Marconi Books

Picture of New Street Works

Two Emma Toc, Writtle

Author: Tim Wander
Production: Dennis Rookard
Narrator: Full Cast Production
Publisher: Hosiprog
Time: 1 hour 3 minutes
Type: Dramatizations - Drama

Download Price: £1.00

In early February 1922, from a small ex-army hut in a field just outside the Essex village of Writtle near Chelmsford a small team or pioneering wireless engineers working for the Marconi company established Britain's first regular radio broadcasting station. In its short year long history, the station using the call sign of 2MT, or as it soon became known to its many fans - Two Emma Toc quickly became a broadcasting legend.

Led by Captain P.P. Eckersley, the world's first DJ, wireless comic and the power behind the microphone 2MT at Writtle defined the ground rules for broadcasting as we know it today. The first fan club, children's section, wireless play, comedian, guest artists, competitions and madcap antics at 2MT have been described as being the forerunner of the Goon shows nearly 40 years later.

It's small wonder that apart from one engineer who stayed with the Marconi Company at Writtle all others went on to join and help establish the British Broadcasting Company.

There are no recordings of Writtle broadcasts known to exists, apart for some recreations made by Peter Eckersley for the tenth anniversary of the BBC.

Tim Wander's radio play made with the BBC faithfully recreates the Writtle broadcasts from the original scripts and archive files and allows Two Emma Toc to take to the airwaves again.

Cast List:

  • Peter Eckersley... John Glasscock
  • Noel Ashbridge... Steve Hales
  • Kirke... Tony
  • Rolls T.B. Wynn... Keith Flack
  • Basil Maclarty... Andy Morton
  • Edward Trump... Maik
  • Elizabeth Beeson... Angela Neville
  • Narrator... David
  • Other parts played by Ben Williamson & Edmund
  • Production, Direction and Audio Realisation by Dennis

The theme music is taken in part from the work, Fisher's Boarding House by Percy Grainger and performed by the BBC Philharmonic and available on Chandos CD CHAN 9493

The Wireless Sings by Tim Wander

On 15 June 1920, the Marconi Company broadcast the world’s first live recital by a professional musician - the legendary Australian diva, Dame Nellie Melba. In a makeshift studio in the company’s factory at Chelmsford, using a microphone created with a telephone mouthpiece and wood from a cigar-box, she opened her half-hour programme with “Home Sweet Home”, and after other popular favourites and several encores, closed with the National Anthem. Her voice, carried from an aerial with towering masts, was heard as away far as Iran and Newfoundland, and it was reported that the signal at the Eiffel Tower in Paris was so strong that gramophone records were made from it.

Tim's new play starts in the stalemate of trench warfare during World War One and take the listener on a journey through to the Marconi New Street Works and recreates Dame Nellie's first concerts and the events that lead up to 2MT Writtle and the Birth of British Broadcasting.

In 1986 the BBC Essex radio studio in Chelmsford was officially opened by Guglielmo Marconi’s widow, Marchesa Maria Cristina Marconi.

Download Price: £1.00