Reminiscence and Resource Centre












Doreen sews 1,200 slippers a day. - 1948
Neither absent nor late during the whole of the eighteen months that she has been with Dept 452, is the proud record of twenty-two year old slipper binder Doreen Harrington. Leaving school in 1939, she came to Bata in November of that year, and after a short period of training in the leather factory school, went into Dept 432 on a skiving machine. After three years there, during which time her good work earned her promotion to sharewoman, she was transferred to Dept 431 as a forewoman. There she worked throughout the rest of the war years, until an illness kept her away from work for a few weeks in 1946.

Recovered from her illness, she came back to work as first woman in the newly opened slipper department, sewing binding on to slippers.

So efficient has she become at this task, that she sews the vast sum of 1,200 slippers every day, five days a week. This gigantic task she completes with a smile on her fact, for Doreen likes her work here and is great friends with the other girls in the department.

Living in Stanford, she cycles to work every day - but not alone, for Doreen has two sisters and one brother working at East Tilbury, and none of them wants to change their jobs. Her sisters also work in the leather factory, Jean , the youngest, in Dept. 422, while her elder sister Mabel in Dept 442, while her brother Douglas works in the rubber factory.

Foreman E Purkiss is proud to have Doreen in his department. He has known her ever since she first came to the factory and knows her for a hard and conscientious worker. Her record as regards attendance and ability - not many girls could keep up with her record of speed and quality - sets an example to all the other girls.

Although she is still single, there was a twinkle in Doreen’s eye when she told Bata Record that she was courting. She is fond of fresh air and cycling, and with the return of the fine weather often goes for long cycle rides with her boy friend at the weekend.

She is fond of the pictures, too, and romantic scenes are her favourite, if possible with Anna Neagle and Michael Wilding as the stars.


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