David Waine

Copyright remains with the original holder, no reproduction without permission.

David Waine was Head of Building at BBC Pebble Mill from 1983, when he took over from Phil Sidey.  The photo was taken in David’s office, and in the back of shot is a still of the famous Harrier landing at Pebble Mill, from ‘Pebble Mill at One’.



1974 Pebble Mill Christmas Card – Roger Guest

1974 Christmas Card from Head of Building: Phil Sidey

I was a sound supervisor at Pebble Mill through the “Good Times” and I kept a Christmas card sent to all staff in the building by Phil Sidey in 1974.

What a good way to say thank you to your staff, it made us all feel like one big team!

Roger Guest

From Pioneers to Pebble Mill


This little booklet documents the first 50 years of BBC broadcasting in the Midlands – from 1922-72.  The forward is written by Phil Sidey, the Head of Network Production Centre at Pebble Mill in the 1970s and early 80s.  The booklet tells the story of broadcasting in the Midlands, from the first studio in Witton in 1922, to the premises in New Street, followed by Broad Street, Carpenter Road (Edgbaston), Gosta Green and then Pebble Mill.

Many of the photographs were taken by Willoughby Gullachsen.

Thanks to Pete Simpkin for making the booklet available.


Opening the new Pebble Mill Club

Phil Sidey & Keith Jones New Club Opening

When Pebble Mill was first built the bar was on the second floor of the building, at the back, overlooking the back field and the courtyard.  It was a hub of activity and socialising where almost everyone would congregate at lunchtime and after work.  It was probably the only place where all levels of production and crew would get together, and therefore it became a really productive place for bouncing off ideas and solving any production issues.

As the number of staff expanded, there was more pressure for office space.  In the early 1980s the new Club was built in the Pebble Mill grounds on the far side of the brook.  It was a single storey building with a kitchen, large and small bar-rooms, and administration offices.  There was a terrace to sit out on in the summer, as well as tennis courts and football fields.

Going to the bar at lunchtime was called ‘going over the bridge’, because of the little bridge across the brook to get to the Club.

The photo shows Phil Sidey, who was Head of the Building and President of the Club, and Keith Jones, Club Chairman, ringing a bell to officially open the new Club, circa 1982.

Thanks to Gail Herbert (subsequent Chair of the Club) for making the photo available.  Copyright resides with the original photographer.

Phil Sidey’s Leaving Party – photo Paul Scholes

Phil Sidey's leaving party

Photo from Paul Scholes, of Phil Sidey’s leaving party, in the Pebble Mill Foyer, Studio C, the home of ‘Pebble Mill at One’.

Phil Sidey was the head of centre from 1973 to 1983, when David Waine succeeded him.

Phil Sidey, born in 1926, died on the 15th October 1995 whilst walking in the Peak District, below is a quote from his obituary in the Independent, written by Leonard Miall:

‘As the Head of the BBC Network Production Centre at Birmingham, Phil Sidey was the man who converted Pebble Mill from a structural white elephant into a thriving source of daytime television. He was the first manager of Radio Leeds and played a leading role in establishing lively local broadcasting on a financial shoestring. He was a programme innovator with a spate of lively ideas and an abrasive tongue which tended to upset some of his colleagues. He was also an accomplished public speaker and a successful chairman of the Royal Television Society.’


Please add a comment if you knew Phil Sidey and can add more information, or if you can identify people in the photo.