Textile buyers Silver Jubillee. - 1963
Shoemaking is an industry which uses large amounts of textiles of all kinds and the textiles buyer, Mr Tiffin Richardson, is a busy man. This week, he is due for congratulation, because, on Tuesday, he completed 25 years’ service with the Company.
Mr Richardson has had an interesting career with the clerical and commercial side of the Company, and has always had just the type of job he liked.
A Londoner - he was born at West Ham - he worked for a year as a ticket clerk in the Grays depot of Eastern National Omnibus Co., having early developed an easy aptitude for figures.
He was not, however, too happy about prospects - British Bata - then a new company - and quite near his home (he was living at Tilbury), would, he thought, be a better proposition in that respect.
“I started as a sample clerk in the old wholesale section,” he said, “when it was different from the large self-contained unit it is now. Several departments, in fact, were grouped together in one room - retail, wholesale, buying and others, and, as they grew up with the general progress of the Company, they were given more space - homes of their own, as it were.
“I soon became interested in the work, and was fascinated to see the steady growth of everything around me. The number of people working here had increased considerably by the time I was called up - I was in the Territorial Army - in 1939.
“I served throughout the war, mainly in Europe, and, when I came back to work, in 1946, I worked in the old general trading department. This became Essex Commercial Enterprises, and moved to London. I went with it, and spent the next 13 years of my life there.
“With others there, I met a large number of people, including representative of Bata organisations in overseas countries.
“When I returned to East Tilbury, and became textiles buyer, four years ago, I at once found that point did not apply. Representatives are seen, or contacted, by telephone or are visited at their head offices or works.
“Textile shoes are becoming more and more popular, and the quantity of textiles bought steadily increases. I have to see that the quality is always the best, and that the prices are always the most competitive. Every buyer must keen a constant eye on the trends of the markets in this particular field, and I find that the work I did at the E.C.E. prepared me well in this respect.”
Mr Richardson now lives on Bata Estate, with his wife. Before returning to East Tilbury, he lived in Dagenham and Romford. He is fond of boating, and, in the season, occasionally “crews” a yacht, with a friend, on the rivers Crouch and Blackwater.
Tiffin Richardson, left, with Bill Tutton.