Lynda Kettle talks about Howards Way in Hampshire Life

Production designer, Lynda Kettle, gave an interview to Hampshire Life for the January 2017 edition, about her work on the 1980’s drama series, Howards’ Way. Here is an excerpt from the article:

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

Storyboard of the Xandu

Photos from Lynda Kettle of the Xandau scenes

Photo from Lynda Kettle of the Xanadu tank sequence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the whole article click on this link:

http://www.hampshire-life.co.uk/people/meeting-set-designer-lynda-kettle-1-4852122?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social_Icon&utm_campaign=in_article_social_icons

Save

Save

Save

Lynda Kettle reflects on designing Howards’ Way

Production designer, Lynda Kettle was recently interviewed by Hampshire Life, about designing on the popular drama series, Howards’ Way. Here is an excerpt from the article.

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

For the full article, please click on the link below:

http://www.hampshire-life.co.uk/people/meeting-set-designer-lynda-kettle-1-4852122?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social_Icon&utm_campaign=in_article_social_icons

Howards’ Way, Vanessa’s lounge designed by Lynda Kettle. Photo by Lynda Kettle.

Howards’ Way, Mermaid Yard, designed by Lynda Kettle. Photo by Lynda Kettle.

Save

The following comment was left on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:

Jason Dean: “Howard’s Way seemed so fresh, classy and groundbreaking at the time – a real highlight of the tv week for me. Filming coincided with a spell I had working in the newsroom as a reporter for Midlands Today and during my lunch break I used to enjoy sneaking into a viewing area above the Howard’s Way studio to watch them filming on set. It seemed memorising. And of course it was great to bump into the actors in the canteen on the top floor too.”

Multicultural Programmes from BBC Birmingham

Photo by Lynda Kettle, described as 'Asian Music and Dance

Photo by Lynda Kettle, described as ‘Asian Music and Dance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a list of some of the multicultural programmes produced at BBC Birmingham, from before and during the Pebble Mill period. The list is included in a document housed in the BBC Written Archives at Caversham.

Apna Hi Ghar Samajhiye

(Make Yourself at Home) Radio – Home Service 1965

http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/0d248bbb13934a6293989ac1744ede8b

Made at Gosta Green and introduced by Aley Hasan

 

Nai Zindagi-Naya Jeevan

http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/799760c890544c27a9f408fafcd77784

BBC1 Sunday morning programme (late 1960s-early 1970s) which is roughly translated as ‘New Life’ (ran for 14 years)

 

Gharbar

http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/17f97d1ad04e484e9d403bfb27004555

BBC1&2, Women’s magazine show, transmitted on Wednesday mornings from 1977-87

 

Asian Magazine

BBC1 Sunday mornings 1983-87

http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/f3b01c62804743388df183a729484ef3

New Life and Gharbar then became one programme in the early 1980s, called Asian Magazine, which then became Network East

 

Network East

BBC1&2 Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings (1987-2003)

http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/c0918d9079d8460488d012c3c1d7e000

 

Ebony

http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/34a20f1624ad4a57bc6873ca1f0c3c6b

BBC2, 1983-1990, Afro-Carribean Magazine

 

Behind the Beat

http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/a05e0e41e87c4754a00599de8a0c3fba

BBC2, 1988-9, Music Programme

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

Keith Brook (aka Scouse):”‘Nai Zindagi-Naya Jeevan’ was the Urdu and Hindi for ‘New Way -New Life’ but was generically called ‘New Life’. It wasn’t renamed, it stayed like that into the 80s.

I worked on it as a cameraman, of course, but I also did a year or so directing it.

It was great fun, if a little disorganised. Getting everyone from our side into the studio was a little like herding cats.

Still, the real upside was that Ashok Rampal, Saleem Shahed and Mahendra Kaul and I were frequently invited to Indian and Pakistani houses for ‘real’ curries. Absolutely delicious!!

The best one was Madhur Jaffrey’s rather swish place. Best food of all!!

Still, I got a lot of pleasure out of it because it was a programme FOR Asians rather than about. At that time there were many elderly relatives who couldn’t speak English and it was their half hour of entertainment. For that reason alone, it was a delight.

I had the same feeling of fulfillment when I did a stretch on Open University. There wasn’t a big audience for each course, but every programme had an RI of 100%.

Still, every programme we did in Pebble Ill was fulfilling and it was a joy to work with such talented people.”

Terry Barker: “I worked for Nahrendra Morar as his PA from 92 to 94 and remember the diversity of programmes that came out of the multicultural department then. Charles Bruce and Farah Durrani made some terrific documentaries. Had a great time.”

Bridget Catherine Vaughan: “My first staff post, after 2 years of “temping” was in Asian Unit with Lisa Sommerville, Chris Hardman, Jayne Savage…..fab time”

Simon Edwards: “I recall working as camera assistant on the titles (on 16mm) for a programme called “All Black”. Not sure if that was a working title but it would have been early 90’s. We shot some of it in the studio at the Mill and then locations in London. Chris Weaver was the lighting cameraman and Wilfred E-J directed it.”

Keith Brook: “‘Nai Zindagi-Naya Jeevan’ was the Urdu and Hindi for ‘New Way -New Life’ but was generically called ‘New Life’. It wasn’t renamed, it stayed like that into the 80s.

I worked on it as a cameraman, of course, but I also did a year or so directing it.

It was great fun, if a little disorganised. Getting everyone from our side into the studio was a little like herding cats.

Still, the real upside was that Ashok Rampal, Saleem Shahed and Mahendra Kaul and I were frequently invited to Indian and Pakistani houses for ‘real’ curries. Absolutely delicious!!

The best one was Madhur Jaffrey’s rather swish place. Best food of all!!

Still, I got a lot of pleasure out of it because it was a programme FOR Asians rather than about. At that time there were many elderly relatives who couldn’t speak English and it was their half hour of entertainment. For that reason alone, it was a delight.

I had the same feeling of fulfillment when I did a stretch on Open University. There wasn’t a big audience for each course, but every programme had an RI of 100%.

Every programme we did in Pebble Milll was fulfilling and it was a joy to work with such talented people.”

Save

Pebble Mill Peelable

 

Two Point 4 Children, photo and design by Lynda Kettle

Two Point 4 Children, photo and design by Lynda Kettle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A special paint was developed to paint on the floor of Studio A, the television drama studio – it was called ‘Pebble Mill peelable’ and was available commercially.

The following comments were posted on the Pebble Mill Facebook Page, about this special paint, what it did, and whether it was a good thing – or not!

Raymond Lee: ‘Before Pebble Mill peelable the studio floor was painted in water based paints, which ran if anything got spilt on them. Also it required a day between productions to wash the studio floor and let it dry, before the next painting could take place. One of the downsides of of the peelable paint was that after a number of layers the floor became quite uneven, so tracking shots became increasingly wobbly! I’m fairly sure it was only used in Studio A, and not the foyer. A base coat was put on the studio floor, which involved closing the studio for a couple of days. The fumes were quite pungent. Then the special floor paint was used to create the required floor using rollers, as previously. When a new drama went in the next floor scene was just painted on top. This continued for a number of productions, and then the paint was peeled off a bit like lino back to the base layer.’

Lynn Cullimore: ‘Yes, I remember it and it was a company headed by a man called Terry Field – I would think he is long retired now. It was really rated apparently. I knew Terry as he was a friend of John Woods in the press office when I then worked. They did use it in Studio A I believe but I am not sure if they did in the foyer.’

Guy Heselden: ‘The paint used at the London studios sounds similar. It goes on with a roller and can be touched up or painted over as and when and then when required gets washed off back to the bare brown coloured studio floor, ready for a new coat of paint!’

Gerry King: ‘Pebble Mill Peelable existed for many years totally dependent on Pebble Mill studios for income. They had premises on the Hagley Road close to the Plough & Harrow. For the life of me I cannot remember the name of their MD.’

Keith Brook (Scouse): ‘It was the most awful invention ever to fall on the lovely lino floors of Studio A. The original water paint system could be sucked up immediately after the sets had been removed and the new floor painted soon after. That system had the added effect of cleaning the floor and so we were left with a smooth surface to do our famous tracking shots. Pebble Mill Peelable often had it’s thick base coat put down without the floor being cleaned first. To add insult to injury, subsequent layers weren’t cleaned off either and the build- up was horrific. Many of the camera crew carried a Stanley knife and cut out the offending items which annoyed the manager who had introduced the paint. A short lecture on camerawork shut him up until the next time he wanted to flex his muscles.’

Nanny

Nanny 13 JR

Nanny S3 1 JR

Nanny series 3 1982-3 JR

Nanny Series 3 Wendy Craig JR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Nanny, was a BBC drama series, starring Wendy Craig. It was set in 1930s England. There were three series of ten episodes each, transmitted in 1981, ’82 and ’83. Pebble Mill hosted the third series, although I don’t know if the first two series were made in Birmingham or London.

These photos are from the third series.

Thanks to costume designer, Janice Rider for sharing the photos.

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

Eurwyn Jones: “I worked on most of the series and if I remember rightly they started in the 30s through to WW2 into the forties. I believe it was all done at Pebble Mill. Joy Pugh was Wendy Craig’s dresser. It was hosted by Pebble Mill for Drama, Series and Serials London. I have some pics somewhere myself.”

Susie Astle (Bankers): “I was the make up designer on one of the series done from Pebble mill. Samantha was Wendy’s assistant. Carole Brady, Linda, Lesley Weaver and more worked on the show when we had lots of extras. It was a nice series to work on with a lovely cast and crew.”
Lynda Kettle: “Margaret Peacock was the designer, I was her art director on some of them and I designed one of the episodes.”