of John Woods in the press office when I then worked. They did use it in Studio A I believe but I am not sure if they did in the foyer.’

Guy Heselden: ‘The paint used at the London studios sounds similar. It goes on with a roller and can be touched up or painted over as and when and then when required gets washed off back to the bare brown coloured studio floor, ready for a new coat of paint!’

Gerry King: ‘Pebble Mill Peelable existed for many years totally dependent on Pebble Mill studios for income. They had premises on the Hagley Road close to the Plough & Harrow. For the life of me I cannot remember the name of their MD.’

Keith Brook (Scouse): ‘It was the most awful invention ever to fall on the lovely lino floors of Studio A. The original water paint system could be sucked up immediately after the sets had been removed and the new floor painted soon after. That system had the added effect of cleaning the floor and so we were left with a smooth surface to do our famous tracking shots. Pebble Mill Peelable often had it’s thick base coat put down without the floor being cleaned first. To add insult to injury, subsequent layers weren’t cleaned off either and the build- up was horrific. Many of the camera crew carried a Stanley knife and cut out the offending items which annoyed the manager who had introduced the paint. A short lecture on camerawork shut him up until the next time he wanted to flex his muscles.’