Marconi Radio Factory, Essex, April 2012

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prettyvacant71

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Marconi "the Art Deco part"....

Hello again folks!:)


I really love this factory! I know its been done a lot in the past but its had a break so here's a catch up:). I won’t say how many times I’ve visited over the past 3 years as its probably a bit OCD, it’s a local place for me and it’s got to be in “my top 3 places to visit in Essex”:lol:....but definitely worth the trip if it weren’t! I’ve noticed a few changes over the years, mainly the large growth of that dam butterfly bush that sheds tons of dead flowers into your camera bag as you brush past it, that and pigeons plus the shrieking seagulls are the only annoying bits of the visit. It has two distinct parts to its layout...the posh Art Deco side which contrasts with the more typical working factory site. Such historically relevant buildings that are ingrained within our British Industrial Heritage are sadly in the middle of what seems to be all too common the last couple of years, bankrupt proceedings. Sometime last year I remember reading in a local paper that these buildings had been saved and were going to be redeveloped into housing, but their future is now uncertain due to the developers going bankrupt so the factory is in the hands of the liquidators....I only hope this doesn’t mean the end of them as I’ve heard that very surprisingly they are not listed, which seems bazaar due to their historic value and their great designs! A lot of the local people of Chelmsford have grown up around and worked in this factory, and it has many admirers that want it to remain intact, so I will be keeping an eye out for any news about its future. Being located within throwing distance to the old bill shop plus them using it to train their police dogs annoyingly hasn’t deterred the metal thieves, but at the moment it’s still dry inside the Art Deco part so the “rot fear” hasn’t set in so it is defiantly worth the investment for new developers.


The factory has been empty since the last company Selex Communications sold the property in 2008. BAE Systems bought the defence contractor side of GEC Marconi in 1999 and still uses the Eastwood House at the back of the site. Princess Elettra Marconi-Giovanelli the daughter of Guglielmo Marconi, the pioneer of radio, is said to be shocked by the current state of her father’s factory, she said on an interview with BBC Radio Essex. Lets hope the Marconi Factory is taken care of before its too late as it would be a terrible loss to our heritage if these beautiful buildings became too expensive/damaged to repair and get demolished like so many others. So here’s some pics...



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The factory runs along New Street right down to the railway bridge, 2 cottages are to the right (out of frame) on the corner of Marconi Road



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Great curves typical of Art Deco designs


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The rear of the buildings which run along New Street


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Plaques on the front of the buildings


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Great staircase in the main entrance of New Street building

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Offices on the first floor


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Some kind of camera/projector system in the room on the left


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Function rooms upstairs


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Stairs up from the cellar

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Bits left in the cellar


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I love finding personal stuff like this, it brings the places history to life....don’t you agree peeps!:)


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Corridor into more offices


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I’m a bit of a flaky fan:)


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Thanks for lookin folks!...will put up some other pics from the different part of the factory in next few days. Safe splorin folks:)
 

nelly

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You did that really well, haven't seen a report from here since SK and I got nicked last year, Seeing all the PIR's still there in some of your photos, did they not go off??
 

UrbanX

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Amazed this is still do-able.
Fantastic report start to finish, I have a personal connection to Marconi so love seeing these pics!
 

FFerret

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My dad used to work for Marconi, I can remember visiting the site on a number of times as a youngster.

I know a member of the Marconi family came over and visited the site a couple of years back and was disgusted with the state of the site. I havent been near the place since the early 80's, but was disaapointed to see the current state of the place
 

richy142

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chelmsford museum's worth a visit one rainy sunday. they have quite a lot of equipment salvaged there (and its free to get in).
 
W

whitelaw

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I wonder why there is so little appreciation for preservation of history. Bletchley Park is going the same way. It is almost as if we should not be feeling the atmosphere of struggle and triumph that permeates the very fabric of buildings like this. Sit in what is now the coffee bar of the Grenwhich Observatory at Hurstmonceau. Those workbenches in there saw the most amazing discoveries, yet now are scarified with the obligatory "bill woz ere". We are losing our sense of history. Thank you for preserving this and the shots are excellent.
 

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