Bowthorpe Electric Co
of Crawley, Sussex
1938 On repayment of the loan he had used to establish the business, he set up Bowthorpe Electric Ltd with the help of Park Trust Ltd (Lord Doverdale's family trust).
The business was operated from a garage in 8, Eagle Street, London, W.C.1., cutting up electrical wiring into standard lengths and selling it to the aircraft industry. One of the first to use coloured sleeving to identify cabling. Initially Ray Parsons was the sole employee; together they built the Company into one of the UK's largest electrical businesses.
1949 Changed its name to Bowthorpe Holdings.
1955 Public offer of shares in Bowthorpe Holdings
1961 Manufacturers of overhead electric line equipment and fittings and accessories for high and low tension overhead transmission lines. Contractors to the Area Electricity Boards and Scottish Hydroboard.
1962 Acquired EMP Electric
1973 Sold the power equipment division, with factories at Bridgend and Banbury, to Brush Switchgear. Acquired Hiatt and Co of Birmingham, cable accessory manufacturers, and Fellbridge Engineering of Susses
1977 Moved Bowthorpe electric division from Crawley and EMP Electric from Tottenham to new factory in Brighton, with both forming a new unit Bowthorpe EMP
1982 Acquired William McGeoch and Co of Glasgow. Rights issue to raise funds to make acquisitions in the USA of high technology firms in a deliberate move to introduce new business areas into the company
Acquired c.18 companies over 5 years; then needed a rights issue to pay for future expansion 
1987 Acquired Optima Electronics
1990 It disposed of its defence businesses
1996 The company started to move firmly into the telecom's equipment sector; its electronics business grew rapidly during the dot-com boom of the 1990s, with the 1997 purchase of businesses such as Adtech, a digital test equipment concern based in Hawaii.
The company was re-organised into 5 specific areas, including telecoms testing equipment.
1999 disposed of its automotive industry businesses; bought Netcom Systems, a US telecoms testing business, and DLS, a Canadian telecoms testing business.
2000 The telecoms testing business area accounted for 41 percent of operating profits
2000 Name changed to Spirent Communications
Sources of Information
- The Times, Jun 30, 1955
- * 1961 Dun and Bradstreet KBE
- The Times, Feb 03, 1962
- The Times, May 11, 1964
- The Times Sep 03, 1970
- The Times, Mar 29, 1973
- The Times, Jul 12, 1973
- The Times (London, England), Friday, Aug 24, 1973
- The Times May 09, 1977
- The Times, Nov 28, 1981
- The Times, Aug 19, 1982
- The Times Oct 06, 1982
- The Times, September 29, 1987
- The Times 22, 1988
- The Times, September 21, 1988
- The Times April 02, 1992
- The Times, September 22, 1994
- The Times, March 03, 2000