A Stroud software engineer's own version of classic TV information service Ceefax is still going strong after five years. .

Peter Kwan, 63, has spent years perfecting his own teletext system - which he has called Teefax.

He says he was gutted when the BBC's Red Button service was introduced in 2012 - replacing the analogue Ceefax system after 38 years.

Just last week the red button was 'saved' by a mass petition just the day before it was due to be shut down in BBC budget cuts.

But Peter and his group of around 20 volunteers still regularly update their version of Ceefax - which has the classic look of the old teletext system.

And Teefax - available to anyone with an internet connection - sources its news directly from the BBC and reformats it with the same page numbers as Ceefax.

The grandfather-of-two said: "It's got all the original stuff like horoscopes, weather pages, travel.

"People can mostly find whatever their favourite page was on Ceefax. Usually they'll have the page number still memorised.

"We've got a couple of quizzes and games, too, although at the moment they don't get updated very often, so people might have to wait a while for new ones to come up.

"There are about 20 registered contributors to Teefax but most of these aren't very active.

''Maybe a core of six do regular updates. There are also a few robots that update the news, sport and weather."

Ironically Peter has not had a TV licence since 1999.

This means that despite his fondness for the Ceefax teletext service, he has never actually used the BBC Red Button service that replaced Ceefax.

He said: ''I haven't watched broadcast television in my home since 1999, so I have never used the BBC Red Button.

"I think it's good that it has been saved though - I know some people find it more accessible than using the Internet."

Mr Kwan's Teefax project began around five years ago - a few years after the end of Ceefax.

He said: "Towards the back end of teletext, I was working for a company that produced the equipment needed to create Ceefax, and supplied the equipment to BBC and ITV.

"As Ceefax was winding down, I realised I could find my job on the line - and I decided I wasn't finished with it yet.

"I realised I could make the equipment myself using modern technology, so I started doing that - and then several artists became interested and started buying my equipment.''

And Peter added that all the news and information for Teefax comes "straight from the BBC" - despite the fact that the broadcaster does not know about this.

He said: "The pages on Teefax appear as exactly the same as on the old system.

"We look at the BBC news sites and pick out news from the appropriate sections, then reformat it so that it matches the original Ceefax format.

"The pages then look exactly as they would have done on the original BBC Ceefax - all the news and sports pages are the same page numbers they would have been on the BBC."

He said: "As for audience, I have no idea because the logging is turned off to stop wear and tear of the server.

''If it breaks I quickly get complaints, so I know that people are using it, but that's all I know about the usage."

You can view Teefax at xenoxxx.com

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