Photos by Jim Gregory, no reproduction without permission.
These photos probably date from the late 1980s, judging by the 1″ tape editing machines, and labels for U-matic and D2 formats in the PSC A photo.
They show several areas of the VT editing department at Pebble Mill. Programmes recorded in the Pebble Mill studios would be edited in the VT editing suites, and programmes recorded on film or PSC formats, would be finished and onlined in the VT suites.
Copyright remains with the original holders, no reproduction without permission. The photographers include: Tim Savage, Paul Scholes, Brian Watkiss, Jim Gregory, Kate Davies, Ian Collins, Paul Vanezis, Steve May, Leigh Sinclair.
Making programmes is thirsty work as testament in these photos. Some of the drinks are definitely coffee!
TAR stands for ‘TV Apparatus Room’. This photo shows the Line Desk for Studio B (the Midlands Today Studio) at Pebble Mill. Shown in the photo are broadcasting engineers John Macavoy & Maurice Darkin.
Thanks to Ivor Williams from Post Production for the photo.
Stuart Gandy comments: “This picture is of the studio B camera line up area in the original TAR. This part of the building was what was later to become the graphics area after about 1984, which was when a major refurb of the studios went on and the TAR moved to the room above the foyer where it stayed until the end. At the back of this room was the maintenance area which when I first started was also home to a table tennis table. A proper engineers’ sport!”
Steve Dellow comments: “Yes – this was all ripped out early ’84 when Studio B and Pres were refurbished. From what I remember, the CCU’s for Studios A, B, and C went above the foyer, alongside the ‘new’ TAR? Can still hear Mike ‘The Cardy’s’ voice coming over the intercom….’Front to back’! Which upset Ken and Simon because they insisted it should be ‘Racks to Line-up’! ”
Jane Green comments: “The Floor Managers used to get their talkbalk pieces from here – and we used to set things up in TAR at 4 in the morning to get Mids Today brekky bulletins on air with about 3 staff…..”
Pete Simpkin comments: “TAR was the communications hub where all the connections between radio and TV studios and outside broadcasts together with all the rest of the BBC and transmitters were maintained. As automation took over and circuits etc became more national there was less and less to do but the Mailbox still has a substantial communications and Central operating section where all the BBC technology is monitored.”
Photos from Ivor Williams, no reproduction without permission.
This cake was made to celebrate the 100th episode of The Clothes Show. Ivor Williams was one of the VT editors who worked on the popular Sunday afternoon fashion magazine show. The spelling of IROV on the cake was an in-joke. The ‘SM’ on the cake, I think stands for Steve May, also a VT editor.
The Clothes Show went out between 1986 and 2000. It was executively produced at Pebble Mill by Roger Casstles. Series producers included Colette Foster and Jane Lomas. The show grew out of ‘Pebble Mill at One’ fashion items, and became a huge brand, leading to the BBC magazine of the same name and the annual ‘Clothes Show Live’ exhibition at the NEC.
Breakfast Time’s Selina Scott and designer Jeff Banks were the series’ first presenters. Other presenters over the years included Caryn Franklin, Tim Vincent, Brenda Emmanus, Richard Jobson, and Margherita Taylor. The show included catwalk and high street fashion, including make-overs. The title music was a remix by Arthur Baker of the Pet Shop Boys’ ‘In the Night’ (off the 1986 ‘Disco’ album).
What really set the show apart were the high production values and innovations in digital video editing. The editing team were rewarded with a craft BAFTA award.