Events and Activities


International Marconi Day -

celebrated each year by the amateur radio fraternity on the Saturday nearest to Marconi's birthday on 25th April.

Symposium - Bodleian Library, Oxford - Space, place and landscape in the history of communications

Organised by the 2014 Byrne-Bussey Marconi Fellow Dr. Elizabeth Bruton.


The Group has engaged in a range of promotional events during the past year summarised here.

In the 2014 Newsletter we reported on the formation of the Marconi Heritage Group and the efforts being made to get better physical recognition for Marconi in Chelmsford, and despite the failure to get representation in the New Street development there is still a possibility, featured later.

First, 2014 saw the start of the national four-year First World War commemorations during which wireless played a prominent role, to which there have already been contributions by the Group. We launched this public website which holds general activity details, and in particular a series of articles by Tim Wander on Marconi's companies and staff involvement in the supply and use of wireless in all three armed services, with links to related activities. In September the Essex County Council mounted an event at Hylands Park featuring the county's involvement in WWI and we mounted a display showing Marconi factories and staff, highlighting the equipment manufactured, from horse-mounted transmitter/receiver cavalry sets and morse transmitters for spotter aircraft to naval and merchant ship's radio rooms all manned by Marconi Marine operators drafted into the Royal Navy for the duration. Captain Round's invention of the Direction Finding (D/F) system resulted in the virtual exclusion of the German Navy surface fleet from the hostilities. The 2014 Byrne Bussey Marconi Fellow at Oxford University, Dr. Elizabeth Bruton, featured this in her lecture “"Radar" of the First World War: B-stations and wireless direction-finding in WW1” delivered on behalf of the Defence Electronics History Society in Manchester in January. ( and we assisted with the briefing. In later years aircraft receivers and two-way telephony were added. These and other developments led to the Company's massive expansion in the postwar years into the totally new field of broadcasting.

Also on the Group website we feature the considerable work of volunteer editors all over the world in recording personal and company information on our online wikis, which now number eleven, and whose content is growing daily. For this we rely on a continuing flow of input and to contribute you can register an interest on this website <> then send material to the relevant editor, or email it to myself directly or via the MVA, and also apply for access to the wikis.

We contributed to the Changing Chelmsford Ideas Festival 2014 in collaboration with the Chelmsford Science and Engineering Society by organising a lecture from Professor Francesco Parasce Marconi, grandson of Guglielmo Marconi “Making Waves: How Marconi’s wireless legacy takes us ever further into space”, with reference to current work at e2v, English Electric Valve Co.'s successor still operating in Waterhouse Lane. This attracted an audience of nearly 400 in the largest lecture theatre on the Anglia Ruskin campus and created considerable beneficial media interest.

The major effort this year has been put into the alternative possible location for a heritage centre, the original Marconi factory in Hall Street. There has been a complex series of meetings and discussions, with reported comment on the local broadcast media and in the press, concerning planning permission and development of this significant remaining Grade II listed industrial site in Chelmsford, so much of what has happened is a matter of public record. The current status of the negotiations are reported elsewhere on this site.

In a parallel activity an Open Day was held at the present Selex site in Basildon celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Airadio Division, and we are in communication with the organisers to ensure cooperative activity.

One other success is the negotiation of a grant from the BAE Heritage Product Committee to fund the relocation of the Falklands S600 surveillance radar from Bushy Hill to the Royal Air Force Air Defence Radar Museum at Neatishead in Norfolk where it is now the gate guardian.

All-in-all we feel there is a more appreciative atmosphere for our activities, but continuing effort is needed to ensure success and we really need additional manpower as the current local volunteers are getting overloaded, particularly by the very positive potential outcome of the Hall Street initiative, so we would welcome anyone who can spare some time to help with preparing documents in connection with applications for Heritage Lottery funding and revised planning for the community use of the premises; please contact us through the email link on this site