This photo shows the ‘door’ from Radio Studio 3 at Pebble Mill. The door would have been used to create effects on Radio 4’s The Archers, as well as other radio dramas. The mini door is on castors so that it could be wheeled around to wherever in the studio it was needed, and is a box construction. It contains all the parts on a door that would make a distinctive sound: a turning key, and knob, and a door chain.
Thanks to Martin Fenton for sharing the photograph, which he took in 2003.
The following comments were left on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:
Jane Green: ‘On my way back from the bar after a hard morning’s PM@1. Was hijacked by a radio person and asked to scrunch my feet on a tray of gravel.’
Stephen Lyons: ‘ I remember well the similar one at BBC Wales Radio where I worked on Schools Radio programmes over many years.’
Malcolm Hickman: ‘Notice the stairs in the background. They had 3 different finishes on each tread. Plus at the top of the flight they had several items of door furniture.’
Angela Padgett: ‘Seen them in the Mailbox on the Behind the scenes at BBC Tour. They’re still being used.’
Ruth Kiosses: ‘I once took in my brothers Elizabethan armour for the sound department (Donald McDonald) to record for some drama. I’m sure clanging baking trays would have been the same? But they wanted authenticity.’
Colin Pierpoint: ‘I don’t know who made it. You can see the original door in the photo which was built in to the stairs f/x (extreme top right). The problem was that it had such a large selection of locks, catches and levers that to open the door required at least 8 hands! The portable one appeared later and I suspect it was to overcome the 3 extra staff required to open the original door.’
Carolyn Davies: ‘Didn’t it used to be brown?’
Kathryn Shuttleworth: ‘All the box doors were painted and the screens refurbished for the move to The Mailbox. We had the sash window from under the staircase mounted into a box too. All still in use, they don’t make ’em like that any more!’