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!

14 thoughts on “Why did they do it?

  1. steph

    This sounds like good advice, Grannymar

    I’m reliably informed that this fungal blight also affects transparencies so anyone who has boxes of slides stored away waiting for a rainy day, should think twice about how/where they store them.

    And, the digital era isn’t immune to viruses either!

    GM – are you going to tell us who was the source of your irritation?

  2. Mike

    Morning GM
    I’d advise you to tnsfer old VHS tapes onto Dics to preserve the content long term.
    Let me know and I’ll do that for you no problem

    [Some were constantly sticking the camcorder in your face]…..you mean conrstantly filming from a tower!

  3. Niamh

    Luckily we never had the money for such things so plain old photos & memories is all we’ve got..and they are all finely preserved 😀

    You’ll spark a lot of reminiscing with this post GM I bet lots of people will go looking for their box of memories & have to view every one of the tapes to see what’s on them 😉

  4. Darragh

    Luckily we never had the money for such things so plain old photos & memories is all we’ve got…

    Photos AND memories? You were lucky. We were so poor that we couldn’t afford both – had to choose one or the other 😛

  5. TheChrisD

    I think there’s a good few video tapes of my little sister when she was young left lying around here somewhere…
    Although at least they’re in the same press as the DVD’s, Wii games and Wii accessories, rather than in the attic.

    If we even have an attic here 😕

  6. Niamh

    @Darragh well maybe we were well off compared to you lot then 😛 Although my memory isn’t great now that i think about it…:D

  7. Grannymar

    @Steph – Thanks for the tip about transparencies.

    @Mike – You missed the top line, we never had videos.

    @Niamb – I do hope it is a reminder to sort out the storage conditions of old Videos, photos and negatives.

    Like you and @Darragh we had to depend on a large box of photos and our memories. They both gave us a great excuse for laughter over the years.

    @ChrisD – Now you are aware of the correct conditions to store these precious Video tapes.

    @Roy – Yep, it sounds like it!

    @Niamb – Be careful with that memory and store it properly! 😉

  8. Mike

    @Baiino All you need to do is borrow a VCR then get a phono lead. attach video out to VCR and video in to DVD recorder and press play>record
    Hope this helps

    Sorry GM I forgot to read the first line…all well its the thought that counts


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