JCB HQ, Rocester, Staffordshire

A morning appointment in Uttoxeter took us to that part of Staffordshire and with a free afternoon we decided to take the short drive to Rocester, home of the JCB company World Headquarters. A walk around land adjacent to a factory is not the usual first choice for a stroll on a hot and sunny afternoon, but this is no ordinary factory. The site is described as ‘A fine example of a factory in a landscape’.

The lake was dug out in 1968 as part of JCB’s commitment to conservation and environment. (No prizes for guessing which equipment was used to dig out the lake and to landscape the surrounding area). A good, paved pathway is provided around the lake and is freely open for public use. A good variety of native and ornamental fowl can be seen all around the lake.

Several contemporary sculptures are also featured. The ‘Bird Group’ by Peter Haigue and installed in 1981 is particularly appropriate.

Incidentally, the ‘word’ JCB has made it into the Oxford English dictionary and is defined as ‘a type of large machine for digging and moving earth that consists of a large bucket on the end of an arm attached to a vehicle’.