From David Ashman, Singapore

Date 18 July 2007

Dear Barry,

I visited the website of the Marconi Veterans Association because of the fond memories and admiration I always held for the Marconi Company.

Watching and reading about the demise of the company at the start of the millennium from Asia was extremely painful.  An absolute travesty for employees and the Chelmsford community.

I worked for Marconi Radar in Great Baddow for just two and half years in the sixties, holding a relatively junior position in the Air Traffic Control section and then with System A team…. or was it Systems B team?

During my short time of employment I worked under Don Eastaugh and then, on the Systems Team, worked for Roger Woodcock and Ian Donaldson.  I greatly admired their technical skills, know how and man-management skills.

My technical interest and work was involved with primary ATC Radar systems.  Marconi Company introduced me to digital signal processing.  I found an additional challenge in computers as I was drawn into the world of Marconi Myriad Computers and trained as a programmer at the Writtle Training Centre.

I enjoyed happy and satisfying employment at Marconi Radar with good prospects.  What more could I want.  I had the best job in the world and it seemed to me, to be surrounded by most of the best people.  Unfortunately this wasn’t to last.  Family problems made it necessary for me to resign and return to working and living in London.  Eventually the computer systems skills given to me by Marconi took my career into the financial sector.  The Marconi managers also gave me a model upon which to build my own management style. My career prospered as a result.

Since those very happy days I’ve worked in many “blue chip” companies, worked I over 100 countries,  encountered a variety of modern managers, survived culture change programmes, participated in “customer first” workshops, endured immersion in the quality management way whilst generally trying to stay up-to-date with modern management methods.  I suppose these have made their mark on me and indeed have probably contributed to my career which has taken me all over the world and given me much satisfaction.  However, when I reflect on the companies I’ve worked for, the managers I’ve served, and the satisfaction I experienced, despite all the advances in “methods” none exceed the personal satisfaction I experienced working for and serving the Marconi Company.

Having visited your website from my desk in Singapore and experiencing the pleasure of linking to one of the very happy periods of my life I just wanted to express my appreciation to the Marconi community for the contribution they made to my life and career.

Many thanks,

David Ashman

From Vix Kennedy

Hi Barry

I’m wondering if you or any of your members know anything of the Scottish Signal School also referred to as the Glasgow Wireless College which was at 15 Newton Place, Glasgow during the war?

My son’s great grandfather is listed as principal there between 1942-1946 and then he moved his family to Rhodesia.  This is all I know!  Rhodesia at that time was the new world and many people moved there to help build the country, much like Australia and New Zealand.  I assume he would have been doing a similar trade there and been involved in wireless communications.

I’m pretty sure he would have left there as it became Zimbabwe and may have gone to South Africa or more likely USA or even returned to Scotland but I’m sure he would have remained in the trade.

His name was Charles Theodore Kennedy and he was married to an Annie Elizabeth Gibson.  They had a son in 1944 called Raymond.  If any of your members know anything about the school or remember him as a principal I’d love to hear from them!

Vix Kennedy

The Marconi Lancia

We have received a letter from Michael Ware who is researching cars that have been adapted to operate on railways.  His letter has been passed on to the Veterans’ Association.

Below is a section from his manuscript that refers specifically to the railway from the Marconi station in Clifden together with a photograph of the engine.  If any veteran has any information on this locomotive or can shed any light on the event we would be pleased to hear from you either to through the web site or to the secretary by the normal post.

Alcock and Brown after their momentous 16 1/2 hour flight across the Atlantic in 1919 in their Vickers lancia_marconi_thumbVimy crash landed in Derrygimlagh Bog in Ireland. This location was some 4 miles south of Clifden in Connemara and adjacent to the pioneering Marconi Wireless Station. The only means of transport to this out-post was a two-foot gauge railway. Its principle locomotive was a conversion on an Edwardian Lancia, the adaptation being undertaken by Marconi engineers at their works at Chelmsford and delivered by sea and rail to Clifden. The famous aviators had their photograph taken seated in the Lancia locomotive.