Reminiscence and Resource Centre












From Overseas to learn here - 1956
One of these is Theo Bos, chief rubber footwear designer of the Dutch Bata organisation at Best, who will be with British Bata for a couple of months under the direction of the Company’s chief designer, Oscar Hautler.

This is Theo Bos’s third visit to British Bata. He made previous visits in 1951 and 1953 and told Bata Record that although he had only been at East Tilbury for a few days this time, he had noticed a number of very interesting developments in rubber footwear manufacture and he felt sure he would learn a number of others during his stay.

In the rubber factory is Max Canon, who has come from the French factory at Vernon, where he is at present taking a course in rubber manipulation. He hopes to be at East Tilbury for 12 months. He flew to England, with his wife, on Monday.

Max’s observations will be thorough and comprehensive, including, in addition to production, planning, costing and administration. Although this is only his first week here, he has formed a high opinion of British Bata and its methods and enthusiastic workpeople.

“The equipment is fine,” he told Bata Record, “and rate of production is remarkable. I work in the manipulation department at Vernon, so am specially interested in the manipulation sections of your rubber factory, where I am this week.

It is too early for me to discriminate between so many machines and processes, or comment on their possible suitability for Vernon - where, of course, there is another battery of excellent Bata machines - but I would like to say how much I am impressed with the machine which automatically cuts soles.”

In his sixth year with the Bata organisation, Max worked for a short while in the Bata Factory in Saigon, Indo-China. When he left school, he worked in a bank in Paris. But he was really interested in industry, and started with Bata soon after he left the French army.

He is a Bataman of 15 years’ standing and spent more than four years at the Dutch Bata Technical College and, after a thorough grounding in footwear manufacture and afterwards specialising in designing, eventually rising to become the chief rubber footwear designer at Best, where they have two separate designing rooms, one in the leather factory and another in the rubber factory.

Commenting on the weather, he said it was much colder in Holland when he left for Britain and a few days ago it was so cold that motor cars, even with anti-freeze in their radiators, were frozen and the factory buses were unable to run.

A number of taxis still on the road ran a shuttle service to get the workers home. He had difficulty in getting to he home in Eindhoven, a few miles from the factory at Best.

From all parts of the world Batamen come to British Bata, at East Tilbury, to learn the latest developments in shoemaking and, recently, two more overseas Batamen have arrived at East Tilbury.

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