Ceefax: Your memories
- 23 October 2012
- From the section UK
After 38 years on your TV, Ceefax, will finally come to a close on Tuesday.
The analogue TV signal will be switched off in Northern Ireland, bringing the television text service to an end.
Although there is a digital version, Ceefax fans across the UK have been mourning the loss of their favourite news and information service.
Ceefax had always been an important, almost integral part of my life. I am severely physically disabled with extremely limited movement and unable to buy and read a newspaper like most others.
I used to tell people that Ceefax was my morning and evening newspaper. It provided information on so many different topics and in a way which was very easy to obtain.
Ceefax was incredibly valuable to me and I still feel its loss even today.
The replacement red button text service is nowhere near the standard of Ceefax and needs a lot of work to reach its ancestor's glory.
In a time when the internet had yet to become mainstream, to use the Ceefax motto, I had the world at my fingertips. I deeply miss Ceefax.
Mo Turner, Bournemouth
In January, Mo Turner sent her farewell poem to the BBC, where it was published Ceefax-style:
Jordan Thomas, Lewes
I am 18, and despite being one of the internet generation I always liked Ceefax. My friends laughed at it for being slow and outdated but I didn't see it that way.
In fact, when its demise became news, I didn't understand the jokes being made about how slow and unreliable it was - those people had clearly not used it in the latter stage of its existence because it nearly always loaded fully and quickly for me.
My first use for it was the TV guide, but I soon started looking at the other pages, notably sport and news - the articles were just the right length to get the gist of the story without being bogged down.
Would I like Ceefax back? Yes, the digital text service is less appealing and unreliable and the internet is a lot more hassle.
Margaret Williams, London
Oh for the good old Ceefax days!
Ceefax was such a great service which I fully enjoyed for a few golden years; but now my TV stands sadly idle for much of the day.
Checking the daily news, temperatures, the FTSE gains and losses, and, above all, the letters pages, were all regular punctuation marks in my day together with some refreshment or a break for lunch.
Yes, a few of these can be found with some difficulty via the red button service although it invariably states 'not available' at least three times before giving in and loading.
My 2013 wishes for TV would be a revival of ALL the Ceefax pages. Please Santa - wake up soon!
Emilio and Moya Anchisi, London
Ceefax was a presence in our life, an old and trusted friend who quietly entered our breakfast room every morning.
While we were sipping our tea, sitting discreetly in front of us, he was telling us what had happened in the world during the night in short, concise, silent words.
No more large morning papers, difficult to deploy on a crowded table, no more anti-social silences, each absorbed in his own article.
Every bit of news was ready to be discussed and the discussion made us exchange views and opinions, and made us learn more not only about the world but also about each other.
The letters page gave us a picture of trends of thought around the country, and induced murmurs of agreement or indignant protests of disagreement.
And if while talking we became oblivious to further news, Ceefax was there to repeat it. Such an interesting, civilised way to start the day. We miss it.
Richard White, Kent
After almost 40 years of Ceefax, Richard sent this to our farewell pages at the beginning of 2012 - look at the first letter of each line:
Bryan Green, Southport, Lancashire
I started to view Ceefax in 1980 when selections of pages were shown 'In Vision', replacing the test card. Another world was opened up to me when I got a teletext decoder box to plug into my existing TV. I could access Ceefax and Oracle whenever the four channels were on air.
Latterly, since analogue switch-off on my area (the North West of England in December 2009), I've had to rely on the pages shown In Vision [on BBC Two] during the night.
I even travelled to north-east England to see the final moments of Ceefax before their region switched off analogue on 25 September. That's dedication for you! The luxury of accessing Ceefax again was thrilling.
I am lucky in that I have a Super-VHS video cassette recorder which records in a high enough resolution for me to decode the teletext data off the tape. In this way, I can still view old Ceefax in the way it should be.
Alex Dow, Fife
We have had analogue teletext since July 1978 - over 33 years - and have watched it pass through its various phases, such as when it was used to remotely control the Norwich Studios, or to distribute supermarket pricing data on restricted access pages.
Our first teletext TV set was the second installed in Fife. The engineer was amazed that our indoor loft aerial could produce such a good resolution of the teletext signals.
During the progressive switch-over to digital terrestrial TV, the MTV version has been increasingly frustrating to use. We have stopped using teletext, apart from subtitling, which has very poor synchronisation to the speech and frequently leads or lags by several seconds.
It must be possible to return to the simplicity of the analogue teletext presentation, by ignoring fancy layouts and simply storing the working content of the pages.
Neil Asher, Leicester
We had our first Ceefax TV in 1988.
From that point I knew that I didn't have to wait for news bulletins to keep up to date with the latest news and sports scores as it was at my fingertips, whenever I wanted it.
As the news changed then it automatically updated. I could "watch" sports live on Ceefax as the score was always accurate.
You always made me smile! It was even the most accurate clock in the house!
Sarah Lester, Suffolk
This poem could be seen on Ceefax earlier this year when the digital switch over began and Ceefax was being closed around the country:
Keith Wilson, Berkshire
I bought my first Ceefax enabled TV about 1985 at a time when I was working very odd shifts.
Many a time I would arrive home in the early hours and Ceefax was my only contact with world affairs, sport and many other things!
I contributed regularly to the letters page as it was a very good platform for differences of opinions and begging to differ at the same time.
To me the passing of Ceefax was a very sad day! Best regards to all at Ceefax and past contributors.
I enjoyed using Ceefax because it was easy to use, and I could find information and news very quickly, just by remembering the simple page number.
I am a keen sports fan and, with Ceefax, I was able to keep in touch with all the scores as they happened. It was almost like being at a cricket match the speed the scores were updated. With the big games there was a box in the corner of the screen so I could keep watching the TV and still know what was happening.
I enjoyed it and, as I don't have internet at home, gave me information when I wanted it in a concise and easy to find way.
Produced by Priya Shah