Weston-super-Mare and District Radio Society

 This newly formed Society held its first semi-open meeting at the Church Institute on Wednesday, January 3rd, when Mr. O.J.Carpenter, A.M.I.R.E., delivered the inaugural lecture, Mr. F.W.Shearmur, Chairman, presiding.

 The lecturer’s object was to set forth some of the chief phenomena associated with the transmission and reception of wireless signals. Introducing the subject with a few remarks on the ether, Mr. Carpenter proceeded to deal with the transmission of signals through this medium, emphasising the importance of the little-understood Heaviside layer in transmission over long distances. Mr. Carpenter then dealt with Dr. Fleming’s invention of the two-electrode thermionic valve, and its revolutionising development, the three-electrode valve.

He had been surprised, when listening-in at Weston stations, at the amount of interference due to the improper use of local regenerative receiving apparatus, and he hoped that the formation of the Society would lead to the acquirement of knowledge which would check this evil.

Dealing with short-wave reception, Mr. Carpenter paid tribute to the experimental work which had been carried out by Mr J. P. Gorton, a local resident.

The lecture was concluded with explanatory comments on a number of limelight illustrations depicting the great Marconi stations and many types of apparatus.

At the close a vote of thanks was accorded the lecturer and Mr. W. Tucker, who had supplied and operated the limelight apparatus.

The list of officers of the new Society is as follows: - President, Mr. J. E. Norman, J.P.; Chairman, Mr. F. W. Shearmur; Hon. Secretary, Mr. J. P. Gorton; Asst. Hon. Secretary, Mr. S. Tucker; Hon. Treasurer, Mr. R. S. Wort.

 Hon. Secretary, Mr. J. P. Gorton

Cable communications
Weston-super-Mare has a history of association with long distance communication.  In 1885 the Commercial Cable Company was granted permission to bring ashore the first of their four telegraph cable "for the purpose of transmitting messages exchanged with America".  This was the year when sixpenny telegrams were introduced, which resulted in good business in the Weston cable office, originally in two cottages near the seafront.   
Cable & Wireless closed their transatlantic operations at Weston in 1962.
Guglielmo Marconi at Weston super Mare
In 1897 Guglielmo Marconi demonstrated wireless communication between Lavernock Point in South Wales and Flatholm Island in the Bristol Channel and then to Brean Down near Weston.  This was the longest distance ever covered until then - 13km (8 miles).  Marconi became known in Weston during his visits, being referred to as "that foreign looking gentleman" and it was recorded that he stayed in the Coastguard Cottages when in Weston.   He and his team obtained ironmongery from Leaver's hardware store. They also used the services of an electrical engineer in the town for charging batteries.