Sunday, May 27, 2012

East Tilbury, Coalhouse Fort and Bata Factory walk

Off message but went on marvellous walk today along the Thames Estuary. Weather was hot and sunny but there was also a perfect breeze. This is not an entirely "pretty" country walk. There is a constant contrast between the industrial heritage and natural marsh land beauty. It is also very quiet and isolated despite being opposite to Gravesend and so close to London.

Stopped off for a visit and a guided tour of the 19th Century Coalhouse Fort.  One of the so called "Palmerston Follies" built to defend the UK against the French but never fired a shot in anger until being used by anti-aircraft batteries during the first and second world war.

Towards the end of the walk was the abandoned British Bata Shoe Company striking modernist building which was the basis of a model town built in the 1930's by Czech entrepreneur, Tomas Bata.

Hat tip to for the walk itself. This is a fantastic free site for downloading walks and maps. This walk was overgrown in parts due to the recent rain, sunshine and selfish farmers and in the "growing season" for fear of red and scratched legs I would not suggest shorts and open walking sandals (which of course I was wearing today).


Anonymous said...

Instead of posting about Tilbury etc...

Can you tell us what is doing on in your own ward.

For instance. When driving from West Ham Station you can't get to the Cannign Town round about.

Also, when on the A13 (citybound), you could take an exit for Canning Town round about... Now they have made it a long winded detour to Canning Town South... what is going on? Is this permanent?

Anonymous said...

Another thing, can you explain the stupid Olympic car parking policy... they seem to have put signs everywhere...

John Gray said...

Hi anon

The station and the roundabout is actually outside my ward but I understand that the detour is not permanent.

That is probably because the whole of Newham will have parking controls during the Olympic.

I would recommend this walk to you - get some nice sea air to cheer yourself up a bit and stop being such a grump :)

Anonymous said...

You would be grumpy, if you lived in Newham. The council could help reduce the frustration it causes on residents....

With regards, to Canning Town there are two issues, firstly, it is the detour and secondly, you have the road closure to West Ham. So if you are on the Canning Town road about you can't get into West Ham (via the Wickes superstore).

Even though it is outside your ward, but it must be effecting people in your ward and people like me who have to travel.

The parking controls are a different issue from the roundabout detour. I don't think they are connected in any way. They want to have Borough-wide parking controls for the Olympics, but I don't understand the proposals. The Council stuck notices on lampposts. But is hard to read as it is all Goobledygook, but I can't find an electronic copy... so I can read it slowly.

John Gray said...

Hi Grump

But you forget that I do live in the (mostly) idyll that is the Peoples Republic of Newham and have done happily for the past 24 years!

Those road works should be finished soon.

Check out here on Parking and Olympics in Newham

Anonymous said...

Daily Worker
4th October 1937

Angeered at the constant stream of attacks on trades unionism emanating from the Bata factory at Tilbury, the busmen of the Eastern National Services ' have asked the Executive of the Transport and General Workers for permission to refuse to carry passengers to the factory.

For more thana fortnights 100 workers at the factory have been fighting for recognition of their union, the National Union of Boot and Shoe Operatives.

Anti-trade union propagnada hasbeen poured out by the firm. The Economic League has been on the.
job at the nearby docks and other places the local Labour Movement on the other hand, is backing, the strikers to the full.

The dockers are considering refusing to handle material going to or from the works.

Now the busmen are asking permission to refuse 'to transport these still working to the factory.

Inside the factory there is growing support for the department,now in dispute, and a drive -for support may lead to a big extension.

Bata's is one of the big non-union factories in the area.

A victory here would stir the other factories into trade union life.

John Gray said...

top Labour Redbridge Cllr and Musician Union activist Barbara White commented on FB that she use to do gigs on Saturday nights at the Bata social club!

Anonymous said...

"Restrictions will be in place between 8am–9pm, from Monday to Sunday "

Why do they need to have restrictions up to 9pm?

Do they think someone is going to stroll in to the Olympics at 5pm?

Whoever needs to be there, will be there early on during the day....

John Gray said...

Hi anon

there will be evening events taking place as well?