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Radio Companies: Ultra Electric Ltd: Late 1950's, Buying Pilot Radio 



1955 Ultra Chalk Farm Factory Celebrates 25 Years
It is the custom of Ultra Electric,EE Rosen at Chalk Farm Ltd., to present employees who have completed 25 years with the company with a gold watch to mark the occasion.  Mindful of this the employees of Ultra's Chalk Farm factory had the happy thought of presenting the managing director, E. E. Rosen, and Mrs. Rosen with gifts to mark the 25th anniversary of their factory.
Accordingly, on November 22 Mr. Rosen was presented with a leather-bound message of goodwill.  Mrs. Rosen was presented with an enamelled silver compact and cigarette case.  The presentation was made by Mrs. Woolston, who has completed 25 years with the company.
Later in the evening Mrs. E. E. Rosen reciprocated by presenting Mrs. Woolston with a gold watch to commemorate her 25 years with the company and made a similar presentation of a gold watch to Mrs. Grace Merrington, BEM.
The occasion was a dance held by the employees of the Chalk Farm factory at Willies Hall, Prince of Wales Road, St. Pancras.
Dec Well done lad!Event: 24 Dec 1955; One of the Ultra apprentices receiving his award from Dr. J. Topping, M.Sc., Ph.D., the principal of the Acton Technical College, who presented the awards at the Ultra apprentices' prize giving recently.
1956 Click to see in-store displayClick to see an advertUltra uses Arthur Askey in new advert series and in store promotions posters. It was still a novelty for advertisers in the radio industry to use celebrities to endorse their product.  With the advent of pop music in the 1960's it became far more common. This famous comedian would have been well known and liked by the public at this time and was used to push the new Minstrel FM/VHF radio.  

New Scottish Depot & Service: 40 Wellington Street, Glasgow, C.2


Company New: Consolidated trading results of Ultra Electric (Holdings), Ltd., and Ultra Electric, Ltd., show that group profit for the year to March 31, 1956, including a profit of 44,573 on realization of investment in the Belgian Congo, is 250,820, as compared with 279.314.  After taxation, net profit is 147,419 (143,557).  Net balance of the parent company for 1955-6, after providing for the dividend, is 538 (91). 



Ultra Inaugurate Gosport Factory
For Radio and TV Production
Ultra Electric Ltd. entertained a large party of civic and other prominent local personalities at Gosport on Tuesday [October 1956] to mark the inauguration of their new radio and television factory on the Fareham-Gosport road on the outskirts of town.  The factory is equipped with the most modern plant for the production of domestic radio and television receivers under the best possible working conditions.  
Ultra factory 1956

The whole of the company's domestic receiver production will be centralized at Gosport, thus freeing the Ultra factory at Western Avenue for the production of special products.  About 100,000 sq. ft. of actual production space is available and, in addition, there are administration departments, canteen and other amenities.  For some time past Ultra have been training local labour to be ready for the opening of the factory which, when it is in full operation, will employ well over 1,000.

Oct E. E. Rosen at Yorkshire R.I. Club
At the October luncheon meeting of the Radio Industries Club of Yorkshire, the principal guest was E. E. Rosen, Ultra Electric Ltd., who addressed a well attended meeting, and the title of his talk was "Out Virile Industry."
Mr. Rosen gave a vivid account of the history and progress made by the industry, and its close liaison with the BBC in all spheres.  The advent of ITA he regarded as of great importance in that it acted, as a spur to further improvements by means of the competition it created in which all concerned shared the benefits.
Mr. Rosen then ventured on the shape of things to come, and he personally believed that they would justify his contention that the radio industry was not only virile, but well able to take care of any challenge from any quarter in the future.

Ultra Autumn Campaign Starts
half-page advertisement in the Daily Herald last week started off Ultra's autumn campaign.  Eighty newspapers are being used throughout the country to provide a coverage wider than ever before.  It is estimated that the advertisements in the whole series will be seen 203 millions times!

1958 The axe man Trevor Standeven was brought in to cut costs at the inefficient Gosport factory.  Whilst the Special Products Division was doing well, the consumer products were not.
1959 People: 10 Jan 1959; announced the appointment of Donald Mackay as publicity manager of the radio and TV division, in place of Gordon Harris, who has resigned to take up a new position.  Mr. Mackay comes from the publicity department of Associated-Rediffusion Television, where he was in the sales promotion section, mainly responsible for merchandising. 

In order to expand their business, Ultra decided to purchase Pilot radio.  By the tone of the last paragraph in this press release, it was far from a friendly take-over.

Ultra Purchase Pilot Radio
Supplies and Service Continue - Separate Identity Preserved
The directors of Ultra Electric Ltd. announced on Monday that negotiations had been completed for the purchase for cash of Pilot Radio Ltd.  Ultra Electric will acquire on April 1, 1959, all the issued capital of Pilot Radio, which will then become a wholly owned subsidiary of Ultra Electric Ltd. On the same date Ultra will also acquire the Pilot trade marks in 17 European countries from the Pilot Radio Corporation of U.S.A.
The directors consider that the resources currently available to Ultra Electric will be sufficient to meet the payments in respect of these acquisitions and that no issue of shares will be required.
Pilot Radio Ltd. is a private company with works at Park Royal, Middlesex.  It was founded in 1935 and has association with the Pilot Radio Corporation of U.S.A., with whom it has maintained close ties.
Ultra Electric Ltd. is the operating wholly-owned subsidiary of Ultra Electric (Holdings) Ltd.  It was founded in the early twenties by Edward E. Rosen, its chairman, who is among the best-known pioneers of the radio industry.  Its works are situated in Gosport and Acton, and its laboratories are at Ruislip.  The Ultra Special Products Division has a world reputation for its receiver and location beacons, of which Sarah is best known.
Commenting on the purchase of Pilot Radio, T.C. Standeven, commercial manager of the Radio and Television Division of Ultra Electric said: "It is our intention to preserve the identity of Pilot as a separate unit within the Radio and Television Division and present supplies and services will continue."
He said that as far as possible the models in the two ranges would be different and distinctive and the aim would be to keep prices as low as possible to cater for an expanding market.
He explained that on April 1 the existing directors of Pilot will resign and the Ultra directors will be appointed to the Pilot board.


Ultra were really pushing the boat out with this 6pp colour fold out in the 31 Oct 1959 edition of Wireless and Electrical Trader.  Depicted here is their Ultra 21" Transportable TV featuring the new 110 tube.  Covered in hard-wearing , easy-clean "Vynair" fabric, it may have had a telescopic handle - but I'm not sure I could have lifted it!  The foldout has six TVs, one stereo radiogram (with one speaker) and a Transistor radio for the Xmas season.

An advert for the radiogram a month later gave the new Ultra sales address.

Address: Stonefield Way, South Ruislip, Middlesex