Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society

Marconi 100 Year Transatlantic Celebrations 1901-2001

Marconi (as a young man) with Newfoundland on the left and Poldhu to the right

On 12th December 1901 Marconi achieved a major milestone with the first successful radio transmission across the Atlantic from Poldhu in Cornwall, to Newfoundland in Canada. The Centenary in 2001 was commemorated in Chelmsford by CARS and the Marconi company. It was also marked by a special 2 coin.

See below for event reports as well as extra pages:-

Saturday, 8th December 2001 - Chelmsford Town Centre

Chelmsford Borough Council requested CARS to arrange a Special Event Station in the centre of Chelmsford. CARS arranged with the RSGB that their mobile demonstration vehicle would be active by the Shire Hall in the High Street.

Princess Elettra visited Chelmsford Council Offices to meet the designer of the Marconi Statue

Princess Elettra with her book 'Marconi My Beloved' by the High Street council stand and Mayor Christine Rycroft

Chris G0IPU and Tony G4YTG on Chelmsford High Street - and RSGB GB4FUN Demonstration Vehicle

Event Video inc Princess Elettra

The vehicle is called GB4FUN. For further details see the front cover of RadCom for November and the write-up on pages 10 and 21 of the December 2001 issue.

The van turned up early on the 8th December and was positioned in the pedestrian precinct in the middle of Chelmsford. Members of CARS got it going on the air and introductory QSOs were made with known stations. The station using GX0MWT operated formally from 1000hrs.

Geoff, G3EDM from his Little Baddow location made contact with VO1S, Signal Hill, Cabot Tar, Newfoundland on 20 metres at 10:47 (07:17 their local time). Wayne, the operator had travelled there to operate to the UK for this event as it is really just a rocky outcrop. He was using a 260 foot dipole and 100 watts.

He was joined by VO1NA, Joe (1) from St Johns at 11:11 and VO1FB, Joe (2) both running 400 watts.

Princess Elettra in the mean while was being transported around Chelmsford in the Council limo to unveil a number of Road Signs which proclaimed that "Chelmsford was the birthplace of radio".

Princess Elettra turned up on time and after launching the Council's Book on Marconi climbed the steps into GB4FUN escorted by CARS Vice-President Charles, G0GJS.

Princess Elettra talking to the Late Wally Mills, G3MCO before her QSO with Signal Hill.
Looking on is Ken G7RFT (centre).

Charles passed the microphone to the Princess and although there was a high local audio and RF noise her message could be heard in the quiet Canadian locations.

Her Message was:

In celebration of the occasion of the Marconi Centenary of the first Atlantic radio transmission, the Princess Elettra sends greetings to the people of Newfoundland and to all who have benefited from the invention of Guglielmo Marconi, my Father".

Picture of Charles G0GJS looking on while Princess Elettra is in QSO with VO1S, Signal Hill, Newfoundland

Copy of the GX0MWT Log signed by Princess Elettra Marconi, 11:38 GMT, 8th December 2001 of her contact with VO1S, Signal Hill, Newfoundland

There was a lot of media interest and many members of the public came forward and said how they had worked for Marconi over many years. One said he had met both Marconi and the Princess and his photograph was still hanging in the GPO Tower, London.

Princess Elettra inside the RSGB GB4FUN vehicle.
Looking on is David Bradley M0BQC, CARS Secretary.

Princess Elettra signing the Marconi book purchased by Tony Appleton. Tony is the Chelmsford Town Crier.

Our thanks to David, M0BQC, Tony, G4YTG and Colin, G0TRM who turned out in Victorian Gentlemens attire.
They were assisted by Chris, G0IPU and Martyn, G1EFL and many other CARS Members who explained about Amateur Radio to the many persons who took an interest.
Thanks to the RSGB for providing the GB4FUN lorry and to Pat, G0SBQ for suggesting we have it.

We will QSL all Contacts with a special QSL Card, however we do not require cards sent to us - thanks.
Our QSL Manager for 2MT and GX0MWT Direct QSLs is G3PEM, QTHR. Usual procedure is requested.

Wednesday 12th December 2001: 2MT Marconi New Street Celebrations

The Marconi Company, in cooperation with CARS staged an Amateur Radio Station at its premises in New Street, Chelmsford. This is the first building produced in the world for the production of Radio Equipment and was built in record time.

Marconi commercial equipment operated into a vertical aerial mounted on the roof. Full power was available on all bands but propagation limited what was used. SSB and CW was used to made 125 contacts.

The very special Callsign 2MT (yes! 2MT) was used.

Note, this Call-Sign will be used in early evenings during the next few weeks.

2MT operated 2 Metres (VHF) FM on 145.375MHz on Tuesday, 11th of December from 18:45 hrs on 2 Watts. Contacts were made with many Chelmsford and district stations. All station worked will receive a special QSL Card. Likewise the QSL Card will be sent to all SWL who submit a log to G3PEM, QTHR.

Wednesday 12th December 2001: Marconi Celebrations from The Writtle Hut

At the same time (10:00 to 15:00hrs), as the New Street site operated 2MT, CARS ran GX0MWT from Marconi's Writtle Hut where Broadcasting started in about 1922. This hut is housed in the Chelmsford Science and Industry Museum at Sandford Water Works.

The Society's favourite antenna was used which straddles the water course from the weir which ensures such a good take-off. The Society's new rig (FT 847) was used for the first time to make 145 contacts while the "old" rig (IC 747) was used to make 195 contacts.

Tony, G4YTG flew his 8ft Aerial Kite similar to that used by Marconi 100 years ago - it flew at 200ft. It supported a vertical 100 foot high wire aerial.

Charles, G0GJS operating CW from Tony's rig under the Kite.
The kite string is tied to the fence behind Ken, G7RFT (right).
Note the Honda generator.

Charles, G0GJS operating CW from Tony's rig under the Kite.
G4YTG has kitted out a van box car with amateur radio equipment which is towed to a site for instant portable operation.

Tony and Charles made 85 Kite contacts including 30 with the Royal Naval Amateurs Net.

Wednesday, 12th December 2001 Marconi Celebrations from around the UK

About the same time (10:00 to 15:00hrs), as the above events, George Banner, G3AHX was scheduled to key a 1.6kW Spark Transmitter on 1.7MHz. In the event we understand that this was cancelled with advice from the RA.

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