Marconi, New Street site

As many of you will know Bellway Homes has recently completed the purchase of the derelict site.  In spite of the site only being in their possession for about 6 weeks they have already put in hand measures to prevent further deterioration of the 1912 building.

They already have outline plans and these were shown at an exhibition at Anglia Ruskin University on 18 & 19 October where there were representatives from Bellway, HardHat and the architects present to answer questions and to learn from those who visited things about the site during its operational days; this is relevant as they try to answer question 6 below. According to Bellway there has been some confusion about the exact spot from which Dame Nellie Melba made her famous Chelmsford broadcast.

What was on show at these exhibitions can be seen at under “The Proposals” tab.  One major aspect of the plan that is not mentioned in Bellway’s proposals is that no building on the site will be higher than 5 storeys or the same height as the present Marconi House.  This is a change from the previous plans that would have built tower blocks in the area near the railway station that was the Marconi car park.  This area will now be flats with commercial units on the ground floor.

Based on the proposals shown at the exhibition (and which can now be seen on their web site) there was a feedback form provided.  This asked the following questions:

1.  What do you think of our plans to create a mixed-use development on the site?

2.  Do you support our plans to retain the 1912 Building, Powerhouse and Water tower?

3.  How do you feel about our proposal to create a pedestrian link through the site?

4.  Do you think our plans for Marconi Road are moving in the right direction?

5.  Is there anything else you would like to comment on at this stage?

6.  Please give us your ideas for how we can best remember the history of the former Marconi premises.

Bellway would be very pleased for any interested persons to respond to these questions which can be done at

Changing Chelmsford

The group Changing Chelmsford was set up in 2010 to celebrate and grow the culture, character and creativity of Chelmsford.  One of their initiatives was to intrduce the concept of the Heritage Triangle in the city; this triangle encompasses Shire Hall, the Ann Knight Quaker Meeting House and the Marconi factory in New Street.

It was this group that organised the visit to the New Street site in June 2012, as was reported on this web site on 20 June and in the Essex Chronicle on 21 June.

On 13 October they organised The Heritage Triangle debate in Shire Hall.  The debate was chaired by Professor John Worthington who was also involved in the Marconi New Street visit and the panel consisted of Simon Burns MP, Councillor Dick Madden from Essex CC and Phil Martin chief executive of the YMCA Chelmsford.  Dick Madden chairs the working party on the future of Shire Hall and Phil Martin is working with Genesis, the company currently refurbishing the Ann Knight building.  There should have been a fourth member of the panel, Robert Macdonald from Bellway Homes, the current owners of the New Street site, but instead we had a group of three people from the company Hard Hat who are currently working on the redevelopment of the Marconi site on behalf of Bellway Homes; they spoke from the floor.

The debate itself did not address very specific details of any of the buildings within the triangle but it did provide an opportunity for an update on what was being proposed, how the refurbishments were proceeding and, in particular, produced some new ideas from the public present, one of the main ones being the need to significantly improve the railway station.  The Ann Knight building is already well advanced and should be open to the public next year as a multi function building that can host a wide variety of events.  Shire Hall is rather more problematic, Essex CC have stated that the building will remain in their ownership and will be available to all the people of Essex but have not yet determined exactly how this will be achieved or what would be its exact uses given that it must be self supporting financially.  Not much could be said about the Marconi site, given that Bellway have only had ownership for about six weeks, but it was stated that there would be no high-rise buildings on the site.  The plans will follow roughly what has already been proposed by the previous owners and agreed by the City Council, namely a mixed development of residential and commercial properties but will incorporate the ideas from Changing Chelmsford to open up an attractive route between the railway station and Anglia Ruskin university.

There will be the first public consultation on the Marconi site at:

Anglia Ruskin University
Room SAW002
Ground Floor
Sawyers Building

Thursday 18 October  1600 – 2100
Friday 19 October   1600 – 2100


Marconi Mark 7 Television Camera

We have received the following communication from Paul Bicknell of Sussex and hope that veterans may be able to help.

I have just found a Marconi Mk. 7 colour camera head and lens in an old barn; I am trying to get all the parts together so that it can be made to work again.  Could any of your members help with any of the missing parts so that I can get it working again

Marconi Mk. 7  camera items wanted

Service manuals Volume 2 & 3
CCU Power Supply
Engineers hand control
Cameraman’s hand control
Camera blanking plate for when lenses is not fitted
Special Tools e.g. for setting up the registration
G101 cable short length 10 meters long
G101 set of connectors to shorten long length of cable
Vinton pan and tilt hand arm for pan and tilt

Paul Bicknell
South Coast
Tel:  07719 208048

In Memoriam

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

K L Burrows  1966
C A J Cordasco  1953
R J Day  1946
Reverend H P Hall 1950
R C Lunnis  1962
M P Perkins  1956
A Shipcott  1947
K J Townsend  1963
G E Willis 1947

This list was correct on 1 October 2012 and supersedes the list published on 2 May 2012.