Saturday Night at the Mill

Photos by Robin Sunderland, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These photos are from Saturday Night at the Mill, an entertainment magazine show, from the foyer studio. It was transmitted between 1976-81. Roy Ronnie was the producer, and Roy Norton the director. Bob Langley, Donny MacLeod and Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen welcomed a variety of guests. The cameramen in the second photo are Phil Wilson and Doug Smith.

Thanks to cameraman Robin Sunderland for taking and sharing the photos.

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

Annie Gumbley: ‘I was Roy Ronnie’s Secretary & had my training for PA from Liz Silver who worked on the series. Keith Ackrill and Tricia Sadiq (Mifflin) were part of the team too. I did about about 4 or 5 series to the finish. What memories.’

Julie Hill: ‘I remember Saturday Night at The Mill! Penny Arcatinis and I were entrusted with serving the wine to the general public.’

Chris Rogers: ‘A fab show used to watch it all the time great guests, and presenters.’

New Window Please!

Photographs from Andy Stowe, no reproduction without permission

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Thanks to Andy Stowe and Malcolm Hickman for this tale from Pebble Mill:

Andy’s father, Pat Stowe, supervised the team of glaziers called in to install a replacement window at Pebble Mill in the late 1970’s. As you can see from the photo, it was a huge piece of glass, in the corridor outside Studio A!

Ray Lee added a comment about the cause of the broken glass:

“The incident I remember, was after a Saturday Night at the Mill, which I worked on. There was an item involving Paratroupers landing on the lawn and the Lighting TM had two large lights shining through the windows to illuminate the area. He checked regularly to make sure the windows were not getting hot, and all seemed well.
The program went well, and all the lights were turned off. That night was a very cold night with a sharp frost. At about 3am there was a loud bang heard by security. The thermal stress had proved too much and both windows that had been warmed cracked. A plastic film was applied to the cracked windows to prevent them falling out while replacement glass was arranged, which had to be imported as a special order as the size was too big for any UK Float Glass company.
The cracked windows were there several months before they were replaced, and when they were, it featured as an item on Pebble Mill at One. When the windows were replaced, the top edge needed an extra wide section of “putty” as the glass was about half an inch short of the top frame! I was there on the day they were put in as well, and remember seeing the gap at the top of the glass before the extra “putty” was applied.”

Malcolm Hickman remembers the incident well:

“I was watching as they removed the old glass. They attached these big suckers to it, took all the trim off and started pulling with the crane. It refused to budge, so one of the men claimed onto the frame that had the suckers mounted on it and started bashing the glass around the edges with a big rubber mallet. It came out in 3 big pieces.”

“No hard hats or safety gear. That would have been my dad!” (Andy Stowe)

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

Herbie Donnelly: ‘I believe the light didn’t fall over but was placed too close to the window. Its purpose being to live alone for parachutists to see it as they jumped in on Saturday Night At The Mill. The subsequent heat caused the glass to crack.’

Jayne Savage: ‘ I thought the safety film went on after the Birmingham bombings and because of threats to the building but maybe it was this incident.’

Richard Stevenson: ‘Many happy hours sat by those windows in the days when tea breaks were part of the drama schedule and as the trainee, you were dispatched with loose change from the camera crew to get the tea in at the time of the allotted break.’

Keith Ackrill: ‘I also think the film was added to avoid splinters after an explosion. I also believe the light was too close to the glass, but not as a guide for parachutist. I believe it was for some routine to be shot there, and the lamp was left there too long. I cannot recall any parachutist landing on the lawn after dark.’

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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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Saturday Night at the Mill – running order

Saturday Night at the Mill RG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

This is the running order for a dummy run recording of Saturday Night at the Mill in December 1976.

Saturday Night at the Mill was an entertainment show which used the Pebble Mill Foyer studio and the courtyard area, for performances. The show was presented by Donny MacLeod and Bob Langley, amongst others, and Kenny Ball and his Jazzman were the resident band.

For live studio shows there were often dummy recordings to make sure that the crew were all up to speed, and that technically the show was going to work.

Thanks to Roger Guest for sharing this running order.

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

Jane Mclean: ‘Roy Norton was the director, Roy Ronnie the producer, Margaret Walne was PA and I was on autocue. The Kenny Ball band was the house band on all the programmes. The hospitality back at the Strathallen was legendary…!’

Annie Gumbley Williams: ‘I did autocue too. Roy Norton used to shout down the head phones! Liz Silver was PA then and she trained me as PA on Sat Night at the Mill. Roy Norton producer and Keith Ackrill was Researcher or Assistant Producer? Patricia Mifflin too. Great fun.’

Susan Astle: ‘Goodness ..those were the days. Trying to get artists back for makeup checks when they would rather be in hospitality. I think we had our own, obvs! Susie Bankers’

Keith Brook (Scouse): I think I vision mixed that show. I know I did the series. After we complained that there was no hospitality food left, Roy Norton used to shoot down to the Strathallan after the show to stop the office people from scoffing the lot. They didn’t work on the show which allowed them to get there early and hoover it all up!! The gallery talkback was distributed around Telly Centre to entertain the bored troops in London.

Michael Fisher: ‘Kenny Ball was a frequent guest on the show. Am I right in thinking that the recently deceased Alvin Stardust appeared in some Pebble Mill Saturday evening shows and a special stage with a catwalk-like extension so he could strut up & down!’ http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/36299c085523447eaa4bf3fac59b4563

Raymond Lee: ‘I remember working on many of these shows. The pilot programme actually went by the title “Pebble Mill at Night”. Kenny Ball was actually the “resident” musician for the show.’

Eurwyn Jones: ‘I remember working on the series with Ron Sowton. Ginger Rogers was the guest on a show, she arrived in a massive car live in front of the foyer.’

Tim Dann: ‘I remember it as though it were yesterday!!…fantastic fun!…then all back to the ‘Strathallan Hotel’ for hospitality. I was the Designer for the first series. Those were the ‘daze!!”

Keith Ackrill: ‘Patricia Mifflin and I were the two researchers on “SNATM.” Roy Ronnie was the Executive Producer and Roy Norton the Director. We had a great crew working with us, which made the programmes so enjoyable to work on.’

Planning Office 1970s

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

This photo of the Pebble Mill Planning Office dates from the early 1970s. In the photo are Janet Collins, Margaret Barton, Harvey Frost, Julie Knee, Ruth Taylor, Carol Bond, Marjorie Bailey and Judith Markall. Pat Childs, Keith Ackrill, Jill Chatfield, Yvonne Williams, Gloria Smith, and more.

Please add a comment if you can identify any of the others.

(Thanks to Judith Markall for sharing this photo).

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

Jane Green: ‘Harvey gave me my first contract – (interview in the canteen) and was my first boss. Lovely guy. Chain smoking was compulsory in those days I think!’

Judith Markall: ‘Martina Baggott,Paula and Jean ( can’t remember their surnames). It was taken during a planning office farewell to Sally who was leaving to have her first child.Harvey Frost had a beautiful singing voice. He sang at a lot of working mans clubs over in Stoke area where he lived. He was a fantastic guy.’

Lynn Cullimore: ‘David Shute on end extreme left. All so very young!’

Eurwyn Jones:’ Wasn’t Harvey Frost a singer? Anybody remember Sally Taplin?’