Reminiscence and Resource Centre

The Tannery of J Hardy Smith and Sons in Leicester was acquired by British Bata in 1944 and reorganised to ensure that leather was processed specifically to meet the needs of the Company. Many of the manufacturing techniques of British Bata were pioneer ventures in the footwear industry.
Entrance to the Tannery of J Hardy Smith in Leicester.
The finest hides from around the world were bought to the Tannery in Leicester in order to supply a large proportion of those needed by the British Bata Shoe Company.
Methods of tanning were designed to produce material which could be manipulated through the manufacturing processes designed for modern footwear and had to conform to very exacting standards of production.
Tannery Staff dinner in 1954,
Staff at the Long Service Dinner in 1954.
Working inside the Tannery.
Inspecting the product from the vacuum drying machine.
Mr Bill Fenton and staff from the Tannery at East Tilbury for the Staff Christmas Dinner.