Memories from cameraman John Williams:
“50 years ago this month the first spade was put in ground that had been well prepared by a pioneering set of BBC Birmingham programme makers already established in producing quality programmes. It feels like yesterday. I’m not at all surprised this BBC network production centre, Pebble Mill Building, is now reaching iconic status and a commemorative plaque is to be displayed on the “Circle Healths” new building at the Pebble Mill old site. A look at the history of its output across the whole range of broadcasting, radio and Television some still generating around the world today, is proof worthy of that status. It’s a building that should be remembered!
For those of us who had the privilege to work there it was a lifetime of opportunity placing Britain’s second city, together with the Midlands, on the world map, at no time were they let down. I like to think we were a family with all that entails, and that family still shows itself, meeting every month as pensioners support one another and reminisce on the good old days. My one hope is the BBC has not lost this family and is still there amongst my colleagues working in the brave new world.
At Christmas I ran out of my self published memoirs “Shoot First, No ordinary life,” (it’s gone down really well, over 240 sold at cost price of £14), the story of my 30 year career at Pebble Mill. Those reading my book have said it’s a history and they had no idea of the diversity of that building, I was just the fortunate one who touched on many of its areas. People asked me to print more, these have now arrived. Anybody interested who would like a copy please e mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org.”