Chelmsford City Museums
Image of vintage microphone

On Air: Chelmsford's Global Experiment Exhibition

vintage microphones

On Air: Chelmsford's Global Experiment Exhibition

One hundred years ago, Chelmsford was the location of a ground-breaking radio test. Dame Nellie Melba, one of the most famous singers in the world, came to the New Street Works to perform the first live entertainment broadcast. The centenary of this remarkable event is the focus of ‘On Air: Chelmsford’s Global Experiment’ at Chelmsford Museum.

Our exhibition opened just before the lockdown started, so we haven’t been able to share this story with as many of you as we’d like. We hope you’ll get to see it when we can open our doors once again, but in the meantime, we are remembering this centenary with a virtual exhibition in the form of three films.

Our story begins many years before.....

After the success of the tests at Ballybunion, the story continued back in Chelmsford. 

Dame Nellie Melba was on her way to make history in Chelmsford....

Our thanks to Tim Wander and Peter Watkins, whose insights have helped to bring our virtual ‘On Air’ exhibition to life, and BBC Essex for permission to use their interview with Winifred Sayer. 
Chelmsford Museum and The Essex Regiment Museum are open daily, from Monday 17 May
11am to 4pm, last entry 2pm.  

This exhibition is online only.





This exhibition is in conjunction with Essex 2020.  Find out more at the Essex2020 website.