You appear to be in the United States. View our US site to see content specific to your location.

Ruark Salutes a Southend Icon With Celebratory Exhibition

As a family-owned company with strong ties to Southend-on-Sea, we love to celebrate our local heritage. That’s especially true when that heritage has such close links to radio; something we consider an everyday essential and one of life’s greatest pleasures.

It would be an understatement to say that EKCO is an inspiration for us at Ruark. A small business that became a global name in radio and home design between the 1920s and 1970s, EKCO was the largest employer in the area during its lifespan.

Even now, the name EKCO continues to evoke local pride. That’s why we jumped at the chance to sponsor a fascinating exhibition that celebrates the 100th anniversary of the brand and explores the significance of its technological innovations and timeless designs.

EKCO exhibition in Southend-on-Sea EKCO exhibition in Southend-on-Sea

The star of the exhibition is undoubtedly the instantly recognisable EKCO AD 65, which signalled a departure from early domestic radios. With a circular face encased in new ‘wonder material’ Bakelite, these radios eschewed the styling of radios as bulky pieces of furniture, paving the way for the tabletop radios of today – like our very own R1S.

EKCO staff moving boxes from the rear of a truck Interior of the EKCO factory

The show also pays homage to the impact the company had on the local community, incorporating images and oral histories of the people that worked at EKCO.

Ruark HQ might not operate on as huge a scale as EKCO did in its heyday – but there’s no doubt that the brand’s influence runs deep in everything we do, echoing through the years like a song you just can’t get out of your head.

EKCO exhibition in Southend-on-Sea EKCO exhibition in Southend-on-Sea

EKCO: 100 Years of Design and Innovation in Southend is running until 26th November, 2023, at Southend Central Museum.