Chelmsford and 100 years of broadcasting

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 The famous hut in Writtle where 2MT – and broadcasting - was born
– now relocated to Chelmsford’s Sandford Mill Museum


We can create an "destination" event based on Chelmsford's unique heritage ...with a lasting legacy:


  The London Olympics - despite costing £9 billion - struggled to deliver obvious legacy benefits.

The £100m (yes, really)  Belfast Titanic exhibition opened in 2012 has made a great success from chronicling the disaster writ large on a mural at Chelmsford Railway station. The connection is of course was the use of Marconi radio devices to send the SOS and subsequently save many lives. It is richly ironic that a city that built a ship that sunk should have a £100m celebration of the fact, and Chelmsford - the City that built that radio that saved 706 of the souls on board has almost nothing to show!

BB2022 marks the start of a cultural phenomenon that continues to gather momentum and directly impinge on the lives and everyday existence of the entire planet.

I would hope Chelmsford has enough ambition to want to establish a permanent exhibition site for “The Story of Broadcasting” as a tourist destination and shrine to all facets of broadcasting for enthusiasts and media people around the world.

The City’s budget is limited, and recent lottery funding ambition appears was limited to a cafeteria at the Oaklands museum site. Somewhat short of £100m...

But if we go at this with sufficient enthusiasm and determination, we can engage and invite the world’s consumer electronics companies that are involved with broadcast (which is all of them from Apple and Alphabet (Google) to Huawei, Sony and Samsung) to sponsor “pavilions” to showcase their past, present and future products.  As all shopping moves online, the opportunity for consumers to see the  products being demonstrated in stores is diminishing, and manufacturers like Apple and Sony are increasingly taking that initiative themselves by opening stores as "hands-on" demonstration opportunities in retail parks and city locations.

This aspect of the project was always going to require chutzpah, luck and nerve to pitch to the global companies that dominate the world of wireless comms and new media, but the support from the government's Festival 2022 ought to be able to make the difference and help get attention.  There is now a growing likelihood that the future of the BBC - and the government's regulation of media in general - will shortly become a major topic of (inter)national interest and debate

Now, Chelmsford city council has the ideal proven site already – Hylands Park - set in some 500 acres on the A12 just south of the city…. a much larger site than houses the Titanic exhibition. And significantly larger than the 111 acres of Hannover's annual CEBIT exhibition.



Page 6 : 2020       04/03/2020