Steve Weddle by John Williams

Daytime Live special 1990, ‘My Name is Jane’, audience photo. Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The whole country is in a state of shock, but shock associated with the sudden loss of losing someone close concentrates the mind wonderfully and I recognise all the comments that have poured out on Facebook regarding Steve Weddle’s death. They do tick all the boxes. This is what happened to me when our son had a stroke and ended up in Worcester hospital fighting for his life.  As a therapy I used the time to write, “Shoot First No Ordinary life,” the story of my BBC career at Pebble Mill which many of you have read.

What a character Steve was and yes taken far too young, for he had much more to offer this life. There were things about him I could never get my head round, like rushing off to London with only the flimsiest of reasons to find time with Hot Spurs or some name like that. There were his books of course, and BBC pensioners meeting every month will certainly not be the same without him, especially as he always dominated the Raffle presentations. But there was much more to this larger than life character than meets the eye, especially for me personally.

As editor of Daytime Live behind all the facade and bonhomie was someone who was deep, showed great courage in his work, often moving where many ‘feared to tread’, even prepared to gamble. Continue reading

The Queen and Jim Dumighan

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim Dumighan showing the Queen around Pebble Mill in 1981.

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

Malcolm Hickman: ‘I remember it as Roy Thompson and I were on shift in the comms centre when security phoned to say they had a bomb warning. We scoured the area and found a bag under a table in the corner. We didn’t know who’s it was, so security removed it. Turned out one of our colleagues, who was not on shift, had all his cameras gear in the bag as he had been photographing the queen.’

Roy Thompson: ‘Thanks Malcolm for reminding me of that had totally forgotten it. How intrepid we were searching for the bag!!! Do you remember the other time the comms centre was “under attack”. We thought we were being shot at when a loud bang was heard and a chip mark appeared on the large toughened glass window facing the road. Turned out to be the gardener’s lawn mower throwing a stone in our direction from the front lawn. Happy days!!’

Bros at Pebble Mill

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some excerpts from an article published in the Birmingham Mail on 26th Jan 2019, following the screening of the BBC documentary about the band Bros, When the Screaming Stops:

“Teenage twins Luke and Matt Goss were less than a month short of turning 20 years old when they arrived at BBC Pebble Mill by helicopter.

They were adorned with their trademark slicked back hair, fake tans, selfie-style poses and some very 80s’ clothing – the perfect pop package.

Their mission? To switch on Radio 1’s new FM signal in the Midlands in front of hundreds of screaming fans…….

Luke and Matt Goss were joined by fellow band member Craig Logan when they arrived at BBC Pebble Mill on Thursday, September 1, 1988….

Hundreds of young, screaming girls besieged Pebble Mill were the group was paying a flying visit by helicopter to officially inaugurate the new service.

Behind the scenes, twins Matt and Luke Goss said they had performed the switch on simply because they had been invited.”

The whole article can be read here:

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/nostalgia/bros-came-birmingham-fabulous-pictures-15692764

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

Laura McNeill: ‘Brilliant picture, I remember their visit and being in the foyer to do something with them but then my memory fails me.’

Gordon Astley: I had just interviewed them upstairs at WM.’

Keith Butler: I remember it well, we also had Kylie Minogue at the Mill within a few weeks of this. Virtually no one was outside for her……… who’s the bigger star now, lol.’

Jean Palmer: ‘I remember that day very well. I was having an interview for a prop buyer when all you could hear where screaming girls and them going over and over their song. I didn’t get that job it was a fix.’

Simon Tooley: ‘I remember that day… doing a hand held camera at the railings to film the screaming fans. Unfortunately, only about 3 fans showed up, which I had to make look like a crowd!’

Gary Hudson: ‘There is a sequence in the documentary which I think shows this visit. Either that or the Pebble Mill backdrop is a CGI alternative to the pyros (for those who’ve seen the doco).’

Tony Newbury

Photo of Tony Newbury and the late Geoff Watts, by Ian Collins, circa 1972. No reproduction without permission.

Photo by John Williams, circa 1974. No reproduction without permission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tony Newbury died 20thDec 2018 at the Q.E. Hospital.

The following information about Tony is from John Duckmanton, who was a friend of Tony’s since the early 1970s.

Tony was an electronics engineer, he was in the armed forces before he joined the BBC. He worked at the BBC in the 1960s at Carpenter Rd and Broad St, and then at Pebble Mill. He was an inventive and very practical man who built a house in Evesham with Geoff Watts. This gave him a taste for building, and so he left the BBC and became a builder, building bungalows and houses in West Midlands. Tony was a very strong man. There was a fireplace in the Evesham house which needed to be taken upstairs, about 6 of his friends, including John came round and carried it upstairs, when it was up there Tony just put it under one arm and carried it into the bedroom, as if it weighed almost nothing. He was also famous for his tables. He felt that the legs were always in the wrong place, and therefore designed a table with no legs, which was cantilevered from the wall –and incredibly strong.

John remembers an occasion when Tony built a talkback box in the early days of wireless talkback. He was given a talkback in a flimsy plastic box with batteries that lasted around 30mins and asked to rebuild it. As with many things he over specced the modification, ending up with a much bigger box about the size of a house brick, but it was much more robust and with very long-lasting batteries. On another occasion the problem was an insufficiently bright programme countdown clock, when Tony had finished with it, there were complaints that it was too bright and causing reflections on everything!

When Tony worked at the studios in Broad Street he had an old mini whose sliding windows made it very easy to break into. Tony’s solution was to install a fuel switch under the front seat, so that if it wasn’t pressed the fuel supply would cut out after a few hundred yards. He would regularly go searching for it close to Broad Street, if it wasn’t where he’d parked it, as the thieves never found the fuel switch. Once he couldn’t find it, but the police found it a few days later, but said to him that they couldn’t get it started!

Tony had a kidney removed about 20yrs ago but carried on as strong as ever. Several years back, he had problems with the other kidney and needed regular dialysis, however he didn’t get on very well with dialysis and did not have as much as the hospital thought he should. He died from complications with his kidney condition just before Christmas.

Nick Owen on Inside Out

Here is a link to Inside Out from the Midlands including a piece presented by Nick Owen about local television/film industry, as it was & as it is now, plus going forward, despite Channel 4 not coming here. Nick is outside the new hospital at the Pebble Mill site talking about the ‘old’ days, the broadcasters, the independents and film makers, and showing various clips. He interviews Joe Godwin along with Roger Shannon, Steven Knight and Colette Foster, as well as some of my Media Production students at Birmingham City University – I’m also in it very briefly, blink and you’ll miss it! Worth a watch and here is a link to the iPlayer, only available for another 16 days The piece appears at about 10 minutes into the programme.