Reunion 2018 – an invitation from our Secretary

The Secretary has written a separate letter to the Friends of the Marconi Veterans Association.  The content is very similar to the letter below but if you wish to read it  please CLICK HERE. Links to both application forms are at the bottom of this letter.

Secretary : Veteran Barry Powell
22 Juliers Close
Canvey Island
Essex
SS8 7EP
Direct Dial: 01268 696342
E-mail : Secretary@marconi-veterans.org

February 2018

Dear Fellow Veteran

First, let me wish all Veterans a healthy and prosperous 2018.

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 21st April 2018 and will be our 82nd Reunion. The venue will, as usual be Hampton Sport & Leisure (ex-Marconi Club), Beehive Lane, Chelmsford, where there is ample parking for those who travel by road. The Members’ Bar is to the left as you enter the club and will open at 11.00 a.m. I would draw your attention to my article in the Newsletter where I have pointed out some important changes to the pre-lunch programme. Any further changes will be advised to you with your ticket.

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 2018 is Veteran Martyn Clark, who is one of a number of ex-employees (mainly Veterans) who generously give their time maintaining the Marconi equipment at The Chelmsford City Industrial museum.

Joining the Reunion as our Honoured Guest is Dr. Paul Marshall who has built up an impressive collection of Marconi Broadcast equipment.

This year, we have returned to the standard menu: –

Brussels Pate with Melba toast and a caramelised Onion chutney
Homemade Steak, Red Onion and Ale pie
Forest Fruits Cheesecake
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.

An important change from this year onwards is that Friend are now invited to the Reunion but are asked to refrain from voting at the AGM. Veterans will continue to benefit from a reduced proce – this year £28 – whereas Friends will be asked to pay £33. I am sure that you will agree that this is still excellent value for a four course meal with tea/coffee and wine. Subscriptions will remain at £6.00 per annum (£3.00 for Friends). 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 6th April.  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 article in this year’s 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).

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.

We are, as usual, inviting entries for the ‘Absent Friends’ book, containing messages from Veterans who are 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 2018.

We now have over 70 ‘Friends of the Marconi Veterans’ Association’ and would be pleased to welcome more. If you know of anyone who would like to attend the Reunion, or just receive the Newsletter, 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.

I announced at last year’s Reunion that 2018 would be the last that I would organise. At the end of the Reunion I will be standing down as Secretary and handing over to Veteran Colin Fletcher. I hope to remain on the committee and will be attending future Reunions. It would be great to have a bumper attendance for my swansong so please get recruiting new members (Veterans and/or Friends and convincing colleagues to attend

We trust that you will accept this letter as a very cordial invitation to attend the Eighty-Second 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 2019 Reunion will be on Saturday 6th April

I look forward to seeing you at the Reunion.

With kindest regards

Yours sincerely

Barry Powell

Veteran Barry Powell
Secretary

For a copy of the Subscription/Ticket application Veterans form for downloading and printing please CLICK HERE.

For a copy of the Subscription/Ticket application Friends form for downloading and printing please CLICK HERE.

We regret we are no yet able to accept electronic payments.

In Memoriam

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

Mike Butcher1956
Norman Cryer1958
Peter Frost1952
Steve Gratze1966
Jimmy Hegarty1955
Mark Oliver1955
Jack Parker1939
Derek Pope1947
David SamwaysFriend
Graham Smith1970
Michael Stears1963

This list was correct on 15 January 2018 and supersedes the list published on 5 December 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 Old FellowS

We regret to announce the death of David Samways on December 28.  He joined Marconi’s in 1957 on an HND Thin Sandwich course, completing the course in 1961.  David left the Company in 1968 and joined Honeywell Computers eventually settling in Australia in 1979 where he remained until his death.

He is not, therefore, a Marconi Veteran but because of the intensive work he has done over the years, as described below, he has made a very significant contribution to the recording of the history and raising awareness of The Marconi Companies and their employees and is thus remembered on this site.

David started the site MOFS in 2011 as a place to list the names of the apprentices from the mid nineteen fifties, David having joined Marconi’s at that time.   Over the years the project expanded so that now it covers all engineering apprentices from 1941 to 1989.  The list is far from complete but to date the list holds around 1000 names.

In 2012 he started a collection of Wikis covering the various areas of the Marconi business and these have proved an invaluable repository of Marconi documents both formal and those written by Marconi employees.  He was helped in this by veterans in the UK who still had access to some of the Marconi publications, which have been scanned and added to the Wiki.

Luckily, the Wikis remain accessible so all the data is not lost but the search is now on to find a new moderator for the archive so that it continues to be a Marconi resource.

Further tributes to David from friends and work colleagues can be read Here 

In Memoriam

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

F Beales1949
Joseph Bourne1948
Ronald (Ron) Bradbrook1947
George Byrne1954
P Frost1952
David Nash1961
John (Jack) Parker1939

This list was correct on 05 December 2017 and supersedes the list published on 18 September 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.

Ron Bradbrook – Past President

We regret to report the death of veteran Ron Bradbrook on 20 November.  Ron was our President in 2010/11.

The funeral will be at Chelmsford Crematorium on Thursday 11th January 2018 at 1-30 pm.

Ron was born in Barking and moved early on to Writtle. After the benefits of the local school he passed the exams to attend Chelmsford Technical College. A group from the college, including Ron, joined Marconi’s as craft apprentices in 1947. During his apprenticeship he did his National Certificate studies at the Tech.; he had spells at Pottery Lane, Hut 3 at Baddow, Writtle and the dreaded Building 46 in New Street.

After National Service he rejoined Marconi as a development engineer and found himself in Building 46 working for a very fine senior engineer, Douggie Bowers. This is where high powered transmitters started to take over his working life.

Having joined Marconi’s in 1947 his career almost covered the whole era of high power radio transmitters just missing out on the coming into service of the 100kW SWB-18 in 1940.

Ron was closely associated with the development of the BD 272 the first one of which became Sender 93 at Woofferton. In the nineties he undertook the early design work on what was to be Marconi’s last HF transmitter, the 500kW B6132, but retired before it went into service.

Ron was also the senior Marconi engineer responsible for the design of the equipment for the BBC’s re-engineering of its UK MW network of transmitters in 1977 using the 50kW B6034 as it basic building block and for the modification of this transmitter in 1986 to long wave as the B6046 for use at Westerglen and Burghead. At about this time he also was responsible for the overall design of the 10kW B6525 and 20kW B6526 FM transmitters that formed the backbone of the re-engineering of the BBC’s network.

However, this range of activities needed an authoritative voice that could cut through the problems and make a decision. Ron was that man in Building 46.

He encouraged those who tried and put their best efforts into the job and brought the best out of his close associates but he did not have much time for those that did not pull their weight for Marconi’s.

Contributions for the 2018 newsletter

The editor would welcome more contributions for the 2018 edition.  Although there is never a need to pad things out to get our 12/14 pages, more would be welcome.  And please don’t think you need to talk about aspects of the company’s engineering past.  Naturally we were an engineering company and by far the greatest number of contributions are by engineers about some aspect of the engineering history, but I’d welcome items dealing with any non-technical aspects of our Marconi lives, my criteria are whether or not it is interesting or humorous.

And a further thing. Some years ago we had the criticism by a fomer lady colleague who said that she never saw anything from female contributors. The simple answer was that if I had had many more contributions from the ladies, more of them would have appeared in print.

So come all of you, get slaving over that keyboard.

 

In Memoriam

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

John H Cox1955
Alan W F Cushing1947
Tony J Gay1965
John Bert Jewell1938
Frederic (Fred) Kime1951
Mike G MacKenzie1958
John A McHattie1958
Terence W Pegram1955
H Geoff Smith1950
Joe Stobseth-Brown1960
John Whittaker1956

This list was correct on 18 September 2017 and supersedes the list published on 20 March 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.

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.