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Welcome to the Bata Heritage Centre website!  Based in East Tilbury in Essex, the Bata Heritage Centre aims to present the interesting history of the British Bata Shoe Co Ltd, its fascinating industrial and architectural heritage, and the social history of those who worked for the Bata company and the people who lived on the Bata Estate in East Tilbury.

Our Featured Image, above, shows the bust of Thomas Bata with a Christmas ‘fun’ flavour.  Here is a message from the Chairman of the Bata Heritage Centre:

On behalf of myself and all the volunteers at Bata Heritage Centre we would like to wish all our friends and followers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Joyous New Year.  We hope to see as many of you as possible next year at either one of our Open Days or the formal opening of East Tilbury library (all dates to be confirmed).
Mike Tarbard
Chairman – Bata Heritage Centre


Aerial view of the Bata factory and estate
Aerial view of the Bata factory and estate

Our Next Open Day. We are planning our next Open Day for the Spring of 2019.  The exact date will be announced here when we have more definitive news about when the library will be re-opened following its refurbishment.  We shall also publish the date of our next Open Day on Facebook and Twitter.

East Tilbury Library update:
East Tilbury Library after the fire in Jan 2017

There is now more positive news about the library building.  Work has started on the refurbishment of the East Tilbury Library following the devastating fire in January 2017.  The Library was the home of the Bata Heritage Centre and our unique and important collection of artefacts and records.  Much of this was badly damaged by smoke and some things were also water damaged. A small number of items were completely destroyed in the fire.Planning permission was granted for the refurbishment by Thurrock Council at a meeting on 18 October 2018 and details can be seen on their website at

Work started at the library in early November.  It is planned to re-open the library in the Spring of 2019. 

As I am sure you can imagine this is great news for us and the local community and I personally feel that we can now begin to see light at the other end of the tunnel.  There will still be a lot of work to do moving our collection back in this building and setting it out either in display cabinets or storage but I am sure it will be worth it.

How to contact us: The Chairman, Bata Heritage Centre, “Waterview”, Orsett Road, Horndon on the Hill, Essex SS17 8NS (Tel: 01375 677581)


Opening Times: East Tilbury Library is closed temporarily (until further notice).   However, library staff are at East Tilbury Village Hall on Thursdays and Fridays from 10:00am to 3:30pm.

If you would like to read more about the unique aspects of the life and times of the Bata company and the work of the Bata Heritage Centre (formerly known as the Bata Reminiscence and Resource Centre), please visit our sister website, Bata memories (