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CRHnews - Honour and glory of Marconi's world first wireless factory

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Published on Mar 11, 2016

Factory workers who saved the lives of Titanic/Lusitania survivors have finally been honoured.

The worlds first Wireless and Telegraphy factory at Marconi's Hall Street works, hailed as the ‘birthplace of radio' , is featuring a unique exhibition which highlights the part played by these unsung heroes.

There are photographs of women, redundant silk weavers, whose nimble fingers spun the copper wires and the tough guys who sweated in the noisy machine shop.

Without the SOS equipment they made, 1.500 from the Titanic and Lusitania disasters would have perished, not to mention countless other shipwrecked souls who survived other sinkings.

Chelmsford Town Crier and Marconi Science WorkX (MSW) supporter Tony Appleton officially opened Hall Street to the public for the first time in 118 years on Friday, March 11, 2016.

A full scale replica of the Titanic's wireless room takes pride of place at Hall Street whose factory workers saved the lives of Titanic/Lusitania survivors and countless thousands.

The worlds first Wireless and Telegraphy factory at Marconi's Hall Street works, hailed as the ‘birthplace of radio' , is featuring a unique exhibition which highlights the part played by these unsung heroes.

There are photographs of women, redundant silk weavers, whose nimble fingers spun the copper wires and the tough guys who sweated in the noisy machine shop.

Without the SOS equipment they made, 1.500 from the Titanic and Lusitania disasters would have perished, not to mention countless other shipwrecked souls who survived other sinkings.

Although MSW is staging an exhibition, its aim has never been to open a Marconi Museum, but to promote the setting up of STEM (Science Technology Engineering Maths) Clubs in the Birthplace of Radio to encourage young people to become future Marconi's and even rocket scientists!

To celebrate the history and legacy of Marconi and the Marconi Company in Chelmsford, this commemorative event is hosted between Marc h and May 2016 in the Grade II listed building prior to its conversion into residential and commercial units.

This Exhibition has been organised by the Marconi Heritage Group in affiliation with the Chelmsford Civic Society, at the request of the developers MAC Design and Build Ltd to allow the public access to the significant industrial heritage of the building.

Archival material from a variety of sources will be showcased, in many cases for the first time. Contributors include The International Marconi Museum in Bologna, The Museum of the History of Science, Oxford, the Essex Record Office, Chelmsford Museums and several private collections.

Local families with their own small collections of Marconi-related memorabilia have also contributed.

This is a major opportunity to share the Marconi legacy, and showcase the evidence for the claim of Chelmsford City's entry signs: "Birthplace of Radio".

Chelmsford Science and Engineering Society is proud to support Marconi Science WorX (MSW) and Chelmsford Civic Society in collaboration with BBC Essex which exists thanks to the great man's pioneering work at Hall Street.

Although they are staging the exhibition, MSW's main aim is not to open another Marconi Museum, but promote after-school STEM clubs to encourage young people maybe to become rocket scientists or the next Marconi.

A series of talks have also been organised (pre-booking is required).

Please see their events pages for individual talks and activities (more to come!):

Fri 14/Saty 15 May: Come and make a radio! Years 6-9 (10-14) Three sessions on each day at 10am 12 noon and 2pm £5 each, to book a place see below. Build your own wireless in the world's first wireless factory.

Fri 13 May: 7.15pm The exciting story of offshore radio and Radio Caroline the true story of the boat that rocked with Cap'n Ray Clark.

Fri 20 May: 7.15pm A brief history of Ada Lovelace, her work with Charles Babbage and her influence in the creation of world's first computer and how she effected the world we know today and inspired women in all fields of technology.

May 22 Marconi Guided Walk from Hall Street to New Street 3pm via the City with guide Alan recounting history from 1850 to 1950.

To book tickets please visit www.chelmsfordcivicsociety.eventbrite.com

If you would like any more information or you would like to volunteer for this project, please visit

www.facebook.com/marconiscienceworx or email info@chelmsfordcivicsociety.co.uk

Open invitation to Marconi veterans: If you would like the opportunity to share your Marconi memories please make contact with CRHnews via email: papa.razzi@blueyonder.co.uk

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