On December 12, one hundred years after the first trans-Atlantic radio transmission was made by Guglielmo Marconi, a visitor centre dedicated to his achievement was opened in Poldhu, Cornwall.
The Marconi Centre overlooks the Atlantic Ocean on the site that on December 12, 1901, played host to the transmission that paved the way for long-distance communication.
The £350,000 Centre houses an interactive exhibition about Marconi, a multi-media presentation on the history of Poldhu and communications in Cornwall and computer links to Marconi Plc's archive collection on their founder.
It will also be home to the Poldhu Amateur Radio Club. Club members John and Caroline Rule worked tirelessly to make the commemoration and the centre possible.
Built and funded by Poldhu Amateur Radio Club, the National Trust, Marconi Plc and the Objective One Partnership for Cornwall and Scilly, the centre aims to provide a major educational resource and tourist attraction to boost the local economy and highlight Cornwall's role in world radio communications.
Nick Lawrence, National Trust Area Manager, said: "The Marconi Centre represents another chapter in the continuing history of Cornwall and its links with world communication."
One hundred years ago Marconi questioned the orthodox scientific belief that radio waves, travelling in straight lines, would not be able to adjust to the curvature of the earth. He built a transmitter at Poldhu then travelled to Signal Point, Newfoundland, Canada, where he successfully received the Morse Code signal "s" 1,700 miles away.
The original buildings and radio masts were knocked down in 1934, but their foundations can still be seen on the cliff-top site outside the village of Mullion in Southwest Cornwall.
As part of the December 12 celebrations, messages were sent between Poldhu and radio amateurs throughout the world culminating in Marconi's grandson, Guglielmo, re-enacting the historic transmission and linking up with Newfoundland.
As a tribute to Marconi the Royal Navy's Thunderer Signals Squadron have gone back to basics and built their own "Spark-gap Transmitter" similar to that used a hundred years ago. On December 13, 2001, together with a team of U.S. and Canadian Navy signals experts the team succeeded in re-creating Marconi's historic transmission across the Atlantic.
News about this amazing experiment can be found on their website at www.soton.ac.uk/~thunder/atlantic-leap/
Opening hours for the visitor centre have yet to be confirmed, but will be added to our museum finder database as soon as possible.
Also in Cornwall there is the superb Museum of Submarine Telegraphy at Porthcurno. This is also well worth a visit and the Museum can be explored online at: www.porthcurno.org.uk/. Have a look at their museum finder page here.