GEC Pensions

During his talk to the 2008 reunion on 12 April Robbie Robertson gave a brief outline of the changes that have taken place in the administration of the GEC 1972 Plan.  Of particular interest was the acquisition of the scheme by the Pension Corporation.

Robbie is now a member of the Pensions Consultative Committee (PCC).

Since his talk the government pensions regulator has issued a press release.  This can be read at
http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/mediaCentre/pressReleases/pn08/pn08-08.aspx

The report under Section 89 of the Pensions Act can be read at
http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/pdf/Section89Telent.pdf

Charles Rand MBE

Marconi Veterans’ Association regrets to announce the death Charles Rand, MBE our Chairman and President for 2008.

Charles died on 10 April.

The funeral will be held at

St. Andrews Church,
Melbourne Avenue,
Chelmsford CM1 2JB

at 2 pm on Friday 18 April.

G. Marconi Speech 1935

Peter Turrall has obtained a copy of a speech made by Marconi in 1935 at the inauguration of the telegram link between the UK and Australia. The original appears to have been on two sides of a 78 rpm disk. These sides have been spliced together and are provided here as an mp3 file. If you wish to hear the recording please click on the link below. This should open the audio player for mp3 files on your computer.

Marconi_35

New Street redevelopment

Now that the New Street site has been sold and the current Selex Communications work on the site due to move to Basildon in 2007 discussions have started in order to try and retain some of memories of 95 years on the New Street site.

The site developers, Messrs Ashwells of Cambridge, have retained a Mr Ian Parkin to put together a proposal to tell the story of Marconi and the Company on the redeveloped site.  To begin this process Mr Parkin has met Sir Robert Telford and on 12 October held an informal meeting with some Marconi Veterans to gain a feeling for what the Marconi Company had achieved and how the employees with long memories of the site reacted to the proposals.

The meeting was held at The Chelmsford Industrial Museum at Sandford Mill.  It was hosted by Dr Geoff Bowles, the Keeper of Science & Industry for the Chelmsford Museum Service.  The following veterans were present:  Ron Bradbrook, Brian Everett, Ewan Fenn, Basil Francis, Chris Gardiner, Jimmy Leadbitter, David Polley, Barry Powell, Raymond Rowe, Peter Turrall.

Ian Parker opened the meeting by describing his brief from the developers which is to incorporate heritage information into the redevelopment project.  Most of the New Street site will be knocked down and the new buildings will be mainly residential and commercial with the site being essentially pedestrianised.

The 1912 Front building, power house, water tower and the semi-detached cottages on the corner of Marconi Road will stay.

It was suggested that the new buildings, footpaths and squares should have names, particularly one called Building 46, and names could also reflect both events in Marconi’s history and the names of significant people.

The main problem area is the 1912 Front Building.  It has been assessed and considered inappropriate for conversion into a five-star hotel.  It might make a three-star establishment but only five would be acceptable on this site.  An alternative would be to use it as a museum but the conversion would be too expensive for what could be achieved.

It was considered that the old power house might make a good museum and archive and form a permanent home for the Marconi Veterans Association.

This discussion programme is on-going and any ideas from Veterans or others will be gratefully received by Ian Parkin.  These can be sent via the contacts page on this web site or direct to the secretary.

Chris Gardiner

Chelmsford Calling

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Once again Chelmsford, the home of broadcasting, is taking centre stage in the broadcasting arena. The Community Radio Station “Chelmsford Calling” will be returning to the airwaves on Friday 16th July, Saturday 17th July and Sunday 18th July 2004.   The frequency will be 87.7 MHz.

Community Radio Stations are established under the auspices of OFCOM (previously the Radio Authority) OFCOM states that Community Radio:

* Is primarily for the good of members of the public or of a particular community and in order to deliver social gain, rather than for commercial reasons
* Is intended primarily to serve a particular community (either people who live or work or undergo education or training in a particular area or locality, referred to in this document as a ‘neighbourhood’, or people who have one or more interests or characteristics in common, referred to in this document as a ‘community of interest’)
* Is not provided in order to make a financial profit, and uses any profit produced to secure or improve the service or for the delivery of social gain to members of the public or the target community
* Offers members of the target community opportunities to participate in the operation of the service.

Community Broadcasters operate under what are termed Restricted Radio Licences (RSLs). Over 4000 of these have been issued over the past 13 years and more will be issued in future. These licences allow the station to broadcast for up to 28 days and only two licences can be issued to a particular broadcast group in any one year. For FM the band used is 87.6 to 88.0 MHz and the output power will typically be in the range 25 to 50 watts ERP. It is intended that the broadcast range should be approximately 5 km radius from the station.

Chelmsford Calling is broadcasting from a site in Springfield with a nominal ERP of 15 watts so it should be audible over the whole of southern Chelmsford inside the bypass, the village of Boreham to the East, Writtle to the West and the Walthams to the North. It should also be possible to receive it at favourable sites on Danbury Hill.

The station’s intention is to broadcast a service for the “over sixties”. Programming will be primarily music based with recordings mainly from the 1920s to the 1950s.  Some of the artists featured will be Glen Miller, Al Bowlly, Spike Jones, Ambrose, Geraldo, Bix Beiderbecke, Gracie Fields, Max Miller, Stanley Holloway, Bing Crosby, Al Jolson, Vera Lynn, The Andrews Sisters, Anne Shelton, Jimmy Durante, George Formby, Harry Roy, Billy Cotton, Mitch Miller, Henry Hall and many more.  There will also be broadcasts of comedy programmes such as Hancock’s Half Hour, ITMA and The Goon Show.

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The owner and operator is Jim Salmon and this will be the third time that his station “Chelmsford Calling” has taken to the air.  Sadly, costs have restricted this broadcast to only three days    The first broadcast was from 6 to 15 July 2001 (a ten day licence) and the second from 28 December 2001 to 24 January 2002.(a 28 day licence)

He is shown here in his studio. Note the Marconi logo attached to the bottom corner of the control desk.

The station can be contacted at jim.salmon@tiscali.co.uk or chelmsfordcalling@tesco.net
If you are outside Chelmsford and wish to send a greeting to anyone in the reception area please contact Jim on these addresses.

More pictures of the station

desk
Part of Control Desk

Antenna
Antenna
On air
On air
Disc Jockey at work
Disc Jockey at work
The record decks
The record decks

Marconi Statue in town centre?

This article was first published on Friday 23 April 2004 in the Essex Chronicle to whom due acknowledgement and thanks is given.

marconi_highstreetwebThis is how the statue of wireless pioneer Marconi could look when it is moved to a new home in Chelmsford town centre, as suggested by the Essex Chronicle last year. Essex Chronicle picture editor Mike Rose mocked up this computer-generated image to illustrate plans to transfer the statue from its current location at the Essex Records Office to outside Lloyds Bank.

Council chief executive Martin Easteal revealed: “Because the Marconi Centre is clearly not going to materialise at Chelmer Waterside, at least in the time frame previously planned, the future of the Marconi Statue has been reviewed. “A team of council officers from the Architects and Town Planning Services is now looking at a prominent site in the High Street – close to High Chelmer and Lloyds Bank – as its final home”.

Marconi Veterans Association vice chairman Peter Turrall said: “The Essex Chronicle and the Veterans Association have said all along it should go in the High Street. We are delighted with the move.”

Is this the new home for the Marconi statue?

This article was first published on Friday 23 April 2004 in the Essex Chronicle to whom due acknowledgement and thanks is given.

marconi_highstreetweb1This is how the statue of wireless pioneer Marconi could look when it is moved to a new home in Chelmsford town centre, as suggested by the Essex Chronicle last year. Essex Chronicle picture editor Mike Rose mocked up this computer-generated image to illustrate plans to transfer the statue from its current location at the Essex Records Office to outside Lloyds Bank.

Council chief executive Martin Easteal revealed: “Because the Marconi Centre is clearly not going to materialise at Chelmer Waterside, at least in the time frame previously planned, the future of the Marconi Statue has been reviewed. “A team of council officers from the Architects and Town Planning Services is now looking at a prominent site in the High Street – close to High Chelmer and Lloyds Bank – as its final home”.

Marconi Veterans Association vice chairman Peter Turrall said: “The Essex Chronicle and the Veterans Association have said all along it should go in the High Street. We are delighted with the move.”