The firm’s reputation led to their regular attendance at both local agricultural shows and national shows where they exhibited every year from 1926-1997.
Murray and Sydney Gibbs sharing a joke with Prime Minister Harold Macmillan during his visit to the Gibbs stand at the Royal Smithfield Show.
The flag poles and name panel on the show caravan folded down for travelling and could be reversed showing the name Coles or Gibbs depending on the venue of the show.
The caravan, which acted as a sales office at shows, was built by the body builders in Gibbs workshop on a war surplus bomb trailer chassis. As you can see from the photographs the caravan style changed over the year; it was a prominent feature at national and local shows.
Royal warrants are a mark of recognition that tradesmen are regular suppliers of goods and services to the Royal households. Strict regulations govern the warrant, which allows the grantee or company to use the legend 'By Appointment' and display the Royal coat of arms on his products, such as stationery, advertisements and other printed material, in his or her premises and on delivery vehicles.
The firm of J. Gibbs held royal warrants for supplying agricultural machinery and implements to the royal household. The first was awarded by King George VI in 1951 and was followed by further royal warrants from Queen Elizabeth II until 1997 when the company ceased trading. In 1966 the Royal Warrant included the supply of motor cars as well as agricultural machinery.
A wheel made by Gibbs wheelwrights and used on a Gibbs built strawberry van found a new life as the centrepiece for exhibits at shows. In 1953 it was used by the National Farmers Union (NFU) for their award winning display. Later it was used in a Gold Medal winning display at the Chelsea Flower Show depicting 150 years of the firm’s association with the growing and transportation of farm produce. The wheel is now displayed within the Gibbs display at the Rural Life Centre.