On the Isle of Arran, off the west coast of Scotland, John Thomson Construction (JTC) plies its trade.
Founded in 1952 by the late John Thomson, it has been run by his sons Iain and Graham since 1988 and has grown to be one of Arran’s largest employers.
Among the varied workload of JTC, it operates Dereneneach Quarry on the island’s String Road near Shiskine. And it is here that the company’s latest investment has been put to work – a new 22-tonne Volvo EC220E crawler excavator has, for the time being at least, been put in charge of loading a mobile crusher.
Okay, I hear you. It’s lovely all these photos of JCB factories and royals and stuff, but what you want is machines through the years. I get it. Here they are.
Well some of them, anyway. There is not an exhaustive list nor is it any indications of the ones I like or consider important. It’s just some favourite photos from the JCB 70th anniversary archives.
First up (above) is an iconic advert (it says here) from 1960 for the JCB 4 backhoe loader.
Like any good business, the history of JCB is as much a history of its people as of its products. This includes the three generations of Bamfords: Joe, son Anthony and grandson Jo, who is now surely destined to take over the family business before much longer.
As part of the 70th birthday celebrations of both the company and Sir Anthony this week, JCB has released an archive of photos that are too good to go unpublished here, so – as you may have noticed – I’ve subdivided them into various blog posts under different categories. This one is about the people of JCB. That’s some of them there, up above, with the boss, front left
But let’s first go back. The next photo, below, is taken in 1947. It shows Anthony Bamford in his father's arm. From left are early employees Bill Hirst, Arthur Harrison and Bert Holmes.
You may have heard that JCB turns 70 this week. Cue lots of flag waving, and we’re happy to join in. They like a good flag waving at JCB, and so do we. As one of the original Great British Success Stories® few companies can be more reliably depended upon to host an official visit from royalty and VIPs.
In fact, there’s quite an archive of royals and prime ministers inspecting production lines or fondling joysticks. It seems to have become some sort of modern rite of passage. Here are some of them for your entertainment, in chronological order, from 1977 to 2013..
From humble beginnings JCB soon grew into a company with export success, followed by international distribution channels and finally manufacturing operations on several continents.
Joe Bamford (Mr JCB) was quick to seek export markets. He is pictured below in 1953 (third from left) with employee Doug Hollingworth (seated) on a sales trip to France with some early customers. These were the days when you had to wear a lab coat to sell plant, apparently.