100 year Timeline

Mission – To be widely known, highly regarded and valued at all levels throughout the industries served, so that the Association is the first port of call of those in need, and is regarded as the obvious choice by those capable of giving time or financial support to further our charitable aims.



EIC 100 Year Anniversary

Branch numbers were 19 and were contributing over 28% of income.

EEIBA Website established

Buckingham Court refurbished. Numbers helped were 45,000 during this period.

powerBall raises a record £270,000

Transformer (Prize Draw) Club and Senator Campaign started. Brooke House Closed.

Help line set up for British Energy staff

Help line set up for British Energy staff and extended to four other companies by 2004. National Gold tops £32,000

There were warning signs of trouble ahead

There were warning signs of trouble ahead. At the start of the Nineties, more help was given to industry applicants than ever before, but income did not reach anticipated levels. The general economic decline, domestic competition for voluntary funding, the Gulf war and other subsequent international tragedies and disasters all played a part in the decline. Welfare expenditure rose by 15%, which included an increase in expenditure on powered wheelchairs, stair lifts, and specially adapted vehicles. Meanwhile there was a fall in legacy income, late payment of some corporate donations and a reduction of individual contributions. Although income reached nearly £1.5 million, relief given accounted for a large proportion and a deficit resulted in 1990.

The Association continued to provide residential accommodation

The Association continued to provide residential accommodation, grants for house repairs, support in the home and, in addition, supplied modern aids, such as powered wheelchairs for the incapacitated and electronic equipment to enable severely handicapped youngsters to communicate with their families and the outside world. Giving advice and guidance were still vital functions. The workload continued to increase with a 10% rise in beneficiaries, to nearly 900 and nearly 50% increase in grants to almost £270, 000. It was an outstanding year as voluntary income was nearly 20% higher due to unexpected increase from Give-As-You-Earn contributions and with the promise of support from the recently privatised electricity supply companies, helping to allay previous fears that this radical change would undermine their loyal and historic backing for the Association.

President’s Development Appeal

Was the year of the President’s Development Appeal which achieved a measure of success with some 40% of the £2 million target pledged that year and £1 million raised by 1988.

Association gave financial aid to the family of an electrical engineer who had undergone open-heart surgery

For the first time, the Association gave financial aid to the family of an electrical engineer who had undergone open-heart surgery. One example of the advances made in medical science which, in turn, created opportunities for the EEIBA to give assistance, whilst adding to its costs. 43 Branches that contributed over 9% of total income that year.

Eligibility rules changed extending services to all employees

Eligibility rules changed extending services to all employees, past employees and/or dependants of such employees of the electrical and electronics industries. Numbers helped were around 10, 000 during this period.

Association has distributed almost £2 million

70 years after foundation, the Association has distributed almost £2 million. In addition £240,000 had been provided towards the cost of residents in the two homes.

Demand increases

Demand increases. Against expectation, the demand for cash grants increases. It was believed that there were many distressing cases slipping through the net.

Income falls

Income falls, company amalgamations and retirement of individuals meant the constant loss of regular income.

Sir Jules Thorn became President

The positive impact upon fundraising that the President with high level and varied contacts can make was demonstrated when Sir Jules Thorn became President. He launched an appeal, which raised £12,800 – a magnificent mix of names in the industry and the world of ‘show-biz; Sir Arnold Weinstock (GEC), Sir John Clark (Plessey), Lord McFadzean (BICC), Sir Michael Sobell, R Roberts (Roberts Radio), Bernard Delfont, Sir Max Raine, Michael Colston, Dennis Curry, Sir Lew Grade, Fwrranti, the BBC, David Frost (in his untitled days) and the Hoover Foundation.

A Board of Management was appointed

appointed to meet four times a year, replacing “The Court’ and oversaw the mark of £ 100, 000 disbursed in a one year period. Difficult trading conditions led to some companies reducing their contributions. There had also been a loss of donations due to retirement and other factors. For the first time in a number of years, ordinary expenditure exceeded ordinary income by a very substantial amount.

Name of the EIBA was changed

After much vigorous debate, the name of the EIBA was changed to include the now maturing electronics industry, hence the new Electrical and Electronics Industries Benevolent Association.

Beneficiary profile changes

The number of pensioners aided had grown to 23% to over half of all cases dealt with.

Need for advice grew.

That year it was emphasised in the Annual Report that the Association did not only provide financial aid. Many people needed advice or guidance, or comfort, reassurance and the friendly feelings that someone cared. It was clear that when disaster struck, it frequently had a knock-on effect, which impinged on the whole family in a variety of ways. Unravelling these heart-rending and complicated situations was demanding and time-consuming. It required patience, comprehensive knowledge and an understanding of human beings and the social system. This aspect of the Association’s work is as much overlooked by the industry today as it has been throughout its history.

A small surplus was recorded, a step forward in the struggle.

The pace of modern life was beginning to show, creating a greater stress and, combined with the growing network of subscribers, the calls for assistance rose. The introduction of the welfare state 11 years earlier, far from reducing requests for financial aid from the Association, created greater demand than ever before. Mental illness was now featuring more in calls for assistance.

The advent of TV, the widespread use and availability of electrical appliances and ease of hire purchase restrictions created a pattern of life which caused financial problems when man fell ill or lost his job. The effects of the consumer society were talking hold. The Rent Act of 1957 created legal problems about which the Association provided advice. The pace of modern life was beginning to show, creating greater stress and, combined with the growing network of subscribers, the calls for assistance rose. The more beneficiaries we helped, the they told other people, resulting in a type of ‘compound interest’ increase.


One of the most important developments of all time in the electrical industries occurred during 1956

– the harnessing of nuclear energy for domestic uses at Calder Hall. In spite of increased income from golf and social activities, the Association showed an operational deficit of £6000, the same year that numbers exceeded 2000. The industry was expanding faster than ever before, enlarging the ‘electrical family’ demonstrating the increased need for the Association and for more support from the industry.

A campaign to increase income was launched and major supporters rallied round. Well-wishers provided nearly £10,000, BEAMA increased its annual donation and the supply authorities gave extra funds. A plea was made for companies to operate staff deduction schemes in order to establish a regular income base. In addition, the facilities and support provided by the electricity boards, generating authorities and certain large companies formed the backbone of the growing Branch network.


First prize draw held, organised by the east Midlands region.

Numbers helped rose to around 12, 000 during this period.

The listed categories of people helped during the year included;

staff employees experiencing long absence through illness; widows with children; retired employees suffering from ill health or who found themselves homeless; employees in full employment in financial difficulties, which specialised knowledge could resolve at low cost. Liaison with other charities frequently resulted in shared expenditure.

Tuberculosis costs £6,000 per annum

(18% of all relief expenditure)

Broome Park home for the elderly opens.

First year a deficit is recorded on the revenue account.

Mr & Mrs Joseph Cunningham heard of the Association’s work,

aims and methods and gave Broome Park in Betchworth, in memory of their son, James Erskine Cunningham, who had been killed in action in 1941. Grants, pensions and allowances increased to a record level in 1946 and it was considered that this demand was mainly due to increased awareness from the campaigning over the years.

Investments reached £100,000.

The number of peopled helped in this period rose to over 5000. New Branches were established in Birmingham & District, North East Coast, Scotland, South Wales & Monmouthshire, Sussex, Tees-side District and West Lancashire.

Title changed to the Electrical Industries Benevolent Association.

The first Electrical Industries Ball was held at the Grosvenor House in London, which has continued each year (excluding the Second World War until the present with powerBall).

221 grants made totalling £2,000.

The first pension was granted. Associate Membership available for 5 shillings. New local advisory branches were established in Leeds, Merseyside & North Wales, Manchester, Newcastle on Type, Nottingham and Yorkshire (Leeds)

AGM held at Institution of Electrical Engineers and 75 grants were made in the year totally £1,000.

Fundraising increased with the President, Sir Hugo Hirst, sending out appeals to over 14, 000 people on the GEC mailing list, resulting in donations of nearly £7,000. Local electricity supply companies were generous with their support and the Local Advisory Committees introduced innovative social events. 75 grants made totalling £1,000.

Local Advisory Committees (later Branches) created.

The number helped were around 6 people per year. Branches were established in Cardiff& District and Glasgow & District.

Inaugural Dinner

Inaugural Dinner raised £627

The Electrical Trades Benevolent Institution founded

The Electrical Trades Benevolent Institution founded and first recorded donation of £650

An important day in 1904

Gathered there that day were 10 Leader from the manufacturing industry (including 2 from the giant GEC). They were pioneers of the burgeoning electrical industry and discussed what might happen to ‘those who had spent their lives in establishing the electrical industry and had been unable to secure sufficient monetary recompense to support them if accident, infirmity, misfortune, or old age, limited their activities or curtailed their means. At the time, Charities were in their infancy and state pensions, unemployment benefit and a national health service were just a dream. But these far-sighted, public-spirited men decided to do something about providing for industry colleagues who had fallen on hard times and put in £10 pounds on the as a token of their intent.

The men who made up the committee were Robert Kayne Gray, Hugo Hirst (GEC), Justus Eck, Chairman (Union Electric Co), H Berry (NEMA), FH Nalder (Nalder Bros & Thompson), E Gustav Byng (GEC), R A Lundberg (A P Lundberg & Sons, G Sutton (Henley Telegraph Works) and 2 other outstanding individuals whose names are not recorded.