Newsletter 2009

A word, or six, from the secretary

A room with a view?

I had intended to start with a light-hearted look back over the first few months of my retirement but this has been marred by the death of my father in October.  Instead, I will talk about a visit I made to Italy in May.

Having completed 35 years service, I was invited to Florence to receive my long service award. My wife and I, together with Dave and Gillian Bennett, flew out a day early to do some sightseeing. Florence is a magical city – even when it is raining.

The proceedings started with a gala dinner in Florence where all the ladies received a gift commemorating the occasion. The following day, there was a lunch at a military air base in Pisa where the long service awards were presented. An air show preceded lunch including displays by the Italian equivalents of the Red Arrows and the Red Devils. For this Pisa airport was closed for 2 hours. Finmeccanica hired a fleet of coaches to transport us and, for the journey to Pisa, even laid on a police motorcycle escort.

Listening to the translation of the proceedings, I heard mention of Marconi several times and constant reference to ‘The Finmeccanica Family’. Pier Francesco Guarguaglini, the current Chairman and CEO of Finmeccanica also made a point of shaking the hand of everyone receiving awards.

New Street site closure photos on CD

Just before the New Street site closed, Eric Peachey and I were allowed to take a series of photographs of the site and we intend to compile these, together with some taken by others at the open day in June, onto a CD for sale from April onwards. We hope to have initial copies (at £5 each) available for the reunion and AGM with the remainder being posted out shortly afterwards – please use the enclosed form if you wish to order a copy.


Changes are afoot – see the webmaster’s item on page 5.

Mailing list

As we approach the end of the year, I am looking to the printing of the labels for the mailing of the annual newsletter. It seems, therefore, timely for me to ask you all to help me in two areas ….

First, do you know of a Veteran who would like to receive the newsletter and possibly attend the reunion? It may be that they have moved or not replied to a confirmation request of a few years ago.

Friends of the Marconi Veterans Association

The second way you can help is if you know of someone who is not a Veteran but would like to receive the newsletter. Some of these (those who left with 21

to 24 years service) have now become Veterans by virtue of the recent reductions in service requirement and I would be delighted to hear from them and make sure they are on the mailing list.

With regard to the others, we are pleased to announce that we are compiling a list of those who, whilst not entitled to become Veterans, nevertheless wish to maintain contact with the Association. We are terming this ‘Friends of the Marconi Veterans Association’. All ‘Friends’ would receive the newsletter and we would do all we can to keep them in touch with ex-colleagues but they would not be eligible to attend the reunion. The annual subscription will be £3. In all cases, please urge them to contact me as soon as possible.

Secretary’s contact details

Please note that I am now retired from SELEX Communications and can be contacted at the address below. Finally, I would like to wish you all a very

prosperous 2009 and hope to see as many of you as possible at the reunion.
Barry Powell, Secretary, Marconi Veterans Association, 22 Juliers Close, Canvey Island, Essex, SS8 7EP
01268 696342;