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End of an era

First publishedin Aggregates Business Europe
January February 2009
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Uttoxeter Site
The Bamford family has been linked to the Uttoxeter site since 1871.
JCB has now transferred excavator production in the UK to a new purpose-built £40million (€46million) heavy products factory outside Uttoxeter. The move ends 140 years of production at the old site in the town, which was formerly the home of Bamfords agricultural manufacturing business, but was taken over by JCB in 1989.

The site on the edge of the town has been linked to manufacturing since 1871 when the agricultural machinery makers Bamfords opened for business. Bamfords went into liquidation in 1980 and in 1989 JCB bought the site in Pinfold Street and began production of its machines. The last machine to be produced at the site was a 26tonne JS260 tracked excavator.

JCB chairman Sir Anthony Bamford said, "This is the end of an era because my family has been linked to this site since the nineteenth century when Bamfords 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." Sir Anthony's great-grandfather Joseph Bamford was one of five brothers who were the original partners of Bamfords. Sir Anthony's own father, the late Joseph Cyril Bamford, was famously sacked from Bamfords by his uncle Henry, who sent him a note saying his services were no longer required. Joseph Cyril Bamford later went on to found JCB.

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26tonne JS260 excavator
The last machine to roll off the production line at the site was a 26tonne JS260 excavator.
According to JCB, the new factory represents an opportunity to grow its excavator business, when construction markets recover from the current downturn, and it is thought that the move will be key to the commercial launch of the company's planned 52tonnes excavator.

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