The past year has seen considerable activity regarding Marconi history.
The celebration of the Writtle 2MT station, as a precursor to the current national activities around the formation of the BBC, in introducing broadcast radio through the expansion of the work carried out during the first World War in translating from telegraphy to telephony wireless communication was carried over into postwar use. The pressure from both the civil population and those amateurs enthused by their wartime experience convincing the government that it was both a needed and necessary national development in social communication.
This was followed by a new venture, the mounting of a three-week event in the Marconi Building on the Chelmsford campus of Anglia Ruskin University featuring an extensive range of equipment provided by related organisations and private collections. These showed the wide range and world-spanning capabilities covered by the Company's many years of successful operation, from its inception until its untimely closure. The event was manned by volunteers from the Chelmsford Civic Society and the MVA and was a resounding success with the general public, which is further explored in another article in this Newsletter.
This event shows there is a positive interest in the heritage of what was a major factor in the development and status of the county town, with many family members following each other, many for a life-long working career, as part of a workforce in activities requiring skills ranging from high-level research to design and manufacture of large-scale equipment for world-wide markets. This was coupled with the extensive administration necessary to promote, manage, sell and service all the necessary operations to discover and meet customer requirements for highly-technical systems, many at the leading edge of functionality and application. The list of patents, staff honours, industrial and national awards gained is without rival. It also led the way in promoting technical aspects through publications ranging from general publicity to unrivalled journals covering both academic and amateur interests, one of which is still in publication, and participation in international exhibitions and events.
It follows from these and previous events that given the will there is a definite desire and sufficient material support to establish a permanent centre to commemorate the contribution of the Marconi Companies and their People to the life of the now City of Chelmsford.