Popular EKCO exhibition at Southend Central Museum to be extended

Southend Museums and Southend-on-Sea City Council are thrilled to announce the extension of the highly successful immersive exhibition chronicling the history of EKCO.

A circle radio standing up on a short triangle base. The speaker is in the centre of the circle surrounded by dials and pins which must control the station.

The exhibition, which debuted last autumn, has garnered immense popularity, attracting visitors not only from across Essex and London but also from farther afield. Its recent distinguished guests included Anne and John Muir, Eric Cole's daughter and son-in-law, accompanied by three generations of the Cole family.

Embraced by numerous schools, local families, and groups, the exhibition, initially scheduled to conclude on 26 November, will now continue its run until 4 February 2024, owing to overwhelming public demand.

Councillor Derek Jarvis, cabinet member for arts, culture, heritage, and leisure, expressed his excitement about the extension, stating: “The response to the EKCO exhibition has been truly heartening. It's a testament to the rich heritage of our city and the profound impact EKCO had on our community. We are delighted to extend this exhibition, allowing more people to immerse themselves in the legacy of EKCO and its contribution to Southend's history."

Founded locally by Eric Cole, EKCO burgeoned into a global brand and stood as one of Southend's largest employers. The company left an indelible mark on the local populace and the city's development, playing a pivotal role in the history of design and technology, notably contributing to Britain's success in World War Two.

Titled 'EKCO: 100 Years of Design and Innovation in Southend,' the exhibition celebrates the iconic EKCO brand, showcasing original EKCO radios, televisions, and domestic plastics produced between 1920 and 1970. Moreover, it highlights the voices and experiences of those who worked for EKCO, acknowledging the contributions of eminent figures such as designers Wells Coats and Serge Chermayeff.

The exhibition has evoked nostalgia among EKCO workers, relatives, and customers, endowing a sense of pride in the city among younger generations. Visitors exploring the exhibition will delve into the pivotal role EKCO played in the evolution of modern technology and design, from pioneering weather radar technology used in most planes today to crafting some of the most famous radios in design history. Additionally, the museum's shop offers a range of EKCO-themed merchandise and souvenirs for enthusiasts.

'EKCO: 100 years of design and innovation in Southend' is open at Southend Central Museum Wednesdays to Sundays, from 11 am to 5 pm, and admission is free of charge.

For further information about our museums or to explore past exhibitions, visit the Southend Museums website.

Published: 17th November 2023

Go to top