End of a production era for companyFrom The Express and Star
The curtain has fallen on almost 140 years of manufacturing history in Uttoxeter with the final machine made at JCB’s Heavy Products factory rolling off the production line.
The site on the edge of the town has been linked to manufacturing since 1871 when the agricultural machinery makers Bamfords Ltd opened for business.
Bamfords Ltd went into liquidation in 1980 and in 1989 JCB bought the site in Pinfold Street and began production of its famous machines.
Last week the last JCB machine to be made there – a 26 tonne JS260 tracked excavator – was produced. The manufacture of tracked and wheeled excavators is now being transferred to the new purpose-built £40 million JCB Heavy Products factory next to the A50 in Uttoxeter.
JCB chairman Sir Anthony Bamford said: “This is the end of an era because my family has been linked to this site since the 19th century when Bamfords Ltd started manufacturing agricultural machinery.
“But this is also the start of a new and exciting era not only for JCB’s excavator business but also for Uttoxeter because the relocation offers the opportunity to redevelop and enhance an important area of the town.”
Among those joining Sir Anthony and employees to mark the event were Colin Bond and his wife Delia , of Uttoxeter, who both worked for Bamfords Ltd.
Mrs Bond was an office clerk and Mr Bond a machinist. Both eventually left to work for JCB. Mrs Bond retired as company archivist three years ago but her husband still works for the company after 39 years.