Post updated 14 April 2015
The Old Moulsham and Central Community Trust have approached Chelmsford Sea Cadets inviting them to parade outside the Hall Street Works on Monday April 13, 2015, and they have kindly agreed to attend with their padre, who will say a few words before those present observe a minute’s silence at 19.12 hours to mark the 1912 sinking of the Titanic on April 14/15. (1912 refers to the year of the sinking not the time of day)
It is believed it will be the first such ceremony in Marconi’s home town to mark the vital role played saving lives at sea, and especially the vital role of radio equipment made at Hall Street in helping to save of more than 700 lives from the stricken Titanic.
It is hoped that as many Marconi Veterans as possible will attend.
14 April – Below is a transcript of Chris Neale’s address together with some pictures of the event.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Sea Cadets and Marconi Veterans thank you for attending tonight’s unique ceremony, on the eve of the sinking of a ship they said was unsinkable
My name is Chris Neale, I am chair of the Marconi Heritage Group, but tonight I represent the Old Moulsham and Central Committee Trust that had the original vision for this ceremony.
It’s a special night because it is the first time that citizens of Chelmsford and the people of Essex have commemorated the part played by this, Marconi’s first wireless factory, here in Hall Street.
Marconi took over what was originally a Silk Mill back in 1898 and through his inventive genius it played a vital role in the rescue of 700 survivors of the Titanic disaster when it sank overnight on April 14 and 15th 1912.
Two young Marconi wireless telegraphy officers, Harold Bride and Jack Phillips bravely tapped out the SOS that alerted other shipping to the impending doom and Jack went down with the liner, still sending out the vital alert.
The piece of equipment these heroic young men made good use of was made right here inside this building.
Marconi always knew that his equipment would be vital in saving lives at sea and his company were already in the process of building a bigger factory in New Street, Chelmsford, which was then to see its order books filled by the demands of shipping lines all over the world as direct result of this dramatic event.
The new, purpose built factory was constructed in a matter of 17 weeks and the Hall St. manufacturing was transferred there over a single weekend and subsequently closed down.
The Trust is right now sending out its own SOS message in a bid to ‘save’ part of this iconic building for the nation
A heritage task force Marconi Science WorX is currently negotiating with the local developer who has bought this building with planning permission for six apartments and commercial space.
Our thanks tonight are directed chiefly to the Chelmsford Sea Cadets of HMS Upholder
They have admirably risen to the challenge of honouring the role played by the men and women who worked in this factory – to whom so many seafarers, including those serving particularly in the Royal Navy and Merchant Navy owe their lives.
Click on any image to enlarge