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.’

Kate O’Mara – Howards’ Way

Howards Way Howard's Way MH






















Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission. Kate O’Mara is second from the right in the top photo. The lower photo shows the cast and crew of Howrds’ Way.

Kate O’Mara died on Sunday 30th March 2014, in a Sussex nursing home, aged 74, after a short illness.

Kate O’Mara played the part of Laura Wilde in Howards’ Way, series 5-6.

Howards’ Way was made at Pebble Mill between 1985-90. It was a London hosted production. The drama series was inspired by US soaps like Dynasty and Dallas. The series was created and produced by Gerard Glaister. It was set in a fictional town of Tarrant on the south coast of England, around the rich and glamorous world of sailing. It followed the trials and tribulations of the Howard family, and their rivals.

Here is a link to Howards’ Way on YouTube:

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

Karen Lamb: ‘I remember when we were filming in Studio A for Howards’ Way and she had to drink some champagne during a scene, ever the professional (only after she had completed the scene) she went mad that it was real champagne & not fake!’

Susan Astle: ‘I was lucky enough to do Kate’s make up on most of the series.’

Mary Sanchez: ‘I worked on Howards’ Way with her for 2 series – she had a very dry sense of humour and had the men eating out of her hand ! Lovely lady – sorry to hear of her passing away relatively young.’

What’s Your Story

What's Your Story 2
What's Your Story 1 JFWhat's Your Story JF






















Copyright resides with the original holders, no reproduction without permission. Bottom two photos by James French.

These photos are from a 1988 children’s live drama, recorded in Studio A at Pebble Mill, called What’s Your Story, with Crew 3.  Included in the photos are Keith Salmon, James French, Derek Hallworth, Simon Bennett, Richard Stevenson, Adrian Kelly, Nigel Beaumont, Noel Paley, Karen Lamb and Dave Ballantyne.

What’s Your Story was a drama series with the storyline continued daily with ideas phoned in by viewers.

Christopher Pilkington was the exec producer, Richard Simkin the director and Richard Simon the producer. Dave Bushell was the lighting director.

The series featured: Sylvester McCoy (narrator), Bill Stewart, Susie Baster, Ben Benson, Tim Diggle, Lisa Rose (Laura), Stephen Tredre and Grace Wilkinson.

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

Stuart Gandy: ‘I remember this well. It was quite a challenge from an engineering point of view, but it worked well. I think this was the programme that I got my name on the credits. Engineers usually didn’t unless they were directly driving the gallery. In this case the credits included absolutely everybody that had been involved, however slight.’

Paul Grice: ‘I think it also held the record for the number of phonecalls generated at one time. As a fairly new Comms manager at the time it was my responsibility although I think Mike Day did the real work!’