Essex Amateur Radio Enthusiasts Celebrate the Birth of Broadcasting



Essex Ham has joined forces with other enthusiasts holding similar commemorative events across the country.

Submitted by Essex Ham

Amateur radio enthusiasts celebrated the centenary of the birth of regular broadcasting in the UK this month.

February 14 marked the centenary of the very first experimental radio. It was housed in an old army hut at Writtle, near Chelmsford, Essex and given the legendary call sign ‘2MT’.

Essex Ham have set up a modern studio at the East Essex Hackspace in Hockley

To commemorate the occasion, local amateur radio group Essex Ham recreated the event using modern equipment at the East Essex Hackspace in Hockley.

They chose to use the recently opened community space because it was designed for the community to work on projects, learn new skills and be creative, something the Marconi company was doing in 1922 with its first wireless radio.

The members of the group have made it their mission to help the people of Essex discover what amateur radio has to offer and the centenary anniversary marked an important day in broadcasting history.

Using the radio technology at their disposal, Essex Ham were able to establish connections across Essex and Kent. They also joined and broadcast live video and audio streams to make the event accessible to everyone and linked up with other enthusiasts organizing similar commemorative events across the country.

Using available technology, the group have reached out to connect across Essex and Kent

Pete Sipple, Chairman of Essex Ham, said: “We are a passionate group of local radio enthusiasts and we couldn’t let the 100th anniversary of the birth of British broadcasting pass without celebration.

“It’s amazing to think that in 1922 there was only one radio station on the air, broadcasting half an hour a week.

“Today there are now hundreds of thousands of stations, using the latest digital technology and it’s all down to the pioneering work of a group of experimenters in Essex, trying something new. We are proud to have been able to raise a glass for radio 2MT.”

Essex Ham offers free online courses to help newcomers experience radio. Following the Covid-19 pandemic, amateur radio training is now offered online.

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