BRIGHT sparks at a hi-tech electronics firm in Clacton are celebrating the company’s 50th anniversary.

Pickering Electronics employs almost 200 people manufacturing electronic relays at its base in Stephenson Road.

It was founded by the late John Moore in 1968, but is still going strong with sales up by 30 per cent last year.

John’s son Keith, who now oversees the company, said: “Pickering has grown and prospered a great deal in the past few years and we are investing heavily here in Clacton to further build on the past 50 years of success that my father John created from scratch.

“The Pickering Group now employs just under 200 people locally, with a further 180 globally, with manufacturing facilities in the Czech Republic, along with additional representation in countries throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australasia.”

The company donates annually to St Helena’s Hospice Tendring Centre, which has received £70,000 over the years, and Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Pickering enjoyed a record year in 2017 and said its success is due to its ability to design high-quality components, a strong vision from its founder and the speed in which it gets innovative designs to market Technical director Graham Dale said: “Pickering has been based in Clacton for around 45 years. In that time, the company has seen many hundreds of local employees pass through our doors, some staying with the company for 20, 30, or even 40 years.

“We have a very high regard for all our staff, considering them to be our most valuable asset, and would like to thank them all for their continued support.” The company has various celebrations planned, including a book about the firm’s first 50 years, which will be available to download from its website next month.