Cornwall’s communications coast: satellite, wireless and cable

With February’s Geek’s Guide to Porthcurno, I have now written a trilogy of pieces for The Register on globally important communications sites in the west of Cornwall. The first was on Goonhilly, the satellite earth station which received the first transatlantic TV pictures in 1962, which is finding a new lease of life as a commercial deep-space communications station. Sadly, it remains closed to most visitors, as Goonhilly’s boss Ian Jones focuses on building a sustainable business. Continue reading “Cornwall’s communications coast: satellite, wireless and cable”

From Tynemouth chic to Whitley Bay, where every day is like Sunday

Tyneside in England’s north-east has a revived centre for everyone in Newcastle and Gateshead, but its coastal edges are struggling, like Whitley Bay, or moving upscale like Tynemouth. It’s like Britain in miniature.

Originally published on Beacon.

Continue reading “From Tynemouth chic to Whitley Bay, where every day is like Sunday”

Marconi on The Lizard: article on radio history for The Register

Following my article on Goonhilly Earth Station in December, The Register has published the other piece I researched while visiting Cornwall last autumn: on how Guglielmo Marconi, an Italian working in Britain, transmitted a signal from Newfoundland to Cornwall and changed the world.

The article is based on two sites on The Lizard peninsula, the southernmost part of Great Britain: the Lizard Wireless Hut, right on its southern edge, and the Marconi Centre and Wireless Field, just above Poldhu Cove on the peninsula’s western coast. Continue reading “Marconi on The Lizard: article on radio history for The Register”

Bodmin, Padstow and Rock: making good food Cornwall’s bread and butter

Bodmin in Cornwall - Cornish cross on streetMy latest article on Beacon focuses on three towns in nothern Cornwall: Bodmin, Padstow and Rock. Padstow and Rock have become known for their good food and the associated tourism that brings, through restaurants such as Rick Stein’s and Nathan Outlaw’s. Now, Bodmin wants to follow suit.

I wrote about Bodmin just over a year ago for the Guardian; for Beacon I caught up with the councillor who showed me around Bodmin’s Beacon technology park (no relation) and the town’s economic progress. Cornwall Council has decided to build new offices in Bodmin, and BT may use some of the space for its joint-venture with the county’s state sector. Continue reading “Bodmin, Padstow and Rock: making good food Cornwall’s bread and butter”