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Contractors World 2011 Volume 2 Issue 10
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A new exhibition opens tracing the history of JCB - Page 2 of 3

cwmags: Telehandlers are just one of a range of products today manufactuered by JCB for both the cosntructionand farming sectors. Why the delay?

The company has recently opened a multi-million dollar permanent exhibition at the company’s HQ in Rocester, UK highlighting the history and achievements of the company over the years - even the years preceding Joe Bamford’s first workshop.

Telehandlers are just one of a range of products today manufactured by JCB for both the construction and farming sectors.

At the opening, JCB Chairman, Sir Anthony Bamford, spoke of his pride at the new $8 million customer experience centre which he see’s as further developing JCB exports.

He said: “This is an extremely exciting development. It is the first time that the history of our company and my family’s roots in manufacturing has been told in the form of a permanent exhibition.

“We are an innovative company and our success over the past 66 years has been driven by innovation and that is at the very core of ‘The Story of JCB.’ It is a showcase of our unique story and something we can all be very proud of.

“The ‘Story of JCB’ exhibition is also a very powerful selling tool for our customers, especially in the emerging markets where a greater appreciation of our heritage and pedigree will help them understand our business and why we are the right choice for their future machine requirements.”

The exhibition covers 2,500 m² of floorspace and includes 14 zones which take the visitor on a journey through time, starting in the 1820s, when the Bamford family were blacksmiths in Uttoxeter through to the present day and JCB’s ECO range of fuel-saving machines.

cwmags: An original JCB tipping trailer. From small beginnings . . .It all started with the sack

Joe Bamford started his own enterprise after being sacked by his uncle’s agricultural engineering company, Bamfords Ltd.

An original JCB tipping trailer. From small beginnings . . .
{Photo: Anthony Appleyard]

There is a section highlighting the engineering prowess of Bamfords Ltd, the firm of agricultural engineers based in Uttoxeter. It was the company director Henry Bamford, who famously sacked his nephew Joseph Cyril Bamford by sending him a note that “his services would no longer be required.”

Whether Henry Bamford ever expressed regret at this move is not recorded but it is perhaps ironic that amongst JCB product range is a very successful range of agricultural equipment.

Mr Bamford’s subsequent success and the huge global growth of the company under the stewardship of his son Sir Anthony, Chairman for almost 36 years, are highlighted in other zones.

The area occupied by the ‘Story of JCB’ exhibition is housed in what was the JCB Design Centre and Production Drawing Office from 1970 until the early 1980s.

Visitors can see Joe Bamford’s old office, which he used from 1970 until his retirement in 1975. Always at the centre of engineering design and development, it gave him a complete window on the world of JCB. From one side of his office he could look out over his design management and draughtsmen and from the window at the rear he could view the progress of product development in the research workshop situated below. I know which window he looked out of most.

The office still contains Mr Bamford’s original desk, chairs and conference table. Visitors will also see a bronze bust of Mr JCB on his desk, which was a gift from the JCB workforce in 1964, the year in which he presented in excess of £250,000 in productivity bonuses to his staff.

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