Tuesday 10th June 2008 by C. Freeman
Audio visual technician, Peter Jackson has passed a career milestone, having worked for 15 years at Brooke Weston. In that time he has seen many changes, not least the increase in student numbers at the College.
He said: 'When I first started there were only about 500 students. The Sixth Form was very small and it was only the second year that we'd had a full Year 7 intake.'
At that time the College had a local radio station, KCBC, broadcasting live from the building for several hours a day. The studio was housed in what is now Mr Bernard's office, which accounts for the fact it has an ante-room and double-glazing for maximum sound insulation. One of the radio presenters, Mr Tom Hooper, used to do his on-air stint and was then employed as a part time media teacher, sharing his skills with the students.
The students also used to make their own live television shows using studio quality video cameras. Mr Jackson said: 'We were able to broadcast all around the school through the television network. It was mostly language programmes produced by the lower school so someone would present the news in French live in the studio and that was relayed to everyone in the languages department. We made up titles to go at the beginning so it really looked very professional.'
A major part of Mr Jackson's job in the early days was assisting with the College's drama productions. He had spent many years as a stage manager for a theatre company and so is proficient in all aspects of stagecraft including lighting, sound and theatre engineering. He has also worked as a cinema projectionist and in local radio. Now he provides technical back-up for daily assemblies, termly music shows and annual presentations like Prize Giving and spends a lot of time sharing his expertise with the students.
He said: 'I could end up in the classroom giving students instruction or some insight into the world of television or theatre, just assisting a member of staff to deliver a lesson, making sure the students are using the equipment correctly and using the right terminology so that when they leave here to go to university they have had a grounding in the subject.'
He has seen many changes in the technology used at Brooke Weston over the years. Previously film was edited by being manually spliced together and now it's all done on computer with digital editing software. Mr Jackson said: 'When I first started here we'd got the radio station and quite a lot of drama so it was an interesting time and very enjoyable as well. The radio has gone but media has come on in leaps and bounds so I've still got things to keep me going. Technologically I have no idea what the next 15 years will hold as there are so many new things coming out. The time has flown by and it seems to have only taken moments. Brooke Weston has only changed for the better.'