A day in the life of Pebble Mill at One

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pebble Mill at One producer, Steve Weddle, gives the inside story on how the show was made.

This article was included in the Pebble Mill at One book, from the 1985-6 season (which was the final series).

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

Ellie Lacey: ‘This is priceless and sooooo Steve!’

Steve Weddle: ‘Quite frankly!!! Under pressure, or pretending to be’

Claire Chambers: ‘Very well written piece by Mr Weddle -he always was a brilliant raconteur! Great to work on happy days’

Sue Westwood: ‘I have this book somewhere. My neighbour made the cake that was featured on the last programme’

Helen O’Rahilly: ‘Steve gave me my first BBC job. He was a hoot. I ran into him, by chance, in Spain about 8 years ago. Still the same Steve!’

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Pebble Mill at One book

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

Save

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to cameraman Robin Sunderland for sharing his copy of this 1980’s Pebble Mill at One book. The front cover features presenters, Marian Foster, Bob Langley and Paul Coia, stood outside BBC Pebble Mill, whilst the back cover shows Marian in front of the Pebble Mill Heritage Tapestry, ‘Count Your Blessings’. The tapestry was very large, and was hung at one time in Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, although I remember it adorning one wall of the courtyard corridor outside Studio A at Pebble Mill in the 1990s.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Arthur Binnie – Roger Casstles

Arthur Binnie's leaving do. Photo from Jane Mclean, no reproduction without permission.

Arthur Binnie’s leaving do. Photo from Jane Mclean, no reproduction without permission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I first met Arthur in 1977 when I was on attachment to BBC Glasgow to direct a series called ‘The Energy File’ with Raymond Baxter and Michael Buerk.  Arthur was the producer drafted in from the oil capital of Britain, Aberdeen.  He and I got on very well, we shared a sense of humour and a lack of admiration for the series producer we were working for.  It was Arthur who weaned me back onto whisky – as a young man I’d had an unfortunate encounter with Uiscea Beatha – one New Year’s Eve in Kidderminster.  The host was a Scot.  I had arrived late – ‘you’ll be having a dram’ note the absence of the word ‘wee’ – I demolished the best part of a bottle of Johnnie Walker RED Label.  ‘God, you weren’t drinking that toxic shite’ said Arthur.  ‘What you need is a wee dram of the finest – The Glenlivet.’  One sip and I was cured… I have been a whisky drinker ever since.

I returned to Brum, left the BBC for a short time motivated by a lack of admiration for the Executive Producer running the department.  In 1982 I got a job as producer/director Pebble Mill at One.  There was a new Assistant Editor.  Arthur and I were re-united!

In 1984 Arthur was approaching retirement and came up with the idea that PM@1 should do a series on Singapore – where he’d served his National Service.  I got the plum job as director and off we set, for five weeks, based in Raffles Hotel – with Nicky Barfoot, Dick Bentley, Don Cooper, Norman McLeod, Ian Dewar, Nigel Evans, Andy Frizzell and Bill Youell and an effing sack truck carting a monitor (flat screen hadn’t been invented) an oscilloscope, an Ampex VPR20, and a load of car batteries…  This was at the time that Sony had just launched the BetaCam.  Crews from around the world congregated on Singapore for the annual Dragon Boat Race.  They all came equipped with their shiny new Onesies.  i.e.Betacams.  We dragged our sack truck through the sand… got it a bit wet and the VPR20 crashed.

Throughout all the challenges in the humid Far East, Arthur remained calm, supportive and was full of his memories of life in Singapore as a squaddie.  We were there with another great, late, Scotsman Donny McLeod and a wee laddie called Paul Coia.  Oh yes, and there was a contribution from Essex boy Peter Seabrook, who refused to eat anything ‘foreign’ and lived on Dunkin’ Donuts…

We returned to the UK with a great deal of satisfaction, having produced a wealth of material for the 84/85 season of PM@1.  Arthur retired later that summer.  His retirement party was a wonderfully moving occasion which I remember most for the way he delivered his farewell speech – leaning nonchalantly against a pillar in the boardroom on the 5th floor of ‘t Mill, telling it like it was, or had been, without a wee dram of bitterness or regret.  A lovely man, and although we lost contact, I shall miss him, yet treasure the memories.

Sadly, Arthur’s happy and positive retirement was overshadowed by the untimely death of Donny in September at the very young age of 52.

I was shocked to learn this week of Arthur’s death on Radio 4’s PM programme.  It not just announced the loss to the world of journalism by one of Scotland’s finest but also told a story which, in all the time I knew him, Arthur never mentioned… dear  reader you can find out more here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-35493518

Roger Casstles,
The Ancient Civil Parish of Stowe,
Shropshire”

The following messages were posted on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:

Johannah Dyer: ‘Is that Ellie Lacey (Baldwin) on the left? And Fran in the window at the back?’

Ellie Lacey: ‘Well spotted Joh! Yes, that’s me back in the very early eighties and Fran too. Arthur was a lovely and very dear man, popular with everyone – especially the girls! I was so sad to hear of his death but happy to know he had such a long life. RIP Arthur.’

Pebble Mill at One – wrap party

End of PM party at Peta's. Magnus, Paul Coia, Steph Silk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo from Maggy Whitehouse, no reproduction without permission.

This photo is from the end of run party for Pebble Mill at One, in May 1986. The party was held at Peta Newbold’s house.

Included in the photo are Magnus Magnusson, Paul Coia, Maggy Whitehouse, David Lancaster, Josephine Buchan, Bob Langley, Steve Weddle, Jane Clement, Bev Wildman (now Thompson), Steph Silk.

The last Pebble Mill at One

Magnus, Marian, Canon John Ely, Paul Coia, Michael Smith, Josephine Buchan MW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo from Maggy Whitehouse, no reproduction without permission.

Photograph of the last edition of ‘Pebble Mill at One’ in 1986, taken in Studio C, probably during rehearsal, or whilst prepping during a music number or VT insert. Included are, left to right: Magnus Magnusson, Marian Foster, Canon John Ely, Marjorie Lofthouse next to Paul Coia (seated), Michael Smith, with Josephine Buchan next to the impressive champagne pyramid! The floor manager in the foreground is Caroline Matthews.

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

Julian Hitchcock: ‘I was an AP on “On the House” at the time. However, as a mark of respect, I took part as a volunteer Floor Assistant. It was the last bit of floor management I ever did…’

Peter Poole: ‘I worked on this programme. Pebble Mill Road had crowds of viewers with placards saying “Save our Pebble Mill” . I can’t remember any other programmes getting this reaction from the public.’

Maggy Whitehouse: ‘And one of them got into the official photograph somehow. No idea how she managed it but there’s this old lady looking slightly bemused.’