Service Records

On 22 July the Secretary received a letter, with a Scottish stamp on the envelope, requesting information on a Mr David Smart Esplin. He is not a veteran but appears to have been a Marconi employee.

Unfortunately, the writer did not give any contact information in any form. If this person could contact us again we may be able to provide useful information.

Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society

The MVA does not normally mention CARS as they have their own web site on which all their activities are recorded.  However, their forthcoming meeting has items that will be of particular interest to To Marconi people and the note from the CARS secretary is included below:

At the next monthly meeting of the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society three Club members will be giving short talks each of 35-40 minutes.  They are; A Century Not Out— WW1 Trench and Airborne Wireless sets, Magic Quarter Waves and Marconi’s Hidden Museum. The meeting will be held at Oaklands Museum, Moulsham Street, CM2 9AQ on Tuesday July 4th
The first talk by Brian Styles, an avid collector of all things scientific will discuss and display a one hundred year old working WW1 Mk-III ‘trench’ receiver and an aircraft 52B ‘spark’ transmitter, both initially used for military reconnaissance. There is a possible connection with the Marconi factory in Hall Street where this type of equipment was manufactured.
The second talk Magic Quarter Waves, will be by Tony Gilbey CARS President, as an aerial expert he will discuss the how and why of radio waves and the aerials of all sorts that send out the wireless signals we all use daily.
Finally, after a break for tea and coffee, CARS vice-President Murray Niman, courtesy of his international amateur radio efforts will reveal all about a real hidden gem, the Marconi Hidden Museum. Where is it hidden? You will need to come to Oaklands Museum at 7.30pm to hear the story.
All welcome. Free entry and parking. The purchase of a raffle ticket is requested. Refreshments are available.

 

Marconi Mural

We have been advised that a Marconi mural will be officially launched at Chelmsford Railway Station at:

11 am on Friday 7th July

The mural has been produced by Victoria Button & Nick Haydon.

Norman Lamont plaque

This photograph has been found by an ex Marconi Avionics/GEC Avionics employee when clearing out his late Father’s effects.  His Father also worked for the same companies.

It is believed that this refers to a building in Milton Keynes but we are asking if anyone knows the exact location of the plaque, either the building to which it was attached or where it now is as it appears it was no longer attached when this photograph was taken.

 

Titanic Exhibition

Chelmsford Civic Society are staging the touring Titanic Honour and Glory exhibition in Bond St Chelmsford, which gives a fascinating insight into this endlessly compelling story – the Titanic legend.  Visitors will discover what life was like on board with beautiful replica artefacts.

A private launch for press and media took place on Thursday 6th April when the Civic Society was delighted to welcome from the United States the TV crew from the Titanic Channel.  As you may know the SOS equipment on the Titanic and Carpathia was made at the World’s First Wireless Factory in Hall St Chelmsford and the Marconi Radio Officers on board saved 705 lives.

Our campaign is to ‘raise funds for the Industrial Heritage in our City’ Charity No. 271779

Click on the picture for a larger image

Below are pictures taken at the press launch.  These are not intended to show the full exhibition but just to give a flavour of what you might expect when you visit.

Titanic Exhibition April 2017

Titanic Exhibition April 2017

Titanic Exhibition April 2017

Titanic Exhibition April 2017

Titanic Exhibition April 2017

Titanic Exhibition April 2017

In Memoriam

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

Arthur Raymond Batsford1956
Tom Bealin-Kelly
Derek Bennett1957
Ross Cheffers1956
A Cook1951
Roger Dixon1960
Grant Findlay2014 (Friend)
Ken Fooks1965
Alexander James Gordon1942
John Harber1946
Philip Haworth1941
Jim Hogan1960
Peter Brian Keeley1958
Fred Kime1951
Kenneth Knight1956
John Frederick Mennell1946
Royston Charles Moody1950
Jim Philbrick1961
Ralph Reid1963
Neil Schoonderwoerd1984
Andrew Sharp1966
Doug Skinner1967
Viv Smith1964
William (Jack) Southam1944
Arthur Wray1944
Miss Babs Yule1941

This list was correct on 20 March 2017 and supersedes the list published on 23 January 2017

We have intentionally kept this page as simple as possible and provide minimal details of the deceased.  However, where we have biographical details of a person and/or funeral details these will be published under the Notices tab above.

At the request of some Veterans we have included Given names where these are known to us.

Marconi Walk 2017


A SPECIAL MARCONI WALK

OF CHELMSFORD


THURSDAY 20TH APRIL @ 10:30AM

DURATION 90MINS
START AT THE JUNCTION OF HALL STREET & MILDMAY ROAD

BOOKING ESSENTIAL
PRICE £5

CONTACT ALAN OR EDITH
AT THE IDEAS HUB
MARKET SQUARE CM1 1XF

OPEN MON-SAT 10AM TO 4PM

THIS IS A SPECIAL WALKING TOUR FROM THE FIRST MARCONI FACTORY IN HALL STREET TO THE SECOND FACTORY IN NEW STREET. FINISHING BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT INSIDE THE MARCONI 1912 BUILDING


Price includes a donation to the Ideas Hub
Inquiries TEL 07779 931401 or 01245 609778
E-mail: cityhistorywalks@gmail.com

95 YEARS – A CELEBRATION OF RADIO STATION 2MT

Further to the announcement here on February 2 here is a report of the event from Jim Salmon and Tim Wander

The Two Emma Toc 95th Anniversary Celebrations

In 1922 from ‘a long low hut full of long low people’ – a small group of young Marconi engineers entertained radio amateurs and listeners across the UK and beyond with regular radio broadcasts every Tuesday evening. The broadcasts originated from Writtle on the outskirts of Chelmsford, Essex, and the enthusiastic team led by Captain Peter Eckersley assembled their transmitter together with a gramophone player, microphone, and on occasions a piano from the local public house, to entertain listeners.

Whilst transmissions lasted for just a year, their impact was immense. Many of those involved moved on to make major contributions to the works of Marconi and the BBC.
On February 14th 2017 a new team came together in the original Writtle Hut, safely stored and under cover at Sandford Mill to celebrate this short time in history, when a small wooden hut in a field in Writtle, occupied by a group of fascinating individuals, became the home of the UK’s first regular radio broadcasts.

Jim Salmon in the 1922 Writtle Hut with a reproduction of a broadcast transmitter of the same era in the background

Jim Salmon – ‘the power behind the “emmatoc” microphone’

Members of CARS
Chris Chapman G0IPU, Logging HF Contacts on the large laptop , with Les Radley G4JDS (middle and to Chris’ left), operating HF radio (as GB95 2MT) Right/foreground: Murray Niman G6JYB – on VHF and checking callsigns on QRZ.com using a smaller notebook pc

The team did not try to recreate station 2MT as we now live in a very different age. The aim of the evening was to recreate and celebrate the spirit and adventure of 2MT, to be ‘born in laughter and nurtured in laughter’.
From Sunday 12th February to Tuesday 14th February 2017 the team celebrated 2MT with an internet radio service including various live programmes from the original 2MT ‘Long Low Hut’. Whilst in the hut, we were joined by members of the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society who were operating a special event amateur radio station using the call sign ‘GB95 2MT’. We were able to therefore, for the first time in 95 years actually broadcast and transmit from this historic building.

The aims of the evening were many. Firstly a great evening for the volunteers and Chelmsford amateur radio club to celebrate a true piece of Chelmsford history. The project also successfully celebrated the UK’s first regular broadcast station and raised awareness of current technology and amateur radio. We are happy to have been able to expand on the 2MT story and bring this to a new audience, paying tribute to all those involved.

Tim Wander Talking with Dave Monk on BBC Essex and 2MT

There were many high points during the broadcast including being interviewed on BBC 5 Live and BBC Essex, however the main highlight was at 7 p.m. on Tuesday 14th February, exactly 95 years on from when 2MT started transmissions. At this time we all raised a glass and drank a toast to (1) 2MT and all involved, (2) radio hams past, present and future, and (3) Captain Peter Eckersley. We were joined in the hut by amateur radio and museum friends and colleagues, and we are sure the spirits from the past were looking on…!

For further information including programme recordings, videos, photos, publicity details, and our schedule of programmes, click on the link below.
http://www.emmatoc.com

A poignant moment during the 3 days was on Tuesday afternoon when we were visited by Shirley, the daughter of Tom Eckersley, Peter’s elder brother. Now in her 80s, we enjoyed talking about family and history, and I was pleased to be able to play her a recording of an interview with Peter Eckersley, most likely from the 1950s, in which he credits his brother Tom for being the inspiration to him at school to ‘be a wireless engineer’.

The team would like to say thank you to everyone involved and in particular everyone who e-mailed us and interacted with us on social media.

The team intend to be back with you for the centenary celebrations, but I have a feeling you may hear from us before then…!

Summary

One of the advantages of internet streaming radio is that your streaming company provides figures showing exactly how many people have clicked in to listen to a radio stream and the country they are in. Of course, this is also a major disadvantage because you will know if no-one is listening ! Our streaming figures are listed below, and taking into account the nature of this short broadcast, we are very happy with the result!

For the period 11th Feb to 14th Feb 2017 :  number of unique listeners – 423     number of unique countries – 21   and  average session length – 51.9 minutes

Many thanks to you all for tuning in !

The website at www.emmatoc.com has been operating for over a year now, and the number of visitors at the beginning of February 2017 numbered 7,957. By 21st February, this count has risen to 11,482, thus an increase of more than 3,500 views on the website for the period surrounding our broadcast.

On Sunday and Tuesday the team broadcast live from the 2MT hut, Essex Ham provided a live video feed using the Periscope phone app. In all 5 videos were streamed, ranging from 5 to 16 minutes each, and these were subsequently placed on the Essex Ham Periscope page. By 21st February, the number of views for these 5 videos stands at 805.

During our 3 day event we broadcast 51 documentaries, comedies and dramas, and 15 hours of live programming, much from the 2MT hut. On Sunday and Tuesday we were joined by our colleagues from the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society who operated the special event call sign ‘GB95 2MT’ with transmissions on the 2 Metre and 40 Metre amateur bands making contacts across Europe.  So, taking into account the above, our conclusion is – not bad for a small specialist subject radio service !

Thanks to Jim Salmon for all his hard work as the power behind the “emmatoc” microphone and for most of this report !

Further pictures are available on the CARS web site   http://g0mwt.org.uk/sandfordmill/gb952mt/

Reunion 2017 – an invitation from our secretary

February 2017

Dear Fellow Veteran

First, let me wish all Veterans a healthy and prosperous 2017.

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 22nd April 2017.  This will be the 81st 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 within the Main Hall (on the right from the Club foyer) 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 2017 is Veteran Don Mott, who is our current Treasurer and  has been employed in senior accounts positions across the Marconi organisation retiring from Marconi Radar Systems Ltd. in 1994 after a total of 38 years service. He has represented several Marconi companies on the football field and became a class 1 referee.

Joining the Reunion as our Honoured Guest is Mr. Ray Clark, who has had a varied career both in and out of broadcasting and is currently the presenter of the Saturday morning programme on BBC Essex.

This year, we have opted for a more adventurous menu: –

Smoked Duck salad with mango purée
Salmon Coulibiac with a sparkling wine sauce  (Salmon with egg en croute)
Lime Posset with raspberries and homemade shortbread
Cheese & Biscuits, Tea or Coffee

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.

We regret that, to allow for the improved menu, we must increase the ticket price to £30.00 but are pleased to maintain the Subscription at £6.00 per annum (£3.00 for Friends). 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 but not later than Friday 7th April in order that I may properly assess the numbers. We regret having to set this deadline but it is necessary to enable the caterers to source the ingredients for our meal. 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, additional drinks 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 articles in this year’s and the 2014 Newsletters, 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, Mobile, 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.  With regard to the name tags, last year’s arrangements seemed to work quite well so we will, again, produce the name tags on A4 sheets which will be at the merchandise table so you can collect your label as you enter the Hall.  When you order your ticket, please indicate, in the box provided, how you would like your tag to read.  If you attended the Reunion last year, it will read the same, otherwise,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 available below.

We are, as usual, 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 enclosed 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 31st March 2017.

We now have almost 70 ‘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, regrettably, they are not eligible to attend the Reunion.  The 2017 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 Eighty-First 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, the 2018 Reunion will be on Saturday 21st April

I look forward to seeing you at the Reunion.

With kindest regards

I am yours sincerely

Veteran Barry Powell

Secretary

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.