The Franchise Affair was a six-part drama series that went out on BBC1 on Sunday afternoon in 1988. It was directed by Leonard Lewis and starred Patrick Malahide. Much of the series was shot in Church Stretton, where all these photographs were taken. Photos by Keith Salmon and James French.
David Hughes died recently and his funeral was held on Monday 5 Dec. Here is an obituary for him from Louise and Roger Willcox, which David’s widow, Marian, is happy to be shared.
Joan Walsh, who worked in the BBC canteen in Birmingham from 1952, sadly died last week (Oct 2017), aged 93. Louise Willcox has pieced together some of information about Joan’s career, with the help of former colleagues.
Joan worked at Carpenter Road, before Pebble Mill opened in 1971, rising through the ranks to become the second in command of the canteen. Eileen Bywater was brought in as Canteen Manager and she and Joan looked after the Pebble Mill canteen office. Jenny Brewer says that she was incredibly capable, delightfully calm and a joy to deal with.
Please add a comment, if you can add any more information about Joan.
The following comment were left on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:
Judy Markall: ‘Lovely lady. Her birthday was 28th May. I have many fond memories from when she was friends with my mom and then myself.’
Anne Smith: ‘Lovely lady, have lots of good memories of working with Joan and Eileen.’
Tracy Crump: ‘Sad, worked under Eileen and knew Joan.’
Alan Ward, retired Senior Studio Manager specialising in serious music, passed away last Wednesday, 12th July 2017. He died aged 85, peacefully, at his home.
Louise Willcox remained in touch with Alan after he retired and remembers his kindness well.
“I am a generation or so behind Alan in terms of my Audio Unit career and frankly, after Alan retired and moved to the New Forest, I thought that our paths might potentially never cross again.
Spool forward 20 years: Alan’s lovely wife Rita had died, leaving him bereft. Coincidentally, my daughter Heather was being employed by DSTL for a ‘year in industry’ before university. Towards the end of that year, a mutual friend pointed out that DSTL was not far from where Alan lived, and Roger and I got in touch. We and Heather took Alan out (or rather, he took us!) for the odd meal in one of the plethora of lovely eateries around the New Forest. We kept in touch by phone and email, and a year later, when Heather was invited to spend her summer vacation continuing her work-placement, Alan stunned us by offering her accommodation at his beautifully appointed home – point blank refusing to let us pay him for it, and he’d got in touch with someone who could give her a lift into work!
Heather was a shy 20-year-old but, to my astonishment, said yes. For four years she stayed with Alan during her summer placements – by year two she could drive and she would then share the driving (probably safer), going out for meals together – Alan making great play of having a 21-year-old on his arm! He openly admitted that he had been lonely after his wife had died and that just having someone in the house (even if she was in her room on her computer all the time!) just helped. They developed a firm friendship and Roger and I visited whenever we could.
Heather ultimately got a job at DSTL after university, and we have continued to visit Alan. The last occasion was about four months ago, when it was clear Alan was becoming more frail. He had lost none of his wicked sense of humour, though!
Towards the end, Alan had full-time care at home, and was becoming more confused due to his depleted oxygen levels. I mention this only because, at one point Alan asked the family if they’d got enough XLR cables! This will bring a smile to audio unit colleagues – the A. Ward Award – for emptying OB Stores of equipment – was apocryphal! Alan’s family thought it was apt that towards the end, he was planning an OB.”
Freelance Sound Supervisor
Martin Fenton notes the frustrating realism of continuing drama:
“I’ve recently remembered two incidents which might as well be called ‘The Curse of Doctors’.
I had very little money on me on my first day at Pebble Mill, but it was alright because I’d noticed a cash machine in the front wall of Pebble Mill when I went for my interview. As you all undoubtedly know, it was a blank, installed for Doctors. Louise Willcox generously lent me a tenner just so I could get some sustenance at the tea bar. I was so embarrassed – on my first day, too!
A couple of years later, I moved to the south end of Selly Oak. I’d noticed The Mill Health Centre on Bristol Road, and made a mental note to go and register there the following Monday morning.”
You can guess the rest.
I don’t think you are alone Martin, in wanting to register at The Mill Health Centre, from talking to a couple of the Doctors’ team, I understand that a few older ladies have also thought it looks like a very nice G.P.’s surgery!