In the present day the idea of recording onto flimsy videotape may seem bizarre to the current generation, but that’s what we had available at the time.

As Student Television evolved into the digital age, the rows and rows of old video tape – primarily Umatic in the case of STOIC, clearly became a waste of potentially useful space.

Massive pile of old STOIC stuff

When STOIC moved from the top floor of the Union building to the basement in Beit Quad, the archive was faithfully relocated and around 10 years ago we recoved some Umatic tapes and with the help of Doug and Alan, this was digitised. But many more hours of archive remained. On a more recent visit, perhaps 5 or 6 years ago we could see no sign of this archive.

I feared it was lost forever but I’ve just read on the blog maintained by the Imperial Television Studio’s creator, Colin Grimshaw, that he rescued the tapes from oblivion. Colin writes:

As discussed in other blogs, in 2009 I was able to save the entire STOIC videotape archive from being put into a skip during major rebuilding work in the basement of the Students Union building.

This is indeed wonderful news, and I recomend all STOIC alumni have a look at Colin’s excellent blog which is at

I read on the blog that the Imperial College maintained Video Server has been discontinued so it seems some of the digitised material has now gone!  So maybe the tapes were better after all 🙂

Other videos can be found at