When the Queen visited Pebble Mill

With the sad death of the Queen, I was reminded of her 1981 visit to Pebble Mill. This was to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the building. Here are a couple of shots of her visit to Pebble Mill at One. Pebble Mill at One deputy editor, Jim Dumighan showed her around.

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The Queen visiting the Pebble Mill at One foyer studio in 1981. Photo from Keith Brook.

 

The Queen visiting Pebble Mill in 1981

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

Stephen Hawkins: My Mother, Joyce Hawkins, who was Head of the Costume Department, has asked me to state that “In advance of the Queens visit HM named one person she would like to meet. That person was George Collins, a dresser in the costume dept. Much to the genuine surprise of everyone. They had a private conversation.

David Short: I had just joined Pebble Mill as a camera assistant and worked on the Royal visit.

Norman McLeod: Fortunate to be presented in Radio Studio 1. Charmed as everyone was. Palpable memories still treasured together with the pictures, which I am still searching for! Requiescat in Pace.

Harold Rich: As she passed me and my musicians she turned and said “Are you the backing?”

Pebble Mill Blue Plaque

 

On Wednesday 8 September 2021 a BBC Heritage Trail blue plaque was unveiled on the site of BBC Pebble Mill, now a rehabilitation hospital, to commemorate the building and all the fantastic programmes that were created there. A small number of former BBC staff attended the ceremony. The plaque was unveiled by Midlands Today presenter, Nick Owen, who presented the last ever news programme from the broadcast centre.

Included in the photographs are:

  1. Annie Gumbley Williams, Jim Dumighan
  2. ?, Nick Owen
  3. Ken Pollack, Nick Owen
  4. Ken Pollack, Ivor Williams, John Duckmanton
  5. Norman McLeod, John Williams, Nick Owen
  6. Annie Gumbley Williams, Nick Owen, Jenny Brewer

Memories of the VPR20 – Norman McLeod

(Norman McLeod remembers the following incident involving the VPR20, a portable 1″ recorder)

Nigel Evans and Ian Dewar spent 3 days and nights trying to repair the beast in Raffles Hotel Singapore – a ‘Pebble Mill at One’ Summer shoot in 1984 with Donny MacLeod, Paul Coia, Peter Seabrook. Eventually, an Ampex engineer was diverted from Malaysia with chips. The then Video Manager refused to let us take one of the new-fangled Beta portables as back up, so we had to borrow a Singapore TV VHS for the first part of the month. Don Cooper was camera, Roger Casstles directed, Arthur Binnie producer, Nicky Barfoot prodn. asst. Dick Bentley E.M. All our credit cards (especially Dick’s) were hammered to pay for facilities not covered by production – especially the Tiger beer.

Also used on Loch Ness on a Scottish adventure with John Smith – Whisky distillery at dawn: and the “Sealink Cycle Race” with Norman Steemson sitting in the boot of a Rover hatchback from the Isle of Wight to Sheffield.

Norman McLeod