JCB opens a door on its past

25 October 2011

Artist Benedict Radcliffe took five months to produce this representation of a JS200

Artist Benedict Radcliffe took five months to produce this representation of a JS200

JCB has opened a UK£ 5 million (US$ 8 million) museum covering 2500 m2 at its Rocester, UK world headquarters. The exhibits track the path the company has taken to grow from a small scale manufacturer of agricultural trailers at the end of World War II in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, into today's global player in the construction equipment market, with manufacturing plants in four continents.

Over a year in development, the new museum highlights the important stages in the company's development, stressing the 'family' nature of the company, with the family having been involved in industrial production in the Uttoxeter area since the 1820s, when a blacksmith was established under the Bamford name.

Exhibits range from concept and design studies of its machines, some never actually produced, through to the final products themselves, from Joseph Cyril Bamford's (Mr JCB) first trailer for agricultural use through to the latest 'Eco' 3CX backhoe loader, decked out in full Union Jack livery (one of only two painted in this way). Many of the items on show were already in the company's possession, but others had to be sourced and purchased specifically for the exhibit.

One of the highlights of the display is a representation of a JS200 excavator built from 8 mm steel rod by artist Benedict Radcliffe. The full size representation took five months to complete and weighs in at 2 tonnes, a tenth of the weight of the real thing. Given that the museum is located on the upper floor of JCB's headquarters, a real JS200 would have exceeded allowable floor loadings. Also on show is the JCB Dieselmax, which holds the land speed record for diesel powered vehicles.

JCB will use the museum to highlight its heritage to dealers and existing and potential customers from around the world, and also says that the facility will be open to members of the general public on a limited basis, with details being announced on its website, www.jcb.com.

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