Newsletter 2009


As last year, a number of letters are from correspondents seeking information whilst researching their family history, or for the preparation of articles or books. If no contact detail appears with the letter then please direct your own contact details, or any correspondence for the enquirer, to Barry Powell (see page 4), or to the editor, Ken Earney, 01245 381235 email or via the contact us page of this site.

Bushy Hill history

From George Duncan, February 2008

I am trying to fill in gaps in the history of Bushy Hill (Radar Hill etc) and am hoping that veterans may be able to help. We have collected some pictures and information but more would be much appreciated.

We have also started to collect any info from other sites as the company has lost so much.

Long lost wedding photos

From Claude Meldrum, January 2009

I was hoping that you may be able to help. On February 6th 1971 I had my wedding day in Montreal and most of the officers and engineers of the Manchester City attended . The R/O whose name I have forgotten had offered to take all the photographs as his hobby was photo-graphy. However, after all these years I never did receive them and he never returned to Canada as far as I know. At the time my personal good friend Roger Llewellyn was the 2nd mate and tried to contact him sometime later, but was unable to do so. Roger is now with OOCL as Master. He is mostly running between Hong Kong and the west coast of the United States. At this point I thought it better to contact you as Bill Harrison (Electronics Officer Manchester Liners 1968-1982) has suggested. I know for sure that the R/O was employed by Marconi, and if it helps, the 4th engineer was George Prudhoe.

I may be grasping at straws here, but I thought it worth a try. I think as one becomes older one tends to think of the past and it has always made my wife and I quite sad that we can’t even look back and see our wedding photos. Anything that you can do would be much appreciated.

Army Signals – Marconi SWB transmitters

The following is an extract from a message from Bill Barbone in website feedback to Chris Gardiner on the subject of British Army use of Marconi SWB transmitters.

You might be interested in the pages for the web that I wrote for the Museum of Communications in Vienna. These are both the story of Ham radio in Italy at the end of the campaign and also my descriptions of the use of Marconi SWB transmitters by the Army Signals in the overseas High Speed Telegraph links to the various operational Theatres.

Go to then select English version and scroll down to ‘Help us solve the XA riddle.’ Click on this and you will get my article plus photos of SWBs in action in Italy at Carditello.

Webmaster, November 2019

The link in the paragraph above has changed, as has the articles title and it can now be found at 

Looking for information about Victor Cooper

From his grandson Josh Hart

I circulated this request to former Basildon colleagues in my address book, and George Nicholson has already responded directly to Josh, but there must be many others who knew VJ that I would not have known about. Ed.

I have just begun researching the history of my grandfather, VJ Cooper. He worked at Marconi for many years before his early death in 1967. I found your site via Google and was excited to find that my grandad was in the Baddow photo, as identified by Cyril Marshall. That’s certainly him!

VJ Cooper rose fairly high in the Marconi ranks (Chief Television Engineer amongst other roles) and was a true engineer. I believe he was involved in both television and radar in his time and in 1952 he was chair of the Royal Television Society.

If there was any chance of getting a message to Cyril Marshall and any other members who may remember him I would be eternally grateful. I’m interested in all and any memories, stories, photos, anything at all.

Thanks in advance.

A film entitled ‘Merchant Navy Radio Officer’
From Max Brewster –

I am trying to track down a film entitled Merchant Navy Radio Officer made in 1967 by Kinocrat Films and sponsored by Marconi. Do you know the whereabouts of a copy of it?

Thulium – Marconi Marine’s telegraphic address

Thulium, soft silvery-grey metallic element, 69 in the periodic table, name of Latin origin, from Thule, in its turn of ancient Greek origin, said in ancient times to be a land in the northernmost part of the world. Does anyone know why MM chose it? An unresolved question from the Marconi Mariner of June 1956! If you can help, please get in touch with the secretary, Barry Powell.