The Birth of British Broadcasting 2022
Celebrating the UK's pivotal role with
"The Marconi
Wireless Experience"

 ... an acknowledgement of Chelmsford's pivotal role in the development of Marconi's wireless and broadcast industry, that lead to the creation of the BBC and much else...

This is a re-brand of the original 2017 "Marconi's World of Wireless" proposition, in light of the news that the marketing world has concluded that consumers are increasingly hungry for experiences, not things. They want to feel a sense of fulfilment by their purchases, so simply buying and owning more and more stuff is not cutting it any more. The science behind it is simple "– regardless of economic uncertainty, we can find happiness and status in experiences. Especially those that align with our values and interests."

Last updated 10 July 2021

Chelmsford Council cancels even more Marconi Heritage

Marconi veterans and historically significant equipment evicted from Sandford Mill


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The Official 2022 'Festival of Britain' to boost post-Brexit UK

Martin Green CBE, the organiser behind the Hull UK City of Culture 2017, and the Head of Ceremonies for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, has been asked by government to develop plans to curate, manage, and promote a UK-wide festival in 2022.

The major nationwide festival, backed by £120 million funding from government, was first announced by Theresa May in 2018, and proposed as a UK-wide celebration of creativity and innovation; the Festival will be designed in collaboration with the devolved administrations to showcase the best of our art, culture, heritage, design and technology sectors.

Latest press report on Festival 2022

General News of FUK2022

Note that nothing has been announced concerning this investment of £100m of public money since November 2020 ...

Our pitch to the minister in charge, Caroline Dinenage MP


27FEB2020: Government announces details of new review to protect the future of radio

Our initial take on the future of the radio review.

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

(Image courtesy Simon Franklin, VK4/G1RMB)

The story of the signed Marconi picture above is well worth telling. I was operating my ham radio station (G8CYK) on a Sunday afternoon (16th July, 2017), and was in a casual conversation with a Scottish Radio Amateur (EA5/MM0GOR) on holiday in Spain. Up popped a loud voice saying "VK4 ". Now VK4 identifies a ham as coming from Australia, but at that time of day, it is vanishingly rare to get a loud call from Australia - so we both wondered what was going on and if someone else has spotted a weak signal that they were drawing our attention to. So we listened and realised that the loud voice was indeed coming from 10,241miles away.

This was a fabulously rare moment where random solar flare activity had created a tunnel in the Ionosphere along which the signal propagated some 10,241 miles - literally halfway around the world - and we were all using 100 watts or less power. By comparison R4 long wave uses 500,000 watts and can only be heard in the UK.

As it happen, the Aussie station was expat (Simon Franklin, VK4/G1RMB) with Marconi and Essex connections - and he kindly sent a scan of a signed photo of Marconi that he had bought for his Marconi collection.

"The photo -was taken by Walter Girche - who was a 1st World war photographer and was invited by Marconi onto his yacht to take one of the most famous photos in all of Radio history..."

Read the story of that contact - and hear it - on my DX Diary website.

Foreword (July 2017)

There has recently been a series of centenaries marking landmark events in the development of radio for communication and broadcasting - where Chelmsford's Marconi Company was front and centre for most of the last century. One that really caught the public imagination was the first transatlantic transmission in 1901.

In terms of its global impact on society, the "big one" for many people will be the celebration of 100 years of broadcasting - that began in Chelmsford. This anniversary has the potential to be a major media event, not just nationally but globally; and across the many industries that now combine to deliver the business of broadcasting. Online behemoths such as FaceBook, Twitter and Google all need to deal with awkward image and PR problems involving the stewardship of content ranging from dubious to downright subversive and management of users - where 10 year old kids can trivially send pictures of anything to anyone.

Since Marconi's "Writtle Hut" experiments in 1922 that lead to the foundation of the BBC, there have been fundamental issues of governance - setting out what can and cannot be broadcast that have been managed very closely in the world of regulated broadcasting, and not left up to the market to determine. When the internet simply overtook the ability of all politicians to understand what was going on, a degree of anarchy broke out that has not yet been wholly addressed and contained. And possibly never will.

Chelmsford has long and obvious connections with this proposition – but first we need to recognise the difference between radio and broadcasting and be precise with our terminology - even if the Chelmsford boundary signs are misleading. And we must not lose sight of the fact that "wireless" is now everywhere in our lives - from WiFi, to cellphones, to numerous gizmos that rely on it.

Suggested alternative descriptions include the “Birthplace of Wireless”, but they are still missing two key points – put simply – words like “radio” or “wireless” tend to address preconceived notions that do not have the broad scope and marketability of “broadcasting”.

Radio was discovered (not invented) by maybe 10 separate groups of physicists experimenting with electricity and magnetism at the end of the 19th century in as many countries – “Broadcasting” was definitively created when Marconi employee Capt Peter Eckersley connected the technology of wireless with the idea of content (and audience) in 1922.

Whatever it is to be called - I want to develop this document to join-up a number of ideas and initiatives involving Marconi, Wireless, Radio, Broadcast, Writtle, Chelmsford and Essex. We have time over the next 4 years to  create a pathway for a major Marconi Broadcast “tribute season” focused on the 2022 anniversary, with an enduring project that will be commercially self-propelled,. This idea also fits comfortably with the post-Brexit aims of a Britain re-asserting itself around the world in markets where it has established seniority and expertise.

Marconi's World of Wireless will involve the established expertise and experience of Marconi heritage stakeholders, including  various Marconi and local general history and heritage groups, Oaklands Museum, the City and County Councils (with associated organisations like Invest Essex) and the many individual “stake holders” and their specialist knowledge. Plus the vestigial businesses represented by the likes of BAE , E2V and Raytheon. 

Ideally, Chelmsford should put as much effort into celebrating Chelmsford's connections with Marconi as Bologna (his birthplace) does - which warns visitors in advance what to expect as they fly into Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport.

The BBC – who put up a huge effort in 1972 for the 50th anniversary – will probably try and take total ownership, but we must resist - or at least insist in being closely involved.

Coordination of the many possible threads of such an event is a key challenge, and any project can only realistically be based around a custom-built website (Wordpress probably cannot do it) for the purpose of attracting and curating all available information. (Please keep in mind that this site is a temporary lash-up - or a site hut, if you like...)

My day job is an internet and IT consultancy that creates and manages all aspects of internet communications and websites. Sine 1992 USP has been one of a the UK's handful of internet innovators that has explored and pioneered ideas from advert serving, CMS, IoT, to live webcasting from Chelmsford and on location.

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 : 2020       10/07/2021