Pebble Mill Camera Crews

Camera team Karen Lamb












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.

Included are:

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.






Andy Payne

Photo from James French, no reproduction without permission

Photo from James French, no reproduction without permission










Andy Payne, shown on the left here, sadly died on Friday 22nd July 2016, of acute myeloid leukemia. Andy was a brilliant cameraman, of both studio and single cameras. He could shoot drama, factual or live multi-camera. I remember that camera operator, and director, Karen Lamb, said to me once that Andy was the best BBC Birmingham cameraman, which in such illustrious company is quite an accolade. He was a quiet and thoughtful man, and a great person to have in your crew. Andy was just 55.

Andy worked on a whole variety of programmes including, Pebble Mill at One, Pebble Mill, Going for a Song, and latterly, Doctors.

On the right of photo is Dave Farline, who died in 2008, also of cancer.

Thanks to James French for the photograph.

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

Bob Davies: ‘This is such sad news. Almost unbelievable. Two lovely men who were brilliant camera men, both loved their work and always gave of their best. I was lucky enough to have them on my crew on many occasions. Andy was often my camera supervisor – never got flustered, always smiling, good natured, full of positive advice and enthusiasm. He and Dave were a terrific team in the studio, on location and as hand held operators.’

Karen Lamb: ‘Andy had the warmest smile and talent in abundance which he got working with the infamous and slightly scary but sexy crew 3 – camera supervisor Tony Wiggly, John Couzens (just Wow!) Jim Gray & Barry Foster. I don’t think it would have been as kind a fit for me welcoming the first girl cameraman to their crew (which I believe was considered) as Crew 5 the wonderful Keith Salmon, Dave Ballantyne, Norman Steemson & Lovely James French, thank you all for the amazing memories, Pebble Mill was the best.’

Ruth Barretto: ‘I first met Andy in the 80’s when I started working at Pebble Mill. I knew him and his dad. So lovely, true professional. Everyone always sang his praises.’

Graham Sherrington: ‘Andy guided me through my first ever outing as a drama Director on Doctors years ago. He was kind, generous and an incredibly talented DP.’

Jane Green: ‘I was very upset to hear about Andy. I was lucky enough to work with him on PM@1, drama, news. OBs – everything really. A really lovely man, with a super Brummie humour.’

Bryan Sharpe: ‘I remember Andy working on Midlands Today.. great guy and always helpful…. as I started out on my directing career.. sad loss!’








A Sort of Innocence – James French

Behind the Scenes; A Sort of Innocence from pebblemill on Vimeo.

Video copyright, James French, no reproduction without permission.

James French has provided the following information about this behind the scenes footage which he recorded on location for A Sort of Innocence, known as ‘The Hereford Project’ at the time. The first sequence is by the river in Hereford and the other involves a low-loader being rigged at Chateau Impney in Droitwich Spa:

This was a two camera shoot using CM2 and I (James French) was second camera, Keith Salmon camera supervisor. The cameras were Philips LDK 514s with Angenieux lenses for the techie-types.

The Director was John Gorrie. You hear him but don’t see him in the first sequence. The 1st AD is Peter Rose, who went on to direct several soaps including Crossroads, Eastenders and Coronation Street. Main actor: Kenneth Cranham. Boy: Neil Jeffery, LD: Barry Chatfield, Sparks: Dave Walter, Sound: Tony Wass, Tim Everett.

It was 1986.

The grip’s name was Ron Fleet, and I think the cable basher is rigger, Barry but can’t remember his surname.

behind the scenes on A Sort of Innocence

behind the scenes on A Sort of Innocence










EM: Dave Robinson, Spark: Roger Hynes (can’t remember the other guy), Director: John Gorrie seen sitting on the kerb in the early panning shot, Engineer: Peter Eggleston, Vision Mixer: Roger Sutton, Rigger: George Stephenson, Editor: Mike Bloore.

Here is the Radio Times entry from the first episode courtesy of the BBC Genome project:

A six-part serial by ALICK ROWE Episode 1 starring
Kenneth Cranham Cheryl Campbell Michael Byrne
Introducing Neil Jeffery Elizabeth Fellowes seems well suited to life in a small cathedral town. Her husband, Mark, teaches at the cathedral school where her son, Tim, is a chorister. Unknown to the family, boardroom battles are taking place elsewhere. These are to have a dramatic effect on their future lives together.
Music composed by RICHARD HARVEY Script editor JENNY SHERIDAN Designers














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

Diana Lester: ‘Thanks James, I cannot believe that was over 30 years ago. …lovely to see faces from the past, many who unfortunately are no longer with us ….and we all look so young !!’

Karen Lamb: ‘Hearing Keith’s voice again was so special saying “don’t point it at the sun” such wonderful memories working on crew 5.’

Dawn/Kevin Hudson: ‘Great memories,the grip was Ronnie Fleet, and the fella brushing the path was affectionately known as Gonzo.’

Richard Stevenson: ‘Great clip. Is Tim booming wearing a tie?! Those were the days.’

James French on music OB

James French on camera, OB Botanical Gardens RSJames French on music OB Botanical Gardens, RS


















Photos by Richard Stevenson, no reproduction without permission.

The photos show the tough life of the cameraman on location!

The cameraman is James French, on a music outside broadcast at the  Birmingham Botanical Gardens, in July 1989. The top photo seems to show two of the singers rehearsing or warming up.











GTC Award to Pebble Mill Camera Department

Copyright resides with the original holders no reproduction without permission

Copyright resides with the original holders no reproduction without permission












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!!’