35 years ago!

One of the things I’ve been doing over the last couple of years is scanning loads of old photos and other bits from years gone by! And one of the those things has been old issues of the school magazine I used to produce with Tom, back when we were at secondary school.

One time we ran a competition to take one of the readers to visit BBC Pebble Mill in Birmingham (in all honesty, the main reason was because we wanted to go there ourselves!) One of our team’s dad worked there, so we managed to get her to ask him to take us all, which we did on the May bank holiday in 1986 when there were a lot less people there. Sadly, the studios were demolished in 2005, but back in the 80s they were producing quite a lot of TV – so to someone like me who has always been obsessed with TV and production stuff, it was a dream come true!

The article in the July 1986 issue of Mercian Madness.

What is quite scary though is that we visited the studios exactly 35 years ago today!

I do have some memories of going there, but after all this time it is a bit hazy. I remember thinking how small the ‘Pebble Mill at One’ studio was, and learning that bits of it were pre-recorded to make it seem like they had more space, and allow them to move stuff around during a show, and also we did try and visit the radio area, but because it was a Bank Holiday Monday, there was no-one working there so it was all locked up. Interestingly, ‘Pebble Mill at One’ was cancelled between us visiting and the article being published, hence the RIP reference!

Also, for some bizarre reason, we wanted to brand Jo’s dad’s car with the ‘Mercian Madness’ logo – but using poster paint! Unsurprisingly, this never actually happened! And I’m quite sad that we didn’t take many photos at all – we did have a camera with us because there’s the photo that’s in the magazine, but for some reason, we didn’t really take any others (or none that came out anyway!)

Here’s the article that appeared in the July 1986 issue of the magazine (remember we were all only 13 when we wrote this!):

In the last issue, we ran a competition, and the winner was to go with us to the B.B.C. Read on to find out what happened when we visited…



MONDAY 5th MAY 1986
Josephine Crawley Reporting:

The motley crew, sorry, the Mercian Madness reporting team arrived. With them was the winner of the competition, Kevin Lee. First year Kevin was very excited about the trip. “It’s the first time I’ve won anything!” he said.

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