British Ever Ready Electrical Company

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Barnet House (formerly Ever Ready House), 2007

The British Ever Ready Electrical Company (BEREC) was a British electrical firm formed in 1906 as the export branch of the American Eveready Battery Company. In 1914 it became independent of its American parent company.

For decades the firm dominated the UK consumer battery market and had several factories in the UK, the largest of which was built at Tanfield Lea, County Durham, in 1968. Other factories included Dawley, Four Ashes, Maldon, Newburn and Park Lane, Wolverhampton. The company's research effort was centred upon the Central Laboratories, later known as Group Technical Centre, in St. Ann's Road, South Tottenham, London N15. The company's head office was Ever Ready House in Whetstone, London N20.[1]

In 1972, the company acquired J. A. Crabtree & Co, a manufacturer of electrical accessories.[2]

The company was the subject of a hostile takeover by Hanson Trust in 1981. Hanson closed factories, cut jobs and sold the German (Daimon) and Italian (Superpila) subsidiaries to Duracell.[3] Shortly before this the Ever Ready UK changed its name to Berec Group. From the 1950s the BEREC name was only used for exports of Batteries and Radio sets (as British Ever Ready Export Company). Some Daimon batteries were branded BEREC as were some produced in Switzerland.

In 1992, it was sold by Hanson Trust to Ralston Purina, owners of the American Eveready company, and is now a part of Energizer Holdings.[3] The company closed Tanfield Lea, its last UK factory, in 1996.[4]

The company was also a producer of torches and bicycle lamps. Ever Ready also manufactured radios from 1934 up until 1964. Ever Ready owned a controlling interest in Lissen (radio sets mostly) from 1928. With the 1922 founder of Lissen forming Vidor in 1934, Ever ready took over Lissen completely. Many models were in Lissen and Ever Ready versions until 1941 when the Blitz ended production. From 1942 till 1945 only one Ever Ready model was produced. In 1981 three "offshore" models were produced, one from Hong Kong and two from Malaysia .[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2010-07-21. 
  2. ^ "Number one for news, opinion, sport & celebrity gossip". Birmingham Post. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  3. ^ a b David Bowen. "Assault and battery: The fall of the Ever Ready empire: a classic tale of British decline by David Bowen". The Independent. Retrieved 2016-12-18. 
  4. ^ "Ever Ready Factory, Tanfield Lea (Hansard, 21 February 1996)". Hansard.millbanksystems.com. 1996-02-21. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  5. ^ "To the new website". Localhistory.scit.wlv.ac.uk. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 

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