IT'S doubtful whether even Marconi, listening on Signal Hill, St. John’s, Newfoundland in 1901 could have imagined
the significance of an extremely short signal he had just received, nor what it
would lead to.
From little acorns.... that first transatlantic radio
signal introduced everything from broadcasting to satellite communications, mobile
phones, broadband, the internet and the world wide web - and Poldhu was at the forefront of it all.
The Marconi Centre
Marconi's pioneering work cannot be overstated and his
genius and legacy is physically commemorated by the Marconi Centre, just a few
yards away from the site of that original transmission, still overlooking Poldhu Cove.
The Marconi Centre was built to commemorate the Centenary
of that momentous event and was opened on the 12th
December 2001. At four pm local time, exactly one hundred years later, Lady
Mary Holborow, the Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall, sent
the three dots of the letter ‘s’ and this signal was received at St. John’s.
This time, however, the signal was sent by amateur radio rather than by a spark
Visitors can watch a short video presentation showing the
significance of Poldhu and Marconi’s work and can
then gain further information from well-designed wall panels. There are
short wave radios to listen to and it is well worthwhile to take an
interpretation sheet for a self-guided tour of the adjoining field, where
the ruins of the old transmitter building can be seen.
The building is owned and
maintained by the National Trust and run by the Poldhu
Amateur Radio Club. Admission is free, but the Radio Club do
have expenses involved in opening it. A donation is much appreciated!
There is also an extensive range of souvenirs available.
The Centre is manned by volunteer members of the Radio Club, who are only too
happy to share their enthusiasm.