Like many others in my time, I had a video recorder, attached to the television. It was mainly used for catch-up: to view programmes that were broadcast at times when I was not at home. Some, however, I considered of enough interest and value to be worthy of keeping in an archive. In this section I have placed those that I think deserve wider publicity.

My recorder was, like most at that time, a VHS machine, this being more widespread than its rival system Betamax. The tapes have been converted to digital format, and are saved here. The quality is about the best that can be achieved on a 625-line format: conversion to digital .mov is not always perfect, but is good enough to present here. One is a live recording of a concert at the Dartington International Summer School, and is in practically pristine condition. The rest may have occasional drop-outs or other blemishes, but their archival value makes them still worth keeping.

The period of these videos was the era of the 4:3 screen, rather than the present 16:9. Some videos make the adjustment automatically. Others are likely to give talking heads that are rugger-ball shaped; regrettably, we have not as yet found ways to correct this – anybody with bright ideas as to how to do it is welcome to bring us up to date.


Outdooring (Trevor Wiggins): Ghanaian drumming class, Dartington, 1988 

Asinamali (BBC): South African play from the apartheid era

The Flight of the Condor (BBC): nature in the Andes

Part 1 to 3

Rossini / Czerny: Overture to Semiramide, arranged for 8 pianos, 32 hands (BBC): nature in the Andes

This is a popular romp, recorded many times. This is, for me, the best performance, by Polish students of the Fryderyk Chopin Piano Academy in Warsaw, so they should know. Unfortunately, the performance is split into two parts, which are stored separately on YouTube. I have just stitched these together to make a seamless whole. Enjoy!

De Düva (The Dove): Practise your Swedish (sort of).


I have connections with Ghana – and have always had an interest in the country, ever since Lord Beaverbrook of the Daily Express went ballistic over their independence in 1957. The country has had a rough ride since then, with developed countries exploiting Ghanaian resources in every way possible, under the general umbrella of the IMF. However, the Ghanaian people remain friendly and welcoming, and deserve better. These few videos try to show that, as well as the difficult environment under which they struggle for real progress. I continue to wish them well – and, indeed, for the brighter future that they so richly deserve.

Ghana Coffins (BBC): The art of coffin making in southern Ghana. 

Ghana Rainforest (BBC): Combating exploitation by foreign timber companies. 

River Blindness in Ghana (BBC): An unpleasant disease of the tropics.

Ghana and the IMF: The damage done to Ghana’s economy and development.

Enstoolment of the Asantehene: The Asantehene is the chief of the Akan people. The enstollment is an important part of Ghanaian culture, and this the equivalent of an enthronement.

African Hospital: Typical days in Kumasi General Hospital. They see a different set of diseases – and social problems – in the tropics, and have their own ways of coping.

Kente: Making Kente cloth, by hand (and foot).

Adinkra: The Adinkra symbols are a complete set of sayings or aphorisms, painted on walls, used as hotel names etc. This is, I believe, the largest set anywhere on the internet, pulled together from various sources.

Shopping Basket