mva title

new street bdg sm

Alan Hartley-Smith


It has been a very interesting year since the last issue which didn't have an MHG report but Tim Wander's magnum opus on the Melba Centenary summed up the principal interest for 2020, and incorporated trailers for the next two years, centred on the Marconi peacetime heritage activity in the 1920s of broadcast radio communication, and was also embedded in the Essex2020 events which included a Chelmsford Civic Society/Chelmsford Science and Engineering Society presentation on the Marconi contribution to the development of computers.

Later we had the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, which also carried the story forward from the rapid developments from telegraphy to telephony during the first world war, but this time into the preparations for a potential second conflict, which again resulted in major developments culminating in the new technologies of radar and the emergence of the  discipline of electronics which postwar opened up new avenues of commerce for the Company. (note to editor – get a story from the Monday Men at Sandford Mill on the growth of television).

Throughout this same year occurred a massive shift from person-to-person to person-to-camera/computer interaction enforced by the coronavirus pandemic, which has accelerated the adoption of online electronic methods for both communication and commerce, changing the whole fabric of daily life from education, work and leisure to the services and facilities currently used for business, manufacture, entertainment and travel all of which will need to be completely altered in ways in which the Company would certainly have been involved no doubt to the delight of its Founder, more's the pity for its disappearance.

As a consequence much use was made during the years's celebrations with most events becoming “virtual”, interestingly greatly increasing the “attendance” and drawn from both local to world-wide audiences. With our online wikis covering the heritage of all aspects of the Company we feel the Marconi Heritage Group is well ahead of the trend, and recently the British Library has formally requested archiving of the whole set.