VIDEO: VHS footage of local life 30 years ago becomes unexpected hit

A video detailing life in Perth almost 30 years ago has become an unexpected hit.

The 25-minute film shows long-defunct businesses in the city centre, and features a distinct lack of traffic — even though it was shot on a weekday.

IT manager Brian Vicary captured the footage in March 1989 using a VHS video camera, hired from the now-closed Radio Rentals, which he carried on his shoulder while filming.

The then-26-year-old also gave a mini-tour of his computer shop in South Street, where Spectrum and Commodore machines are seen for sale.

He made the film prior to a trip to America, with the intention of showing friends what life was like in Scotland.

© YouTube/Brian Vicary
Perth city centre from 1989

The 54-year-old said: “In 1980 I spent my sixth year as an exchange student in California and visited again in 1982.

“Everyone across there, certainly at that time, was fairly ignorant of the outside world.

“I was always asked questions like ‘do you have electricity?’ or ‘do you live in a shack?’.

“Brigadoon was their view of what Scotland was like.

“I was going back in ’89 and I thought I’d let them see where I lived.

“At the time I never even thought about the historical value. I wish I had because I would have taken more.”

He added: “I recorded it all in the one day because hiring a camera in those days wasn’t cheap — hence why I was out in the rain. You had to sit it on your shoulder. It was enormous. It recorded straight on to a tape. There was no editing.”

He said he was “delighted” by the online reaction to the footage, adding: “I was surprised by how popular it was. I thought some people would have a look at it and think it was good, but an awful lot of people have been commenting on it.

“I’m delighted, but it has taken me by surprise.”