HRH The Princess Royal today honoured JCB’s success in exporting its most famous product by presenting the company with a prestigious Queen’s Award.
The accolade, in the International Trade category, marks a significant growth in overseas sales of the backhoe loader – a product for which the company is the world market leader. Today The Princess presented the Award to JCB Chairman Sir Anthony Bamford in a shopfloor ceremony watched by hundreds of employees involved in the production of the machine.
At the ceremony HRH The Princess Royal said: “This is an extraordinary company. It has built a truly remarkable reputation. The way that this business is run, in spite of the fact it employs so many people, the whole company has that feel of a family business and that is an extraordinary testament to the management technique and the way in which this business has grown.
“This backhoe loader is the thing that everybody recognises instantly as the JCB and it doesn’t matter who builds them they are known as a JCB.
“The whole range of production has grown so enormously and you have been so much at the forefront of technical developments in so many fields, that tradition, that expertise that you gained from building the original, has been taken on to so many other areas.
“So an entirely appropriate occasion to celebrate 60 years of achievement but to add to that a very specific new Queen’s Award for Export. I am delighted to have the opportunity to present it to Sir Anthony Bamford on behalf of the whole of JCB and everybody who works for the company wherever that may be. Many congratulations.”
Sir Anthony told the audience: “We are truly proud to have received our 16th Queen’s Award. We have achieved tremendous growth through hard work and effort and my thanks go to everyone involved.”
Staffordshire Lord Lieutenant Mr James Hawley said: “This is a wonderful achievement of which all of us in Staffordshire are very proud.
“An ethos of hard work, coupled with enthusiasm, flair and the genius to design the right machines and employ the right people, has brought you all to where you are today: the county’s most successful engineering company which has won more Queen’s Awards than any other.
“The backhoe loader made by this division of the company is the machine that we all know as the JCB, the digger that not only your customers, but even my youngest two-year-old grandson, thinks is marvellous. And we all think that all of you in the company are marvellous too to have achieved such success in the fiercely competitive export markets.”
On arrival at JCB’s World HQ, The Princess Royal was greeted by flag-waving pupils from Dove First School, Rocester, before being introduced to civic guests, Sir Anthony Bamford and JCB Managing Director and CEO John Patterson.
The Royal visitor then toured the offices and production facilities where she met employees. Before departing, the Princess unveiled a plaque to mark JCB’s 60th anniversary.