All Memories Great & Small – part 3 Les Podraza

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpt from “All Memories Great & Small” by Oliver Crocker

Memories from Les Podraza (Scene Hand)

‘I walked into the Beeb and the receptionist said they didn’t have any jobs, so I said “If you don’t mind, I’ll sit here until you’ve got one…” I sat in Pebble Mill reception for three days! Eventually the personnel manager came down and said “You’re keen aren’t you?” I explained I didn’t want to “work” for a living, I wanted be part of the entertainment industry… Half an hour later, I had a job at the BBC! I joined the staff scene crew and the first major production I worked on was The Brothers. I did five of the seven series of All Creatures, it was brilliant to work on, they were really good times.’

All Memories Great & Small is available to preorder now from Miwk – http://bit.ly/2d7p5ts

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

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Fighting Back – Radio Times

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

fighting-back-radio-times-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fighting Back, was a 5 part drama on BBC1, transmitted in 1986, starring Hazel O’Connor, as Viv. It featured on the front of the Radio Times, as well as a feature inside.

Here is the entry from the Radio Times, from the BBC Genome project:

“Fighting Back by GARETH JONES
The first of a five-part serial based on an idea by VICTORIA HINE
Viv Sharpe hurtles down the motorway, kids in tow, towards the Bristol she used to call home. Not only has
Bristol changed, but Viv finds no one wants to know her and there’s nowhere to go. Is this the start of Viv the vagrant? Or can she keep fighting back?
Incidental music PAUL JONES, Script editor BETH PORTER, Lighting DICK BENTLEY, Designer ROB HINDS, Producer CHRIS PARR, Director PAUL SEED. BBC Pebble Mill”

http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/d3665caef0db4a94a441b93945661e10

Thanks to Beth Porter, who was the script editor, for sharing the stills.

Beth Porter’s (long and amusing) autobiography Walking on my Hands, is available for a couple of pounds on Kindle, on the link below. Chapter 12 includes Beth’s adventures with the BBC.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Walking-My-Hands-responsibility-Streisand-ebook/dp/B01DUWNSRQ/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1460027101&sr=8-3&keywords=kindle+Beth+Porter

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

Jane Green: ‘This was the first thing I ever worked on – as a work experience floor assistant with Gareth Williams I think. I had to look after Hazel. Can’t print what she did here !!! But goodness me. What memories. Feb 1986.’

John Greening: ‘I was assistant floor manager…’

Susan Astle: ‘I was the make up designer on it, goodness so long ago! And before Derek Thompson became so famous!’

Les Podraza: ‘I think the filming was in Bristol for a month. I was on the crew. Fab times!!!’

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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

Don Pinchbeck

Don Pinchbeck

Don Pinchbeck

Don, in the centre

Don, in the centre

Children in Need: Jason (postroom) (left), Marie Phillips (Children in Need Organiser) (centre) next to Don

Children in Need: Jason (postroom) (left), Marie Phillips (Children in Need Organiser) (centre) next to Don

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My dad, Don Pinchbeck, worked at Pebble Mill between 1977-2001 as a Studio Attendant, he absolutely loved working for BBC Pebble Mill, he always had great stories about stars that he’d seen and the lovely people he worked with, unfortunately he passed away on 27 Dec 2015 aged 80, a great dad, husband and grandad, much loved and missed. His funeral will be taking place at St Edwards Church, Selly Park on Wed 20 Jan 2016 at 9.30am.

My dad worked at the BBC from retired in 2001 (though he really didn’t want to) he was always based at Pebble Mill, the shows I know he worked on were:

Pebble Mill at One

Telly Addicts

Basil Brush Show

I can’t remember if he worked on the Clothes Show, I know he worked on a similar show with John Leslie hosting it.

The Alan Titchmarsh show

Maybe Top Gear

Children in Need

He mentioned lots of celebrities over the years, probably when Pebble Mill at One was still on, Barry Manilow, Joan Collins, Roger Moore, the stars from the shows above and lots of others.  He received lots of commendations for his hard work over the years which my mom kept.  He took me to a few staff kid’s Christmas parties at the BBC, we went to see Basil Brush a few times, we attended an open day they had for the public in the early 90’s I remember which are great and we went in the audience a few times at Children in Need.  He was very hard working, dad to 5, grandad to 3, great grandad to 2.  He lived in Selly Oak all his life, so he loved working locally and for the Beeb as he called it.

Catherine Pinchbeck

(The show that Catherine mentions, presented by John Leslie, would have been Style Challenge).

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

Les Podraza: ‘I remember Don very well. A great charachter and hard working part of Studio A. Always ready to muck in and help out. So sad he has now departed this world. ‘

Richard Smith: ‘Sad to learn of Don’s death. A lovely, friendly and hard working man, would do anything to help you. Many happy times with him in House Services. In the photos are Jason Edwards, Robert Pash, Alan Evans, Billy Gardner, Frank Barber and Marie Phillips. Condolences to Don’s family.’

Donald Steel: ‘I remember Don very well and with fondness – always the same always cheerful. It was a great gang in those days everybody helped you. So very sorry to hear of his passing.’

Marie Phillips: ‘The group photo was my retirement party in March 1998. Don was not fond of “does”so I was thrilled he and the rest of “my lads” came along. I honestly could not have done so many events for Children in Need without the enthusiasm and often out of hours help given by Don and all of them. He and they were a breed apart and I was forever grateful. Fond memories Don.’

Gill Thompson: ‘I worked with Don looking after the audiences at Pebble Mill, a lovely man and excellent at his job, always smiling and very professional.’

Mary Sanchez: ‘I remember him well from my Pebble Mill days – always really nice and friendly. I also used to see him out and about around Selly Park and we’d wave .’

 

 

Howards’ Way 30 years anniversary

Howard's Way MH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.’