CMCR6 photos by Howard Lewis

CMCR6  LO5  circa 1994    B CMCR6   LO5  circa 1994   A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are a couple of rare photos of the former CMCR6, which was briefly the very first BBC Midland colour unit from 1969 to 1972. It had EMI cameras and a decision was made to standardize on EMI cameras in London, so CMCR6 was swapped with CMCR9 which had Pye cameras and C9, then became the Midland Unit in 1972. The photos were taken in this country in about 1994 by Howard Lewis. The American Circus is still touring here, but now they use big new Mack trucks.

Jerry Clegg

 

CMCR 9/ North 3 Outings 2014 – Jerry Clegg

Steve Harris with North 3 at Lymm, last year. Copyright resides with the original holder.

Steve Harris with North 3 at Lymm, last year. Copyright resides with the original holder.

 

 

North 3 Wins an “Oscar”

The last BBC Type 2 colour scanner still on the road, CMCR9/North 3, has won an award. The Duncan Neale Award for Excellence in Preservation has been awarded by the British Vintage Wireless Society to Steve Harris, the owner of the restored LO5 / Midland / North 3 OB unit CMCR9, which entered service in 1969. Steve’s self-effacing acceptance speech lavished praise on his small team of dedicated volunteers and their multifarious talents, but not mentioned was his own multi-skilled determination without which the North 3 Project would never have got off the ground.

Steve and his team spent the winter getting ready for the new show season and preparing new treats for the visitors. October saw Steve H  produce the first pictures for many years from a 44 year old EMI 2001 camera and December saw the first powering-up by Steve Jones of a very rare Philips PC80 camera originally from North 1/CMCR7. Richard Ellis, former Chief Engineer of Pye TVT Ltd has restored to full operation the original Pye sync pulse generators which he designed back in the 60s. This involved finding equivalents and replacing more than 100 discrete transistors.

Meanwhile, Eric Hignett has been building an amazing generator, powered by a Ford Transit diesel engine. In ‘proof of concept’ form, this was a real Heath Robinson affair on a trailer, with a motor-bike silencer and speed maintained by a modified cruise control for a car. It worked and the first run, apart from producing a tremendous amount of noise, delivered 40 amps at 230 volts, which powered three aircon units and other auxilliaries in North 3, all electronics being kept well away from this unproven beast for the test run. Eric went away to scratch his head, refine the design and try to make it produce less noise!

North 3 was booked at the time of writing to take part in the Cheshire Commercial Vehicle Run on 27th April starting at Lymm Truckstop on the M6. This is a trip of over 100 miles. The first public show this year was at the Llandudno Transport Festival on 3, 4 and 5 May, followed by the Kelsall Steam and Vintage Rally at Kelsall near Tarvin, Cheshire, on 21and 22 June.

Kelsall is a special event for ERF vehicles, originally manufactured at nearby Sandbach, as it marks the 25th anniversary of the enthusiasts’ club. Steve is hoping to take his latest acquisition, ex-BBC Type 7 scanner LO23, (an ERF E6) to display alongside North 3. Restoration has not yet started, so it will be just as it was when rescued from imminent destruction at a scrap yard following decommissioning by SIS.

Later in the summer we expect North 3 to be at the Wilmslow Show in July and the highlight of the season will be another appearance at the popular Onslow Park Steam Rally near Shrewbury over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Jerry Clegg

(This article is due for publication in Prospero’s June edition)

 

The following comment was posted on the Pebble Mill Facebook Page:

Keith Brook (Scouse): ‘Of all my memories of that scanner, I think having so much fun with the riggers was the best. They really were the salt of the earth.’

Pye Camera Demonstration

Pye Camera demonstration from pebblemill on Vimeo.

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Specially recorded video of former BBC Manchester cameraman, Malcolm Carr, demonstrating the Pye outside broadcast camera.

The video was recorded at a history of technology exhibition in Salford in October 2012. The restored outside broadcast scanner, CMCR9, built in 1969, which was Pebble Mill’s original CM1, before becoming BBC Manchester’s, North 3, was on display at the exhibition, and the Pye camera was part of this exhibit.

Keith Brook (Scouse) posted the following comment on the Pebble Mill Facebook Group:

‘Great to see Malcolm again. Last time I saw him he was gainfully employed with 360 media, the joint venture between Granada and BBC Manchester. We were in the canteen at GTV and he was keeping his head down to reach retirement without any problems!! My memory of those Pye cameras was that on really hot days, the sides had to stay up to give ventilation, otherwise they’d overheat!!’