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A look here at some of the publicity for our 95th celebration event. We were featured in the December edition of RadioUser magazine :
We were also mentioned in various editions of the British DX Club magazine 'Communication', so thanks to Chrissy Brand & all at both these excellent publications for helping us spread the word.
We received very helpful support from Pete at Essex Ham, both with publicity & technical broadcast assistance. Pete also provided a live video feed on Sunday & Tuesday from the 2MT hut.
Essex Ham is dedicated to supporting Amateur Radio in Essex, & on their website you will find information on how to get started, what the hobby has to offer, news on clubs in Essex, and help with amateur radio training.
For Essex Ham's report on our broadcast, including an interview with us, click here :
Many radio related websites & social media pages published items about our broadcast, both before, during & after out 3 days of programmes. Thanks to all the following, & apologies to those we have missed out !
Southgate Amateur Radio News / CARS - Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society / MARTS - Medway Amateur Radio and Transmitting Society / MARS - Meirion Amateur Radio Society / Marconi Veterans Society / Marconi Science Worx / Chelmsford City Council / CRHnews / BBC Essex / The SWLing Post / Shortwave Central / Big Wave PR.
We also received much coverage through Twitter & Facebook, with many 'likes' & 'retweets' of our own postings, together with many direct messages of support. It has been fascinating to promote our celebration of 2MT, the cutting edge technology of its day, by using today's social media technology.
More by good fortune than by design, our event coincided with 'World Radio Day'. This is an annual event organised by UNESCO to celebrate radio as a medium, & to improve international co-operation between broadcasters.
We registered our 3 day broadcast along with hundreds of other radio stations, & our entry was picked up by a BBC Radio 5 Live producer. This led to our 2MT celebration being mentioned at the end of the Dave Allen & Jane Garvey programme at 9.55pm on Sunday 12th February ! We were interviewed, live in the 2MT hut, & were able to spread the 2MT story a little further.
On Tuesday, Dave Monk from BBC Essex visited, & I was able to turn the tables & interview him on Radio Emma Toc ! He subsequently interviewed us & produced a fine piece on his drivetime programme which included chats with Tim Wander, Jim, Pete Sipple & Kathryn (age 9). Again, excellent promotion for the 2MT story & amateur radio in general.
Both interviews are available on our AUDIO / VIDEO page.
95 YEARS - A CELEBRATION OF RADIO STATION 2MT
February 14th 2017 marks the 95th anniversary of the start of Britain’s first ever regular, advertised broadcast radio station, 2MT, which came live from Writtle in Essex.
To commemorate this anniversary, and to celebrate the young, pioneering team of engineers, the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society will be transmitting from the same building from where the original broadcasts commenced. One of their members, Jim Salmon, will also be operating a three-day internet radio service, Radio Emma Toc, featuring radio related documentaries, vintage comedies and live programmes from various locations.
The first 2MT broadcast started at 7.15pm on 14th February 1922 from an ex-army Marconi hut - a 'Long Low Hut' - sited in a waterlogged field in Lawford Lane Writtle. This famous hut is now on permanent display at Sandford Mill, Chelmsford, and can be visited during the summer open days at the Mill.
Members of the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society - CARS - regularly transmit to fellow amateur radio hams from this historic hut and, for this celebration, a team from CARS will be making contact with fellow amateurs on the 12th and 14th February. A special event call sign, GB95 2MT, will be used to mark this occasion.
Tim Wander, Consultant at Sandford Mill and Chelmsford Museums, describes the original 2MT broadcasts. He says: “The 2MT team offered its listeners impromptu comedy sketches, the first ever broadcast radio play, dedicated children’s five minute spots, impersonations, guest artistes, burlesque entertainments and even parodies of grand opera. Nothing like it had been heard before - it was a new type of entertainment and it made history.
“The power behind the microphone was Marconi engineer, Captain Peter Eckersley, who as Britain’s first ‘DJ’ brought an amazing light-hearted spirit and comic skill to the new art of radio broadcasting. His sheer joie de vivre bubbled across the ether and he was not only the first, but also talked to his listeners as if they were in the room with him - and his listeners, estimated at over 20,000 people, loved him and the station.
“Often a one-man show, but always a team effort, 2MT at Writtle wrote a crucial chapter in the history of radio and broadcasting and directly led to the formation of the BBC in 1922."
Jim Salmon, of Radio Emma Toc, says: "We will not try to recreate station 2MT - how could we? We live in a very different age. What we would like to recreate is the spirit and adventure of 2MT, to be 'born in laughter and nurtured in laughter'.”
He continued: “If all goes to plan, our online radio station will be available to a worldwide audience via the internet, and the amateur radio transmissions will hopefully be beamed across the ether to distant shores. Of course, as with the best laid plans - there is a vast potential for things to go wrong, however this would be in keeping with the pioneering character of radio experimenters of the time!”
The team is also planning the centenary celebrations of the birth of British broadcasting in Chelmsford, and if you would like more detail please visit www.emmatoc.com.
For a programme schedule and information on Radio Emma Toc, visit www.emmatoc.com.
For details on the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society and training courses provided by them, visit www.g0mwt.org.uk.
Sandford Mill will be open to the public on Sunday 9 July for the Science Discovery Day: The Great Outdoors!, which will give school children the chance to experience the Long Low Hut and view Marconi’s radio technology and TV cameras. To discover more, visit www.chelmsford.gov.uk/museums.
Below, the Press Release issued by Big Wave PR.
We were joined on Sunday 12th & during the evening of Tuesday 14th by members of the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society who operated from the other end of the 2MT hut on the amateur 40 metre & 2 metre bands. A special event callsign was granted for the event - GB95 2MT.
CARS run regular training courses & often operate from Sandford Mill during their open days.
For CARS report on the event, click on the CARS logos above.
To visit the CARS GB95 2MT QRZ.com page, click on the QSL card.
Thank you to the Chelmsford Weekly News who subsequently reported on our commemoration transmissions & broadcast. They had also reported in February 1922 !
Thanks again to the British DX Club who placed us in full colour on the back page of the March 'COMMUNICATION' magazine ! This really is an excellent monthly magazine for all radio listening enthusiasts, & the BDXC is run by a dedicated team who consistently produce an interesting & informative publication. Details of the BDXC website below.
For details of the British DX Club - click here...
Nearly four weeks on from our broadcast, we were still featured in our local papers ! Here, in the 'Community Section' of the Essex Chronicle. Curious that they cut out the part of the picture showing the 2MT replica transmitter, which to be honest is far more interesting than the chap in the picture...!
...and finally, for the time being, a selection of items from the RSGB newsletter, Southgate Amateur Radio News, Marconi Veterans Association, Short Wave Listening Post, Shortwave Central, & 'Radioamateurs Actualites News'... We are grateful to everyone who took interest in our celebration event - thank you.