Radio WM Sports Team circa 1990

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the Radio WM Sports Team circa 1990. It was taken on the front lawn at Pebble Mill and includes, left to right: John Platt, Tim Beech, Simon Brotherton, Ian Winter.

Thanks to Tim Beech for sharing the photo.

Radio WM Sports Team at Superprix 1986

Photo from Rod Fawcett, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Included in the photo are (left to right): Stuart Miller chief engineer at Radio WM sitting down laughing, ?, Mike Ronson(?), Rob Hawthorne with the Uher, Annie Barker in yellow jacket.

Thanks to Rod Fawcett for sharing this photo of the Radio WM sports team at the first Birmingham Superprix in 1986.

(The Superprix was a street based motorsport event in Birmingham. The highlight was the Formula 3000 race.)

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

Rod Fawcett: ‘I remember the gig quite well. We were set up in a Portakabin right next to the start / finish line on Bristol Street. The motor racing noise within the cabin was astonishing as it resonated the walls, ceiling, everything!! We kept going of course. The young reporter with the Uher tape recorder is Rob Hawthorne – now an established football commentator with Sky Sports.’

Gordon Astley: ‘ was taken out for a skidpan type ride with the Italian Job Mini team. I felt nauseous for the rest of the day.’

Tim Beech: ‘I remember the last Superprix was in 1990, a year after I joined the WM sports team. Rob had just left, but Ian was Sports Editor and Annie had started with Central. Great pic – great memories!’

Marilyn Ward: ‘Central had the broadcasting commission.’

Rod Fawcett: ‘Hi Marilyn and thanks go to Central TV as you were kind to give us a courtesy monitor race feed to use for commentary purposes.’

Keith Conlon: ‘I think the guy in the background was a sports reporter and I think his name was Mike Ronson i think but his surname may be wrong.’

Lawrie Bloomfield Obituary May 2014

[This obituary to Lawrie Bloomfield, by Tim Beech, was published in Ariel in May 2014: http://www.bbc.co.uk/ariel/27538461]

Lawrie Bloomfield, who has died at the age of 80, was the hugely popular manager who started BBC Radio Shropshire and guided it through its first nine years.

He was responsible for starting and developing the careers of many fine broadcasters – as well as bringing a sense of fun and enterprise to all that he did.

Lawrie followed his father into journalism on the Portsmouth Evening News and made his broadcast debut on Radio Newsreel in 1959 and, after several years freelancing on regional television and featuring regularly on Sports Report, he joined BBC Radio Solent in 1970. He later became station manager at BBC Radio Lincolnshire before putting together the team at Radio Shropshire in 1985.

He was one of the Corporation’s very best talent scouts, giving opportunities to a whole generation of talented and skilful journalists and broadcasters, many of whom can still be heard and seen across both BBC and commercial networks.

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Lawrie Bloomfield and colleagues on Radio Shropshire’s first day in 1985

Back at 70

Radio Shropshire soon enjoyed some of the highest listening figures in the country thanks to Lawrie establishing what was seen as a more modern and bright style of local radio broadcasting. He set a high standard and the station continues to be one of the country’s most successful due in no small measure to the outstanding foundations he laid.

After retiring from the BBC in 1994, Lawrie was appointed MBE for services to radio broadcasting and continued to be active through the Thomson Foundation, training and advising young journalists and broadcasters from around the world. He also returned to work at his beloved BBC Radio Shropshire, producing, presenting and reporting.

The station’s former news editor John Shone recalls: ‘He absolutely loved it and we loved having him in the newsroom. At 70 he was back at the sharp end and in top form. His experience was such a great asset to the station and he always gave sound advice and great encouragement, especially to younger members of the team.’

‘Way ahead’

A measure of the affection felt for Lawrie comes in the many tributes that have been made. ‘He was one of the greats’… ‘a lovely boss to work for and a great team-builder’ … ‘like a favourite uncle to me and gave me my first chance at presenting’ … ‘Lawrie was my favourite (boss) because we all always felt he was ‘on our side” … ‘a larger than life character, a pioneer of the new wave of BBC Local Radio stations’… ‘one of the old school who built local radio from nothing in the early days’ … ‘Lawrie was way ahead of the others – three women breakfast presenters in the first four years – and such a line-up of talent’ … ‘there was never a manager like him!’

His son Colin, now breakfast presenter at BBC Radio Derby, said: ‘He was a big inspiration for me. I would not be doing it now if it wasn’t for him.’

And the former head of local radio and network radio in the Midlands, Owen Bentley, described Lawrie as ‘one of local radio’s great characters’.

For giving chances to so many, leading with skill and inspiration, establishing a great local radio station and above all for being a wonderful person, Lawrie will be remembered with huge affection and gratitude. Our sympathies are with Colin and his mum Alison.

Tim Beech, managing editor, Radio Shropshire

Tony Inchley’s Retirement Photo

David Wayne, Tony Inchley's official retirement party PdW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

The photo features, left to right: David Waine, Head of Building; Tony Inchley, Radio WM Manager; Pat De Whalley, Radio WM presenter. It was taken on the occasion of Tony’s retirement presentation.

Thanks to Pat De Whalley for sharing the photo.

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

Eric Smith: ‘Worked at Radio Stoke when Tony was News Editor there in 1979.
I remember a potteries union leader coming in and asking to see Tony, who was on holiday at the time.
He wouldn’t speak to any body else and came back with the story for our exclusive use when Tony returned.’

Tim Beech: ‘Tony gave me my first BBC job at WM in 1989. At the time the station was under threat of closure because of poor audience figures, but under Tony’s management the numbers were transformed. A quarter of a century on I’m a station manager myself and if I’m even half as good as Tony was I’d be completely thrilled. I learned so much and there probably wouldn’t have been a radio station post 1991 without him. I owe him a great deal and so does everyone who’s worked at WM since.’

Gregory M Hallsworth: ‘I think that must have been about 1995. LR could do with more radio people like Tony in charge these days!’

Maurice Blisson: ‘I worked with Tony at Radio Stoke and Radio WM. Great man.’

Jane McLean: ‘I still have my autograph book! And cut glass whisky glasses engraved with my name and dates of employment. All that’s missing is RIP. They’ve NEVER been out of the box!’

Donald Steel: ‘Tony Inchley was just brilliant and he was really great at telling you when he liked something you had done. And if you popped into his office to see him at the right time you got a gin and tonic.’

Jane Upston: ‘Maiden name Jane Morgan. I worked in the ‘Personnel’ Dept from 1984 to 1992. I left after maternity leave and I think Tony Inchley was still there then. I remember David Waine, Colin Adams, Jenny Brewer, Dawn Robertson and many others in the Network TV Department.’

Roland Allen: ‘My late Sister, Marion Allen was Senior Personnel Manager for the Midlands’ Local Radio stations and News around that time…’

Janet Bacon: ‘Worked with Marion Allen and then David Robey. Brilliant times at Pebble Mill, Tony’

Vicky King: ‘I was there 1987 to 1995 with Jane Morgan and Marion Allen – I remember Tony well – what great times we had at Pebble Mill’

 

Ken Dudeney RIP

Ken DudeneyKen Dudeney reverse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission)

Radio WM presenter Ken Dudeney sadly died on 5th January 2015. He used to present Town and Country, a country music show on a Saturday lunchtime. Ken was the presenter who “closed” BBC Radio Birmingham and launched the new Radio WM.

Thanks to Stuart Gandy for sharing the photocard.

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

Pete Simpkin: ‘This is sad news indeed. Ken was a talented and terrific colleague. He also had an extraordinary collection of
Radio Birmingham/WM history and memorabilia. We shared several ‘on air’ near disasters and Ken was there to rescue broadcasts and keep the transmissions flowing smoothly. I remember having to get him to overrun his wonderful Country music show one evening because the news team had not turned up in my studio in time for the next programme and he just seamlessly carried us through till things were sorted.’

Richard Uridge: ‘A good bloke. I’d echo Pete Simpkin’s comments about his coolness in a crisis. RIP.’

Lorraine Randell: ‘This is very sad news…I worked in the production office with Ken for many years…he was a lovely man.’

Tim Beech: ‘Very sorry to hear this news. Ken gave many, many years of service to Radio Birmingham/WM and really loved his music. I seem to recall the last track he played on his Sunday show was “Happiness.” RIP Ken.’

Keith Upton: ‘I knew Ken from the very earliest days of his broadcasting when he joined us at the Brighton Tape Recording Club. He grew up in Brighton and because of his parents efforts attended the University of Cambridge. When he joined the club he took part in many activities using his skills as as a confident presenter in many club activities and recording. He presented our Journey into Sound for the Brighton Festival. Eventually he presented our weekly hi-fi programme on BBC Radio Brighton which was produced by the club free of charge by club volunteers. It was the longest running programme on that station. Then Ken left for London and worked for the BBC World Service. He always kept in contact. I went to his wedding in Birmingham and continued to keep in touch with him. he was a great guy very knowledgeable and a confident and professional presenter.’