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The history of Marconi in Chelmsford

A campaign group in Chelmsford has just over a month to raise 380-thousand pounds to keep a slice of radio history in the city.

Guglielmo Marconi, known as the inventor of radio, based himself in the town from the start of the 1900s.

The first factory his operations were run from is due to be converted to flats unless the money can be raised for a section to be kept as a heritage and learning centre.

Chelmsford is known as the birthplace of radio, so here's a look at some of the key dates in the history of Marconi in Essex.

Gugielmo Marconi Credit: East Anglian Film Archive
  • Guglielmo Marconi is credited with being the inventor of radio - being the first to transmit signals over about a mile and a half in 1895.
  • His "Wireless Telegraph and Signal Company" opened it's first factory in Chelmsford four years later (1899)
Marconi's Chelmsford factory in the 1800's Credit: East Anglian Film Archive
  • Marconi soon outgrew its Hall Street premises, and in June 1912 the company moved to the brand new purpose-built New Street Works
  • On 15 June 1920 the factory was the location of the first official publicised sound broadcast in the United Kingdom using two 450 feet radio broadcasting masts.
  • In 1922, the world's first regular wireless broadcasts for entertainment began from the Marconi laboratories at Writtle. It had the call sign '2MT'
  • In October 1922 Marconi helped form The British Broadcasting Company Ltd. (Four years later it was dissolved as a company and transformed into the British Broadcasting Corporation.
The New Street building in 2008 Credit: ITV Anglia
  • By 1965 the company had 13 divisions with factories in Chelmsford, Baddow, Basildon, Billericay, and Writtle
  • In 1999, Marconi's defence division, including the Chelmsford facilities, was purchased by British Aerospace to form BAE Systems.
  • The factory on New Street in Chelmsford closed in 2008 ending more than a hundred years of history.

PM pledges more mobile phone masts to tackle rural 'not spots' in East Anglia

David Cameron has pledged more phone masts to fill in so-called rural 'not spots' where mobile coverage is poor.

The Prime Minister was responding to a question from the new South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge speaking at his first PMQs.

Mr Cartlidge welcomed plans to consider three new mobile phone masts in Boxford, Bildeston and Assington Green in Suffolk.

The Prime Minister said: "While there are often very strong campaigns against masts, we need to see these mast built if we are going to crack this problem of not spots."


New wind farm off Norfolk coast moves step closer

Dong Energy has decided it wants to build 91 wind turbines off the Norfolk coast. Credit: Stephen Pond/PA Archive

A new wind farm off the Norfolk coast has moved a step closer with the announcement that Dong Energy had decided to go ahead with Race Bank project.

The 91 wind turbines would provide enough power for 400,000 households, which is more than all the homes in Norfolk.

The Race Bank wind farm would be 17 miles (27 km) north of Blakeney.

"The size of this project will enable us to utilise the economies of scale to continue to drive down cost of electricity produced by offshore wind farms. This is a must win battle and we are getting one step closer with the decision to build this offshore wind farm.”

– Samuel Leupold, Executive Vice President at DONG Energy

Luton company brings back classic 80s computer

To anyone around in the 1980s it is instantly recognisable.

The Sinclair ZX Spectrum was at one time Britain's most popular home computer.

Three decades on and it seems it still has a following. A Luton company is putting an updated version back into production after raising money from fans of the PC online.

Click below to watch a report from ITV News Anglia's Russell Hookey


New jobs for Peterborough engine-makers

Perkins Engines in Peterborough is to create about 175 jobs over the next three years after the company won a £13 million Government grant.

Perkins Engines export their goods worldwide Credit: ITV

Perkins has turned around its fortunes, after making hundreds of staff redundant in 2009 as profits struggled during the recession. The company exports off-road diesel engines to buyers worldwide and will use the money, secured through the Advanced Propulsion Centre, to develop low-carbon technologies for running diesel engines.

"This collaboration with DENSO INTERNATIONAL UK, Loughborough University, Imperial College London and CMCL Innovations, each of who we have worked closely with over the years, is focused on engine performance, fuel economy and exhaust emission improvements and will support the development of innovative technologies for off-highway diesel engine applications.”

– ark Stratton, Perkins Engines
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