The Marconi Archives
You might well ask what has happened to them? It is now two years since GEC-Marconi plc through its Marketing Director Sir Geoffrey Pattie and Chairman Sir Roger Hurn, came to Chelmsford and issued a press statement that the Archives housed at the then Marconi Research Establishment at Great Baddow, will be handed over to Chelmsford Borough Council and, that GEC-Marconi will seek to find a suitable building to house these Archives, or alternatively, build a special establishment for this purpose.
To date nothing has happened although many rumours exist. One being that the front of Marconi House, New Street will be set aside for housing the Archives. This is the Edwardian styled building which fronts on to New Street and in which our Founder had his Chelmsford Office. We understand that this part of the building is protected by a Preservation Order and incidentally, the whole of the building is now completely empty.
Marconi Mobile occupy the site, but it is on the cards that they will in the next year or so, be moving to a modified Waterhouse Lane Centre to occupy the old Broadcasting Studio Development site.
Mystery hangs on what will happen to the New Street site although hearsay advises that Building 720 which used to house the Canteen, has a Protection Order on it as it is the only unsupported special roof in the country. Will New Street factory be pulled down and will the white Marconi House building become a Hotel? Only time will tell.
Chelmsford Borough Council advise that they are still in negotiation with Marconi plc the new Company formed after the break-up of the GEC-Marconi Empire. Let us hope that something happens quickly so that Chelmsford Borough Council can open the doors to the public, to let them see the fantastic equipment made here in Chelmsford many years ago all designed by our Founder and his team of engineers. The new Essex Records Office off Navigation Road Chelmsford was opened earlier this year and will house what is called the ephemera (Documents, Press Cuttings, and early records). The hardware which forms the core of the archives, will go in the new building once Marconi plc, agree a site with Chelmsford Borough Council.