Anthony Bamford was born on 23 October 1945 - the same day his father Joe Cyril Bamford formed the company JCB. Throughout his childhood he was immersed in the family business often accompanying his father on business trips around the world. After training in engineering in France with tractor manufacturer Massey Ferguson, Bamford junior joined his father's business in 1964.
Over the next 11 years he gained experience in a range of positions. 'To some extent I was the boss's son but I had already done my engineering apprenticeship in France. It was a very small company in those days,' he recalls.
'At the time my father ran the business totally and he probably had about 150 people in the company. I was a rep in Northern Ireland for some time. Then I went on to export sales and was involved in a licence deal in Japan in the early 1960s, and one in Israel.' In 1975, at the tender age of 30, Anthony Bamford became chairman.
Sir Anthony believes that throughout his time with the company the construction industry has been characterised by the spread of mechanisation. 'You do not see that many people digging trenches now. Partly because the cost of the man has gone up a lot more as a component of cost and also because people have become more conscious of safety.' This has resulted in a much greater variety of machines than ever before and JCB has grown with this trend. 'There has been a big growth in new machines. If you look at our basic product range it is now 94 machines. In 1990 it was 33.'