Long Term Visitor Creates Unique Archive Of Scilly’s TV Footage

Isles of Scilly Museum

Isles of Scilly Museum

A long-term visitor from London has created what could be one of the most complete archives of video footage of Scilly.

Mike Harcum fell in love with the islands 48 years ago during his first visit and has since returned over one hundred times.

And from the early 80s, he’s been saving recordings of Scilly featured on TV programmes.

Mike has at least 24 hours of footage, including interviews with Tresco gardens curator, Mike Nelhams, on ‘Pebble Mill’ and 1989 series, ‘Through the Garden Gate.’

Barbara Simpson was also interviewed on Pebble Mill when she was an auxiliary Coastguard, and there’s footage of the famous ‘Challenge Anneka’ episode from 1990, when a new quay was built on Bryher.

In addition to the TV footage, Mike also has his own camcorder recordings, which he’s adding to the collection.

He’s already produced copies for Tresco and has offered his archive to the museum, together with over 400 postcards he’s collected during his visits.

And his expertise in digitising old footage has been picked up by the museum too.

Every time he visits Scilly, Mike carries home a few dozen old, heavy glass slides, some over 100 years old, so the images from the delicate plates can be saved for posterity.

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