Signals is proud to present our brand new podcast, Talk Time

Throughout history coastal communities have been a hot bed of communication technology innovation, constantly devising new ways to keep in touch with those at sea. Here in Essex, the Tendring coastline has its own unique part in this global story, as home to some of the first experiments with semaphore, radar and national amateur radio networks.

In this brand new podcast series we’ll look at four exciting stories of communication technology in North Essex and talk to local experts about.

Find out more about the Talk Time project here.

Episode 1.

Semaphore and Martello Towers with David Neame

During the Napoleonic Wars the British were envious of the French’s long distance communication systems and went about devising their own. This era was a rife with technological innovation and the Martello towers which now dot the North Essex coastline were central to those developments.

In the first episode of Talk Time we speak with David Neame from Friends of the Jaywick Martello tower who spoke about why the towers were built and the role they played in the Napoleonic Wars.

Want to find out more about the history of Semaphore in Tendring? Check out our blog here, we even made an online game you can play with your webcam using actual Semaphore signals.

Episode 2.

RADAR at the Naze with Michelle Nye-Browne

During WWII, The Naze at Walton was home to a top secret British experiment. Installed on top of the Naze Tower itself, this technology was so powerful it gave Britain the winning hand in the crucial Battle of Britain. That technology was RADAR.

The Naze Tower at Walton has been a navigation aid since being built in 1720. We spoke to Michelle Nye-Browne, one of the current owners, about its fascinating history.

You can find out more about the history of RADAR with our excellent animation and video game here.

Episode 3.

Amateur Radio and the North Sea Flood of 1953 with Steve James

On January 31st 1953 the North Sea Flood caused nearly 1000 miles of coastline to be damaged, 1200 sea walls to be breached and 2551 people to lose their lives. The communication technology of the time influenced both the devastating death toll and inspiring stories of survival.

We spoke to Steve James from Essex RAYNET who told us about the live saving role that amateur radio played during the disaster and the resulting creation of RAYNET, an organisation that still plays an important role to this day.

Episode 4.

The Role of Technology Companies during Covid-19 with Sabrina Rau

Throughout the Talk Time project we’ve looked at the role of technology during times of need, and the pandemic is an all too recent example of this. In this episode I’ll be talking to Sabrina Rau, a Senior Research Officer from the School of Law – Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex. Sabrina recently published a book chapter titled “With Great Reliance Comes Great Responsibility: The Role of Technology Companies during Covid-19”.