Love Story – A Chance to Sit Down

 

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

These photos date from the 1981 series of Love Story – A Chance to Sit Down. This was a two partner, made at Pebble Mill (although I suspect it was a hosted London production). Paul Ciappessoni was the director, Colin Shindler the producer, Sally Head the script editor, with the adaptation by Meredith Daneman.

Jan Francis played the part of Barbara, a ballerina destined for stardom, who appears in the first three photos. Del Henney, who played George, is also featured. The last photo is of Jean Anderson, who also featured in another hosted series The Brothers.

Thanks to costume designer, Janice Rider, for sharing the photos.

Love Story, A Chance to Sit Down 10 JR

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‘The Brothers’

'The Brothers' Cast & Crew

The Brothers was a long running series about a family in the road haulage business.

There were 8 series in all, going out between 1970 and 1976, including 92 x 50 min episodes.

The final series was directed by Mary Ridge, and produced by Bill Sellars.

The drama starred Jean Anderson as Mary Hammond, Richard Easton as Brian Hammond, Robin Chadwick as David Hammond, Jennifer Wilson as Jennifer Kingsley, Derek Benfield as Bill Riley, Margaret Ashcroft as Gwen Riley, Patrick O’Connell as Edward Hammond, Colin Baker as Merroney, Carole Mowlan as Claire Miller, and Kate O’Mara as Jane Maxwell.

It was a hosted drama at BBC Pebble Mill.  The final series was recorded at Pebble Mill, I’m not sure if any of the earlier ones were – please add a comment, if you can give more information.

Lynda Kettle was the production designer  http://www.lynda-kettle.com and make up artist Maggie Thomas also worked on the series.

Keith Ackrill’s Memories of Working at Pebble Mill

Bob Langley dancing with Ginger Rogers

KEITH ACKRILL – MEMORIES OF PEBBLE MILL

I worked at Pebble Mill on Radio 4 and television, from the day it opened until I left in 1982.  I have very many pleasant recollections of the years I spent there.

The thing you noticed most was the tremendous enthusiasm that permeated the whole staff.

It was the feeling that we were in a brand new building hailed as the biggest combined radio and television complex in Europe.  We were all determined to make Pebble Mill programming a force to be reckoned with.

Hours and hours of top television had the Pebble Mill label.  As well as Birmingham productions, many London drama series were based in the studio or filmed on location, using Birmingham crews.

The Brothers, Poldark, All Creatures Great and Small, Juliet Bravo, Howards Way, even Basil Brush – the list goes on and on.  And that doesn’t include the many classic dramas that were produced in Studio A.

Radio was an important part of the building’s output too.  Radio Two programming found a home there, the Midlands Radio Orchestra was in residence for many years.  Folk music, pop music – every kind of music came from Pebble Mill.  And that’s not forgetting radio drama.   Pebble Mill, of course, was home to The Archers and many other dramas of all kinds were produced alongside, together with some fine radio documentaries.

There were many landmark programmes – Top Gear, Pebble Mill At One, Saturday Night At The Mill – all of which I was fortunate to have worked on.

My main memories from the last programme include talking to actor Robert Wagner, in the hospitality room, about English beer.  I know nothing about beer, but it was worth talking about it just have Natalie Wood’s dark brown eyes focused on me!  I remember sitting across the table from Ginger Rogers and, later, photographing Bob Langley dancing with her – lucky devil – accompanied by Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen, with guest trumpeter James Hunt.  Many, many great stars came to Pebble Mill to take part in the wide range of radio and television programmes that came from within that building.

I miss meeting them, but I also miss the camaraderie of the people I worked with, of being part of a team dedicated to putting broadcasting in the Midlands on the map.