Reminiscence and Resource Centre












From Composing to Last Making - 1948
Apart from the amount of work put into a shoe during its manufacture on a conveyor, a lot of responsibility for a well made shoe rests on the last on which it is built. One of the trickiest jobs in the making of lasts is the plating, and it is at this job that Ernest Dolby, of Dept 403, excels. Conscientious and keen on his job, Ernest cuts the galvanised sheeting to the required size and then comes the heavy job of hammering the plate into shape. considerable strength is required on this hammering job, but Ernest works hard, and once the plate is in shape, comest the task of fitting it to the underside of the last. This is a job which has to be done with the greatest of care, for the slightest flaw will mean that the shoe, which is built around it, will start with a disadvantage.
Foreman J Kuran thinks highly of Ernest’s work, “He is a thorough and conscientious worker,” he told Bata Record, “and I can always rely on him.
He comes in to work in the mornings and straigtht away gets down to work without wasting any time.”
This is borne out by the fact that Ernest produces an average of 250 lat plates every week, a total that does not leave room for anything but hard work.
After leaving school Ernest went into the printing trade, and for over seventeen years worked as a compositor in Westcliff. Came the war and he joined the R.A.F. and after training as a fitter armourer, was posted to an operational squadron, with which he stayed throughout his five years’ service.
Unsettled by the war, he did not feel like going back to his old job, but preferred to continue doing some practical job, to which his Service experience had accustomed him.
Living in Thundersley, he decided to try for a job with British Bata, and since January, 1946, has been happy and contented working in Dept 403.
Married, with a daughter age 13 and a son of two years, Ernest confessed that he did not have much time for hobbies, as he preferred to take on interest in his children. That is why during the football season he rarely, nowadays, goes to watch his favourite team, Arsenal.
Happy to potter in the garden when he gets the chance during the weekend, Ernest takes a special interest in cultivating roses and at this time of the year gets a lot of pleasure from them.

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