Share This Article:

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 Bata Hotel.  The hotel was home for the key workers, visiting VIPs, graduates from the Bata Technical College and others waiting to move into houses on the Bata Estate.  There was a special suite for the Tomas Bata family.  After the 1953 floods which devastated many areas around the coast of Essex, people who had lost their homes in Tilbury and other nearby locations were provided with accommodation until they could move back home.  On the ground floor, there were shops, a TV lounge, a notable ballroom with spring wooden flooring, and a managers’ dining room.  On the first floor, there was a canteen for residents and other workers. 

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:
Message from our Chairman, Mike Tarbard (14 September 2018)
East Tilbury Library after the fire in Jan 2017
There is now more positive news about the library building.  As you know since the fire in January 2017 I, and others from East Tilbury, have been working very closely with Thurrock Council on their project team. We are now at a stage where plans for a new building have been agreed by the project team and planning permission is due October 2018.  Builders have been appointed and the funds to pay for it will come from the Council’s insurance on the building and their own funds.  We are hoping that work will start in the next few weeks and that the new library will be open 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 (