Marconi Hall Street – March 2016

This page was updated on 26 March 2016

The Marconi exhibition in the original company works in Hall Street, Chelmsford was opened on Friday 11 March by the Chelmsford Town Crier Tony Appleton

Below are pictures to give a flavour of the exhibition.  On this opening day some exhibits had not yet arrived and BBC Essex had not completed their display.  Further pictures will be added in the coming weeks.

Opening of exhibition by Chelmsford town crier Tony Appleton P1000252A East wall of the exhibition area P1000263A P1000262A P1000259A P1000265A P1000266A

Pictures taken on the evening of 18 March when Tim Wander spoke on Hall Street and Marconi: Building the wireless age.

Tim Wander signing books Alan Hartley Smith, Marconi Heritage Group Chris Neale, exhibition organiser Part of BBC Essex exhibit

Pictures taken on the evening of 25 March when Dave Monk from BBC Essex gave a presentation titled The BBC and Me and my life behind the Mic.

Dave Monk, BBC Essex Dave Monk, BBC Essex Dave Monk, BBC Essex Dave Monk, BBC EssexDave Monk, BBC Essex Dave Monk, BBC Essex Dave Monk, BBC Essex Dave Monk, BBC Essex Dave Monk, BBC Essex

The Easter Bunny was in the audience.

The Easter Bunny The Easter Bunny

In Memoriam

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

F C Bennett1954
W C Buckfield1951
C A Pudney1963
D R L Rowland1947

This list was correct on 9 March 2016  and supersedes the list published on 1 February 2016

We have intentionally kept this page as simple as possible and provide no details of the deceased.  However, where we have biographical details of a person and/or funeral details these will be published under the Notices tab above.

Reunion 2016 – an invitation from our secretary

February 2016

Dear Fellow Veteran

First, let me wish all Veterans a healthy and prosperous 2016.

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all new members to the Association and hope to see them at the Annual Reunion, which will be held on Saturday 16th April 2016. This will be the 80th Reunion and the venue will be the Marconi Social Club, Beehive Lane, Chelmsford, where there is ample parking for those who travel by road.  The Bar is within the Main Hall (on the right as you enter the Club) and will open at 11.00 a.m.

There will be various displays and the merchandise table will, again, be located in the hall. You will have plenty of time to enjoy meeting up with colleagues until it is time to take your seats for the luncheon.  This will take place, as usual, at 1.00 p.m. with the Annual General Meeting and the Raffle concluding the proceedings.  Any changes will be advised to you with your ticket.  If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to ring me on the above number.

We are, again, producing a commemorative Coaster and one per person is included in the ticket price.  There will also be additional coasters, for sale, plus some coasters from previous years as well as a number of Ties, Scarves and Badges.

Our President for 2016 is Veteran Valerie Cleare who, for many years, was Secretary/P.A. to a number of Directors and Senior Management within Marconi Communication Systems at New Street, Chelmsford including the MD of MIMCo.

Joining the Reunion as our Honoured Guest is Mr. John Shrigley, Director of Personnel of GEC-Marconi Electronics Ltd. during the second half of the 1970s.

The menu for this year’s luncheon will be as follows: –
Farmhouse Pate with Melba Toast and Salad Garnish
Redcurrant & Rosemary Glazed Leg of Lamb with an Apricot Stuffing
Pavlova topped with Cream, Blueberries & Raspberries
Coffee, Cheese and Biscuits

We appreciate that some Veterans may have special dietary requirements and would request that you indicate this on your application.  We are able to cater for most requirements.

We are pleased to maintain both the Subscription at £6.00 per annum and the cover price for the Reunion at £25.00.  I am sure that you will agree that this is excellent value for a four course meal with tea/coffee and wine.  As the Association has a very limited income, and in order to keep our expenses to a minimum, receipts for Subscriptions and/or Donations will not be issued unless requested so we thank you in anticipation.

Those Veterans who wish to attend are requested to apply to the above address at the earliest possible date in order that I may properly assess the numbers. To reduce administration, please combine your ticket price, subscription, etc. on to a single cheque which should be made payable to ‘Marconi Veterans’ Association’.

Please note that it is not acceptable for guests to bring their own drink or food into the Club. Please refrain from this practice as anyone doing so may be asked to leave the Reunion and could be refused a ticket in the future. As last year, cheese and biscuits are included in our menu and additional bottles of wine can be purchased from the bar.

We often hear comments from Veterans that they would come to the Reunion but are afraid that they “would not know anyone on their table” or that “the speeches are long winded and boring”. If you feel this way, please read my articles in this year’s and the 2014 Newsletters, speak to a Veteran who does attend or give me a ring. Then, if you’re still not convinced, try it – if it really isn’t your ‘thing’ then there is no obligation to come again.

Your assistance is requested with the seating arrangements and we ask you to indicate, on your ticket application, with which Company you would prefer to sit (i.e. Comms, Mobile, Radar, Baddow, Basildon, Marine, MI).

Following a suggestion from a Veteran, we are compiling a list of forenames and nicknames in an effort to make the various lists less formal and enable people to distinguish between Veterans with similar initials. With regard to the name tags, last year’s arrangements seemed to work quite well so we will, again, produce the name tags on A4 sheets which will be at the merchandise table so you can collect your label as you enter the Hall. When you order your ticket, please indicate, in the box provided, how you would like your tag to read. If you attended the Reunion last year, it will read the same, otherwise, THE DEFAULT WILL BE TO PRINT YOUR NAME AS IT APPEARS ON THE FIRST LINE OF YOUR ADDRESS LABEL.
So please fill in the spaces on the Subscription/Ticket application form.

We are, as usual, inviting entries for the ‘Absent Friends’ book, containing messages from Veterans who were unable to attend. Two copies will be produced and prominently displayed at the Reunion. If you wish to place a message in the book, please use the space provided on the enclosed form. Entries will be identified by name but no contact details will be provided unless you include them within the message area.

Your Committee is prepared to receive any nominations, propositions or suggestions for submission to the Annual General Meeting. providing they reach me in writing by 31st March 2016.

We now have almost 70 ‘Friends of the Marconi Veterans’ Association’. All ‘Friends’ receive the Newsletter and we will do all we can to keep them in touch with ex-colleagues but, regrettably, they are not eligible to attend the Reunion. The 2016 subscription for Friends is unchanged at £3.00. If you know of anyone who would like to be included, please urge them to contact me, at the above address, as soon as possible.

I am often not informed when a Veteran dies, and in these circumstances, I would like to extend my condolences to members of the families who receive this letter and apologise for any distress or inconvenience caused.  Should you be aware of any Veterans who have passed away recently, I would appreciate it if you would let me know so that I can amend our records and avoid any embarrassment.

We trust that you will accept this letter as a very cordial invitation to attend the Eightieth Reunion, but if, for any reason, you cannot be with us, your Committee would like to take this opportunity to wish you the very best of luck and good health for the future.

Finally, the 2017 Reunion will be on Saturday 22nd April

I look forward to seeing you at the Reunion.

With kindest regards

I am yours sincerely
Veteran Barry Powell

For a copy of the Subscription/Ticket application form for downloading and printing please CLICK HERE.  We regret we are no yet able to accept electronic payments.

Marconi Hall Street works – exhibition

This is a short reminder that the public exhibition at Hall Street, Chelmsford opens this Friday 11 March at 11.00 am.

The event will formally be opened by Chelmsford’s town crier, Tony Appleton and Peter Turrall, chairman of the Marconi Veterans Association will be there to show visitors around until midday and to answer any questions. The exhibition will be open every Saturday & Sunday from 11.00am – 3.00pm with Free Entry, finally closing on Sunday 29th May 2016.

Special events planned during the open period include:

Friday 18 March at 7.00pm Tim Wander, curator, Marconi historian, author – will speak on ‘Hall Street and Marconi: Building the Wireless Age’. Tim’s book ‘Marconi’s Hall Street Works: The World’s First Wireless Factory’ is made possible by a grant from Essex Heritage Trust with proceeds from book sales going towards the exhibition. Entry £5.

Friday 25 March at 7.00pm Dave Monk, BBC Essex well known broadcaster, will speak on The BBC and Me and his life behind the microphone. Entry FREE.

Friday 1 April at 7.00pm Ray Clark, broadcaster and author – All at Sea – the exciting story of offshore radio – ‘Radio Caroline’ the true story of the boat that rocked. Entry FREE.

Thursday, 14 April 2016 at 7.00pm Tim Maitlin, Titanic historian, author and broadcaster, will speak on The Role of the Wireless in the Titanic Tragedy on the 104th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Entry £5.

Friday, 22 April 2016 at 7.00pm Dr Elizabeth Bruton from the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford will talk on The Battle of Jutland. As we approach the centenary of the battle, she will reconsider and re-evaluate the use and impact of wireless communications upon the battle, in particular decisions made by the British commanders. Entry £5.

Please book all these talks on the Chelmsford Civic Society page of Eventbrite.