Chelmsford Ideas Festival 2014

This festival runs in Chelmsford from 20 October to 2 November.

As part of the festival, on 29 October there is a talk by Professor Francesco Parasce Marconi, grandson of Guglielmo Marconi, at Anglia Ruskin University.  More details including a link to book tickets can be found at


David Griffiths

david_griffithIt is with great sadness that we have to report the death of David Griffiths on 26 September. David spent most of his working life with Marconi Command and Control and latterly BAE Systems.

He was a member of the Marconi Veterans Association Committee from May 2007 until ill health forced his resignation in March 2011.

One of his great loves was sailing, in later years sailing out of Tollesbury Marina.  If you would like to make a donation in David’s memory or send a message then the family have established a memorial fund at the RNLI, a charity David keenly supported throughout his life. The link is here:



In Memoriam

We regret to report the deaths of the following Veterans and extend our sympathy to the families of those mentioned.

F H Austin
J Bradley
S C Church MBE
M J Coombe
R E Cornhill
A V Forwood
P E Foulds
J K Gregory
D E Hart
T F Heaton
P J Humphrey
R E King
A W Lamb
Mrs F A Marshall
Mrs J R Mason
J W Milligan
J R Moody
P B Moore
E Pearson
Mrs C Pye
A Rayner
J C Ryley
G Stevens
R F Taylor
T N Tisdal
R H Vanstone
R C Willis
R A Wood

This list was correct on 29 September 2014 and supersedes the list published on 10 March 2014.

Basildon 60th anniversary open day

Post updated and pictures added 28 September

Selex ES Limited at Basildon are staging an open day on Sunday 21 September.  The event runs from 11:00 – 15:30 at:

Sigma House
Christopher Martin Road
SS14 3EL

The event is by ticket only.  Tickets are free and there will be many exhibits and activities for children of all ages.  It goes without saying there’ll be food and drink too.  Those with memories that go back further than 2001 will better remember the location as ‘K’ Building.  The ground floor of the building will be accessible and in the main reception area there will be a timeline of products and programmes from both the Electro-Optical and Airadio divisions spanning the 60 years.

For tickets please apply at  advising how many tickets you need and if there are any under 18’s among your party.   As this email address is also being used for other planning purposes would you please write TICKETS in the email subject box.

The Marconi Veterans Association will be having a stand at the event.

The pictures below were taken around the Marconi Veterans Stand on 21 September.

Click on the images for a full-sized version



Past President Stanley Church

StanChurchMBE2_rgbAWe are sad to report the death of our Past President Stan Church at the age of 96; he was our oldest veteran. He was president of the Marconi Veterans Association in 2003

Stan Church was a member of the Church family with many relatives who joined the Company when it was known as Marconis Wireless and Telegraph Company Limited.  Stan completed fifty years of Service and ended up as Manager Spares Department of Central Division of Marconi Communication Systems Limited.  When he joined Central Division it was under the Divisional Manager P.J. Donelly and later Gordon Williams who was then Divisional Manager Broadcasting Division of MCSL.

Stan lived in Well Lane Galleywood and as a very keen cyclist he cycled to work each day, first to Central Division at the HQ in Westway and latterly in Waterhouse Lane where the MCSL Company Development Labs were situated.  He was a member of the Chelmsford Cycling Action Group and also a member of the Essex Wildlife Trust.  He was a founder member of the local Group who opened the ponds between EEV and the railway embankment in Central Park Chelmsford naming them “The Marconi Ponds” where he spent a lot of time clearing the vegetation and making the ponds an ideal place for visitors to find wildlife and peace and quiet.

There will be a funeral service at Galleywood Parish Church on Wednesday, 23 July commencing at 1.30 pm followed by cremation at Chelmsford Crematorium at 2.30 pm.

Veteran Julien Ryley

We are sad to report that veteran Julien Ryley died last Sunday 29th June in Queens Hospital, Romford.  His funeral is at St. Thomas Church, Brentwood on Friday, July 11th at 12.15 p.m.

Reunion 2014

The veterans’ reunion was held on 5 April. The president for 2014, the reunion’s guest of honour and the standing committee is shown below

London Marathon

NatashaWe have received the following letter from someone with family connections to Marconi Veterans.  The letter is self explanatory but if anyone feels able to help in this endeavour it would be appreciated.

Clicking on the letter will open a much larger window that will enable much easier reading on most monitors.


In Memoriam

We regret to report the deaths of the following Veterans and extend our sympathy to the families of those mentioned.

Mrs D Bateson
D G Beech
H M Chandler
C S Dodd
P W Gurton
J A Jason
J R Moody
J S Nicol
C S Owen
A Peters
V Wood
R Wray

This list was correct on 10 March 2014 and supersedes the list published on 13 January 2014.

Reunion 2014 – an invitation from our secretary

Dear Fellow Veteran

First, let me wish all Veterans a healthy and prosperous 2014.

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all new members to the Association and hope to see them at the Annual Reunion, which will be held on Saturday 5th April 2014. This will be the 78th Reunion and the venue will be the Marconi Social Club, Beehive Lane, Chelmsford, where there is ample parking for those who travel by road. The Bar is inside the Main Hall (on the right as you enter the Club) and will open at 11.00 a.m.

There will be various displays and the merchandise table will, again, be located in the hall. You will have plenty of time to enjoy meeting up with colleagues until it is time to take your seats for the luncheon. This will take place, as usual, at 1.00 p.m. with the Annual General Meeting and the Raffle concluding the proceedings. Any changes will be advised to you with your ticket. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to ring me on the above number.

We are, again, producing a commemorative Coaster and one per person is included in the ticket price. There will also be additional coasters, for sale, plus some coasters from previous years as well as a number of ties, scarves and badges.

Our President for 2014 is Veteran Mike Thornton who for many years was with Marconi’s Aeronautical Division at Basildon. He retired from the position of Managing Director in 1994 after over 39 years service with the Company.

Joining the Reunion as our Honoured Guest is Mr Ray Hagger who, for many years, was with Shell Mex and BP mainly involved with retail marketing. On leaving Shell he joined a specialised training organisation and later became involved as a Pensions Liaison representative.

The menu for this year’s luncheon will be as follows: -

Prawn and Seafood Cocktail
Roast Turkey
Raspberry Pavlova
Coffee, Cheese and Biscuits

We appreciate that some Veterans may have special dietary requirements and would request that you indicate this on your application. We are able to cater for most requirements.

With regard to the Subscription, we are pleased to maintain the rate at £6.00 per annum but, regrettably due to increased costs, we must raise the cover price for the Reunion to £24.00. I am sure that you will agree that this is still excellent value for a four course meal with tea/coffee and wine. As the Association has a very limited income, and in order to keep our expenses to a minimum, receipts for Subscriptions and/or Donations will not be issued unless requested so we thank you in anticipation.

Those Veterans who wish to attend are requested to apply to the above address at the earliest possible date in order that I may properly assess the numbers. To reduce administration, please combine your ticket price, subscription, etc. onto a single cheque which should be made payable to ‘Marconi Veterans’ Association’.

Please note that it is not acceptable for guests to bring their own drink or food into the Club. Please refrain from this practice as anyone doing so may be asked to leave the Reunion and could be refused a ticket in the future. As last year, cheese and biscuits are included in our menu and additional bottles of wine can be purchased from the bar.

We often hear comments from Veterans that they would come to the Reunion but are afraid that they “would not know anyone on their table” or that “the speeches are long winded and boring”. If you feel this way, please read my article in the Newsletter, speak to a Veteran who does attend or give me a ring. Then, if you’re still not convinced, try it – if it really isn’t your ‘thing’ then there is no obligation to come again.

Your assistance is requested with the seating arrangements and we ask you to indicate, on your ticket application, with which Company you would prefer to sit (i.e. Comms, Radar, Baddow, Basildon, Marine, MI).

Following a suggestion from a Veteran, we are compiling a list of forenames and nicknames in an effort to make the various lists less formal and enable people to distinguish between Veterans with similar initials. We will, again, be producing self adhesive name tags for you to wear at the Reunion and these will be available for collection at the merchandise table as you enter the Hall. When you order your ticket, please indicate, in the box provided, how you would like your name tag to read. THE DEFAULT WILL BE TO PRINT YOUR NAME AS IT APPEARS ON THE FIRST LINE OF YOUR ADDRESS LABEL.
So please fill in the spaces on the Subscription/Ticket application form.

We are, again, inviting entries for the ‘Absent Friends’ book, containing messages from Veterans who were unable to attend. Two copies will be produced and prominently displayed at the Reunion. If you wish to place a message in the book, please use the space provided on the attached form. Entries will be identified by name but no contact details will be provided unless you include them within the message area.

Your Committee is prepared to receive any nominations, propositions or suggestions for submission to the Annual General Meeting. providing they reach me in writing by 22nd March 2014.

We now have over 50 ‘Friends of the Marconi Veterans’ Association’. All ‘Friends’ receive the Newsletter and we will do all we can to keep them in touch with ex-colleagues but they are not eligible to attend the Reunion. The 2014 subscription for Friends is unchanged at £3.00.  If you know of anyone who would like to be included, please urge them to contact me, at the above address, as soon as possible.

I am often not informed when a Veteran dies, and in these circumstances, I would like to extend my condolences to members of the families who receive this letter and apologise for any distress or inconvenience caused. Should you be aware of any Veterans who have passed away recently, I would appreciate it if you would let me know so that I can amend our records and avoid any embarrassment.

We trust that you will accept this letter as a very cordial invitation to attend the Seventy-Eighth Reunion, but if, for any reason, you cannot be with us, your Committee would like to take this opportunity to wish you the very best of luck and good health for the future.

Finally, two dates for your diary, the Marconi Day at Sandford Mill is currently scheduled for Saturday 26th April (10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.) and the 2015 Reunion will be on Saturday 18th April

I look forward to seeing you at the Reunion.

With kindest regards

I am yours sincerely

Veteran Barry Powell

For a copy of the Subscription/Ticket application form for downloading and printing please CLICK HERE.  We regret we are no yet able to accept electronic payments.