Grange Hill Production Team
Albert Barber & Crew on location for Grange Hill in Worcestershire



At HMS Victory for Tomorrows World
Units on location in Oxfordshire for Z Cars


The BBC Dr Who production team on location


Mark Wilkin following the effects of 100 hour recording shifts!
George Cole starred as Sir Giles Lynchwood in Blott on the Landscape
Beau Geste – 1982

With thanks to Dave Roll for forwarding this link, some interesting location pictures showing scenery and special effects for ‘Blott on the Landscape’ can be found here:-

Mayor of Casterbridge 1977 – thanks to Tony Blandford for these photos. The location was Corfe Castle in Dorset.
Note the camera crane and sound assistant holding the mic out of upstairs window of the Bankes Arms Hotel, above the sign.


Special effects for the BBC Mini Series – Beau Geste, 1982
1983 Cockles. Tony Crake, Peter Hales & Sound Crew. Boat adrift in Ramsgate Harbour. Stop laughing – Mayday SOS!


Peter Hales writes:-

The BBC LPU unit in the desert? Well, a sand quarry near Wareham, Dorset actually!! The production was Beau Geste, summer of 1982. The Falklands War was at its height. Ian Leiper, the sound supervisor, was getting fed up with takes being ruined by the sound of heavy gunfire from the army tank firing range at Bindon some miles away, a runner was dispatched to ask the army to hold off for a while, the runner was told in no uncertain terms :- DON’T YOU KNOW THERE’S A WAR ON, GO AWAY!!!!!

Pictures of us having a snooze ZZZZZZZZZ were taken on a night shoot when we were doing “Life and Loves of a She Devil”. This was recorded on Beachy Head at the Bel Toute lighthouse and also at Swindon, on board Concorde (grounded) and a day trip to Geneva. It was based on the novel by Fay Weldon – Dennis Waterman and Patricia Hodge both starred in it.

Angel Hotel, Broad St.Ludlow. Production: ‘Blott on the Landscape’ circa 1985.
Unit based for the recording of Brat Farrer with Bedford TK camera tender in the foreground.

Location: Ludlow 1985. More Blott on the Landscape, David Suchet ‘made up’ in foreground. Mike Winser on camera with director Roger Bamford as assistant on camera crane. Roger’s portfolio included Heartbeat, Minder, Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, to name but a few.
A Scene from Survivors. Here the camera is a Bosch Fernseh KCR 40. The unit was the originally supplied and equipped with two camera channels with a third camera channel being used if and whenever it was required.

Market Square Ludlow 1985. ‘Blott’ (again) by Tom Sharpe – as well as George Cole, it starred David Suchet, Geraldine James, Julia McKenzie and Simon Cadell. It was dramatised & adapted by Malcolm Bradbury
‘Cockles’ 1983 Recording in Herne Bay. Norman Rodway was one of the leading actors. Peter Hales wielding the microphone. Cameraman here is Mike Winser.

Elstree Studios – Grange Hill had a 30 year run, 1978 – 2008. Creator was Phil Redmond. Grange Hill stuck to multi camera as long as it could because of the continuity issues around child actors, but by the early nineties even this had moved to single camera working due to financial restrictions and the improved editing facilities.
Grange Hill: Panic breaks out as heat from the lights set off fire sprinklers – a long break in production followed. Who is to say that the occasional bit of disruption wasn’t welcome every once in a while?

Phil Bunker writes:-

I worked as a rigger/driver – grip for 5 years on OB drama with the LPU. Programmes as diverse Z cars (the last series), Survivors, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Henry VIII…..oh, loads. This was 1976 to 80/81 maybe. I remember the Radiophone in the lobby as we would extend the aerial up high so we could keep in touch as we were away for months at a time. Goodness knows what it cost for a call.

It drove really well in those days. I remember the caption scanner in the cab was a nuisance – always hitting my elbow against it when changing gear. I was pleased when it went and we used a caption roller set up somewhere.

It was always driven mindful that I had all the programme tapes in the back, scenes were put on the tapes mostly in story order, so the drama recordings were sometimes carried about for months with no copies: Imagine the stick I would get from the blokes if I had an accident in the truck. We could have all been out of work for weeks!

KCR 40 cameras with TV 36 cable, I always remember the high volts were up pin 13 – a nasty shock in the wet!

Phil Thomas recalls Tom Sharpe and Malcolm Bradbury were both pipe smokers and would sit in the back of the LPU production area puffing away and chuckling together, at one point I heard Tom Sharpe exclaim “That’s a good line…I wish I’d thought of it”

With special thanks to Dave Roll, Peter Hales, Phil Thomas & Martin Perrett