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.’


Outside Broadcast – with waders

Photo from Brian Johnson, no reproduction without permission


This outside broadcast was obviously going to be a wet one, necessitating waders!

The man in the photo is Radio Links Supervisor, Billy Horne. The van is either 15 or 126, both Bedford Links Vans. According to Brian, who took the photo, Billy had just bought the waders and was persuaded to try them on.

The photograph was originally shared on the Pebble Mill Engineers Facebook group.

Thanks to Malcolm Hickman for adding information about the photograph.


James French on music OB

James French on camera, OB Botanical Gardens RSJames French on music OB Botanical Gardens, RS


















Photos by Richard Stevenson, no reproduction without permission.

The photos show the tough life of the cameraman on location!

The cameraman is James French, on a music outside broadcast at the  Birmingham Botanical Gardens, in July 1989. The top photo seems to show two of the singers rehearsing or warming up.











Rigger Driver’s Locker

Rigger driver locker MF











Photo by Martin Fenton, no reproduction without permission.

Martin took this photo in autumn 2003. It shows one of the outside broadcast rigger driver’s lockers. The driver must have had a penchant for apples, judging from the stickers. The outside broadcast department had been closed by this date.

OB truck audio equipment

Self op studio sixes MF












Photo taken in 2003 by Martin Fenton in the radio area at Pebble Mill, no reproduction without permission

This jumble of decommissioned equipment is probably the inside of one of the radio stereo control vehicles.