Digger Man

Digger Man Blog

by Nick Drew  |  Wed 06 Jan 2021

JCB Scrapbook, a Tour De Force Publication

One of the highlights of my Christmas break was thumbing my way through the latest book to be published about the iconic British agricultural and construction equipment manufacturer JCB.

JCB Scrapbook, a Tour De Force Publication

This stunning 144-page book, entitled “JCB Scrapbook” has been researched and written by author Martin Port, with assistance from Lord Bamford, Nigel Chell and Andrew Frith.

The book was published to celebrate 75 years of engineering innovation by the Staffordshire based company. The book contains in excess of 400 photographs from the JCB archives, many of which have never been published before, which is guaranteed to wet the appetite of all JCB enthusiasts out there!

I personally grew up around the iconic yellow diggers, as my late father was a dedicated JCB operator, who spent most of his working life on 3C backhoe loaders, right up to the grey cabbed 3CX before his retirement. As such, I spent much of my formative years riding in the cab with him in the time- honoured way back in those days, so JCB has always had a special place in my heart.

As I read this book all those fantastic memories came flooding back, as the author charts the history from those early days of JCB’s origins, building the little hydraulic tipping trailer in a small lock up garage, right up to the present day and the development of a prototype Hydrogen powered 22-tonne excavator.

It’s an amazing publication, and there is everything in there that you could ever need to know about the history of the company and its products. What I especially liked about it, is the style in which it has been put together in a very modern way. It reminded me in many ways of how I write my blogs, not so heavy on the detail, with just essential bullet points for the accompanying photographs.

It really keeps the interest up for the reader with its format and I was enthralled all by it all the way through, with some books that are detail laden I get bored too quickly, but this book just grabs your attention at every turn of the page, with its vast range of JCB related topics and photos.

When I reached page 49, I was delighted to see the photo of a JCB 808 on swamp tracks at work in Albina, Suriname. That brought back more memories of my childhood, as that photo was once used as a full colour poster advert in the Construction News, of which my father was a subscriber back in the day, he gave me the poster to put on my bedroom wall, and many other similar ones that were released as part of that advertising campaign.

I simply cannot recommend this publication enough, if you are a lover of JCB equipment, this book will be right up your street! My congratulations go out to all involved in putting it together.

Find out more about how this book came about in this video interview with Philip Porter the publisher Porter Press and author Martin Port.

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