Titanic Marconi Mural unveiled at Chelmsford rail station

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Staff next to the Chelmsford Marconi mural

A ‘titanic’ mural created by young people with the help of local artists as part of the Chelmsford Ideas Festival is to be unveiled at Chelmsford rail station on Friday.

Young people from the YMCA Young Carer’s Group teamed up with artists Nick Haydon and Victoria Button to celebrate the city’s connection with radio, visually telling the story of Marconi, the inventor of wireless who established the world’s first wireless factory in Hall Street.

The mural also depicts how his invention lead to 750 people being rescued from the Titanic as it sank, thanks to the wireless distress signals the ship was able to emit.

The gigantic 7 meter wide x 2m high mural was unveiled on Friday 7th July.

The project, which aims to educate people on the important connection Chelmsford City has with Marconi; create a connection with people to the city’s heritage; and inspire young people, was funded by train operator Greater Anglia, Chelmsford City Council and Essex County Council.

Local organisations have also helped to raise awareness of Marconi’s links with the city as part of the project. The Chelmsford Civic Society recently held a Titanic exhibition (April – June 2017) and public art workshops were held during the Ideas Festival to plan out ideas for the mural, some of which were used in the final design.

Local historian and storyteller Alan Pamphilon, helped the young carers to find out about Chelmsford’s past and they chose the story of Marconi and his impact on the Titanic as the theme for the mural.

Alan Pamphilon commented: "Marconi’s innovation established the town and now city as the birthplace of wireless communications which today forms such a vital part of our everyday lives.”

Artist Nick Haydon commented: “The fact that it’s been hand painted gives that authenticity and creative flare that you sometimes cannot deliver through digital art. Art is often about sending an idea or a message across to others- and what better way than through interesting local history to which people can feel they relate to.”

Artist Victoria Button commented: “Public art has a massive role in creating character in an urban setting and can help celebrate places of heritage. I remember as a child taking part in local creative initiatives to celebrate the millennium, from then on I believed in the power of public art and it increased my confidence to follow a career in the arts.”

Simone Bailey, Greater Anglia’s Director of Asset Management said, “We are very grateful to the young people and artists who have created this compelling and beautiful mural. The station is an ideal location for it as many people, residents and tourists alike, will pass by and learn the story of Marconi and Chelmsford as the birthplace of radio.”