Daily Archives: July 22, 2008

Why did they do it?

We never had a Video player, videos or a Camcorder, but I certainly know people who did. Some were constantly sticking the camcorder in your face; they were so much more intrusive than the Camera phones of today. Perhaps that is because we are now more used to this technology, but I digress….

Most of the people that I know of who amassed great mounds of videos, were very careless with their storage. An untidy bundle would accumulate on the floor beside the TV. Some might be film of family or special events, while others were recordings of TV programmes broadcast at an unsuitable time for the viewer. Perhaps they were off recording their own material for the great video of the future, or something to bore the relations with on a wet winter’s evening. I actually wonder how many miles of TV programmes recorded on video tape, lie about never viewed again?

So these videos reclined in the ‘must watch’ muddle for several months before the day of the Box. By Box I mean the day when an empty recycled cardboard box appeared and all the videos were meticulously packed away, the box sealed with parcel tape and the word VIDEOS scrawled in bright Felt Marker across the top. Occasionally a date might be added. If only the videos inside the box had the same treatment, thus avoiding the ‘I wonder what’s on this one?’ question many years later.

The box then sat in the hall or on the landing for a week or three until a trip to the loft became unavoidable and the box was lifted carefully to its new home in the farthest, corner of the dark loft. No thought given to the temperature of the loft and the effect it would have on the tapes.

Guardian.co.uk ran a very interesting piece on Sunday for the home movie maker of yesteryear.

A virulent infection is destroying the audio and videotapes once used to capture important moments of family life and great historic events. The fungal blight, or ‘tape mould’, has already ruined thousands of miles of audio and video tape in Britain and, according to specialist restorers, much more is likely to be deteriorating, unobserved, in storage. The infection of VHS cassettes and of the audio cassettes popular in the 1980s and 1990s is increasing at an alarming rate.

At the end of the article is a list of Do’s and Don’ts for storage of VHS and audio tapes.

The wet weather during the past few summers has not only proved detrimental for arthritic bones but also for audio and video tapes. Now don’t all run together, but in the next few days take a look at your storage and sort out those tapes or there will be no movie of Great Aunt Alice sitting on the Whoopee Cushion or audio of Grandpa Joe singing all 32 verses of a rebel song!