On Thursday 14 April 2016 Ted Gundry passed away, aged 82. Ted was a veteran radio broadcaster, and one of the founding members of BBC Radio Cornwall. In recent years Ted has worked with Azook to begin digitising his collection, contributing some 345 recordings to cornishmemory.com. He became very much a part of the Azook team, spending several days most weeks transferring many of his tapes to computer and editing them. We will miss him deeply, and still expect to hear his cheery humming each time our office door opens.

Ted’s recordings cover all aspects of Cornish life, and represent an incredible and irreplaceable audio archive documenting thousands of Cornish voices and stories.

During his lifetime, Ted gifted his collection to Azook hoping that we could help him ensure that people could listen to his recordings online. Each time Ted visited our offices he brought more reel-to-reel tapes with him and we were under the impression that we were holding the majority of his collection.

In recent weeks, Ted’s family kindly helped us to collect the rest of his collection from his house. It was immediately apparent the tapes at Azook’s office were just a small percentage of Ted’s entire collection. His “Rubby Dubby Room” where the tapes, equipment and documents were stored was almost completely full with reels of all sizes, cassettes, MiniDiscs, DATs, CDs, LPs, cartridges, dictaphone tapes, cine film, VHS tapes and MiniDV tapes (filmed by Ted). It is possible that we may yet discover other formats when we unpack the  many boxes waiting to be opened.

Loose reel to reel tapes
Some tapes were loose in boxes and had been affected by mould

Loose tapes and documents from Ted’s visit to Tasmania recording memories of the Cornish community, stored in a Radio Cornwall box.

Claire boxed the contents of the “Rubby Dubby Room” and with the kind help of Tripp Removals and Storage moved it to Azook’s offices at Krowji. Unfortunately only parts of his collection were in any form of order, and so we have a great deal of work to do.

Loose reel to reel tapes and paperwork in a Radio Cornwall box
Loose tapes and documents from Ted’s visit to Tasmania recording memories of the Cornish community on the island.

Many boxes are of loose items, and there is no index. We do not know how many items there are, nor how many hours of recordings. There is a huge amount of work ahead. We have begun to scope the collection so that we can repackage it in better containers, and estimate what we are dealing with in terms of hours of audio and video, and supporting documents.

Our ambition is to begin a project to digitise and make publicly available all of Ted Gundry’s recordings. We have a long road ahead of us. It will take a considerable amount of time for us to scope the collection, catalogue, digitise, edit and publish it online .

If you are able to make a donation to help us we would be most grateful. All donations will be acknowledged.