Ross Duncan interviews George Bamford – Bamford Watch Department / JCB

George Bamford is a successful entrepreneur that happens to be dyslexic and the owner of Bamford Watch Department, based in Mayfair London.  George set up his business 15 years ago out of an interest and a hobby that he later he turned around into a success. He eventually wanted to do something unique for himself “for me I found it”. To absorb information he listens to three audio books a week and wakes every morning and “treats it as my last”. As a real car fanatic he strips down car engines at the weekends.     But before making a success out of Bamford Watch Department he struggled at school and as he couldn’t conform there because he found it too rigid. By the time he was five discovered that was dyslexic.  At school he had had countless reasonable adjustments to help including extra time in exams “you name it I probably tried it”, but none of it really helped. As a manual learner he wanted to do things with his hands. As a boy he loved nothing more than stripping done watches and TVs. At the age of eight he was even welding and stripping down engines on the shop floor of the family business, but at the same time he knew that he could never be an engineer. 

George’s grandfather, Joseph Cyril Bamford set up J.C. Bamford Excavators Limited in 1945, the multinational corporation is more commonly known as JCB.  George’s father now runs the family business and wanted George to make something of himself but outside of the family business; this gave him a reality check.

Like a number of people with dyslexia this can run in the family. In the case of George’s family, his grandfather, his father and Georges own children have dyslexia. As a parent with dyslexia children he wants them to learn in a different way, but not in a structural system but this happened yet, as this has to yet to evolve.  Like Sir Jackie Stewart, Georges father, Anthony Bamford discovered he was dyslexic in his 40s.  George considers Sir Jackie Stewart a truly amazing and phenomenal person in having the right contacts and being so lucky that there are people like him. This is something George is already fully aware of, as Sir Jackie has already helped George’s son out. 

Ross Duncan

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