Tom’s Midnight Garden

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These photos are from the serialisation of Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce. I think this is from the three part adaptation which was transmitted in January 1974 on BBC 1.

The photographs were originally shared on the Pebble Mill Engineers Facebook group.

The following comment was left on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:

Tim Dann: ‘If memory serves me correctly…I was the Design assistant…Location was I think, ‘Abbotswood’ in the Cotswolds near Stowe on the Wold. It was used primarily for its wonderful gardens. With no interiors used. Make-Up assistant was Carol Churchill…(known at PM as Carol Ganniclifft)…& the Director was Dorothea Brooking…..Memory has now ‘crashed!’..I seem to remember there was a lot of messing about in boats!

Nuts in May article

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This interview with Alison Steadman about the 1976 Play for Today, Nuts in May, must have taken place in 2009 (which is when the Alan Bennett play mentioned at the end of the article was on), but I’m not sure of where it appeared, or why. Perhaps it was simply an interesting article with Alison Steadman, which promoted Alan Bennett’s, Enjoy? David Rose gave me a photocopy of the cutting a few years ago, but it doesn’t say where it’s from.

Please add a comment if you can add any more information.

Here is the synopsis of the improvised drama, Nuts in May, from the Radio Times, from the BBC Genome project. It must be one of the strangest synopses ever, and tells the reader nothing, and everything, about the drama – which was no doubt the point:

Synopsis

“Camp Rules:
1: No open fires.
2: No music after 11.0 pm.
3: Positively no drains to be dug around any tent.
4: No crockery or cooking utensils to be washed up in toilet block.
5: These rules are imposed for the benefit and enjoyment of all during their holiday.
BBC Birmingham

Contributors

Film Cameraman: Michael Williams
Film Recordist: John Gilbert
Film Editor: Oliver White
Producer: David Rose
Devised and directed by: Mike Leigh
Keith: Roger Sloman
Candice Marie: Alison Steadman
Ray: Anthony O’Donnell
Honky: Sheila Kelley
Finger: Stephen Bill
Miss Beale: Richenda Carey
Quarryman: Epic Allan
Farmer: Matthew Guiness
Farm girl: Sally Watts
Policeman: Richard Ireson”

http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/6ba7ee595baf45749dd2742c67e47055

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

David Crozier: ‘I was the Designer on this superb film, Nuts in May. Tim Dann (then Design Assistant) and I had to have our wits about us to keep up with Mike Leigh’s ever developing improvisation. A thoroughly enjoyable experience which I constantly recall with warm thoughts!’

Lynn Cullimore: ‘I thought it was fantastic. Never to be forgotten and the brilliant Alison Steadman who has gone on to do more brilliant things. Thanks to all those people who were involved in it.’

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The Other Woman Cast and Crew

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Included in the photo are: Michael Simpson, Michael Gambon, David Rose, Jane Lapotaire, Lynn Frederick, Gavin Davies (production designer, right handside next to Andy Meikle),Andy Meikle (production coordinator, far right with beard), 2nd row, Jan Nethercot (make-up designer), Sue Peck (dresser), Stephanie Hawkes (dresser) Tudor George (costume designer, behind and between Sue and Steph), Richard Ganniclift (cameraman).

Thanks to Janice Rider, Terry Powell, Susie Astle, Wendy Edwards for adding in names. Please add a comment if you can identify others.

The Other Woman was a Play for Today, broadcast on 6th January 1976.

Here is the synopsis from the Radio  Times, from the BBC Genome project:

“The Other Woman by Watson Gould

Kim, an angry young artist, disrupts the lives of Robin, a family man, and Niki, a temp sec – for whom she is the other woman.’
BBC Birmingham

Contributors

Writer: Watson Gould

Film Editor: Henry Fowler
Film cameraman: John Williams
Producer: David Rose
Designer: Gavin Davies
Director: Michael Simpson
Script Editor: William Smethurst
Kim: Jane Lapotaire
Robin: Michael Gambon
Niki: Lynne Frederick
Aunt Darnley: Barbara Atkinson
Miles Darnley: Leon Sinden
Rose: Rosalind Adams
Louise: Eve Pearce
Ben: Benedict Taylor
Lois: Martyn West
Barman: John Joyce”

The following comments were left on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:
[Also in the photo are:]
Terry Powell: ‘Tudor George costume designer. My very good friend who I’ve worked with the last 25 years. Who as I text we are now designing. Comic relief together.’
Susie Astle: ‘Jan Nethercot, make up designer. Sue Peck costume. Steph dresser.’
Janice Rider: ‘As Susie said from left 2nd row correct but Sue Peck would have been a dresser then I imagine and Stephanie Hawkes next to her , probably costume assistant and Tudor George ( between Jan & Sue Peck – also known as Dist – would have been the costume designer as Terry says .’
Tim Dann: ‘Alfie Mayall..scene crew behind Sue & Steph.’
Gillian Hardle: ‘Left of camera with arms folded looks like Rob Prosser — grip; Camera asst Richard Ganiclifft is seated behind the camera next right looks like Chrissie Marshall and right of her is Bert Round – gaffer electrician. I recognise everyone but can’t put names to faces.’
Lesley Weaver: ‘John Williams lighting film cameraman behind Gavin Davies maybe?’

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Roy Ronnie

Roy Ronnie AGW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Roy Ronnie died on 18th September 2015. He produced an enormous number of shows from Pebble Mill, including 77 editions of Saturday Night at the Mill between 1976-81. Annie Gumbley-Williams was Production Secretary for the last three series, and Production Assistant on other programmes with Roy, including the fishing series, Hooked. She remembers Roy being great fun to work with, and a very talented, witty and kind man.

This photo of Roy was taken when he was Midland Region News Assistant, taken in February 1961.

Thanks to Annie Gumbley-Williams for passing on this sad news, and the information about Roy.

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

Julie Hill:’ So sorry to read about Roy Ronnie and send condolences to his family. Saturday Night at The Mill was a fantastic show attracting great performers & a large audience. My great friend Penny Arcatinis and I were responsible for serving wine to the public before the show! They’d scavenge through the plastic cups in search of the largest ones I recall…
Happy days. RIP Roy. You were a top Producer.’

Susan Astle: ‘Sad news, I worked on many Saturday Night at the Mill. They were always great fun and, at times, unpredictable! I think alcohol may have played a small part. Susie Bankers.’

Tim Dann: ‘Very sad…I enjoyed my time as Designer on the first series of Saturday Night at the Mill…with the two Roy’s…& again with them both on the Kate Bush special….Those ‘daze’ will never be repeated!’

David Shute: ‘Another good one’s gone. I remember doing the warm-up for Sat Night. He was a great man for encouraging people to do more than they thought possible. Super chap.’

John Endall RIP

John Endall on a PM@1 OB in the Cotswolds. Photo by Tim Savage, no reproduction without permission.

John Endall on a PM@1 OB in the Cotswolds. Photo by Tim Savage, no reproduction without permission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m sorry to have to tell you that John Endall died on Saturday morning. He didn’t recover from his fall in the autumn of last year, despite having had a new hip replacement. His daughter, Penny told me that he had been in Kidderminster hospital for quite a while, for recuperation, but had developed various infections and also hadn’t really been given enough physio to avoid muscle wastage. The latter meant that he hadn’t the strength to attempt to walk towards the end.

I visited him in Redditch hospital a few weeks after his operation, and he seemed quite chipper at the time. I told him that only the previous day I had been walking near Rutland Water and had come across the pub in Whissendine where we used to stay whilst doing Gardeners’ World from Barnsdale. Needless to say many ‘fireside O.B. yarns’ were told after that!

John Kimberley

John worked at Alexandra Palace after the war and then Carpenter Road and later Pebble Mill. Known to many as ‘Biggles’, he had a good innings reaching 90 years and was active with swimming and sailing throughout his retirement.

Anne Gumbley-Williams

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

Tim Dann: Dear old John, God Bless…RIP….”Biggles” it said in the link above…I remember well entering the bar when it was on the second floor at PM…in a ‘Posse’ of Designers & Design assistants looking for mischief…. & John, leaning on the bar, giving it ‘rock all’ about the war & his time in ‘Fighters.’ & the Battle of Britain…..”Bloody hell!” cried one of our company rather uncharitably…”Not another one of the bloody ‘Few!!’….you buggers must have been eight to a Spitfire!”….John nearly swallowed his pipe, spilt his bitter down his front before collecting himself & raging at our raiding party about being lucky and what the ‘Few’ had sacrificed before stomping off in a haze of blue pipe smoke….No lasting damage done (save perhaps from the passive smoking of the era!)…just another example of the amazing relationship that we all had with each other during certainly my time at PM which was 73 – 79…….Off into the ‘wild blue yonder’ John…Give em hell!

Katie Cooper: ‘Such a lovely ‘wicked’ man…… Always a giggle…RIP’

Diane Reid: ‘He was the pilot for my first ever glider flight – he also taught me a thing or two about OBs – a real gent.’