Reminiscence and Resource Centre

Engineer who built his own bungalow. - 1948
Putting thirty-seven years of experience into his daily work, is Henry L Ansell, of Dept 711, who is seen here at work making utility stamps on the pantograph machine. Coming to East tilbury just seven years ago, Henry has worked in the fine mechanics’ department for the whole of the time, and Foreman Hlavenka told Bata Record he is one of the best workers in the workshop. In the main his work consists of doing all sorts of fine mechanical jobs such as perforating matrices, making Adrian Bush heads, and no work is too delicate of fine for his skilled hands.
Foreman Hlavenka, who has known Henry for three years, continued “He is a most reliable worker and no job, whether rough or fine, is beyond him. He takes a great interest in whatever he is given to do, and in addition he is a first class mechanic where typewriters, adding machines, or similar machines are concerned.”
In 1926, he started building a bungalow for himself, and after spending nearly every weekend for five years at the job, finished the task, and moved in, in 1931. His enterprise, besides occupying his spare time usefully, saved him a lot of money, and he knew that if he tacked the job himself he would have a really well built home.
Another of his hobbies is motoring, but that at the moment is strictly limited because of the petrol rationing. It was with pride, however, that he announced that he maintains his car himself and carries out all his overhauls and repairs.
Although he does not get much chance to watch football matches, he is a keen follower of all the major games and fills in his “pools” forms every week. So far he has cashed in on several small dividends, and keeps hoping that one day he will win a really large prize which will enable him to retire.