The Marconi broadcasting hut

Contributed by Sandford Mill

Hut used by the Marconi Company for the first regular UK radio broadcasts, 1922. Copyright Chelmsford Museums.

The piano borrowed from the local pub for the 1922 concerts is preserved in the hut.Built in the early years of the First World War for use in France, the Hut was erected at Writtle near Chelmsford by the Marconi Company in 1917 and used to develop voice radio for aircraft. When pioneer voice broadcasts from Marconi's Chelmsford factory were suspended, the Post Office licensed station 2MT, or 'Two Emma Tock' which broadcast every Tuesday evening from the Writtle Hut from February 1922 to January 1923. These were the UK's first regular radio broadcasts. The chief broadcaster was the engineer in charge, Peter Eckersley, who became the BBC's Chief Engineer. Later, research and development continued in the Hut - during the 1940s hovercraft pioneer Christopher Cockerell was in charge - until the 1960s. The Hut was then moved to a local school as a sports hut, until acuired by Chelmsford Museums and moved into its industrial store and science education centre at Sandford Mill in 1992.

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