Phil Le Gal
In the 1930s the East Tilbury area was selected in the UK to become the site of the Bata Shoe Company. The English Essex county town became the Promised Land for a few hundred Czechoslovakian employees and their families. In addition to the factory an Estate with houses, a community building/hotel, cinema, primary school, training college, open-air swimming pool and tennis courts was built mirroring the design and scale of the Czechoslovakian model town of Zlín. With an architectural style adopted from Bauhaus the Estate stands out in the area. East Tilbury can be considered as one of the most important planned landscapes in England, also known as Garden Cities. Streets bear the names of English Royalty as well as Bata-related titles such as Thomas Bata Avenue. Eighty years after its creation the company with ground-breaking manufacturing practices became itself a victim of globalisation, as cheaper shoe production alternatives were found in Asia. In 2006 the East Tilbury factory ceased production and the local community consequently began to disperse.
Monica Alcazar-Duarte • Jenny Borgerhoff Mulder • Jamie Clark • Cinzia D'Ambrosi • Hanna-Katrina Jedrosz • Phil Le Gal •