The plight of Chelmsford's historic Marconi headquarters, the world's first radio factory, has upset founder Guglielmo Marconi's family. The listed building is in the hands of receivers, having been empty for two years and after plans to redevelop were abandoned. The BBC found that reporters could wander in through an open door …
Was hoping for nekkid laydeez :-(
So tired of excessive history...
I'm all for preserving memories and important historical information but frankly, on a planet where we are steadily getting more and more crushed up, some old company's building should be used for something worthwhile rather than being left to rot.
The Marconi Strip Club.
I don't think
I was the only one who thought about strippers in a different context.
I don't think . .
you were intended to be!
Nope, you were the only one thinking about oiled up Chippendales.
El Reg is playing catch up.... http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/essex/hi/people_and_places/history/newsid_8722000/8722885.stm
I actually worked there in the late 90s, and this is one of the saddest things I've seen for ages.
Mind you it wasn't that great when I was there either. A classic case of underinvestment by GEC. What is it with the UK and Technology. Perhaps we'll learn now that there are other things than finance!
I heard that the much newer building next door was built for Mobile Radio development. (Marconi could have become a Nokia in ~ 1990!) Guess what, it was given over to Radar!
"Marconi could have become a Nokia...."
The rot started when the commercial bits of many UK companies (Marconi, Ferranti, etc.) were stripped away to form ICL back in the 1960s. The remaining parts of those companies were forbidden from competing with ICL in the commercial sector. All thanks to Messrs Wilson & Benn.
"Receivers Zolfo Cooper say they're increasing security on the premises."
Yes of course. Because if it deteriorated to the extent that became condemned or went on fire they could get it delisted and demolished and the site could be then easily be flogged off for development.
That would be a bad thing from their perspective how exactly?
All down to the old chestnut of there being no VAT on new build but there being so on repair, rebuild, refurbishment, conversion et. al. Thus the tax system ensures that existing buildings are a liability as regards selling the site and listed ones doubly so. These days of course it's even worse.
And that's before you factor in the ecofiddling taxes courtesy of the CO2 nazis which render listed building conversions even more uneconomic / unsaleable.
and now we understand the strippers part
Another Relic of de-skilled Britain
I worked there back in the 1970's when I believe there was in excess of 1000 people employed over the whole site. I was told the site was expanded during WW2 to accomodate numerous MOD contracts that were required in support of the war effort. I have to say, even back in the 70's, the whole place looked like a relic from the great days of the British Empire and if the whole site was demolished and replaced by a brand spanking new Tesco branch, it could only be an improvement.
I wonder where all those hundreds of skilled jobs and lucrative government contracts went to or if the core GEC-Marconi business still exists today. I expect like a lot of our jobs in the high tech industry of the time, they have been dispersed throughout the free world in the ever expanding push for globalisation.
Look at what ravers did to Mr Blobby's house!
Do you think trees grow themselves? Hell no! You're looking at the effects of the raver's favourite plant-food, mephedrone.
LOL! LOL! Ha ha ha ha ha! Very good!
Now if only Noel "Tidy-Bread" would go the same way, we'd be on to a winner!
All very sad that these buildings fall into disrepair, but strip out anything useful, like the art-deco staircase, stick it in a museum then flatten the bloody site and build some reasonably priced houses or some industrial units to get people working again in this country!
A sad reflection of Britain's techn' industries
We appear to not only have divested ourselves of the more tradiional industries, but also of the tech' industries too.
...what else would you expect in a nation of shopkeepers, bankers and the low-paid service sector?
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I walked past that building so many times in the '90s (god, I feel old typing this) when I went to Uni in Chelmsford) and always felt a small sense of pride about the history of it. Such a shame it's come to this.
Could be argued that this building is more important to history than Bletchley Park in some ways.
HQ & the Playboy club
Given that Marconi ended up as part of Lord Wienstock's GEC who's HQ was next door to the Playboy club (there was always a rumour amongst the emplyees that the boss had his own private entrance). I was at least expecting a playmobile re-enactment.
Another success for jobsworth Essex County Council planners
Who no doubt say its all out of their control. And they're supposed to be the local authority?!? The clue is in the description.
They can manage to hammer the individual when he infringes a "rule" but when its a corporation neglecting its responsibilities, its all too difficult to force them to comply with the Listed Building rules.
What part of public SERVANT don't they understand?
As for meanings
One of Gugielmo Marconi's ancestors was a photographer, a number of whose photographs were of nudes. I am not sure at this time if this ancestor was also named Guglielmo, or whether Gaudenzio Marconi is the photographer I am thinking of, or another one not related to the radio pioneer, though.
Yet again Daily Fail makes up stuff to try and enrage middle England. Must have run out of peado and immigrant related guff if they're chasing elusive ravers again!
Listed building? yeah right.
Back when I worked there in the early 90s it was an ugly shit-hole. What little decent architecture there was had been already ruined by having internal walls knocked through, cheap partitions installed, and tiny offices with threadbare carpets crammed in. So either it should never have been listed, or *Marconi's* should have been done over for wrecking the place. I can't see any significant harm done by the squatters.
Contracted There in 1993/4
I worked there in 93/4 as a contract programmer. They had been taken over by an Italian branch of Marconi. The first thing that happened was the supervisor took me aside and asked what it was like to be a contractor... The new owners had sent all the chairs away to be re-covered and then refused to pay the bill and so everyone was sitting on what ever they could find. There were no partitions any more because the new boss was too short to see over them and had them removed. The code I was working on had been written by students on work experience who had now gone back to uni, leaving a mess that wouldn't compile small enough to fit in the ROM of the digital navy radio system they were developing. Fond memories! The canteen was excellent - chips with everything for the workers and pudding included - for a quid. You could go and see some of the original transmitters in a museum area. I believe the men's toilets were original too... Site of the world's first official radio entertainment broadcast I believe.
Radars in the UK
I can reassure you that radars are still designed and made in the UK, the old Marconi, Ferranti site in Edinburgh is still alive and kicking after 60 years - and even recruiting!