Down memory lane – Bata’s Tilbury influence

Editorial The name of Bata is now part of the Yoruba language as Bata is the word for shoe

This week’s trip Down Memory Lane takes a look at Batas and its long history in the area.

In 1930 Thomas Bata completed the purchase of farm land just north of the old village of East Tilbury.

Here he intended to build a new shoe factory, built on the same blueprint as used at Zlin in Czechoslovakia.

He was killed in an air crash soon afterwards and sadly never saw the factory completed.

The Bata shoe company took a paternalistic attitude towards its workers.

It provided its workers with housing, shops, swimming pool, cinema and other recreational facilities.

Bata had created an estate – actually more of a town – that the company built in East Tilbury in the 1930s.

The cinema closed in 1965 but was refurbished into a village hall still used today.

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