Basil Francis – Veteran and past President

We regret to announce that Basil Francis, who was our president in 2015, died on 2 May.

Basil joined what was then Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company  in 1939 just after war had been declared and worked in the Installation Design Division that had recently been transferred from London to the research centre at Great Baddow.  Here he started a Mechanical Engineering course at Mid Essex Technical College but this was interrupted in 1941 when he volunteered for the RAF.  Here he gained his wings and flew various aircraft ending up in Burma before being demobbed in 1946.

He returned to MWT in the drawing office and completed his college training.  In the DO he moved up eventually becoming head on the Installation Drawing Office at New Street before retiring in 1989.

His funeral was at Chelmsford Crematorium on Wednesday 30th May and afterwards there was a wake at Little Channels Golf Club.

 

In Memoriam

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

Mrs Freda Amos1940
Mrs Hilda Barwick1961
Phillip Brogden1965
Mike Butcher1956
Roger Farrow1952
Ivor Harrrison1952
Kenneth Hutley1939
Ian MacNee1973
David Mainhood1952
A D Marley (Tony)1969
Ken May1959
R W Pendlebury1959
Robert Scorey1947
Alan Smith1966
Geoffrey Stocks1951
D W Varney1948
Mrs Kath Weaver1941

This list was correct on 19 March 2018 and supersedes the list published on 15 January 2018

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 

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.

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.

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.

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