Sunday September 19 2021



In Full . . .

Life through a lens

Posted on October 31 2017 at 12:27:16


Fifty years after work began on building Pebble Mill, a talk in Alvechurch celebrates the life of the iconic BBC studios.

John Williams, who had a 30-year career as a lighting cameraman and director based at Pebble Mill, will give an illustrated talk based on his self-published memoirs, Shoot First: No Ordinary Life.

Entitled Life Through A Lens, the talk takes place at The Ark, St Laurence Church, Alvechurch on Friday November 3, in support of fundraising for a new church window.

”People say it’s a history; I call it a tapestry of Pebble Mill’s output – memories of a golden age and an iconic building,” says John, whose career enabled him to travel the world making programmes for the BBC.

In the preface to his book, written by former Head of Network Production Centre and Head of Broadcasting David Waine, John is described as “one of the most respected and admired lighting cameramen in the BBC. . . part of a team that made Pebble Mill known throughout the world.”

John’s travels took him to Australia, Israel, China, the Falklands and the Antarctic, as well making programmes closer to home such as Countryfile, Gardeners’ World, the original Poldark, All Creatures Great and Small and Howard’s Way.

The talk will give insight into life behind the scenes of these programmes, as well as John’s many years living in Alvechurch (where he and his family settled when he moved to the area to begin his time at Pebble Mill) and will include slides and excerpts from his productions.

“Pebble Mill was a centre of excellence that created and broadcast top quality programmes for both radio and television across the nation for more than 40 years,” John adds.

“Although the building has been pulled down, memories of what it produced have not been forgotten – in fact, a plaque in its memory is to be erected next year on the old Pebble Mill site.”

The talk begins at 7.30pm, and admission is £4 to include tea and biscuits. No need to buy tickets in advance; just pay on the door.

Shoot First: No Ordinary Life costs £14 and would make a great Christmas gift for fans of television and history. To buy a copy, contact John on 01527 66897 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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