All Memories Great and Small

all-memories-great-and-smallOliver Crocker’s  All Creatures book is now available to Pre-order.

BREAKING NEWS! NEW ALL CREATURES BOOK COMING SOON!

Released as part of the 100th birthday celebrations for James Herriot, a new book “All Memories Great & Small” is being released by Miwk Publishing as an ideal companion to the classic BBC series. Every episode is accompanied by exclusive memories, thanks to 60 new interviews with cast and crew.

THE REGULAR CAST

Christopher Timothy (James Herriot), Robert Hardy Esq, CBE, FSA (Siegfried Farnon), Peter Davison (Tristan Farnon), Carol Drinkwater (Helen Herriot), Andrea Gibb (Deirdre McEwan), Jean Heywood (Mrs Alton) and Ali Lewis (Rosie Herriot).

GUEST CAST

Peter Alexander (St. John), Lois Baxter (Margery Egerton), Paul Clayton (Brian Weeting), Fine Time Fontayne (George Forsyth/Joe Bentley), Gillian Hanna (Betty Sanders), Derek Hicks (Willie Bannister), Pete Ivatts (Mr. Blackburn/Tom Maxwell), Vivien Keene (Mary Trenholm), Ray Mangion (Franco Pedretti), Norman Mann (Richard Edmundson), Nicholas McArdle (Mr. Worley), Joanna McCallum (Lady Hulton), Elizabeth Millbank (Alice McTavish), Suzanne Neve (Joan Clifford), Jonathan Owen (Peter Gillard), David Quilter (Andrew Bruce), Pamela Salem (Zoe Bennett), Jessica Sewell (Mary Clarke), Madeline Smith (Angela Farmer/Anne Grantley), Amanda Waring (Elizabeth Rayner) and Susan Wooldridge (Daughter of Margaretta Scott).

PRODUCTION TEAM

Bob Blagden (Director), Sandy Byrne (Widow of Writer Johnny Byrne), Alex Christison (Film Sound), Carol Churchill (Make-up Designer), David Crozier (Designer), Nigel Curzon (Designer), Roger Davenport (Writer), Rowena Dean (Make-up Artist), Mike Duxbury (Film Editor), Paul Finch (Son of Writer Brian Finch), Graham Frake (Lighting Cameraman), Roderick Graham (Director), Joyce Hawkins (Costume Designer), Terry Hodgkinson (Writer), June Hudson (Costume Designer), David Hughes (Sound), William Humble (Writer), Brian Jones (Gaffer), Peter Loring (Film Cameraman), Richard Martin (Director), Christopher Penfold (Script Editor/Writer), Les Podraza (Scene Hand), Janice Rider (Costume Designer), Tony Redston (Production Associate), Michael Russell (Writer), Helen Scarsbrook (Wardrobe), Bill Sellars (Producer), Pip Short (Grip/AFM/Location Manager), Sam Snape (Writer), Maggie Thomas (Make-up Artist), David Tilley (Assistant Floor Manager), Tony Virgo (Director) and John Williams (Film Cameraman).

PRE-ORDER NOW http://bit.ly/2d7p5ts

Shoot First – no ordinary life – John Williams

copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

The news is out ! My memoirs “Shoot first No Ordinary Life” is at the printers. I’ve looked at publishing, all want lots of money with little return so I’m having copies printed for family, friends and those interested. Its tells of a 30year career making programs for the BBC and although not a definitive history it is a recollection of the “golden age” of Television production that was Pebble Mill Birmingham

Professor Paul Long  Director,   Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research. Writes

While we’re overloaded by celebrity tales, we need more of this kind of autobiography from those who created programmes and of course created the BBC’s reputation as the country’s foremost cultural institution. Williams insights into the nature of regional and national production, the personalities and roles, the (literal) nuts, bolts and decision making of making TV in the post-war era adds an invaluable resources for the understanding the social history of modern Britain which, if anything is bound up in the story of TV and the stories it has told.

David Waine   (Head of the Network Production Centre 1983-86; Head of Broadcasting 1986-94).Writes

What has emerged is something more than that. It is a small piece of history written with the     passion and involvement that only someone so committed can do.

 

 Others have said “The book is a rollicking good read”, “boys adventure  stories ( adult boys )”. “the book is illustrated on every page ; a coffee table book ,one to share with family at Christmas”.

 

For those of us from Pebble Mill this is an adventure story with a difference because many of you will know of these adventures and some of you will surely  be familiar with the characters  involved . There are, so many memories!

The Book is A4, 216 pages full colour , 96,500 words and I’m selling them first come first served at cost £14 plus postage  or can be collected.

anybody who would like a copy please  contact me on

john@willbriar.myzen.co

0152766897

Mob  07742671586

John Williams

 

 

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Howards’ Way 30 years anniversary

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Howards Way behind the scenes grab

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission. Thanks to Les Podraza for making the cast and crew photo available.


(This iPlayer link is to an item by South Today about the making of Howards’ Way)

The end of 1st September 2015 marked the 30 years anniversary of Howards’ Way, the sailing drama series, which was likened to a British version of the US drama Dallas.

The series was hosted at Pebble Mill, and recorded on location in Southampton, with some of the interiors being recorded in Studio A.

Here is the Radio Times synopsis for the first episode, courtesy of the BBC Genome project:

“A serial in 13 parts devised by GERARD GLAISTER and ALLAN PRIOR
Episode 1 written by JILL HYEM
‘I’m sorry, Jan … It may be selfish, but I intend to spend the rest of my working life doing something I want to do.’
Title music
SIMON MAY and LESLIE OSBORNE Film cameraman JOHN KENWAY Designer MYLES LANG
Script editor JOHN BRASON Director PENNANT ROBERTS Producer GERARD GLAISTER”

http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/14bd8b49c7524441b9e9a278e19e74d7

Thanks to Paul Burton for pointing out the anniversary, and the South Today piece.

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

Dawn Trotman: ‘I think it is John Kenway yet it was John Willey who shot the first and second series.. I edited the first series with Nigel Pardoe-Matthews and the second on location with Sharon Pemberton and Lynne Hawkins..great fun.. We always knew it would be successful..It was our Dallas..’

Maggie Humphries: ‘Not John Kenway,, it’s Jimmy Monks, Grips who worked on the series.’

Lesley Weaver: ‘Maggie Humphries is right, it is the lovely freelance grip Jimmy Monks near left of camera and far right is David Evans a lovely freelance Camera operator. Can’t really work out who’s behind camera. I worked on the second series so I ought to remember. In the clip I remember Tony ‘O’ sparks from Lee North and Susie Peck is the designer talking about the costumes, lots of others I remember too.’

Derek Smith – Obituary, from John Williams

Derek Smith, directing regional Top Gear. Photo from Jim Knights, no reproduction without permission

Derek Smith, directing regional Top Gear. Photo from Jim Knights, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have much to thank Derek Smith for. He was the one who gave me my career in the BBC with the chance to join the Film Unit in Carpenter Road. It was him who took me around the world to Singapore and a story on Bishop Wilson. A wonderful story of wonderful people that matched man’s inhumanity to man, with man’s humanity. On to Malaya and a brand-new army base cut into the middle of the jungle complete with married quarters, school, swimming pools and sixty bed hospital, now to be closed by the then Wilson government and left to be devoured by the jungle. When university students were getting very bad press of their happenings during vacations we followed them and found them in Andorra working on the Forna and then on to a farm, living above the cattle in a barn high up in the Austrian mountains giving a holiday to a group of German orphans. We got bored one night and climbed halfway down to a cafe which we expected to be empty, it was packed full of people on some sort of pilgrimage already well awash on the beer and in full song. There was no escape, we were dragged in and expected to sing. My song went well. Derek let us down by singing Lilly Marlene, which was greeted with stunned silence, and he was very seriously asked where did he learn that song. Evidently it was something to do with his time in the Eighth Army, Rommel and the desert during the Second World War. As penance we were each made to drink an enormous glass of beer where upon everyone cheered and laughed and joined in. I don’t remember the rest of the evening!! !!

Then there was Top Gear, not sure if one should mention that, because I think it was Derek who introduced ‘you know who’ and it was me who did the first story, but there is so much more. I like to think Now Get Out of That, was a programme based on a chat Derek and I had together on the reliability and initiative tests we faced whilst training in the forces, and was the forerunner of the many celebrity shows developed along the same lines that are now so successful. My chance to live and fly with the Harrier Jet fighters of One Squadron was all down to Derek, you don’t forget that in a hurry!

Plenty of us should have lots to tell of Derek’s contribution to broadcasting. He was a maverick that thought outside the box and I feel fortunate to have been allowed to work with him. My condolences to all the family.

John Williams

John Williams, cameraman

John Williams, cameraman

 

 

 

 

 

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

Murray Clarke:’Yes – a great director, never afraid to blow the budget and make interesting programmes that viewers really enjoyed watching. And yes, the original Top Gear was his creation.’

Topol’s Israel

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Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission.

This article is from the Pebble Mill News from 1984. It tells about a Pebble Mill documentary/entertainment series, called, Topol’s Israel. The programme followed the Jewish entertainer on a trip back to his home country. The production team were Peter Hercombe, director, Chris Wright and assistant producer, Pam Creed. The camera crew consisted of cameraman, John Williams, assisted by Keith Froggatt (both in the bottom photo), with soundman, Alex Christisson, and electrician Arhtur Heywood.

Thanks to Robin Sunderland for sharing the newspaper, and keeping it safe all these years.

Below is the synopsis for the first episode of the series transmitted at 8.30pm on BBC2 28 March, 1985, from the BBC Genome listings database: http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/f7824512648045f59f05dbfe5c6662ed

‘The first of six musical journeys in which film and stage star Chaim Topol revisits his native Israel.
Part documentary and part entertainment, the series joins Topol on the closing night of his triumphant
West End revival of Fiddler on the Roof, and follows him to Tel Aviv, the city which has always been his home.
Week by week Topol reflects on his experiences as a child of Israel – his memories of family life in an immigrant quarter, of the Exodus operation, his pioneering days on a Kibbutz, his days as an entertainer in an army troupe.
His travels range from the Galilee to the Red Sea, from Jerusalem to Jaffa, and from the Lebanon to Eilat, and on his way he meets an array of friends from every walk of Israeli life.
Director CHRIS WRIGHT
Producer PETER HERCOMBE BBC Pebble Mill
BBC record REH/ZCR 529 from retailers
• FEATURE’

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

Dawn Trotman: ‘I remember it well and meeting the man himself albeit briefly.. Chris Rowlands cut it.’