Chris Poole

Co-author of “EKCO Sounds, How a Radio Maker Changed the World”

Chris was a former employee of EKCO and after being made redundant, he spent the next two decades collating artifacts and stories from EKCO. His EKCO website was used by researchers and historians.

Chris was born Malmesbury in December 1946. Like many youngsters growing up in the 1950s, Chris and his gang of local friends used to play war games on the local allotments and sports fields in the area, and getting into scrapes now and again with rival gangs. From one such ‘invasion’ of their territory, Chris was hit by a quarter-brick which left a permanent scar on his leg.

After Chris left school, his family moved to Southend, where he started an apprenticeship at EKCO (his father had been transferred to from the Malmesbury factory) in 1962. A year later, Chris moved to the ‘Electronics’ Development Inspection, where he spent seven years of what Chris later called ‘total enjoyment’, until he was made redundant on 4 December 1970.

Chris spent most of his retirement years researching and cataloguing the history of the EKCO company and the people who worked there in those pioneering days. In 2007, Chris published a website which contained some of his work, and such was its popularity, that it steadily grew to over 500 pages relating to the wide and varied areas of invention, testing and productivity. Finally, following the exploration of the underground tunnels as the site was being demolished in 2008, Chris approached Audrey Snee with the idea of publishing his material as a book. Sadly Chris passed away before seeing his book in print but he died knowing it would be published, and he leaves a lasting legacy not only for the people of Southend-on-Sea, and for the British public as this is an never-told-before story of how one radio factory helped change the world.

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