In a world of DVDs, Blu Rays and digital downloads, VCRs seem like a distant memory- but there are still a few of us around who can remember them and know people who still own one.

Hours were spent rewinding video tapes

Hours were spent rewinding video tapes

If you were lucky enough to have a VCR when they were at the height of popularity, here are a few things you might recall.

Having to rewind the videos- If you came across something you wanted to watch and it wasn’t rewound- the blame game in your house would commence. You angrily shoved the video into the player to send it back to the beginning while finding out who was responsible for delaying your viewing pleasure.

Disney films were very different- You can now see the Disney castle in all of its glory- every nook and cranny but back in the day the castle was simply a while silhouette on a blue background and Tinkerbell was just a white line.

Crackling- When a video was nearing the end of its life span- before the film kicked in- the black screen used to crackle and pop. It was a tense moment while you waited to find out if it was a sign of things to come.

The space- If you were a self-confessed movie fan- you had to dedicate a whole room to housing the many hunks of plastic that stored your favourite films. And if you were a boxset AND movie fan - you didn’t need to decorate the room or require insulation.

The VCR itself- Was a beast of a thing- it monopolised your TV stand to the point where there was no space for ornaments, TV controls- anything really. It was the focal point of your room whether you wanted it to be or not.

It blows your mind- That you can remember the days of the VCR but kids now look at you like someone possessed when you explain the process of adjusting the tracking on your machine.  

The noise- VCRs were not subtle. If you wanted to watch something in your room, late at night that you weren’t supposed to- everyone in the house knew. Watching porn or 18 rated movies was practically impossible.

Renting- In the heyday of video, there was such things as rental shops (I know- madness) and you looked forward to scouring the shelves of Blockbuster to find your weekend watching on a Friday night, with the obligatory bag of popcorn.

Built in VCR- You knew you had made it when your TV in your house got an upgrade from two separate machines to an all in one TV and VCR. You were particularly spoiled if you had one in your room.

Labelling- Once you could record things on the TV- each blank tape came with its own labelling system of letters and numbers. Or if you were lazy, you could write what was on there on a blank sticker. Alas- you never used any of these and spent endless hours going through tapes to find what you actually wanted to watch. The really unlucky ones came across private home videos and are now scarred for life.  

Happy National VCR Day!