The Crossroads Appreciation Society reveal that several 1970s episodes of classic ATV soap Crossroads have been lost in the last twenty years.
Between 1988 and 1990 the fan club released many ’70s editions on VHS via Central Enterprises and ITC. With the recent DVD releases it has now become clear that some episodes released on VHS are now missing from the ITV Archive – which was until recently maintained by Carlton.
Mike Garrett, manager of the fan club said: “Its quite worrying really. What other ATV classics have also been misplaced?”
The good news is that other long lost episodes keep turning up. Recently the amazing discovery of episode 126, from April 1965, proved to be the earliest example of the Midland motel saga. Also last month long forgotten 1973 episodes, which the fan club helped find, were re-discovered. We believed there to be some episodes on film from the 1970s. The DVD company overlooked the film library, and so we prompted ITV staff to take a look themselves, and, just as we suspected, two 1973 episodes were discovered. But it seems for every episode we find, one has gone missing more recently. That’s just not acceptable.”
Episodes previously released in the 80s but now lost include 1885 from 1973 which was moved from film to a 1″ tape in 1985, 2300 from 1975, 2814 and 2815 from 1977. There also seems to have been some logging mix ups over the years with some late 1970s and early 1980s editions going to the BFI, but were not copied to a modern format for the ITV collection.
The donation of 2″ tapes in question, a possible four figure quantity, dates back to when Central moved out of ATV Centre and Central House into Central Court in 1997 and their VTR library was moved to Lenton Lane. It has been reported by some ex-Central staff that the archive vault in ATV Centre had by this time long run out of space and some programme tapes were being stored in hallways.
Another ex-Central staff member who wished to remain un-named told us: “All of the old 2″ Quad tapes were supposed to be copied to D2 before they were donated to the British Film Institue. However, some episodes were accidentally missed. And were not logged in the database, so have been assumed wiped.”
These episodes however were re-discovered when a handwritten note of their logging details was unearthed. They include episode 2867 from 1977, 3008 from 1978, 3409 from 1980 and 3555 from 1981 as well as a number of others from the same year.
What happened to the editions released on VHS and have since been mis-placed remains a mystery. Parts of episode 1885 survive in the Channel 4/BFI 1986 documentary on the soap, Open The Box.
If you have any episodes from before January 1982 – ATV editions – ITV would love to hear from you.
You can email them here.