Reminiscence and Resource Centre












Making good at Maryport. - 1956
It has always been the policy of the British Bata Shoe Company to select and train, from its own ranks, candidates for promotion to positions of responsibility.
Experience has shown that young men who have done their training with the Company and have grown up in the company’s ways are far more fitted to take the important posts which arise from time to time than experts brought in from outside. It is for that reason that it takes great pleasure in announcing the promotion of Harry Cayzer to be foreman of Dept 2700, at Maryport, under the Plant Engineer J Sedivy.
Harry is a Londoner, who moved to East Tilbury with his family when his father took an appointment with British Bata. Today Harry’s father is one of the senior stock-keepers at the parent factory. It was a fortunate move for the Cayzer family for their old home at Manor Park was destroyed in the London blitz.
At that time Harry was only 13 years of age so he finished his schooling at Stanford-le-Hope and then followed his father as a British Bata employee.
He began to learn shoemaking and spent nearly 18 months in the manipulation department of the leather factory, as a member of Dept 402 team. But all the time his heart was set on being an engineer and when a friend of his came back from training as an engineer at a Government training centre Harry was more anxious than ever to learn engineering.
In the end he made his decision and gave up his job in the leather factory and, with high hopes, set off for the training centre, at Watford, where he went through an engineering course.
“It was an excellent course,” said Harry to Bata Record, “concentrated and comprehensive. It embraced most engineering practices. There was no room for slacker of time wasters, no tea making, just instruction, study and the practical application of what we learned, to make sure we had taken in what we were being taught.”
When the course was over Harry made tracks for East Tilbury and applied for an appointment in the engineering department. He was given a job in Dept 705 and started to learn factory maintenance. He was with the engineering department from March, 1941, to June, 1943.
When his turn came for war service Harry joined the Royal Navy and quickly rose to be a petty officer and later became an engine room artificer.
Most of his time in the service was spent at the base in the Western Approaches Command, servicing the engines of the “little ships” as they came into dock after their arduous patrols.
On April 6th, 1946, he was demobbed and returned to East Tilbury to take up his engineering work again as a civilian. He had just about settled back into the job when he was asked if he would go to Maryport for six months to instal the machines for re-opening the factory.
Anxious to get more experience he accepted the boy and recalls that it was on November 22nd 1946, that he arrived at Maryport for six months - and he is still there nearly ten years later.
It was at the end of the six months that he was asked if he would stay on and look after the maintenance of the machines. At first people wondered why he did not want to go back to his family at East Tilbury. But Harry had a very good reason - he had met the future Mrs Cayzer, who at that time was Elizabeth Tinkler, a worker in the factory office.
That was in the spring of 1947 and at Christmas time they were married and now have a six years’ old daughter.
So Harry’s original six months is getting on for 10 years and now comes Harry’s promotion, which is a fitting reward for the man who, during his service at Maryport, has done so much, first of all to help equip the factory and, having equipped it, kept it running successfully ever since.
There are may at East Tilbury who remember Harry Cayzer and they join with their Maryport colleagues in congratulating him upon his promotion.

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