Celebration of 100 years since Marconi’s first broadcast - The Marconi celebrations are part of Essex 2020

PUBLISHED: 16:04 09 June 2020 | UPDATED: 10:02 12 June 2020

Marconi engineer W T Ditcham. Picture: Chelmsford Museum Services

Marconi engineer W T Ditcham. Picture: Chelmsford Museum Services

Chelmsford Museum Services

100 years of Marconi’s first broadcast - in Chelmsford - is recreated on radio

Gulielmo Marconi - Radio is celebrating a 100 years since his first broadcast - from Chelmsford. Picture: Chelmsford Museum ServicesGulielmo Marconi - Radio is celebrating a 100 years since his first broadcast - from Chelmsford. Picture: Chelmsford Museum Services

The voice of Dame Nellie Melba will be heard as part of a celebration of the Marconi Company’s first radio broadcast - which was from Chelmsford.

A series of events is being broadcast - and streamed by BBC Essex and Chelmsford Community Radio.

They include a live radio play of the Marconi story with a recreation of the ground-breaking first broadcast by opera star Dame Nellie Melba who sang across the airwaves on June 15, 1920.

The Marconi celebrations are part of Essex 2020, a year-long celebration of science and creativity across the county,

Dame Nellie Melba broadcasting from Chelmsford on June 10, 1920. Picture: Chelmsford Museum ServicesDame Nellie Melba broadcasting from Chelmsford on June 10, 1920. Picture: Chelmsford Museum Services

Dame Nellie Sings! A night that changed the World will be broadcast on Wednesday, June 10 and available afterwards on Facebook and YouTube.

On Monday, June 15, the radio play The Power Behind the Microphone: The First Radio Broadcast Centenary includes a recreation of the revolutionary broadcast livestreamed by Chelmsford City Theatre at the exact date and time of the original 100 years ago. BBC Essex and Chelmsford Community Radio will also broadcast the play as part of special Marconi programmes.

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On Tuesday, June 16 in a talk called A World without Marconi, Alan Hartley-Smith discusses Marconi’s outstanding contribution to the world of technology.

On Monday, June 22, in Hello CQ! This is Writtle 2MT calling, Tim Wander relays the story of radio station 2MT in Writtle and its charismatic leader Peter Eckersley who became Britain’s first regular radio broadcaster and the first chief engineer of the new BBC.

The Marconi celebrations have involved Chelmsford City Council, Chelmsford City Museums, Chelmsford City Theatre, Chelmsford Civic Society, Chelmsford Science and Engineering Society, Essex Records Office and former Marconi company Leonardo in Basildon.

Among the individuals bringing the historic radio event to life are author, playwright and specialist consultant to Chelmsford City Museums, Tim Wander; playwright Felicity Fair Thompson; former Marconi engineer Alan Hartley-Smith; and local historian Alan Pamphilon who worked for a Marconi company EEV (now Teledyne e2v).

Alan Pamphilon, who has produced a virtual walking tour from Marconi’s first factory in Hall Street to the second premises at New Street, said: “Being associated with Marconi and the city which brought the electronic age to the world, gives me great pride.”

Further Marconi themed events are scheduled throughout the year including an exhibition at Hylands House, the unveiling of commemorative plaques and a series of events on The Future of Wireless.

See: visit www.essex2020.com


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