Elisabeth Seaborne

Elisabeth Seaborne, who worked in the Newsroom and in the Asian Unit, sadly died in January 2018.

Below are memories from those who worked with Elisabeth:

Diane Kemp: ‘I remember her from my days at Midlands Today. I always thought she was probably better read and more clued up than many of us (well certainly me). I also remember her telling me about working for Philip Donellan and Charles Parker. A direct link to two phenomenal documentary makers.
I’m sorry to hear she’s passed away.’

Carol Wilson: ‘When I knew her she was the camera diary supremo at Midlands Today. She seemed to know just about everyone. Sadly she became ill with MS and was incapacitated for most of her later years.’

Janet Collins: ‘Elisabeth also worked as Comms Clerk in the Planning Office’

Midlands Today newsroom

Photo from Jonathan Dick, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Midlands Today newsroom at Pebble Mill from the early nineties.

Cathy Houghton in the foreground and David Davies in the background, at BBC Pebble Mill, Birmingham. The computer system was BASYS, which Cathy apparently excelled at!

Thanks to Jonathan Dick for sharing the photo.

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

Malcolm Hickman: ‘As a Comms engineer, we sometimes had to see Gwen Smith when there had been a problem with the Saturday results feed. Her bark was always greater than her bite. When you got it wrong, she gave you a tongue lashing, when it went right, she sent out a hero gram. A lovely lady.’

Jane Partridge: ‘I remember when Phil was doing a Saturday Comms shift and I was away (possibly at Guide Camp in those days) he took our eldest daughter into work with him, she was 5 at the time (so 1989-90) and he was heavilly involved in setting up the BAYSIS system. She was used to using the BBC Model B computer we had at home, so going into the newsroom with him, she perched on a stool and was happily occupied tapping away on a keyboard…. the report I got was that there was a newsroom of open-mouthed journalists nervously attempting what this 5 year old didn’t bat an eyelid at.’

Diane Kemp: ‘I remember when BASYS came in. There were some ‘super users’ who taught the rest of us. Jane Green was one, I think??’

Comms fast response Land Rover

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the Comms fast response Land Rover, just leaving the Pebble Mill car park. I presume it would have been used on news.

Thanks to Stuart Gandy for sharing this photo, which was originally posted on the Pebble Mill Engineers Facebook group.

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

Malcolm Hickman: ‘As the name suggests, it didn’t require much setting up. The pump up mast had a microwave transmitter that could inject programmes into the receiver up the mast at Sutton Coldfield or another mid point, then by line to the Comms Centre for recording or passing on to London. One person operated, just plug the camera feed into it and go.’

Jackie Cross: ‘I loved the FRV as the shortest member of the department (until the arrival of Charlotte) I was the only one who could sit comfortably in it. It was two ‘man’ operated for a long period, so as the trainee I drove the land rover while the engineer arrived on site in their car, the looks I used to get as a 5’4″ 21 year old with long blonde hair, knocked a few stereotypes!’

Andrew Willetts: ‘In the mid 90’s it became BBC East Midlands first OB vehicle, was based at York House, Mansfield Road and fired 7GHz microwave signals into the Bardon Hill receive site (now decommissioned) near Loughborough. A great introduction to Links vehicles for me. It did 70mph… just and the MPG was always in single figures, gotta love a Land Rover V8.’

Simon Calkin: ‘It was a pig to get the gearbox to do the necessary once you were on site, and by 1994 the stabs were horribly corroded and difficult to get out then back in again. That said, used for many a Midlands Today (sic) News O.B. I did squillions but the FRV one that sticks in my mind for no good reason is the one I did at Rolls Royce in Derby with Mike Barratt.’

Andy Marriott: ‘Is it roughly the same design as the ‘FART’ that Northwest Tonight had in Manchester? Or were they dreamt up separately?’

Malcolm Hickman: ‘I don’t think there was a standard design. We did build one in a Renault Civic van though.’

Andy Marriott: ‘I only ever saw pictures of the one in Manchester. But it seemed to be of a very similar design and they were both around at the same time.

The FART has since earned a reputation as a bit of a ‘widow maker’ as some of Manchester comms engineers that worked on it have subsequently died from various cancers and the like.’

Malcolm Hickman: ‘I just remembered, the land rovers were built by a firm in Birmingham to a design by TCPID.’

Roger Casstles reminisces about BBC Pebble Mill

Specially shot video of Roger Casstles talking about why BBC Pebble Mill was a special place. The video is recorded on Pebble Mill Road, overlooking the site where Pebble Mill stood, and is now a dental hospital. Roger mentions some of the productions that came from Pebble Mill, like Pebble Mill at One, Midlands Today, The Archers, as well as the Midland Radio Orchestra, and being a centre for drama, but tells us that the really important thing was how people worked together, for instance post production working across all productions and the way that Graphics and Set Design departments collaborated with production. Roger Casstles was the creator and producer of The Clothes Show, the fashion magazine series which ran from the 1986-2000.

(The video was shot by BCU Media graduate, Ash Connaughton, with me, (Vanessa Jackson) asking the questions).

Roger Casstles at the site of Pebble Mill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Andy Frizzell: ‘Had some great shoots with Roger in many countries around the world. As always talking a lot of sense. We were all saddened by the closing of ‘The Mill’.

Claire Chambers: ‘As Roger would say “ why answer a question with one word when thousands will do” ! Very well said’

Linda Hearn-Clapham: ‘Very happy memories of recording Hartbeat and The Movie Game at Pebble Mill in the 90’s!’

News VT Library

Copyright Steve Johnson, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This photo shows the News VT library at Pebble Mill in the late 1990s. The VT library would have catalogued and housed tapes of stock shots and continuing news stories for Midlands Today.

Thanks to Steve Johnson for sharing it. Steve moved from working on the hotline of Good Morning with Anne and Nick to the News VT library, after the series ended in 1996.

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