Midlands Yesterday – photos Maureen Carter

Here is a selection of photos from the Midlands Today reunion – entitled Midlands Yesterday, held on Saturday 3rd September 2016 at the Midlands Arts Centre. Thanks to Maureen Carter for sharing the photos.

Anita Bhalla, Sue Beardsmore MC

Anita Bhalla, Sue Beardsmore

Ann Gumbley Williams, Jim Knights MC

Ann Gumbley Williams, Jim Knights

Ann Banks MC

Sally Morris and Ann Banks

Jane Ward, Mary Sanchez, Kay Alexander MC

Jane Ward, Mary Sanchez, Kay Alexander

Maurice Blisson MC

Maurice Blisson

Pete Shannon, Gary Hudson MC

Pete Shannon, Gary Hudson

Pete Shannon, Maureen Carter, MC

Pete Shannon, Maureen Carter

Richard Uridge MC

Richard Uridge

Rick Thompson MC

Rick Thompson and Gill Thompson

Rick Thompson, Pete Shannon, Jim Knights, Maureen Carter, Cathy Houghton, MC

Rick Thompson, Pete Shannon, Jim Knights, Maureen Carter, Cathy Houghton,

Roz Gower MC

Roz Gower and Mike Wilkie

Roy Saatchi MC

Tony Francis and Roy Saatchi

Sue Beardsmore, Maureen Carter MC

Sue Beardsmore, Maureen Carter

Midlands Yesterday 2 MC

? and Keith Ackrill

Midlands Yesterday 1 MC

Brian Conway, Kathy  Rochford, Sally Morris

Midlands Yesterday 3 MC

Bob Sinkinson, Frances Coverdale, Mike Wilkie, Jim Knights

Gary Hudson MC

Gary Hudson and Mark Readman

Midlands Yesterday MC

Maureen Carter MC

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Top Gear on the Isle of Man – Prospero April 2016

 

copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

 

This article was published in the BBC retirees’ newsletter, Prospero, in April 16. The photo of a Top Gear shoot in the Isle of Man was originally posted in February by ex-press officer, Chris Bates, and asked readers to identify the cameraman and director, which a number of familiar BBC Pebble Mill names duly did. The cameraman is Jim Knights from Magpie, with Ian Thomas the director, on the far right of the shot.

The following comment was added on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:

Jim Knights: ‘What great memories of great times and great program makers. All contributed to what laid the foundation for “Top Gear” and many other “follow this” program ideas! Many thanks for all the kind comments from colleagues of that ground breaking era. Today I’m still into horse power but at the Royal Windsor Horse show!! As far as name checks go, I don’t think Pete Smith was on that shoot and I think the late Brian Jennings was the Recordist or a freelance called Robin?’

Tail-less Top Geat cats – Chris Bates

copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

Top Gear in Isle of Man

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is an article by Senior Press Officer, Chris Bates, published in the February 2016 edition of the BBC retirees magazine Prospero: http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/mypension/en/prospero_feb_2016.pdf. He tells of the efforts he made to get Top Gear into the papers in the 1990s.

The two men on the right of the camera, who aren’t named in the cutting are Jim Knights, a Magpie cameraman (right next to the camera), and director Ian Thomas, in the foreground.

Chris Weaver

Regional 'Day Out' Derby '83 GH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo from Gail Herbert, copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission.

Director of Photography, Chris Weaver has died recently. He is operating the camera in the photo above, which was on a Regional series, called Day Out, this episode was in Derby, 1983. Production Assistant, Gail Herbert, is next to him, with David Nelson, right of Chris. Chris worked at Magpie, with Jim Knights, and was married to Pebble Mill Make-up Designer, Lesley Weaver. Producer John Clarke is on the far left.

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

Elliot Weaver: ‘Action shot – “you must always point at something”‘

Johannah Dyer: ‘That is sad news – he was a lovely bloke who always went above and beyond what was expected on every shoot.’

Terry Powell: ‘So sad to hear, I knew and worked with his wife Lesley on so many shows and Chris as well sending love to his family.’

Lynn Cullimore: ‘Chris was the nicest guy ever and so lovely to work with I agree Jane. So sad to hear of this and I do send my condolences to Lesley and all the family. I remember Day Out well as I also worked on it with John Clarke. In fact, John is in this picture extreme left.’

Siobhan Maher Kennedy: ‘Very sad news . I loved the Magpie guys! Chris was great and I have happy memories from when I was in the regional opt out with Pamela Relton Liz Cox Rosalind Gower.’

Samantha Watkins: ‘Sorry to hear about the loss of Chris. Many happy memories . Here’s a photo I found in attic from the early 80’s. Also a photo of me and Lesley in 81 was in same album , on Nanny.

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Derek Smith Obituary

Pebble Mill Shoots 13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Photos from Jim Knights, of the regional Top Gear show, somewhere in Europe, no reproduction without permission)

(The following obituary for director, Derek Smith, has been written by his son, Graham Smith).

Derek Smith joined the BBC in Birmingham 1957, working as an assistant producer on the newly created Farming magazine programme. He worked at Gosta Green studios and Carpenter Road.
In the early 1960s he moved on to general programming, as director and producer. He made a number of films about the armed services, including Soldier In The Sun, a film looking at the Royal Anglian Regiment in Aden and Yemen (1964) (The film can viewed on BBC Four Army Collection and i-Player). Singapore Twilight (1965), The Last Outpost, (1965); Men Of Action, (1966); They Speak The Language Anyway (life at a US Air Force base.) (1967).
From the Pebble Mill studios in Birmingham, he made a number of single network documentaries. For The Flight Deck Story, the history of the aircraft carrier, he filmed on board both HMS Eagle and on USS Enterprise off the coast of Vietnam. The film was narrated by actor Kenneth More. (BBC1, Tuesday Documentary 1969)
Mission To Hell followed the Bishop of Birmingham, Leonard Wilson, returning to Singapore to tell his story of war time imprisonment by the Japanese. In the film, he met his former torturer. (BBC 2 1969)
Another military history film Derek made at this time was Jump Jet, the history of the Hawker Harrier. (BBC 1 1970).
A film for the series “The World About Us”, The Lost River Of Gaping Gill showed cavers Sid Perou, Mike Wooding and Tom Brown as they sought to discover the route of an underground river in the Yorkshire Dales. (BBC 2 1970)
Journey Through Summer was a series of six films with actor and writer P.J. Kavanagh, as he viewed Britain through long distance walks. (1974)
Four In Hand was a one-off film with HRH Duke of Edinburgh, demonstrating Carriage Driving. (1974)
A studio based programme Derek devised was Major Minor, a piano competition for 10-13 year-olds. A BBC Midlands programme, repeated on the network, it ran for three seasons and was presented by musician Steve Race.
In 1975, Derek returned to military matters with Return To Dunkirk. On the 35th. anniversary of the evacuation, the film told the story of the men who escaped from a massacre at Esquelbecq. (BBC 2 1975)
Just A Year was a film that followed three of the survivors of the Birmingham pub bombs in November 1974, on their long recovery from injury. (BBC 2 1976)
In March 1977, Derek created a new series for BBC Midlands, Top Gear. The programme ran for nine monthly episodes shown only in the Midlands region. It was presented by Angela Rippon with Tom Coyne. The following year, it became a network show, on BBC 2. Derek continued as series producer until 1986.
An original programme devised by Derek was Now Get Out Of That. It was a competition between two teams testing their survival abilities along with problem solving mental tests over two days. It was filmed on location, with documentary film crews on 16mm. The first two seasons used teams from Cambridge and Oxford Universities, while series three and four were a contest between Britain and the USA. The programmes spanned 1981-84.
After leaving the BBC, Derek spent two years in Saudi Arabia working as a programme controller. He then lived in Spain for five years before returning to Sutton Coldfield. Well into his 70s, he continued to work part-time, as historian on tours to the sites of the Normandy Landings.

Derek Smith. April 16, 1927 – March 17, 2015.

Pebble Mill Shoots 16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Murray Clarke: ‘A very talented director – never afraid to stick his neck out and make interesting programme that really entertained. Yes, I was there with him at the birth of Top Gear in 1977. Love and condolences to his family.’

Conal O’Donnell: ‘A marvellous tribute to the kind of person who made the BBC & pebble Mill ..’