JCB opens historical exhibit
October 24, 2011 | Comments (0)
The new display charts the history of the Bamford family from its first known endeavours in the equipment business in the 1820s to the present day. The extensive permanent exhibit will initially be open to customers visiting the facility, but could also be opened to the public on certain dates sometime in the future.
The exhibition covers 2,500 square metres and includes 14 zones in chronological order starting when the Bamford family were blacksmiths in Uttoxeter. That company grew into Bamfords agricultural engineers where the Joseph Cyril Bamford initially worked. He was fired by his uncle Henry Bamford in a now famous note that simply said that “his services would no longer be required.”
The area occupied by the ‘Story of JCB’ was the old JCB Design Centre and production drawing office from 1970 until the early 1980s, when designers and draughtsmen were relocated. Joseph Bamford’s office which used to look out on the on the product development in the research workshop on one side and the engineering offices on the other is still there and now part of the exhibit and remains exactly as it was when he retired in 1975.
The exhibition includes numerous landmark JCB machines all of which had to be lifted in through the roof. They include one of the company’s first products, a hydraulic tipping trailer, an early telehandler and the record breaking Diesel Max car.
The centrepiece of the exhibition is a giant skeletal model of a JCB tracked excavator built to scale out of 8mm steel rod and created by the artist Benedict Radcliffe, some of whose work is currently on display in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The finished artwork took five months to complete, used over a kilometre of steel rod and weighs around two tonnes – a tenth of the weight of the actual machine it represents.
JCB chairman Sir Anthony Bamford, speaking today 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 company says that it currently entertains around 15,000 visitors a year at Rocester, but expects that to rise with the opening of the museum.
This has to be one of the finest corporate exhibits in the construction equipment industry, rivalling the displays that one finds at the larger car and truck manufacturers facilities.
It is exceptionally well put together and includes, concise information, photographs, machinery exhibits, old documentation and brochures and much much more. If you are a dealer, customer or potential customer of JCB and you enjoy historical equipment exhibits then a trip to Rocester will be well worthwhile. Allow several hours for a good browse.