A North East manufacturing legend

From Humble beginnings

In a humble pit village in County Durham, John Elliott lived with his mother Doris and brothers Tony and Colin alone after John’s father died when he was just 6 month old. Life was tough, money was tight and the Elliott family had to pull together to just survive.

Adult Life

Never one to enjoy school, John left at the age of 15 to take up an apprenticeship with a local company called Westool. As a junior draftsman, John would start to forge the skills that would help him develop a career in manufacturing. A spell at the Science Research Council’s High Energy Laboratory in Rutherford followed before a return to home and a job at Westair Dynamics as a Sales Application Engineer.

The formation of Ebac

The year is 1972, John and wife Margaret have a young family. John makes the bold decision to leave his job and go it alone and so Ebac is born. With the help of brothers Tony and Colin they build 16 timber dryers for their very first customer – Pat Cassey of Wyse Power. The dehumidifiers were so good, Pat returned and placed a further order for 60 units. Ebac never looked back. 50 years on and John has overseen the business grow to 250 employees.

Helping people realise their potential

John loves nothing more than seeing people realise their potential. That may be at work in Ebac, in the wider community or in the world of sports. A keen sports fan, John loves seeing local teams doing well.


A keen racehorse owner John loves to relax with a day at the races. A Group 2 winning owner on the flat, John has had the pleasure of owning many great equine athletes.


John passionately cares about the government of the UK and the world at large. He believes that so many things can be improved to help the UK reach it’s potential. Chairman of the North East Says No campaign and regular political guest on BBC, ITV and many other channels.

Animals & The Countryside

To wind down John and his family take time out on the family farm. Growing vegetables, tending the sheep, lamas or walking the dogs.

What’s a DL?

We all know what a MBE is – Member of the Order of the British Empire. John has a couple of other letters after his name – DL. What is a DL? DL stands for Deputy Lieutenant and is a appointment of the Crown of trusted people to assist with Crown duties in a particular county.