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Thursday 23rd November 2017 | Text

CMC History Page

CHAmois Mountaineering Centre

Just three months after the official opening of Marconi Hall (as it was then known), the First World War started. The governments plans for a series of wireless telegraph stations throughout the Empire were still on the drawing board. The Caernarfon station was the newest, most advanced and most important in Britain, equipped with Marconi's latest invention the synchronous disc discharger. At the outbreak of hostilities the government intervened and transferred control from Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company, initially to the General Post Office and then to the Admiralty. In Dec 1914 a blockhouse was under construction for the national reserve who were brought to guard the station.

Guglielmo Marconi
Guglielmo Marconi

Throughout the war there were regular transmissions to Egypt and Russia. Research intensified and in June 1916 Marconi's timed disc was installed. It was with this apparatus that the first wireless messages from Britain to Australia were sent in 1918. The following messages were sent by Landline from London and transmitted on behalf of the Australian Prime Minister direct to Australia on September 22nd 1918. They were received by F Fisk Esq.

"I have just returned from a visit to the battlefields where the glorius valour and dash of the Australian troops saved Amiens and forced back the legions of the enemy, filled with greater admiration than ever for these glorius men and more convinced than ever that it is the duty of their fellow citizens to keep these magnificent battalions up to their full strength."
W. M. Hughes - Australian Prime Minister
received at 1:15pm (Sydney Time) sent 3:15am(GMT)

"Royal Australian Navy is magnificently bearing its part in the great struggle. Spirit of Sailors and soldiers alike is beyond praise. Recent hard fighting brilliantly successfull but makes reinforcements imperative. Austrailia hardly realises the wonderful reputation which our men have won. Every effort being constantly made here to dispose of Australia's surplus products."
Joseph Cook - minister for Navy
received at 1:25pm (Sydney Time) sent 3:25am(GMT)

The commercial service from London to New York for which the station was originally built, eventually began in 1921.

The CHAmois Mountaineering Centre (Marconi Hall) was purpose built residential accommodation for the engineers who worked at the station. The CHAmois Club purchased the property in June 1975 and it's members devoted many weekends and holidays carrying out extensive repairs and alterations proir to the official opening by Lord Hunt on 1st May 1976.

Links/Further Information

  • The Marconi Achive is now available as an online digital museum about Guglielmo Marconi and the history of wireless telegraphy at www.marconicalling.com
  • Dragon Amateur Radio Club (Clwb Radio Amatur y Ddraig) is a local Welsh radio club and they hold regular events including some at the site of the old Caernarfon Wireless Station. Details at www.gw3vvc.freeserve.co.uk/dragon.htm
  • The Friends of Marconi (Cyfeillion Marconi) is a group of enthusiasts who have in recent years have organised an annual public lecture in Waunfawr to ensure Marconi's memory is kept alive in the locality.
  • Recommended further reading: Marconi and his Wireless Stations in Wales by Hari Williams. ISBN: 0-86381-536-7. First Published in 1999 by
    Gwasg Carreg Gwalch,
    12 Iardyr Orsaf,
    LLanrwst,
    Wales LL26 0EH.
    Tel: 01492 642031
    At: amazon.co.uk