List of Pebble Mill programmes

Photo by Ben Peissel, no reproduction without permission

Photo by Ben Peissel, no reproduction without permission













This a list of factual television programmes, described as ‘current’, was produced before the closure of Pebble Mill, around 2004. The list is included in a document housed in the BBC Archives in Caversham.

BBC One:

Points of View, Animal Sanctuary

BBC Two:

Gardeners’ World, Gardeners’ World Specials, Gardeners’ World Live, RHS Tatton, Gardener of the Year, Small Town Gardens, Rachel’s Country Garden [I don’t think this series was actually made], Million Pound Property Challenge, SAS Survival Secrets, Big Dreams – The Secrets of Asian Success, How I made My Property Millions

BBC Three:

The Brief: India and Pakistan, Greatest Eunuch Show, Black Beauty

BBC One Daytime:

Countryfile, Call My Bluff, To Buy or Not to Buy, Trading Up, Big Strong Boys, Sunday Garden, Trading Up in the Sun


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

Caroline Feldon Parsons: ‘I worked on 10 of those programmes! And don’t forget all the Radio programmes that were also being currently made …’

Simon Vaughan: ‘Pebble Mill was an amazing production centre – why on earth decommission it and pull it down, such an absolute waste. Just like TVC, their like will never be seen again.’

Carole Lowe: ‘Miss Pebble Mill a great building I worked on Anne and Nick and other programmes. Sad loss to BIRMINGHAM.’

Stuart Gandy: ‘Proper broadcasting centre.’

Pete Simpkin: ‘..and of course all the Radio…Live music , recorded music, Radio 2, Radio 3, amazing amount of Radio 4 ….drama, features, documentaries, the Archers and all the Local Radio as well!’

Judith Markall: ‘A sin to knock the building down!’



James Alexander-Sinclair RTS Award

James Alexander-Sinclair RTS




















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

This is the Royal Television Society nomination certificate awarded to James Alexander-Sinclair, for Best New Talent, for the Midland Centre in 2004. James was nominated for his presenting of the third series of Small Town Gardens on BBC2.

I can’t remember who actually won the Award for Best New Talent that year, but as series producer of Small Town Gardens it was great to be able to attend the Awards dinner, with James, and of course to work with him on the series.

Vanessa Jackson


Small Town Gardens, Ripon

STG Ripon












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

This photo is from the BBC2 design series: Small Town Gardens. This episode from Ripon, North Yorkshire is from series 3, which went out in autumn 2003, and was presented by James Alexander Sinclair.

The Radio Times entry, courtesy of the BBC Genome project describes it thus:

‘Alice in Wonderland comes to North Yorkshire. A listed town house in a Victorian crescent in Ripon is beautifully maintained but let down by a dull and scruffy front garden. Author Lewis Carroll was a frequent visitor to the house, so designer John Elm cultivates a Wonderland-esque garden, inspired by the surreal topiary of Levens Hall in Cumbria.’

This episode was directed by Paul Vanezis, and I was the series producer.

Vanessa Jackson


Small Town Gardens – Winchester

STG James talking to Janet Graham and John Brookes, Winchester STG John Brookes garden Winchester












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

These photos are from Small Town Gardens, series 3, 2003, transmitted on 14th Nov on BBC2.

Presenter, James Alexander-Sinclair, on the left, is in conversation with garden designer, John Brookes (largely hidden), and garden owner, Janet Graham. The second photo shows the finished garden, after it had been made-over to John’s design.

Here is the entry from the Radio Times for the programme, from the BBC Genome project:


New series, top garden designers get down and dirty with some of Britain’s smallest gardens as the horticultural show returns for a third six-part series. Designer John Brookes tackles the sloping back garden of a Victorian terrace in Winchester, Hampshire. With James Alexander-Sinclair .
Director David Smith ; Series producer Vanessa Jackson


Designer: John Brookes
Presenter: James Alexander-Sinclair
Director: David Smith
Producer: Vanessa Jackson

Small Town Gardens – Ripon

Small Town Gardens Ripon 1 Small Town Gardens Ripon 2 Small Town Gardens Ripon 3












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

This article was published in the Scenic Blue Garden Living Magazine in Spring 2004; it features a garden makeover we did in Ripon, North Yorkshire for the design show, Small Town Gardens series 3. This series was presented by James Alexander Sinclair, and I was the series producer. The producer/director of this episode was Paul Vanezis.

The garden was a very formal design, inspired by Alice in Wonderland. Lewis Carroll had been a frequent visitor to the house, and one of the girls who lived there was said to be the inspiration for Alice.

Vanessa Jackson