As the 2019 Reunion approaches, I must thank my predecessor Barry for all his hard work over the past 14 years. Without his spreadsheet expertise in life would be extremely difficult. (Full details of the arrangements for this year’s reunion are on page 12.
So far being Secretary has been within, but sometimes on the boundary, of my comfort zone (an expression now in common parlance). This year due to the early date of 6 April, the planning and scheduling of the reunion will be tight. As I write this article, I can only hope the deadlines are not too tight and, as the reunion approaches, I must admit to ‘butterflies in the tummy’. Hopefully with Barry’s calm guidance we will once again be able to sit down with old friends and colleagues on 6 April.
One of the sad duties of being Secretary it being informed of the passing of a veteran. Unfortunately, each year the numbers dwindle as we lose old friends and colleagues. That being said, or written in this case, it is pleasing to announce that we have three new Friends: Piers Chapman, son of Peter Chapman, Barry Watson, who gave the 1974 Marconi Foundation Lecture in Bologna, and Terry White (Titanic Terry), who has been giving lectures on the Titanic in and around the Chelmsford area for around 20 years.
On the brighter side and looking to the future, 2020 is the centenary of the first public wireless broadcast by Dame Nellie Melba (she of ‘Melba Toast’ and ‘Peach Melba’ fame), while 2022 is the centenary of the British Broadcasting Company, which was founded on 18 October 1922 and began broadcasting in November of the same year. Marconi played a large part in these events and it is hoped that along with the Chelmsford Civic Council, the Marconi Veterans’ Association will play an active part.
I am pleased to report that during 2018 the Association has benefited from the generosity of Veterans and Marconi employees, both deceased and living. The Management Committee extends its thanks to the following for and their families for the donations both large and small.
Peter Brian Chapman who left a legacy of £500 in his will. This generous gift is most welcome.
Ron Bradbrook whose son Nick kindly donated his father’s work papers and 2 working calculators.
Robert George Stokes whose family donated 216 Marconi Mariner magazines from 1947 to 1984 inclusive. These are now in the technical archive at Sandford Mill.
Roger Sweny who provided the Association with his duplicate coasters, all in excellent condition, four of which were previously unavailable.
Coaster Swap Shop
On the subject of coasters, if you have any coasters from previous years and would like to swap them for coasters also from previous years, provided they are in good condition, then bring them along to the annual reunion. This is subject to availability and is limited to previous years and not coasters from the current reunion.
Chain Home tower at Great Baddow
Currently moves are afoot to place an application to English Heritage to have the Chain Home tower at Great Baddow to be considered for listed status. At the time of writing Historic England was due to visit the site at the beginning of January. This is the only remaining Chain Home tower which is complete anywhere in the world and, given that partially intact towers are grade II listed, it is possible that this would also be grade II.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
In May 2018, the GDPR came in effect. In order to ensure that the association complies with the regulation a policy document has been produced. If you wish for a full copy please contact the Secretary whose contact details can be found in the newsletter.
The GDPR does not change the way in which the association protects your data, which is limited to your contact details.
Finally, I would like to wish you all a very prosperous 2019 and hope to see as many of you as possible either at the reunion on 6 April 2019 or the next Open Day at Sandford Mill.
One final note – the 2020 reunion will be on Saturday 25 April.