Cliff Richard with Marie Phillips


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

The photo is of Cliff Richard with Marie Phillips, the ‘Children in Need’ co-ordinator for the Midlands Region, who was retiring. Cliff was a regular supporter of ‘Children in Need’ charities, and often took time out of his schedule to do charity work for Marie, whenever he was up in Birmingham for shows like ‘Pebble Mill’.

Marie adds the following information:

‘Cliff was recording ‘Call my Bluff’ and my friends including Royston Horsley, made sure I was in the audience, which I was thrilled about of course. At the end of the recording lovely Royston made sure I stayed in my seat and Cliff came into the audience holding a single red rose and a signed card saying, “Someone is retiring” I squeaked “It’s Me !” He handed me the rose and card – AND a Kiss, took my hand and led me onto the Studio Floor for lots of photos to be taken of me and him. There you are – fifteen years ago and I remember every detail. I still have the rose and card.’

Children in Need – Cliff Richard

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Copyright Marie Phillips, no reproduction without permission.

The photos show Cliff Richard at a Children in Need charity publicity event in 1991. The charity concerned is PHAB, an organisation which promotes people of all abilities coming together on equal terms; it is completely inclusive.

Cliff Richard is pictured with Midlands Children in Need co-ordinator, Marie Phillips.

Thanks to Marie for making the photos available.

Here is Marie’s memory of the day:

‘Being Cliff’s No.1 fan this was a great day for me !! PHAB – Physically Handicapped and Abled Bodied – were given a grant to continue with providing holidays and activities integrating handicapped and able bodied children. Cliff was recording a “Special” and I had previously asked him, via his Secretary, if he would present the cheque on our behalf. He readily agreed as he was President of PHAB then. I invited PHAB to come in during the lunch break but they did not know who was presenting the cheque as Cliff wanted no publicity. I was to wait outside the Studio for him – rehearsals ran late and he sent his lovely assistant, Roger Bruce, to apologise and wait with me – what a gent ! Cliff gave his entire lunch break to hand over the cheque and chat with the group and pose for photos. Their faces when he appeared is something I will always remember. I have to add that whenever Cliff came to Pebble Mill he always willingly, did something for CIN and visited and opened several projects for me.’

Staff Christmas Dinner

Serving Staff Christmas Dinner

Serving Staff Christmas Dinner













Photo from Marie Phillips, no reproduction without permission.

At the annual BBC Pebble Mill Staff Christmas Dinner the management team would take on the role of serving the staff, so that the catering staff could also enjoy their dinner.  The photo shows Marie Phillips, who worked as personal assistant to the Head of Personnel, in her Union Flag apron at the end of the Christmas Dinner. Marie Phillips went on to be the ‘Children in Need’ co-ordinator for the Midlands in the 1990s.

Together with Marie, is Julie Myslowska, from Personnel.

The Christmas dinner was an occasion for staff to let off steam, and the odd food fight did break out!

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

Nicola Silk: ‘I remember a food fight, poss ’94 or ’95 when a sprout landed in Denis Gartside’s ear… I was merely an onlooker.’

Marie Phillips: ‘Of course you were Nicola !! It was the crusty cobs that were most lethal. I cannot think of a better place for a sprout to land.’

Pebble Mill Nursery – 1st Birthday











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

Press cutting from the internal BBC Midland Newsletter, about the first birthday of the Pebble Mill Nursery, circa 1990.  The Nursery was based in the sports pavilion on the Bristol Road, just round the corner from the main Pebble Mill site.  It catered for around 20 children of BBC staff.  The Nursery had a really good reputation and some excellent staff.  Consequently it had a long waiting list and was quite difficult to get a place.  It was difficult to establish, and I think was the idea of Bridget Allen in Personnel.

Thanks to Marie Phillips for making the cutting available.

The following comments were added on the Pebble Mill Facebook Group:

Chris Marshall: ‘That’s my little boy! Now 25 and running an artists’ cooperative and gallery in Newcastle. The nursery gave such a tremendous start to both my boys and I remember the staff with great affection: so kind and patient (even when I was late collecting!). Thanks so much for this – very happy memories!’

Ruth Barretto: ‘I think Kimberly Palmer was Jean Palmer’s daughter who worked in Finance and Jodie Mawson is Wendy Mawson’s daughter (she works in Drama).. I must find the picture of David Waine, Pauline (who ran the nursery) and me and Elena. She opened the nursery back in 1989.’

Marie Phillips: ‘I know I have said it before, b ut the Nursery would not have existed without the efforts of Bridget Allen, Senior Personnel Officer. You wouldn’t believe the work she put into the project and it was a stroke of genius when she chose Pauline to run it. Bridget left the BBC when she had completed the Nursery and unfortunately, others got the glory for its inception – something I always thought unjust. It was brilliant and such a boon for so many Mums (and Dads!).’

Children in Need Knitting Pattern

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

‘Children in Need’ has had all kinds of merchandise over the years.  This ‘Children in Need’ knitting pattern dates from around 1987.

Thanks to Marie Phillips, former Pebble Mill ‘Children in Need’ co-ordinator.