Founder's Day, 12th July 2012
July 12th, 2012, being the 80th Anniversary of the death of Tomas Bata, the Reminiscence and Resource Centre decided to commemorate the event by laying a tribute at his statue in East Tilbury. We were honoured to have Charles Pignal, the Great Grandson of Tomas Bata, a representative of the Czech High Commission and various local dignitaries join us for the event.
Brighton Students Visit East Tilbury
On Monday 14 January the Bata Reminiscence Centre based in East Tilbury library welcomed a group of 29 students and their lecturers from Brighton University.
Alicja Borkowska, senior lecturer, wrote a short summary of the visit:
All the students are 2nd and 3rd year undergraduate architecture students on the Architecture RIBA Part 1 BA(Hons) degree course at Brighton University. Every year the students are given a place to investigate and based on their research and findings they will propose hypothetical architectural proposals for the place.
This year the students have been asked to investigate the former factory town of Bata. We are particularly interested in the social aspect of the place and will be asking the students to re-imagine a new use for the factory buildings. The purpose of the visit was the show the students the factory and associated buildings and to give them as much insight as possible into how the place used to be and what it is like now. The Bata Reminiscence and Resource Centre has been invaluable in arranging a walking tour of the whole town, access into the factory buildings as well as providing archive access at the library and first hand accounts on what the place was like. We also plan that the students will return individually to the site to take further surveys and return to the library to get further information from the BRRC.
The project will run for 5 months (January - end of May 2013) resulting in an end of year degree show. We have loosely structured the year into 3 tasks, each student will propose a small architectural intervention, following with a larger look at the planning and structure of the town and ending with a smaller design proposal.
Essex Wildlife Trust Nature Park, Mucking
MikeTarbard, Chairman of Reminiscence and Resource Centre, and May Rippingale, Secretary, with Sir John Tusa and his son Sacha at the official opening, by Sir David Attenborough, of the Essex Wildlife Trust Thurrock Thameside Nature Park on 11 May 2013.
Grant from Heritage Lottery Fund.
The Reminiscence and Resource Centre have recently been awarded a Grant of £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund in order to refurbish the War Memorial.
Sometime ago the War Memorial was vandalised and the Eternal Flame was stolen, presumably by metal thieves. This was replaced with one which is made from one of the new plastic materials which look like bronze. In order to ensure that the name plaques on the memorial did not meet a similar fate they have been stored in the Reminiscence and Resource Centre, only being put back on the Memorial for the Remembrance Day Services each November.
We have now been awarded this Grant, along with one of £3,000 from the Welcome Forum and £1,000 from Thurrock Council to allow us to have new name plaques made, in stone, have the Memorial and surrounding area refurbished and cleaned. At the same time we are having the names of those we have traced, but who were not on the original list, added. The original plaques will then be sited in East Tilbury Village Church.
If you are related to any of the Bata Employees who died during World War II please contact us and we will then keep you informed as the project progresses.
It is hoped to have some of the work done, if not completed, by this Remembrance Day.
Volunteers from the Reminiscence and Resource Centre had a stand within the Heritage Zone at the Orsett Show which saw a lot of activity and interest.
Many people who visited the show had family and friends who had worked for British Bata during it's heyday at East Tilbury and were interested in the work of the Centre.
Two views of the Bata Stand at the Orsett Show - our new banner in pride of place.
We were really pleased that the work being carried out on the War Memorial was completed in time for Remembrance Day. The local School children once again laid a wreath on behalf of the Bata Community at their Remembrance Service on
November 11th at 11a.m.
Another successful day was held on April 2nd with lots of visitors, some old friends and some new. It is always interesting to talk to people about their connection to the Bata Company.
War Memorial Re-Dedication
On Sunday 27th April 2014 we will be holding a Re-Dedication Service at the War Memorial.
Following a successful bid for money a the Heritage Lottery Grant we have had a complete re-furbishment done and added names of British Bata Employees who had not been included when the War Memorial was first erected. We have also had repairs done to the paving in the surrounding area and generally tidied up the Memorial Gardens.
On 27th April there will be an Official Re-Dedication and if you would like to attend we would love to see you, however we would appreciate it if you could let us know of your intentions.
Please contact us via our email - firstname.lastname@example.org or via our Chairman, Mike Tarbard - email@example.com
At the original unveiling Ken Stanley laid a wreath on behalf of the Company Employees, we are pleased to announce that he will be repeating this by laying a wreath on behalf of all Bata People on the 27th.
In the weeks leading up to the Rededication Service for the War Memorial at East Tilbury, Mike Tarbard, our Chairman, was interviewed by Dave Monk of BBC Essex. These interviews were broadcast on two occasions, the first just before the Rededication Service is about the War Memorial. This broadcast can be heard by using the link:
The second interview was broadcast later as part of a feature on Company Towns in Essex. East Tilbury Bata was compared to Silver End, the Company Town built for the Crittal Window Company. This section of the feature, which covers the a walk around East Tilbury and some of it's fascinating history, can by heard by using the link below:
The Bata Reminiscence & Resource Centre held its biannual Open Day last Wednesday 8 October in East Tilbury library. The morning heavy rain and flooded car park did not stop Bata friends and guests arriving to view the work undertaken by a small team of energetic volunteers.
Among the invited guests was the Mayor of Thurrock, Councillor Steve Liddiard. It was his first visit to the Centre and he was impressed with the continuance of the Bata name and he noted that 2014 was the 120th anniversary of the founding of the Bata empire in Zlin, Czechoslovakia. Among the Bata friends was 93 years young Ken Stanley who is a regular visitor to the Centre.
Donations were made during the day of various artefacts and included a 1945 Bata VE Day Remembrance badge.
The next Open Day will be on Wednesday 15 April 2015, again at East Tilbury library. The opening times will be from 11.00am to 1.00pm and then 4.00pm to 7.00pm which are different to the usual format.
Another successful and busy Open Day was enjoyed by at The Bata Reminiscence and Resource Centre on Wednesday 15th April. The Centre was very busy with visits from many old friends as well as classes of children from the local Primary School.
The evening session was not as busy as the morning but did allow for visits from members of the public who would not normally be able to join us on our Open Days.
We had more artifacts and photographs bought in all of which help to add to the history of this unique place and the people who have made it such an interesting community.
Special General Meeting
At a Special General Meeting on 13th August 2015 it was decided to change the name of the Centre. Over the years the work we have been doing has changed and it was felt that the name Bata Heritage Centre better reflected this.