GB0CMS - Caister Marconi Station

A station for International Marconi Day

Contacts with GB0CMS count towards the IMD Award - see

We usually operate two stations - one on 40/80m and the other on 20/15/10m, both running SSB OR CW.  New for 2014 - from 1100-1200hrs UTC we will be operating PSK63, probably on 20m.

See gallery from 2010 and also 2011.

You can also view a video at 

Caister Marconi Station The Norfolk Amateur Radio Club usually runs a special event station with the callsign GB0CMS at Caister Lifeboat station as part of the International Marconi Day celebrations. We usually run two stations - one on 80/40m and the other on 20/15/10m.

On this day, the closest Saturday to Guglielmo Marconi's birthday, stations around the world are set up at sites with historical links to the inventor's work. These include Poldhu in England; Cape Cod Massachusetts; Glace Bay, Nova Scotia; Villa Griffone, Bologna, Italy and many others.

Radio amateurs around the world will contact as many of these stations as possible to try and win an award.

History of the Caister Marconi Station

In 1896 the patent for wireless telegraphy was issued to Guglielmo Marconi and the following year the Wireless Telegraph & Signal Company came into being. The first coastal station was built at Alum Bay, Isle of Wight and in 1900 the company name changed to Marconi Wireless Telegraph Co. Ltd.

By the end of that year a chain of coastal stations had been built at strategic points on the coastline, one of these being at Caister.

Caister LifeboatThe Marconi station was established at Caister in 1900, in a house in the High Street known as Pretoria Villa. Its original purpose was to communicate with ships in the North Sea and from 1906 it was also able to communicate with the Cross Sand lightship.

The Caister station was connected by land line to Gt Yarmouth Post Office and the Caister Coast Guard Station. The main aerial mast behind the house was 150 feet high, the aerial wire being suspended between this and a slightly shorter mast situated on land where Lacon Road was later built.

The large front room of the house contained the main apparatus and was also used as the operating room. The engine for charging the accumulators was situated in a shed adjoining the house and the accumulators themselves were housed in a specially constructed annex.

The remainder of the premises were used as a dwelling house for the officer-in-charge.

The range of communication was 150 to 200 miles on the long wave (600m) and 100 miles on the short wave (300m).

In 1909 all the Marconi coastal stations were taken over by the Post Office. In 1911 the Caister station was used to train lightship men in the use of telegraphy equipment.

Caister LifeboatIn January 1915 the telegraph equipment on the Cross Sand lightship was transferred to the Parlour lightship and the Caister station was changed to ‘general working’ and not used for ship-to-shore work. Public use of the telegram facility provided at Caister was suspended for the duration of the WW1.

In 1921 plans were made for the reinstallation of wireless on Trinity House lightships, but this time the new wireless telephony was to replace telegraphy (Morse). New technology made the Caister station out of date and it finally closed in 1929. The masts were taken down and a few years later the house became the village Police Station.

Historical details with thanks to local historian Colin Tooke.

E-mail: [email protected]

QSL information: We will QSL on receipt of your card via the Buro or direct via:

Norfolk Amateur Radio Club
c/o DCP Microdevelopments Ltd
Bryon Court
Bow Street
Great Ellingham
Norfolk NR17 1JB