Chelmsford City Museums
Graphic of Nellie Melba singing to the world

On Air: Chelmsford's Global Experiment

vintage microphones

On Air: Chelmsford's Global Experiment Exhibition

Just over 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. This remarkable event was the focus of ‘On Air: Chelmsford’s Global Experiment’ at Chelmsford Museum.

The exhibition has now closed, but we are remembering this event 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. 


This exhibition is now online only.





Chelmsford Museum

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