Tom O’Connor Roadshow – Port Talbot

Photos by Raymond Lee, no reproduction without permission






















The top photo is of SCV6 (possibly with Roger Guest operating), on the OB for the Tom O’Connor Roadshow in Port Talbot in March 1987. CM1 was also needed on the OB, because of the sound requirements. The lunchtime entertainment show toured the country with an OB unit, broadcasting a week’s worth of shows from each location. Unfortunately, although popular, it proved too expensive in the long term.

The lower photo includes soundman Tim Green on the left, and Mark Botfield with the blond hair, Kenton Allen in the demin jacket.

These photos were originally shared on the Pebble Mill Engineers’ Facebook group.

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

Raymond Lee: ‘SCV6 was an articulated trailer, of a similar length to to the Type 5 CM1. It had an SSL Desk, some specially shaped LS5/8s and a 24 track Otari Multitrack tape machine. It also had 2 or 3 1/4″ tape machines, a cart machine, and record deck. It was quite tight for space which is why the jackfields used Bantam Jacks, unfortunately, they proved fairly unreliable in O.B. conditions.’

The Flying Gardener

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission












The first series of The Flying Gardener was produced in London, by Owen Gay in 2001, with the subsequent series being produced in Birmingham in 2003. Sarah Davis (now Moors) was the producer, and Gill Tierney the series producer, when the series transferred to Birmingham. It was transmitted on Friday evenings on BBC2. Presenter and garden designer, Chris Beardshaw travelled around the country in a helicopter, in search of inspirational gardens, to influence the design of a garden project.

Thanks to VT Editor, Ian Collins, for making the screen grab available.

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

Steve Saunderson: ‘Barry Foster shot a lot, all or some of it on tape and I shot the title sequence on film, all at 75fps on my Arri SR3 Advanced camera, which then was speed-ramped in the edit to whiz the helicopter in and out of frame. My focus puller was Terry Bartlett and the assistant was my son Paul. We were on top of a steep “cliff” at a golf club somewhere above Cheltenham so that Chris could stand on the edge and have the helicopter rise and fall behind him with lots of airspace to manoeuvre. We shot most of it on my 50mm, 85mm and 135mm prime Zeiss Superspeed lenses, to visually pull the helicopter closer to Chris.’

Adam Trotman: ‘Yep I edited all the stings… speed ramping them…..very in those days….. bloody Matrix had a lot to answer for’

Barrie Foster: ‘ It was great fun. Tim Green did the sound and Castle Air did the flying. Memorable very ‘lumpy ‘ rid over Scottish hills after kippers for breakfast!

Tracey Bagley: ‘How could I forget this one .. hard sums and schedules but all worth the effort’

Sarah Moors: ‘Now there’s a blast from the past! The hours spent on that programme and the stories I could tell…The start of years of Gardening programmes for me. Happy times.’







Roadside shoot

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission









Thanks to Kevin Lakin for sharing this photograph.

The photo, probably dates from the early 1980s, and shows, left to right, John Couzens on camera, Eric Crouch (electrician), Andy Payne (cameraman, probably an assistant at this time), Tim Green (sound recordist).

Please add a comment if you can identify the shoot.


Film Unit – photos from Maggie Humphries & Juliet Dean

Photos from Maggie Humphries & Juliet Dean.

These photos include stills of the Film Unit Office, featuring Bill Bohanna (Manager Film), Maggie Humphries & Diane Welch, Juliet Dean.

Photos of the crews include:

– Cameraman Mike Willie, and assistant Keith Froggatt and others, by the pond

– Keith Froggatt on the camera crane

– Cameramen Nigel Davey and Keith Froggatt

– John Couzens doing a tracking shot from a wheelchair

– John Parker and Roger Waldron recording 3 Minute Heroes

– Cameraman Eric Wise (below the cross)

– John Couzens, Eric Wise, Andy Payne and Tim Green, filming by a road

The Film Unit was a busy office on the 1st floor at the back of Pebble Mill.  All the allocation of film camera crews was done from the Office, as well as the ordering of specialist film equipment.  The Film Unit also organised the film editors, allocating editors to programmes, including news, dramas and documentaries.  Most filmed programmes were shot on 16mm film.  Shooting and editing on film were replaced in the late 1980s and 1990s by single camera video recording on beta and then digibeta, and the editing equipment changed from steenbecks to Avid.

Maggie Humphries & Diane Welch