Anna of the Five Towns – photos by Willoughby Gullachsen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos by Willoughby Gullachsen, no reproduction without permission.

This 1985, 4 part drama series was directed at Pebble Mill by Martyn Friend, and produced by Colin Rogers.  John Harvey wrote the adaptation of Arnold Bennett’s novel, set in the potteries in the 1890s.  Bob Chaplin was the lighting director and Michael Edwards the production designer.  Dave Baumber recorded sound (Dave is the one with the moustache and not a lot of hair in the close up photo). Sue Bennett-Urwin was the 1st A.D., and can be seen directing in the last black and white photo. Filming took place in the Isle of Man in 1984, amongst other places.  This is where the photo of the cast and crew was taken.  The black and white photos were taken at the Black Country Museum near Dudley.

The series starred Linsey Beauchamp as Anna Tellwright, Emrys James as Ephraim Tellwright, Peter Davison as Henry Mynors, Anton Lesser as Willie Price and Anna Cropper as Mrs Sutton.

I believe that Anna of the Five Towns was the first location drama at Pebble Mill to be recorded single camera on video tape.  Please add a comment if you can confirm this, or can identify people in the photo of the cast and crew.

Group picture – either side of Jim Clelland (2nd on the left) are Dick Bentley (OB Lighting) and Ray Sperry (Engineer). Joyce Hawkins (Costume), Sally Englebach (Design) and Lesley Perry (Make-up) in the centre amongst others. Paul Woolston (Senior Cameraman) on right and also on camera in the tracking shot.  From costume Terry Powell, Mark Ridley,  Sally Pearson who sadly is not with us any more,  Rachel Selby.  The chap with the bald head and the moustache is Dave Baumber (sound), next to him is editor Ivor Williams and Steve Neilsen.  Infront of Dave, I think is P.A. Sally Daniels.

(Thanks to Dave Bushell, Terry Powell, Stuart Gandy, Jane Clement, Annie Gumbley and Russell Parker for their help in identifying people).

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Poldark Cast and Crew

Thanks to Paul Balmer for this photo of the cast and crew of Poldark, taken in Pebble Mill Studio A circa 1975.  Pushing the sound booms around on Poldark was Paul’s first job in television; he is on the back row on the extreme right.  The series was filmed on both location and in studio, where it was recorded ‘as live’.  It was produced in London, but ‘hosted’ by Pebble Mill, using Birmingham crews and facilities.  The crew included designers Gavin Davis and Michael Edwards, cameraman Michael Williams, John Gilbert on sound and make-up artist Maggie Thomas.

The series went out between 1975-77, and starred Angharad Rees, Robin Ellis, Jill Townsend, Paul Curran, Mary Wimbush, Judy Geeson, Ralph Bates, Clive Francis, Hugh Dickson and Richard Morant.  The drama was set in Cornwall and included mining, smuggling and shipwrecks!

Oliver White (Editor) – His Unreliable Memoirs – TV Studio Skills

Studio Skills

There were wonderful ‘studio skills’.  I remember being at Gosta Green in 1962 and seeing a chap turn a polystyrene column into a satisfactory tree in under 30 seconds, with a soldering iron, and an aerosol.  And how disappointed the public were by the Henry VII costume exhibition.  There was a wide strip of Copydex glue down the front of one dress, with pearls every twelve inches or so.  The costume lady knew the pearls would show up, but not the adhesive… Wide aperture lenses, so the background was the background!  Michael Edwards wonderful set for ‘Great Expectations’ sticks in my memory.