Category Archives: Uncategorized

Next Lunch – June 20th

Apologies for not updating the website for a while, but other events have got in the way over the past weeks. This is just a little note to remind everyone that the next Oldboys & Girls Lunch will be at “The Cricketers”, Guildford, on Thursday 20th June at 12:00 for 12:30.

It must be nearly 20 years ago that we first visited Guildford (Ed & Ieuan will hopefully confirm that!) – an awful lot of water …. and beer….and wine has flowed under the bridge since then. If you haven’t been before, do come along and meet up with old friends. (But, please let me know if you are coming by Monday 17th!)

January 1st 2011

Dave Devlin was watching the “Two Ronnies, the studio recordings” just before Christmas and spotted some shots of VT and TK in the titles. The material was shot around the late 70s, and I have grabbed a few stills. An edited version of the title sequence can be found in VT on TV just below the Dudley Moore and Peter Cook titles. Can anyone out there remember being part of the show?


Or, this VT engineer?












Were you the TK operator?













Anyone recognise the Sound Supervisor?











And, finally, any familiar faces in the gallery?













Along with the DVD of the programme, Dave sent this C Course exam paper he sat in June 1970 – apologies for the missing corner, but it is over 40 years old!!!


October 16th 2010

Gary Critcher has just sent me this picture of ….. Tape Servicing. Although for many of us this bears no relationship to our experience of Tape Servicing in the early days, it has prompted me to add a new section explaining the development of servicing tape which will most likely appear shortly as on offshoot of Hardware. The photo, featuring Gary and a load of kit(!) was taken in the Tape Servicing area in the Basement next door to VT Despatch. Gary reckons the date is around 1985.
As my experience of servicing was twenty years earlier(!) any additional information and pictures from over the years would be greatly appreciated – especially any technical notes about the machinery used, and locations for the area.



October 8th 2010

Information about Roger Harvey’s funeral has just come in from John Llewellyn.

“Roger’s funeral is on Friday 15th October, 09.40 at Kingston Crematorium. At the moment the plans are family only; no flowers. This might change. Cause of death was heart-failure. Please pass this information on and I will send further e-mails if I hear of any developments.”

John has a fairly vast distribution list and we will try and keep you up to date here as well.


Wrong Geoff! (see below) I’ve just received an email from Geoff Taylor (Shift 1 boss at the time) :-

“I was never one for keeping a detailed diary, but often jotted down the highlights of GMcDonough’s message from the day before, as relayed on audio cassette. For what it’s worth, on 31 October 1978, I find the entry “Editor:KP”. So the money’s on Ken Pimenta getting the job, unless someone knows better!”

Over to you Ken!!!

June 24th 2009

boba1I’ve just added Bob Abraham’s Obituary to the website. A sad item to read, as are all obituaries, but it does bring back memories of the Moscow Olympics in 1980. The security was very tight – VT had a mini rebellion over cameras (film) being x-rayed every time we entered or left a building, but Bob spent the entire games with a photograph of a gorilla on his Olympic ID. The VT movie, “Carry on Cosmos” captured the moment when Bob gives the IOC President, Lord Killanin, with a BBC pin (left).






boba2And, although the material has a chequered history, Ikegami > VPR20 > VPR2 > VHS > DVD you can just about see the gorilla in the circled area of the second picture on the right.!

May 3rd 2009

VERA lives!! I’ve just received this from Tony Carter.

vera09_1Hi Chris – you might remember that some months ago I emailed you to tell you that the name of VERA lives on at BBC Westminster. I took a couple of pictures of it last night for you to see and although it’s not terribly spectacular, it is at least good to know that it’s always referred to as VERA and appears as such on the touchscreen routing panels.

Basically, it constantly records a special feed of News 24 (now called News Channel) at Westminster. It’s recording the TVC studio output with Astons but minus the embedded onscreen clock, so that if News Channel ever have to do an emergency evacuation, the last hour of the News Channel is available to maintain channel output.
There are two recorders, one in Millbank TX and the other in the Millbank Record Bank, hence TX VERA and RB VERA on the router buttons.
vera09_2The machines themselves are both Packard Bell EHR 2080 Hard Drive recorders, and incredibly, even though they record 24/7 with the hard drive thrashing away constantly, they just seem to keep going!
No men in white coats painstakingly adjusting things on VERA 2009 alas, it just sits there unattended year in year out, but on the couple of occasions it has been used in anger, it did keep News 24 running until they could recover!

March 21st 2009

While doing a regular check of the Links page recently, I noticed that the Museum of Editing, Jack Calaway’s site, had disappeared. This was a fascinating site describing some of the ‘devices’ that were used in the early days of editing. As well as Datatron, CMX and Convergence (the ECS103 -“beep … VTRs not in sync” – unforgettable if you experienced it!) there is a fascinating page on the editing of “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-in”. Thanks once more to the Internet Wayback Machine I have recovered 99% of it and restored the item on the Links page. Sadly Jack died eighteen months or so ago, and I have been trying to contact names of collaborators mentioned on the site, but to no avail. So, as a tribute to Jack Calaway who many of you may well have met, it is restored to its original state.