Directing Midlands Today 1990

Photograph from Rosin Elder, no reproduction without permission












Female production team in the gallery of Midlands Today in 1990 at Pebble Mill. Left to right: Christine Palmer, vision mixer; Rosin Elder, director; Fiona Barton, PA; Maureen Carter Producer.

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

Richard Uridge: ‘They all look very worried. I was probably presenting that night!’

Jonathon Dick: ‘The VM is Christine Palmer, who went on in later years to become a senior production executive with the BBC OU Production Unit. The Sound Sup is Peter Poole, who was a regular on MTD.’

David Croxson: ‘What a fantastic front desk. There was a right to do and a hoo-hah recently on a friends Facebook when it was shared as a triumph that the whole of a regional news programmes’ production team turned out to be female. Someone else complained that they wouldn’t have shared a similar photo if it was all men.

Perhaps Midlands Today was years ahead of its time!!’

Stephen Neal: ‘Roisin and I worked together at Look East when we were both Regional Station Assistants (aka the best first job in regional TV)! The chap at the back is the sound sup for the show by the look of it.’

CMCR9 Reconstruction – Broadcast Magazine

Broadcast magazine May 2016

Broadcast magazine May 2016

In the middle of May 2016, there was a reconstruction of the operation of the 1969 outside broadcast truck, CMCR9, which was Pebble Mill’s original CM1, and later became Manchester’s North 1. The truck was neglected for many years, but is in the process of being restored by enthusiast Steve Harris.

The reconstruction brought together retired crew who used to work on the truck in the 1970s, and resulted in the recording of a darts match! CMCR9 used to broadcast a lot of sports programmes, like Match of the Day, but would also have recorded Come Dancing, Gardeners’ World, as well as dramas.

The reconstruction was organised by Royal Holloway, University of London, and their ADAPT research project, which is recording now defunct pieces of historical television broadcasting equipment being used by the people who worked on them.

The occasion was marked by this article in the industry trade magazine – Broadcast.

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

Stephen Neal: ‘Chap in the red sweater is Roger Neal, my dad. He worked for OBs in London when CMCR9 was based there. I appear to be continuing the family tradition of working for Auntie…’

Annie Gumbley-Williams: ‘I worked in CM1. Happy days, Gardeners’ World and others’

Roger Neal: ‘I also worked on a range of small units as well, several of them called Lo21, Lo22, and Lo23. One of the LO21s is currently residing in Brian Summers front garden I believe.’

One Show pilot run

One Show Andrew Morland

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

This cutting is about the pilot run of The One Show, in the summer of 2006, which was a BBC Birmingham production at the Mailbox, before the series moved to London. A temporary studio was built outside the back of the Mailbox building.

The photo includes left to right: Tessa Finch, executive producer; Nadia Sawalha, co-presenter; Adrian Chiles, co-presenter; Chris Rybczynski, series editor.

The show built on the legacy of Pebble Mill shows like Pebble Mill at One, and Good Morning with Anne and Nick, the latter which Tessa Finch was editor of for several years in the 1990s.

Thanks to Andrew Morland for sharing the cutting.

The following comments were added on the Pebble Mill Facebook group:

Andy Walters: ‘I remember the portakabins and the scanner sat in the Mailbox loading bay. A lot of the tie circuits are still there. Wasn’t that the first thing to come from the Mailbox in HD?’

Stephen Neal: ‘Andy – afraid not. The One Show was SD in Birmingham (and also in London until Summer 2010) We did use Visions HD1 – an HD scanner – to make it – but we were running the truck in SD, and had SD cameras (rather than HD cameras running in SD mode).’