Norfolk radio club cutting a dash to celebrate International Marconi Day in Caister

Jim Bacon G3YLA at the Caister Radio Station GB0CMS for International Marconi Day. Picture: Steve Ni

Jim Bacon G3YLA at the Caister Radio Station GB0CMS for International Marconi Day. Picture: Steve Nichols - Credit: Archant

The dot dot dash sounds of Morse code are echoing around Caister today with communications enthusiasts from across the county coming together to mark the life of the father of radio, Guglielmo Marconi.

A postcard showing Caister's Marconi station on the High Street

A postcard showing Caister's Marconi station on the High Street - Credit: Archant

Members of the Norfolk Amateur Radio Club (NARC) are running a special event station at the village's lifeboat centre today as part of the International Marconi Day.

They are attempting to contact as many fellow hams across the globe as possible.

Running with the call sign GB0CMS, the Caister station will be one of several around the world set up at sites with historical links to the inventor's work.

The original Marconi Wireless Station in Caister, near Great Yarmouth, was established in the village's High Street in 1900 and set up to communicate with ships in the North Sea and the Cross Sand lightship. It closed in 1929 and became the village police station. NARC has set up shop near the original building at the lifeboat station and will be making and taking communications, as well as welcoming visitors to watch their Morse and microphone skills in action.

Local weather forecaster Jim Bacon is among those taking to the airwaves.

He said: 'It's a chance within the amateur radio community to celebrate the pioneering work of Marconi and the fact at Caister there was one of the earliest Marconi stations. At the time it was just unheard of to be able to communicate from one side of the Atlantic to the other.

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'So we all get quite excited about the Marconi day and get quite a good turn out. It's nice for us and nice for allowing a window into the hobby.'

Members of NARC have taken part in International Marconi Day for the past four years and in 2012 they clocked up a record number of communications, after contacting more than 480 hams in 40 different countries, including Australia, Barbados, Newfoundland and the USA.

Steve Nichols, NARC public relation officer who is organising the event, said: 'You never know what you're going to get and where, it's a bit like fishing.

'In the morning you get the far east, at lunch time its more south like South Africa and Europe and later in the afternoon you contact America.

'It's a social thing. We enjoy it. We tell them a little bit of the history, what we're doing and why and Caister's connection with Marconi.'

The Caister station's Marconi day started at 9am and ends at 4.30pm today. Caister Lifeboat visitor centre has also been open.

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