A Brief History of BEKA

Display instrumentation for use in hazardous and safe areas

BEKA associates was founded in early 1983 by Chris and Jenny Burkitt to provide a design and consultancy service for intrinsically safe products. Initially operating from a single room in their North Hertfordshire village home, BEKA was incorporated as a limited company in September 1984.

BEKA's first product

BEKA's first product

The first BEKA product, an intrinsically safe loop powered indicator with a unique low voltage drop and simple apparatus terminals, was launched in 1984, gradually followed by other models and international certifications.

When in 1987 the company outgrew its domestic village premises an ancient Coach House was rented in the nearby market town of Hitchin.

Alec Robshaw joined the company in 1989 and was appointed sales director in 1992. Alec toured the world promoting our products until May 2009, when he retired to enjoy a more relaxed life renovating derelict farm buildings in the Dordogne.

By 1993 BEKA needed more space, the Midland Bank building in Hitchin was therefore purchased, complete with strongroom - alas empty. The building, which is in a conservation area close to Hitchin Priory and historic Tilehouse Street, was gradually refurbished and now provides a custom home for more than 40 sales, production and design staff.

Ben Brough became managing director in 2001. Ben was responsible for introducing new ranges of instrumentation and keeping BEKA at the forefront of electronic hazardous area technology until his retirement in January 2018.

BEKA offices

BEKA offices

In 2005 Dave Turner assumed responsibility for BEKA export sales and in 2009 Dave was elected sales director to continue our tradition of friendly worldwide support. Nearly three quarters of our output is now exported, mainly via overseas agents who are regularly visited and trained so that they are able to effectively support BEKA products in their area.

Emma Titmuss joined BEKA in 2011, after qualifying as a Chartered Accountant she was appointed financial director in 2013. Emma oversees company finances and is also responsible for human resources.

In 2013 Olivier Lebreton joined the company as principal engineer. He was appointed technical director in 2018 and is now responsible for all new product development and for the maintenance of our existing products.

BEKA remains a totally independent company, maintaining its original objectives to provide reliable, cost effective instrumentation quickly. Professional engineers manage the company and a large design department continues to develop new state-of-the-art products.

All BEKA folk are encouraged to pursue further education and many have been awarded an HND, HNC or an NVQ. Work experience places are offered to local schools and we are always keen to talk to young people who are considering a career in the electronic instrument industry.