Newsletter 2000

Did You Know

marinea) In 1903, Marconi Marine established the first Service Depot and Wireless School on a site in Seaforth Sands, Liverpool.

b) In 1925 Senior Clerks in MIMCo were paid £4-10-0 per week rising by 4 shillings per week to £5-14-0 for 40 hour week. Overtime was paid at 1 shilling per hour with Double Time for Sundays and Bank Holidays. 14 days holiday was granted for employees with over 12 months service. Compare the above rates and conditions with those paid to Shipyard and mine workers at that time. Clerical jobs with MIMCo were much sought after (eat your heart out Mr Crilley).

c) In 1962 Sir Francis Chichester completed the transatlantic single handed yacht race in “Gypsy Moth” in 30 days. Marconi Marine fitted radio communications equipment on his yacht.

d) In 1976 Clare Francis completed the same feat in “Robertson’s Golly” in the then record time for a woman of 29 days 1 hour and 52 minutes. Her yacht was also fitted with MIMCo Communications equipment.

e) In 1975/76 “The Great Britain II” won the Financial Times Clipper Race. The vessel broke the 250 year old Clipper record set up in 1869 by one and a half days outward to Australia and by two days on the return voyage arriving in Dover on 25th February 1976. Good communication was maintained throughout with equipment supplied by MIMCo.

f) Marconi Marine Veterans in the Glasgow area meet on the first Monday of each month for a coffee and a natter. It is known locally as “The Monday Club” and was started in the 1970’s as a means of keeping in touch with retiring colleagues from all sections of the Glasgow organisations. The first venue was a Greek Coffee House but they have now progressed to their current long standing venue, the top floor restaurant of British Home Stores. This has proved ideal since it is reached by escalator, has plenty of room and tables can be arranged depending on the number of people who turn up.

The regular attendees are the ex-technical staff, plus one ex Radio Surveyor (ex Marconi Radio Officer). Total around 7 who each advise the others if they are unable to attend. Occasional attendees are ex-Clerical, Workshop and Stores Staff, Retired Radio Officers and of course the ex-Area Manager.

Coffee is available in large pots and the meetings last about two hours, sometimes extended if somebody goes down “memory lane” in great detail. Members who have travelled great distances usually proceed afterwards to the local pub for a well deserved lunch.

Three of the “Monday Club” members attended the Veterans Re-Union in Chelmsford and turned up (by arrangement) the following Monday wearing Marconi Veterans ties and lapel badges. Done initially as a joke, this has become in the meantime, the “Rig of the Day”.

This Newsletter has been compiled and edited by Peter Turrall MBE who would be delighted to receive inputs for the next issue. He can be contacted through the Marconi Veterans Office at BAE SYSTEMS, West Hanningfield Rd, Gt Baddow, Chelmsford, CM2 8HN