BEFORE PEBBLE MILL THERE WAS GOSTA GREEN

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February 20, 2021
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March 17, 2021

BEFORE PEBBLE MILL THERE WAS GOSTA GREEN

Sue Malden, one of our Committee members, is also an archivist and Secretary of the History Project.  She is looking for any members who remember working at Gosta Green.   The picture accompanying this post may remind you of this lovely cinema/theatre and read further for more information about its history and how you might be able to help.

 

When BBC Birmingham outgrew its first base on Broad Street, television production moved to the old Delicia Cinema on Gosta Green.

In 1959 the BBC acquired the Victorian era ex-boxing booth/cinema/theatre at Gosta Green and this was completely internally altered to become a fully equipped TV Studio and TV film unit with canteens, offices, green room and editing suite.

Although plays were broadcast live from the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in 1954-5 the first television drama to be produced at Gosta Green was a half-hour play called Story Confidential (13 March 1956), performed by the Alexandra Repertory Company., which included Leslie Sands and Leonard Rossiter, making his first appearance on television.

We have been inspired by Joyce Hawkins who responded to an article in Prospero, to gather as many reminiscences about Gosta Green as we can. There is very little on the internet. The most comprehensive account is by Lez Cooke of Royal Holloway University https://forgottentelevisiondrama.wordpress.com/2016/10/21/drama-from-gosta-green-1956-71/

Vanessa Jackson, formerly of BBC Pebble Mill and now at Birmingham City University is planning to pull this together. So far, she is in contact with John Williams, former cameraman who wrote and published a very good memoir about his career called ‘Shoot First’. Joyce appointed John to be the contact point for Gosta Greeners who answered a call via a Pebble Mill email group, which a former BBC colleague runs. A number of BBC staff from Gosta Green have already been in touch through Joyce, including John Davies (director), Phil Vaughan (lighting), Keith Clement, who was a programme services assistant at Gosta Green and went on to become Head of Broadcasting East and South-east, and Margaret Peacock, former Head of Design.

 

We welcome information from anyone else who has memories of Gosta Green to contact  Sue.malden@btinternet.com

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