Progress report on Bata Collection in East Tilbury

Bata Helmet

THE Chairman of the Bata Heritage Centre, Mike Tabard has given an update on progress of the refurbishment of the Bata Collection at East Tilbury Library that was damaged by fire in 2016.

Mr Tabard said: “I thought I would update you on progress on the rebuilding/refurbishment of East Tilbury library. The contract was awarded to H W Wilson from South Ockendon and they have been working on the project since before Christmas. There have been some problems along the line which include the exterior cladding and drainage issues in the car park. The work is anticipated to be completed in the Spring – but no specific date is understandably being given. I am in regular contact with and meet with Thurrock Council’s libraries staff over the build and internal fittings. These are close to being finalised and we are told that the company involved in the refit will be able to come in and do their part of the contract as soon as the building and related work is complete. It will then be about moving back in which will take time. Our collection has largely been cleaned and restored by the professional firm that we engaged and we intend to catalogue the entire collection as part of the moving in process. Clive Stanley (son of Ken) came to the October Open Day and spoke to me afterwards to say that he would like to help with the moving in – thanks Clive – that’s really great. If anyone else would like to help then please get back to me. As I said to Clive we are all volunteers and give what we can. Any time given would be appreciated.

We are due an Open Day in the Spring but from the above you will understand, unfortunately, that we will not be in a position to host it in the new library area. We have decided that the next Open Day will be held on Saturday 13 April in the ground floor area of the former Bata Building 13 (Administration Building) from 10am to 2pm (save the date and time). There will be the usual photographs and artefacts on show as well as our volunteers being available to talk to you. Guided walks will be available at 11am, 12noon and 1pm and we are already getting requests for places. I would suggest that you contact me with a reservation for a particular timed walk. We will ask the usual £3 per person payable on the day.

I hope to see as many of you as possible on 13 April. I will of course keep you posted on the library work and let you know when it is expected to reopen.

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