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East Tilbury - afraid of the future?
Photo: Nina Pope

Reminiscence Centre

When I give talks about our work people often ask if we keep in touch with people who are involved with our projects. Obviously this isn't always possible (or even desirable!) but in the main we do - in fact a large percentage of our 'audience' are people who we see as 'staying with Somewhere'.

This week I went out to East Tilbury for the Bata Resource and Reminiscence Centre open day. It's now almost 2 years since I first made this journey out along the Thames and I never get tired of it, it's a fascinating stretch of landscape and places. I wondered if I would be able to see any changes in East Tilbury since last year when we were filming the closing sequence for Bata-ville. As soon as I came out of the train station I saw this sign - it seems since we made the film the 'regeneration' of the town has crept closer as a real possibility and at least some of East Tilbury's inhabitants are becoming afraid of the future.

Once inside the BR&RC it seemed Fred (the centre's ever-energetic founder) was also thinking of the future ... A new visitor to the centre (who'd also travelled in to see the town & centre from London) brought with him an astounding album of 30s & 40s B&W postcards of Bata factories and towns from all around the world. Both of us were rather taken aback by the depth of the collection, as between us we've spent some hours combing ebay and alike for similar items. Unabashed in front of our new friend, Fred politely but seriously suggested that he might like to leave the collection to the centre in his will!