Saturday Night at the Mill

Photos by Robin Sunderland, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These photos are from Saturday Night at the Mill, an entertainment magazine show, from the foyer studio. It was transmitted between 1976-81. Roy Ronnie was the producer, and Roy Norton the director. Bob Langley, Donny MacLeod and Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen welcomed a variety of guests. The cameramen in the second photo are Phil Wilson and Doug Smith.

Thanks to cameraman Robin Sunderland for taking and sharing the photos.

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

Annie Gumbley: ‘I was Roy Ronnie’s Secretary & had my training for PA from Liz Silver who worked on the series. Keith Ackrill and Tricia Sadiq (Mifflin) were part of the team too. I did about about 4 or 5 series to the finish. What memories.’

Julie Hill: ‘I remember Saturday Night at The Mill! Penny Arcatinis and I were entrusted with serving the wine to the general public.’

Chris Rogers: ‘A fab show used to watch it all the time great guests, and presenters.’

Roy Ronnie – Midlands at Six

16mm frame of Roy Ronnie. Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission.

16mm frame of Roy Ronnie. Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yesterday, 29th September 2015, Roy Ronnie’s funeral was held in Gloucestershire. Here is a still of Roy Ronnie, dating from the 1960s, from Jim Gregory. This frame is from a small film clip Jim found in a film can recently, Jim thinks that it must be an offcut from an item he was doing for Midlands at Six, the precursor to Midlands Today, which was made at the BBC studios in Broad Street, before Pebble Mill opened.

Roy Ronnie

Roy Ronnie AGW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Roy Ronnie died on 18th September 2015. He produced an enormous number of shows from Pebble Mill, including 77 editions of Saturday Night at the Mill between 1976-81. Annie Gumbley-Williams was Production Secretary for the last three series, and Production Assistant on other programmes with Roy, including the fishing series, Hooked. She remembers Roy being great fun to work with, and a very talented, witty and kind man.

This photo of Roy was taken when he was Midland Region News Assistant, taken in February 1961.

Thanks to Annie Gumbley-Williams for passing on this sad news, and the information about Roy.

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

Julie Hill:’ So sorry to read about Roy Ronnie and send condolences to his family. Saturday Night at The Mill was a fantastic show attracting great performers & a large audience. My great friend Penny Arcatinis and I were responsible for serving wine to the public before the show! They’d scavenge through the plastic cups in search of the largest ones I recall…
Happy days. RIP Roy. You were a top Producer.’

Susan Astle: ‘Sad news, I worked on many Saturday Night at the Mill. They were always great fun and, at times, unpredictable! I think alcohol may have played a small part. Susie Bankers.’

Tim Dann: ‘Very sad…I enjoyed my time as Designer on the first series of Saturday Night at the Mill…with the two Roy’s…& again with them both on the Kate Bush special….Those ‘daze’ will never be repeated!’

David Shute: ‘Another good one’s gone. I remember doing the warm-up for Sat Night. He was a great man for encouraging people to do more than they thought possible. Super chap.’

Pop at the Mill

Pop at the Mill RG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Draft script front page from Pop at the Mill August 1976. The show was a pop festival from the back lawn of Pebble Mill.

Thanks to sound supervisor, Roger Guest, for sharing the script, and for keeping it safe all these years.

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

Keith Brook (Scouse): ‘That’s interesting. I thought I vision mixed that series. Was this before or after my sojourn into button pushing?’

Susan Astle: ‘Wish I could remember….as I worked on it!’

Lynn Cullimore: ‘I remember it very well – dancing in the courtyard and the guest were Joe Brown and dare I say Gary Glitter. Many years ago and I thought it was great. Wish I had worked on it.’

 

Saturday Night at the Mill – running order

Saturday Night at the Mill RG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

This is the running order for a dummy run recording of Saturday Night at the Mill in December 1976.

Saturday Night at the Mill was an entertainment show which used the Pebble Mill Foyer studio and the courtyard area, for performances. The show was presented by Donny MacLeod and Bob Langley, amongst others, and Kenny Ball and his Jazzman were the resident band.

For live studio shows there were often dummy recordings to make sure that the crew were all up to speed, and that technically the show was going to work.

Thanks to Roger Guest for sharing this running order.

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

Jane Mclean: ‘Roy Norton was the director, Roy Ronnie the producer, Margaret Walne was PA and I was on autocue. The Kenny Ball band was the house band on all the programmes. The hospitality back at the Strathallen was legendary…!’

Annie Gumbley Williams: ‘I did autocue too. Roy Norton used to shout down the head phones! Liz Silver was PA then and she trained me as PA on Sat Night at the Mill. Roy Norton producer and Keith Ackrill was Researcher or Assistant Producer? Patricia Mifflin too. Great fun.’

Susan Astle: ‘Goodness ..those were the days. Trying to get artists back for makeup checks when they would rather be in hospitality. I think we had our own, obvs! Susie Bankers’

Keith Brook (Scouse): I think I vision mixed that show. I know I did the series. After we complained that there was no hospitality food left, Roy Norton used to shoot down to the Strathallan after the show to stop the office people from scoffing the lot. They didn’t work on the show which allowed them to get there early and hoover it all up!! The gallery talkback was distributed around Telly Centre to entertain the bored troops in London.

Michael Fisher: ‘Kenny Ball was a frequent guest on the show. Am I right in thinking that the recently deceased Alvin Stardust appeared in some Pebble Mill Saturday evening shows and a special stage with a catwalk-like extension so he could strut up & down!’ http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/36299c085523447eaa4bf3fac59b4563

Raymond Lee: ‘I remember working on many of these shows. The pilot programme actually went by the title “Pebble Mill at Night”. Kenny Ball was actually the “resident” musician for the show.’

Eurwyn Jones: ‘I remember working on the series with Ron Sowton. Ginger Rogers was the guest on a show, she arrived in a massive car live in front of the foyer.’

Tim Dann: ‘I remember it as though it were yesterday!!…fantastic fun!…then all back to the ‘Strathallan Hotel’ for hospitality. I was the Designer for the first series. Those were the ‘daze!!”

Keith Ackrill: ‘Patricia Mifflin and I were the two researchers on “SNATM.” Roy Ronnie was the Executive Producer and Roy Norton the Director. We had a great crew working with us, which made the programmes so enjoyable to work on.’