The highlights of the tour for me were the reconstruction of the original JCB office from years ago and the model of a machine built from steel reinforcing wire that changed colour as we moved through the exhibits.

When we had all worked our way through the JCB Experience we arrived in the JCB shop where we were able to buy scale model machines, JCB branded clothing, stationery and pens before moving back downstairs for a superb 2 course lunch of lasagne and various salads followed by a choice of sweets (I had the cheesecake).

Following the lunch we were delighted to find that Rik and his team had arranged JCB “Goodie Bags” for everyone present as we left the restaurant area which was a great end to the visit.

A “small change” collection was held in aid of the President’s charity Claire House which raised £250.00 for the charity.

It goes without saying that the IDE are extremely pleased that JCB allowed us to visit the JCB Experience to see how a massive British company stays in the forefront of excavator production globally, whilst continuing to employ as many UK employees as possible.

Thank you very much to Rik Kiddle and all at JCB.

If you would like to visit the JCB Experience yourselves, and I recommend that you do, you can find out more about it via the following link:

Following the JCB visit the IDE members and guests then travelled on to Alton Towers Splash Landings Hotel for an afternoon in the Water Park or in the main Theme Park where all the rides were open and running. The majority of the children at the weekend decided to go into Splash Landings Water Park to ride the water slides, flumes and lazy river and a great time was had by all.

Evening entertainment was arranged with a curry at a local restaurant, recommended by JCB, and a coach was arranged from reception at the hotel to and from the restaurant to enable all guests to travel together. The food was excellent and all present were amazed to find that it had been fully sponsored by Armac Group so a big “Thank You” to Armac Group from all concerned.

Following the restaurant visit all adjourned to the bar at Splash Landings to discuss demolition related matters and drink beer!

The next morning saw some leave early to travel home whilst others took advantage of the reduced price VIP Theme Park tickets arranged by JCB to try all of the rides before the park opened to the general public and despite the torrential rain a great time was had.

The weekend was a resounding success with everyone saying how nice it was for wives and children to be invited to an event and to be able to put faces to the IDE names often mentioned in conversations with IDE members over family dining tables throughout the country.

Let us hope that we can arrange another similar event for next year.