Home | Our History
  • Beacon International banner, our history showing consumables, companies and locations of our history
    our story

Our Story by John Goodhind

Beacon is a family-founded and run business that is proud to be celebrating its 30th year in the industry. We take great pride in our heritage, and it is the driving force for maintaining the brands’ reputation of quality and excellence in service.  

The beginning of Beacon International 

In the mid-1980’s, the manufacture and supply of industry-specific asbestos removal equipment was more or less an unregulated cottage industry.

As the founder of Beacon International, I became involved in 1986 in the development of a range of specifically designed decontamination systems with particular emphasis on a flat-pack shower unit and mobile decontamination trailer.

Beacon International was formed by myself, John and my wife, Ros Goodhind, in July 1991. We were going to manufacture a range of decontamination shower units together with a new concept in water management and filtration systems. Over the years, both these technologies have become the generic design for such systems, now widely used the world over.

The launch of this new range of decontamination systems coincided with the introduction of many new regulations throughout Europe and especially Germany, where Beacon International became known for its excellent customer service and innovative product development resulting in owning a ‘Beacon’ being top of many contractors’ shopping list.

Negative Pressure Units (NPUs) and Vacuum Cleaners

As the new millennium approached, many customers were begging us to produce a range of negative pressure units and vacuum cleaners to complement our ever-increasing range of decontamination systems.

By this time, we had a well-established dealer network throughout Europe, with our own service centres in Germany and Holland, so it made good sense to expand our range.

As luck would have it, Andy Lewis-Thomas, now Director at Beacon, who had extensive knowledge in designing and manufacturing Negative Pressure units and vacuum cleaners, approached us with the idea of expanding Beacon International into this market. 

Establishing ourselves as a major manufacturer and supplier of these machines – is the ideal solution to complement our vision for growing the business.

During this period of rapid expansion, Beacon twice outgrew its manufacturing locations resulting in the eventual purchase of our current 45,000 sqft Head Office and manufacturing base at Desborough, Northampton.

Introducing Consumables

Over the years, Beacon International continued to expand both within the UK and worldwide despite the fact that we had concentrated on plant hire, equipment sales and servicing and somewhat neglected the supply of consumables.

Our Mantra has always been ‘sure and steady’, and as experts in capital plant sales and service, we were reluctant to expand into the consumables marketplace without having someone within the company who understood the supply chain – meet Danny Black, now Director at Beacon.

Danny joined us in 2014, coming from within the industry and therefore being the ideal candidate to support our desire to expand into consumables. He has since been the driving force behind opening trade counters and service centres in London, Desborough and Leeds to ensure the continuation of excellent nationwide service for which Beacon International had become renowned.

Beacon International is now a global manufacturer and supplier, far from the cottage industry I surveyed when I entered the Asbestos Removal Industry in 1986. My wife and I still remember working day and night to help manufacture equipment and then the other half of the night to catch a ferry to France, Belgium or Holland to ensure our customers received their orders on time.

I am proud of all our employees over the years who have played a part in maintaining our reputation for quality products and excellent service.

New Venture ‘Down Under’

Our latest expansion is to the Southern Hemisphere with the acquisition of our ‘Down Under’ dealer ARE New Zealand. I am confident there will be a further expansion for Beacon International, and we will continue to go from strength to strength. Thank you to all our many customers for their much appreciated continuing support.

John Goodhind (2021)

The Beacon-Kerstar Era

As the pages of our history turned to a new decade, a significant milestone beckoned. 2023 marked another monumental chapter in Beacon International’s illustrious journey as we proudly integrated the esteemed Kerstar brand into our family.

Filtermist’s decision to centre their attention on ATEX-rated vacuum cleaners provided Beacon with a golden opportunity. We recognised the immense potential of the Kerstar legacy, a brand celebrated for over 60 years of UK manufacturing distinction in the industrial vacuum cleaners realm.

Acquiring the rights to manufacture the much-acclaimed KV and KSV ranges felt like a meeting of minds and ethos. Beacon, always at the forefront of introducing innovative solutions, saw in Kerstar a reflection of our commitment to quality, precision, and customer satisfaction.

For John and Ros Goodhind, this acquisition was more than a business move. It was a testament to their vision in 1991 — to lead, evolve, and continually raise the bar in industrial excellence. With the Kerstar integration, we’ve expanded our product suite and embraced a brand that echoes our core values.

The Beacon Kerstar Range will continue the tradition of British manufacturing prowess. While our team is thrilled to embark on this new venture, we owe our achievements to the faith and trust our clients bestow upon us. As always, we promise to deliver, innovate, and stay true to the Beacon ethos that has guided us for over three decades.

Kerstar Beacon, the new part of Beacon Internationals history