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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 residential estate.

Our Featured Image, above, shows the newly landscaped gardens in front of the Bata factory site.  The statue of Tomas Bata presides over what used to be the Administration building.  Employees arriving late for work (at 7:30am) had to enter via the revolving door which took them straight into the HR department where their actual time of arrival was noted! 

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

The 2019 Annual General Meeting will be held on Thursday 4 April 2019 at 10.00am.  The meeting will take place at The East Tilbury Scout Group Hall, Princess Margaret Road, East Tilbury, Essex. RM18 8SB.  The Scout Hall is adjacent to East Tilbury railway station.  All are welcome to attend.  You can read the formal notice here.

Our Next Open Day. Our next Open Day will be held on Saturday, 13 April 2019.  We shall be open from 10:00am until 2:00pm.  It will be held in the old Administration building at the entrance to the Bata factory site – see picture above.  There will be three key themes for the Open Day:

    • 50th anniversary for the moon landing;
    • 80th anniversary of the start of WWII;
  • 125th anniversary of the opening of the very first shoe business by Tomas Bata in (what was) Czechoslovakia.  

We hope to hold a “Community Workshop” at the Open Day where visitors can participate in a supervised “hands-on” experience to help restore and clean a few of the remaining artefacts damaged during the fire in 2017.  Additionally, guided tours will be available but prior booking using the email address below is advised to ensure a reservation.   Further details about the activities and themes of the day will be announced shortly.  

East Tilbury Library update:
Work starts on Library refurbishment – November 2018
Work continues 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.

It is planned to re-open the library in the Spring of 2019. 

This is great news for us and the local community.

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 (