Timesheet – Reaching for the Skies

Charles White's timesheet

Charles White’s timesheet














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

This timesheet is from Charles White, who was involved in the post-production of the documentary series: Reaching for the Skies, a history of flight. The twelve part series was transmitted in Sept-Nov 1988. It was a co-production with John Gau Productions, the series producer was Ivan Rendall, with different episodes being produced and directed by different people, including Tony Salmon and Dennis Adams. The editors included Greg Miller and Mike Duxbury.

The timesheet shows an over 80 hour week for Charles, meaning that he would have accrued an awful lot of overtime payments, or time off in lieu!

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

Jane Green: ‘I have my Clothes Show and Howards’ Way timesheets. 20 hours days filming – no joke!’

Ruth Barretto: ‘I can remember the days when I used to process all of productions timesheets and Expenses. 4 consecutive days in excess of 12 hours and on the 5th day 4 hours then you earn a day off in lieu…. Oh so sad that i still remember that!!!’

Lynn Cullimore: ‘I can imagine the hours as it was a big production. I worked on it for a few days filming at RAF Coningsby on tornadoes. It was fantastic.’

Victoria Trow: ‘Long hours? Over 100 one week on the dreaded Witchcraft. But nobody ever minded over time – time and a half + less than 10hr break….. Those were the days. My first job at Pebble Mill – in a portakabin with Fiona Haigh syncing up the rushes.’

Mark Heslop: ‘108 hrs on same series, unfortunately no proof, but everybody worked stupid hours on that programme.’

Rosalind Gower: ‘I’m still rather horrified he was scheduled a 60 hour week! I know we all worked crazy hours when we had to but it does seem very wrong that he was officially down to work for five consecutive days of 12 hours per day, big production or not.’

Reaching for the Skies – photos from Gail Herbert

Photos from Gail Herbert, no reproduction without permission.

‘Reaching for the Skies’ was a twelve part documentary series about the history of flight, transmitted on BBC 2 in 1988.  The series was a co-production produced at BBC Pebble Mill.  John Gau was the executive producer, Ivan Rendall the series producer, and Tony Salmon one of the directors.  Peter Gower was one of the editors on the series, and Gail Herbert was a production assistant on it.  The episode list included: Pioneers (12/9/88), The Aeroplane Goes to War (19/9/88), Trailblazers (26/9/88), Lighter than Air (3/10/88), Bombers (10/10/88), Quest for Speed (17/10/88),  Giants of the Air (24/10/88), Rivals over the Atlantic (31/10/88), Fighters (7/11/88), Vertical Flight (14/11/88), Victory over the Sea (21/11/88), The Adventure of Flight (28/11/88).

The photos show filming of a B17 bomber, a Spitfire, and a Lancaster bomber.


‘Reaching for the Skies’ – photos from Maggie Humphries

Photos from Maggie Humphries (Film Unit).

‘Reaching for the Skies’ was a 12 part documentary series for BBC 2 about the history of aviation, produced at Pebble Mill.  It was transmitted in autumn 1988.  The series was a co-production with CBS TV, John Gau Productions and the BBC.  The producers were Tony Salmon, and Dennis Adams, executive producer: John Gau, series producer: Ivan Rendall, and Anthony Quayle the narrator.  Peter Gower, Gregg Miller and Michael Duxbury edited the series. John Bland cut a small part of episode 1 before Peter Gower took over from him.  Peter cut ‘Pioneers’, ‘Rivals over the Atlantic’, ‘Giants of the Air and ‘The Adventure of Flight’. Because all the Pebble Mill cutting rooms were full, temporary ones were set up at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, along with a production office.  The rooms used at the cricket ground, like Pebble Mill, have since been demolished!

The photos include the F15, from the ‘Fighter’ episode, the Harrier, from ‘Vertical Flight’, the F18, also from ‘Fighter’.  The fourth photo is the P82 Twin Mustang, based on the P51 Mustang (thanks to Paul Hunt for the identification).

The episodes were:

  • Pioneers
  • The Aeroplanes Goes to War
  • Trailbazers
  • Lighter than Air
  • Bombers
  • Quest for Speed
  • Giants of the Air
  • Rivals over the Atlantic
  • Fighters
  • Vertical Flight
  • Victory over the Sea
  • The Adventure of Flight

Harrier: Vertical Flight