Bernard Barton 1939 - 2023

February 2023 marked the end of an era for Bensons with the sad passing for former owner and Managing Director Bernard Barton.

Bernard joined Bensons in the mid-1960s, at a time when the business was primarily focused on commercial gas engineering and run from Don Benson’s kitchen table.

Ever the one with an eye for an opportunity, Bernard was instrumental in pivoting the business to focus on the design and manufacture of electrical control panels, leading to the purchase of premises on Normanton Industrial Estate in 1967.

From there the business saw steady growth with the original 255m2 facility eventually growing to 847m2 by 1986, the year that Bernard succeeded Don Benson as Managing Director. During the late 80s and early 90s the business continued to grow and prosper under Bernard’s stewardship, with the site growing to its current 1,100m2 and new markets successfully entered. In 2001 Bernard retired and was succeeded as Managing Director by Keith Williams.

Outside work, Bernard had a successful amateur career in motorsport, completing the RAC Rally twice and winning a host of events locally and nationally. In addition, he was a keen sailor, crossing the Atlantic in 1995 and a keen golfer until Parkinson’s brought this to a premature end. He is succeeded by his wife Jenny, children Matthew, Helen and Greg, and six grandchildren.

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