We lost touch ages ago, but recently, we discovered that he was the bridge partner of my cousin - my cousin has a different name to mine, so it wasn't obvious.
So via this link, I recently got my hands on an hour of video vintage 1983/4 (thanks Mark), on VHS tape, starring daughter.1 and daughter.2, with bit parts for me and ladysolly and a small role for Sooty.
Of course, no-one uses VHS these days.
So I fetched down an ancient VHS unit from the attic, plugged it in, and put a tape in. It played the tape, but then it wouldn't eject. But I'm not stupid - I'd used a VHS of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" for testing, so not a problem.
Then I tried another VHS unit, and that worked. But the video capture device I had (A VideOh! from Adaptec) wasn't going to work. A) it runs from the parallel port, B) it needs Windows 98 and C) I have no idea where the software might be, since I last used it 20 years ago. Not a problem, for £5 you can get a USB video capture device from Ebay, so I ordered that.
While I was waiting for it to come, ladysolly asked me why I didn't use the VCR in the spare room. I had a look at that, and not only was it a VCR, but also you could use it to copy a tape to the hard drive, or to a DVD that was internal to the unit.
So I set it up, output to a TV, and an auxiliary output to a three inch PAL monitor from another project, and to a pair of powered speakers. I read the manual, which is fairly complicated, and tried it out.
The first tape I used was "Three plays", put on by Chesham High School; daughter.1 was involved, but not on stage. So then I tried it out on "The Importance of Being Earnest", also put on by Chesham High School and videoed by me; daughter.1 was Gwendolyn. I copied that to the hard disk, and then to a DVD. I'm uploading that to YouTube now.
And then, the rare tape of our toddlers. This covers from the time when daughter.2 was several months, until she was a couple of years. Here's a screenshot.
Daughter.2 is the small one. You see the nest of tables in the background? I still have that, it's used in the computer room.
Here's daughter.1 with her car.
A year later, daughter.2 no the same car
I copied the video to the hard drive, so now I can make as many DVDs as is wanted from that.
After I made the DVD, I had a look at it. There's a list of files with named like VTS_01_1.VOB. And I found that I could play those files with VLC on my linux computer. Probably ladysolly's iPad will be able to play them too, if I can work out how to copy them to there.
There's lots more, the video is an hour long, but since it's really of interest only to the participants, I shan't post it here.
I copied it to my iPad (an Ipad 1, inherited from ladysolly, because I don't really have a use for an iPad) and it will play the video, but not the sound when I use OPLayerHD Lite. And I can't install VLC player because my IOS is too old. But there's not much sound anyway, and it'll probably work on ladysolly's iPad, which is the latest. And maybe my iPhone?