West Tilbury WI report: March 2014
By Joy Ridgewell
It was Reminiscence time at The West Tilbury meeting this month when
Mike Tarbald showed slides of the Bata Factory from the early days until its demise.
Thomas Bata a man with a vision set up a shoe factory with his brother and sister one hundred and twenty years ago. He was born in Czechoslovakia and wanted to see everyone to be able to have a pair of shoes. He was killed in a plane crash in 1932.
In 1933 a party of Bata men and women came to set up a shoe making company in England and settled in East Tilbury they in time built his town, this was both a place to work and also to live, with its own shops , school, cinema, swimming pool its own farm and everything to make a thriving community. Sadly owing to cheaper imports over several years, in 2006 the Bata factory closed down after a gradual decline in trade. The Bata Reminiscence and Resource Centre is at the East Tilbury Library with its museum of Seventy Years of memories.
Denise Nice read out a letter of thanks from St Luke’s Hospice for the Christmas collection sent from West Tilbury members. A trip has been arranged by Joanne Phillips to visit a Vineyard at Maldon. Joanne also presented a Shoe Quiz to end the evening.
Raffle prizes were won by, Lorna Jones, Iris Crane and Dorothy Hawes.
Next meeting at West Tilbury Village Hall is on April 1st at 7pm-9-30pm
Speaker: Derek Wagstaff ‘Life as a Toast Master’