When the Queen visited Pebble Mill

With the sad death of the Queen, I was reminded of her 1981 visit to Pebble Mill. This was to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the building. Here are a couple of shots of her visit to Pebble Mill at One. Pebble Mill at One deputy editor, Jim Dumighan showed her around.

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

The Queen visiting the Pebble Mill at One foyer studio in 1981. Photo from Keith Brook.

 

The Queen visiting Pebble Mill in 1981

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

Stephen Hawkins: My Mother, Joyce Hawkins, who was Head of the Costume Department, has asked me to state that “In advance of the Queens visit HM named one person she would like to meet. That person was George Collins, a dresser in the costume dept. Much to the genuine surprise of everyone. They had a private conversation.

David Short: I had just joined Pebble Mill as a camera assistant and worked on the Royal visit.

Norman McLeod: Fortunate to be presented in Radio Studio 1. Charmed as everyone was. Palpable memories still treasured together with the pictures, which I am still searching for! Requiescat in Pace.

Harold Rich: As she passed me and my musicians she turned and said “Are you the backing?”

Peggy Lee Entertains 1981

Photos by Bhasker Solanki, no reproduction without permission

These photos of the US performer, Peggy Lee are from a show called ‘Peggy Lee Entertains’ from 1981.

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

Maggie Humphries: That’s me in the middle audience with Aunt and Uncle, it was an amazing night and I was just talking about it a couple of days ago, great music, great memories.

Jane Mclean: I PA-ed it. THINK Bob Langley presented it.

Annette Martin: I Vision Mixed the show. It was a wonderful evening in the 80s. Peggy had difficulty walking so she rehearsed in a wheelchair with an assistant moving her to the various positions on the stage! It was surreal but come the show she moved superbly- what a pro and her voice was fabulous- a VM highlight for me and everyone involved. I think John Smith Directed and Jim Dumighan was involved.

David Ian Bellinger: Worked with Pete Moore, her MD all week – first in the radio studio for Radio 2 and then that weekend – one of my most memorable times in 25 years at the Mill, No band could have been more prepared for that diamond of a TV Music Show ….. Oh – so many memories of this. When Pete asked me to add strings to a Paul Whiteman original arrangement I nearly passed out – finished it with minutes to go – yes the ink was still wet! Didn’t sleep for three days. My time at the Mill? I’d have paid the Licence Payers (Bless’Em) for the honour and spending my time with my second family every day at work.

Carole Haysom: Yvonne Brockbank was the make up designer.

Pebble Mill Blue Plaque

 

On Wednesday 8 September 2021 a BBC Heritage Trail blue plaque was unveiled on the site of BBC Pebble Mill, now a rehabilitation hospital, to commemorate the building and all the fantastic programmes that were created there. A small number of former BBC staff attended the ceremony. The plaque was unveiled by Midlands Today presenter, Nick Owen, who presented the last ever news programme from the broadcast centre.

Included in the photographs are:

  1. Annie Gumbley Williams, Jim Dumighan
  2. ?, Nick Owen
  3. Ken Pollack, Nick Owen
  4. Ken Pollack, Ivor Williams, John Duckmanton
  5. Norman McLeod, John Williams, Nick Owen
  6. Annie Gumbley Williams, Nick Owen, Jenny Brewer

Terry Dobson

Terry Dobson, who launched the Pebble Mill at One programme in 1972 and remained its editor until 1978, died on Saturday, 19th September in Devon. He was 87.
Terry joined Pebble Mill from BBC North East, and left Birmingham in 1978 to become Regional Television Manager at BBC South, Southampton.
In the mid 80’s he returned to Pebble Mill as Managing Editor, English regions.
(text from Jim Dumighan)
The photos feature Terry Dobson and the Pebble Mill at One production office, and date from the mid 1970s. They were taken by Ken Williams.

Alec Robson

Thanks to Alec’s son, Michael for sharing these photos. They are of cameraman Alec Robson’s retirement party at BBC Pebble Mill. Alec sadly died in 2020.

L-R: Jim Dumighan, Glyn Elledge, Ruby Robson, Alec, Fred Hale (house services), Don Cooper in glasses on the right.

L-R Chris Howard (studio sparks), Alec Robson, Keith Moreton

Alec Robson with Derek Price