Lord Bamford marks 60-year service milestone at JCB

Anthony Bamford (right) receives his 60-year long service award from JCB CEO Graeme Macdonald

JCB chairman Anthony Bamford is celebrating 60 years’ service with the manufacturing giant this weekend.

Having completed an engineering apprenticeship with Massey Ferguson in France, he first walked through the doors of the company’s Rocester factory as an employee on February 24, 1964 aged just 18 and started work on the shop floor.

Now 78, Lord Bamford’s thirst for work continues as he leads a £100 million project to develop hydrogen combustion engines to power the JCB machines of the future.

Lord Bamford was presented with his long service award by JCB CEO Graeme Macdonald. He also received a gift of an oak tree from company directors.

As he reflected on the 60-year milestone, Lord Bamford said, “It is hard to imagine that I have been here that long, but I really haven’t known anything else. As a family company, I was introduced to the business at a very young age and have been involved in it ever since.

“In fact, my earliest memory was going with my mother to take tea and sandwiches to a handful of men who were working for my father when the business was based in stables at Crakemarsh Hall, near Uttoxeter. So much has happened over the past 60 years. When I first worked at JCB, we had one factory. Now there are 22 all over the world employing more than 19,000 people.

“We were also making around 3,000 machines a year in 1964 and today we manufacture well over 100,000 every year. JCB’s success is very much down to the whole team around the world and, while it’s nice to reflect on the achievements of the past, my focus is very much on what our team can achieve in the future.”

JCB CEO Graeme Macdonald added, “The whole JCB team sends its congratulations to Lord Bamford on what is a momentous milestone. Such an achievement is unprecedented at JCB and almost certainly unmatched in British industry. Lord Bamford’s contribution to JCB and the business world over the past 60 years has been truly remarkable.”

Anthony Bamford’s personal career highlights include the establishment of JCB’s first overseas subsidiary in France in 1969. In 1979, four years after taking over as chairman from his father, the late Joseph Cyril Bamford CBE, he established JCB’s business in India, which has since grown into the company’s biggest single market for construction equipment.

Lord Bamford was also instrumental in setting up The JCB Academy in Rocester, which opened in September 2010, a £22 million school for 13-18 year-old students aspiring to become the engineers and business leaders of the future. The Academy currently has more than 800 students and more than 3,200 individuals have attended since it first opened. The Academy also provides training for apprentices and more than 600 have graduated from the JCB Academy Apprenticeship Programme since it started in 2013.