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Page last updated at 11:12 GMT, Wednesday, 31 March 2010 12:12 UK
Original Marconi broadcast hut teaches pupils of past
By Oliver Rogers
BBC Essex


Chelmsford and Marconi

Students from St Osyth Primary School have been learning about electricity and radio waves in the historic Marconi company hut.

In 1922, the disused military building at Writtle, was used to broadcast the first regular radio service.

The hut is now at Sandford Mill in Chelmsford and used for education visits and lessons.

Dr Geoff Bowles said: "The hut continued as a Marconi research base up until the 1960s, then as a sport huts."

"I started my job in 1990, and one of the first jobs was to rebuild this hut and preserve it at Sandford Mill," he added.

2MT, or 'Two Emma Toc,' as it was known on air was the name of the regualr radio station broadcast on a Tuesday evening from Writtle.

It later went on to become 2LO in London and from October 1922 the British Broadcasting Company Ltd was founded.

Marconi hut at Sandford Mill
Part of the hut is preserved at Sandford Mill

The station's call sign: "This is Two Emma Toc, Writtle testing, Writtle testing..." broadcast by Captain Peter Eckersley from the hut, became a well known phrase of the day.

A significant part of the original shed is now preserved at Sandford Mill in Chelmsford.

"The station closed in 1923 and we have the piano that was played on air. It was a research establishment, so Marconi re-used all of the equipment," said Dr Bowles.

Education visits take place at Sandford Mill and the pupils find out about Chelmsford's industrial heritage, along with information on the Marconi company and the development of radio.

Some of the Marconi collection is on display at Oaklands Park Museum , Chelmsford.

There will be a chance for the public to see the hut at Sandford Mill during the open day being held on Saturday, 24 April 2010.


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