Stan Smith’s retirement party

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo from Malcolm Hickman of Stan Smith’s retirement party (circa 1983/4), which was well attended by Comms Centre staff.

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

Brian Johnson: ‘Will give it a try: Front row L to R – David Robinson, John Noble, Chris Donovan, Stan Smith, Keith Lindsey, Graham Hewitt: : Second Row L-R Shaffiq, John Nestor, Brian Johnson, Ian Gordon, Roy (Cyril) Thompson (peering over his shoulder), Glynn Benbow, Roy Winson, Jon Parker, Bob Allison, Mike Day, Fred Norton, Nigel Harris, Keith Brown, Paul Wheeldon, Derrek Smith, Malcolm Hickman,: Back Row R-L- John Malby, Phil Partridge, Guy with Glasses (??), then Graham Todd, Richard Taylor.
Can anyone fill in the (??) .

Great Photo. but what a male orientated lot we were’

Malcolm Hickman:’Guy over Roy’s shoulder is John Parker. Went to VT. Nigel Harris with beard, Keith Brown looking sideways.’

Andy Marriott: ‘Graham (on the right, with his hand on the trolley looking thing) was one of the Comms supervisors when I started.’

 

The Queen and Jim Dumighan

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim Dumighan showing the Queen around Pebble Mill in 1981.

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

Malcolm Hickman: ‘I remember it as Roy Thompson and I were on shift in the comms centre when security phoned to say they had a bomb warning. We scoured the area and found a bag under a table in the corner. We didn’t know who’s it was, so security removed it. Turned out one of our colleagues, who was not on shift, had all his cameras gear in the bag as he had been photographing the queen.’

Roy Thompson: ‘Thanks Malcolm for reminding me of that had totally forgotten it. How intrepid we were searching for the bag!!! Do you remember the other time the comms centre was “under attack”. We thought we were being shot at when a loud bang was heard and a chip mark appeared on the large toughened glass window facing the road. Turned out to be the gardener’s lawn mower throwing a stone in our direction from the front lawn. Happy days!!’

Vanity Fair, photos by Chris Glover

Paul Woolston and VPR20 videotape machine mounted on carriage

Low loader

Paul Woolston on 2CV camera car + director Mike Morris

Cherry picker. For lighting purposes I think, rather than a camera platform

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos by Chris Glover from the 1987 drama series, Vanity Fair.

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

Malcolm Hickman: ‘Paul Woolston was a real gentleman. A sad loss..’

Jane Green: ‘Yes – lovely to see Paul Woolston in this pic. I was a runner on this. Up at 3am to bus in about a hundred extras to get into costume and make up – period dress – so took hours and hours, to shoot a ball scene at the Rothschilds’ fabulous Waddesdon Manor in Bucks. Seriously hard work! Lots of tired, hot, fed up actors to placate.’

Radio WM’s Stuart Miller at the Birmingham Superprix

Photo by Rod Fawcett, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Radio WM engineer, Stuart Miller, at the controls for the coverage of the first Birmingham Superprix road race in 1986.

Thanks to Rod Fawcett for sharing the photo.

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

Andy Walters: ‘Would it surprise you to know we still have that mixer and DK monitoring unit at WM?’

Rod Fawcett: ‘Wow yes a little surprised!! But it was well built and I think flight cased to protect the gear…’

Iain Betson: ‘All standard BBC LR issue OB kit. MX6/2, DK2/21, ASC mod’ed PR99. It just worked. I know, I used it a lot!’

Andy Walters: ‘I must admit it gets little use but does still work. Must be thanks to the flightcase as my OB kit was stored in the garden shed on the car park at Pebble Mill for years.’

Malcolm Hickman: ‘Stuart was a great guy. I first met him when I was attached to P&ID building the Comms Centre in 1971. Radio Birmingham were in the building before it opened. There was no restaurant, but we had a kitchen and the lads came in to use the kettle.’

Keith Conlon: ‘Stuart was a great man when I was working for BBC Radio Birmingham then BBC Radio WM as a freelance Station Assistant. Very helpful offering advice with my live music sound mixing.’

Colin Pierpoint: ‘I worked with Stuart many times when he was in Radio OBs and I was in Radio 4 Midland continuity (previously the Midland Home Service). Afterwards when he was Radio Birmingham Engineer (later Radio WM) we cooperated one evening when there was a fault on air on Radio WM. He was at home and asked me to go into an unstaffed Radio WM Ops room, he then talked me round the equipment to make the necessary adjustments. That was in the days when the phone I was using to hear Stuart had a wire attached!’

Pete Simpkin: ‘Stuart was a real pioneer. Together we did the first…and… as far as l know…..only complete broadcasts for Radio Birmingham/WM of Sikh, Hindu, Muslim and Jewish worship on any radio station in the country….one of them live. It involved complex rigging and audio balances and observation of the customs and traditions of the various communities.’

Ray Sperry

I have received news that Ray Sperry, one of Pebble Mill’s vision crew, has died. Ray started working for the BBC in Birmingham back in the Gosta Green / Broad Street days and during the Pebble Mill period; working both on O.B.s and in the studios.  He rose to become Vision Supervisor on CM1 and CM2, and like everyone else in OBs, lost his job when Outside Broadcasts in the Midlands closed down, in 1992.

A much loved member of the crew, Ray was always convivial, professional and knowledgeable.

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

Robin Sunderland: ‘Ray was a lovely man’

Andy Frizzell: ‘I Remember Ray, as Robin says, lovely man, always a pleasant and knowledgable man. People like him are a breed that’s getting thinner on the ground in the TV industry and we’ll be all the poorer for it. ‘

Malcolm Hickman: ‘As Andy says, Ray was a great bloke. Very helpful when you were trying to put a rig in on OBs. Another good bloke gone.’