10 Years of BTTB!

Happy Birthday Back to the Bay! Ten years ago today, on 14th January 2004, Back to the Bay was first launched. With the amount of small TV related websites that were around in those days, we never imagined that a decade later we’d still be here, and would have grown to become the largest ‘Home and Away‘ site and discussion forum on the internet.

In that time we’re proud to have gained over 19,500 members on our very popular forum, who have made over 900,000 posts between them; have the internet’s only complete episode guide with dates and synopses for every one of the show’s 5886 (and counting) episodes; have a mammoth collection of over 2000 H&A fanfictions written by our talented members; details for nearly 100 (and counting) real life filming locations; over 700 character profiles and much much more.

To go back to the beginning, we first started off as two separate sites, Jeremai Smith’s ‘The Home and Away Source‘ and Chris Jenkins’ AussieSoap.com.

The original Aussiesoap.com (2003)

The Home and Away Source, unfortunately minus original images (2003)

The Home and Away Source‘s was launched on the efanguide network in August 2003, when Jeremai adopted the URL of another H&A site which had recently closed. Meanwhile Aussiesoap.com was also being launched around the same time, and these sites merged only a month or two later to create an even bigger Aussiesoap.com.

Eventually on 14th January 2004 that site split into two, creating a Neighbours site which is now long gone, and the ‘Back to the Bay‘ we know and love.

BTTB’s first homepage in 2004

Yet in a sense, we’ve been around even longer. In June 2004, we merged with long-running website Home and Away.org, making Back to the Bay even bigger. Home and Away.org launched in 1998, making some of this site’s content 16 years old.

In fact, if you want to look back even further, Jeremai’s first Home and Away e-newsletter – Summer Bay News – launched in 1997. So the whole long process to bring us to where we are today started a massive 17 years ago! You can explore some of the old newsletters at our Summer Bay News archive.

None of the past ten years would have been possible without a dedicated team of staff behind the site, volunteering their own free time. I’d like to extend a huge thanks to our past and present staff members, all of which (I hope!) are listed below:

Chris Jenkins, Dan Foster

Forum Moderators
Dean, -Karen-, Nick (Foxy), Jen, John (john003au) and Meredith (Mez83)

Barbara, Red Ranger 1 and Ryan

Quiet Achiever

Former BTTB staff members: Anaya, Andy, Bttb-rox!, Cal, Cat, Cerise, Claire, Edward Skylover, Eli, Emmasi, Frankie, Jackieleanne, JameyMaria, Jeremai, JosieTash, -Kirst-, Lisa P, Liz, MarMar, Melmarshall858, Nicom, NuttyNeighbour, Scandal-01, Si-Co, Skykat, Theresa and Valli.

We also need to extend thanks to a few people past and present at Seven Network and Channel 5 who have supported our existence over the years – you know who you are!.

But most importantly, we need to thank all our visitors and forum members for supporting us and creating such a thriving H&A community. Many sites and forums have come and gone over the years, and we feel privileged to have remained online. We hope to continue building the site even more in our mission to be a one-stop reference point for all things H&A!

Please join us in our celebrations over on the forum, where you can share your own stories and check out a bit more history of the site and forum.
We’ll leave you with a selection of images showing some of our various (and perhaps sometimes questionable!) looks over the years: