Doug Parsons
BBC through and through
All who knew Doug Parsons will be saddened to hear of his unexpected death last July (2004) following a heart by-pass operation. Doug had many friends and colleagues among production as well as engineering staff but only a few will remember that Doug's BBC life started in Tel. Studios working on Marconi Mk III cameras. Ian Stewart, working on the other shift at the time, remembers him for his detailed hand-over reports and his ever-courteous manner.
Doug had a short spell in Colour Telecine and then joined VT when there were only Ampex machines at Lime Grove and tapes were so expensive that, as a routine, they were wiped ten days after transmission. We became good friends when Doug arrived in VT as shift leader and then his role grew as the number of machines rapidly increased.
VT machines were often quite temperamental in those early days but never more so than when the RCA machines were first installed, I well remember one occasion when a transmission from VT 15 (RCA) began to show severe picture break-up and, all else having failed, Doug hit the machine “Between the eyes”, (spools), as he put it, restoring normal picture for the rest of the transmission - “it's knowing where to hit it that counts!”
Doug progressed through shift manager, VT Ops manager, and to HE Tel. Rec, when he took on responsibility for all Television Centre videotape and film operations and maintenance. When he took early retirement in 1986 he was special assistant to the general manager, Network and Studios. A BBC man through and through, Doug also enjoyed his garden and was devoted to his family. In my last conversation with him he was saying how proud he was of his son Richard and daughter Isobel - and I know he enjoyed his years of retirement very much. To Doug's wife, Jean, and his family we can only offer our condolences and personally, I am also sorry to lose a good friend.
Derek Fawcitt