Newsletter 2011

New Street – the saga continues

Peter Turrall, Chairman, MVA

The saga of our beloved factory continues. The buildings are falling into disrepair, the windows of the New Street frontage are boarded up, the garden has not been tended for at least four years and buddleia some eight feet high is growing out of the flower beds and some of the walls.

Various attempts have been made to get Chelmsford Borough Council to tidy the front area but to no avail. The administrators have been approached following break-ins and their only comment is that they are trying to sell the property and meanwhile have put in some CCTV to prevent vandalism. There is however little evidence of the presence of CCTV.

According to the local weekly newspapers, one of the big supermarket chains has expressed an interest in purchasing the site but nothing has been officially announced. It is alleged that a certain group is thinking about purchasing the building facing New Street and turning this into a museum and art centre. Again, nothing official has been released.

2012 sees the centenary of this building. It is hoped that some firm plans for its occupation and usage will be announced before the Marconi Veterans’ Association celebrates this anniversary.

Many people have commented on how Marconi has been neglected in Chelmsford and the wonderful legacy he left. It would appear the leading citizens of Chelmsford are not interested in this or any of the legacies left by other great industrialists who set up businesses in the town such as Hoffmann, Crompton and Christy. It could become a major tourist attraction if only the local council attached much more importance to the heritage bequeathed by these pioneers.