Reminiscence and Resource Centre

Started as a shop boy 25 years ago - 1963
Joining British Bata when he left school, Edwin Westall became the shop boy at Becontree. On Saturday he completed 25 years service with the Company and now occupies the important position of repairs promoter.
In an interview with Bata Record, Mr Westall said “Coming straight from school, any job was wonderful at first. Things were just beginning to pick up after the big slump.
“Realising there was no future in a shop boy’s job and that I’d got to get some experience, I applied to the Company for a job in the office at East Tilbury. The department gave me a chance and I grasped it with both hands.
“At East Tilbury I was made a group clerk and was trained by the late Arthur Hunneyball.
“When I was offered a retail shop manager’s course, I was delighted and, believe it or not, I was only 17 years old when I took over the management of the Company’s Fulham store, in 1941.
“During the war I served in the Royal Navy, from which I was demobilised in 1946, and was able to return to my work with the Company.
“Most of my service with the Navy was in tank landing craft. I took part in practically all the landings on the Italian Coast and in the Near East before coming home for D-Day.
“When I was demobbed I went straight back to the company and was put in charge of the Bata Store at Notting Hill.
“From Notting Hill I was at Dagenham from 1947 to 1953, when I was promoted to be district inspector for the old North London District and during the next five years, had experience in all the East London and Essex Areas.
“When the “B” shops were made ad group I was given charge of the group and after a period as sales promoter, I was made repairs promoter 18 months ago.