JCB marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of its founder Joseph Cyril Bamford with the unveiling of a specially commissioned bronze bust.
Bamford was born June 21, 1916 at his family home in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, United Kingdom. As a child Bamford spent much of his playtime building cars and boats, early signs of his flair for invention. He founded the company in a garage in Oct. 1945. When he retired, he turned the company – then turning over more than $63 million a year and employing hundreds of people – to his son Anthony, now known as Lord Bamford. Joseph Cyril Bamford was universally known as Mr. JCB, founder of the company that bears his initials.
On June 21, Bamford’s sons Lord Anthony Bamford and Mark Bamford, as well as grandson Jo Bamford, marked the 100th anniversary of “Mr. JCB’s” birth by unveiling the one-and-a-quarter-scale bronze bust at JCB’s world headquarters in Rocester, Staffordshire. Sculptor Andrew Edwards, also from Staffordshire, spent five months sculpting the image of Bamford as he appeared in the 1960s when JCB was becoming well known around the world.
“My father was without doubt an engineering genius and we wanted to mark the centenary of his birth and the huge contribution he made to Staffordshire and to Great Britain,” said Lord Bamford. “We are delighted with the bust, and it’s very fitting that it has been created in the county of his birth and by a sculptor whose talent was developed right here in Staffordshire.”
The bust will now be on permanent display at JCB’s world headquarters and will be seen by the thousands of visitors who pass through the company’s doors every year.
“I am always extremely nervous when I undertake projects of this nature because they are so very personal to the family members involved,” said Edwards. “By working closely with the Bamford family, I believe we’ve created a wonderful likeness of someone who is undoubtedly one of Staffordshire’s most famous sons. It has been an honor to have undertaken this work.”
The bust weighs about 110 pounds and stands around 28 inches high. It’s not the first bust of Bamford to be commissioned. A smaller one was cast in 1964 and presented to him by employees in gratitude for a nearly $370,000 bonus he shared with the workforce after a record year. That work of art sits on Mr. JCB’s original desk in the “Story of JCB” permanent exhibition at the company’s world headquarters.