Ninety Years of Radio in Essex

Radio MicrophoneToday, the 15th of June 2010 marks a historic day for radio broadcasting, and it all happened here in Essex.

Many Southenders will remember the birth of the first local radio station for Southend-on-Sea as Essex Radio, back in September 1981, broadcasting from Clifftown Road, but the first real radio station from Essex, was MZX, an experimental Marconi station.

After a few test broadcasts, in June 1920, world renowned opera singer, Dame Nellie Melba, performed a pioneering radio broadcast from the Marconi works in Chelmsford.

While few heard this early broadcast, it was a world first, and that and other subsequent broadcasts cemented Essex as the home of broadcasting.

To commemorate this broadcast, radio amateurs (radio hams) in Chelmsford have been hosting an exhibition and broadcasting to other enthusiasts under the callsign GB90MZX.

We’ve been lucky enough to record an interview with John Bowen, the Chairman of the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society, which has been kindly hosted by our podcasting friends at FrequencyCast.

If you’re interested in the history of radio in our county, please take a listen to this 20 minute interview. You’ll find it at

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