Does anybody have recollections of what happened to the Black Cat statue that was located outside the Carreras Factory in Basildon ?
The statute was originally part of a pair, modelled on the Egyptian goddess Bastet and cast at the Haskins factory London (presumed in bronze then painted?). The pair were located at the Mornington Crescent factory, then one was moved to Basildon when Carreras opened. The other one was moved to Jamaica.
You can see the statue at 0.39 sec of this news video:
Two large bronze cats were cast at the Haskins Foundry in London, these versions of the Egyptian god Bastet were each eight feet six inches tall and stood guard over Arcadia Works until 1959 when Carreras merged with Rothmans of Pall Mall and moved to a new factory in Basildon, Essex. The cats were separated after the Basildon factory closed, with one making the short journey to Essex, but one went to bask in the sun outside the Carreras factory at Spanishtown, Jamaica. I can find no proof of where the second black cat moved to but Carreras opened a factory in Jamaica and one cat definitely moved there in 1963. Someone once told me that the second cat was sent to Northern Ireland when a new factory opened there . I will post on Facebook page (as this is still a very new website and has limited following at the moment.)to see if anyone else knows Replicas of the cats can be seen outside the restored Carreras factory building which is now just an office block. The second phot is of Carreras Basildon with just the one cat.
Some new evidence is that a photo was posted on the Basildon Memories Facebook page on the 8th of May 2020 by Barry Ellerby that shows a newspaper clipping (no date, possibly the Basildon Standard) of two cats arriving in Basildon rather than one with the title 'SUFFERING CATS! WHAT A SIGHT FOR THE NEW TOWN DOGS' and caption text 'These monster cats , for many years a feature of the Carreras factory in London arrived in Basildon this week and will soon ornament the new town works'. Presumed date of the paper c1959?
A further annectdote in the comments section from Brian Taylor mentioned that his father unboxed the cats on arrival, as he was employed as a carpenter at the factory, the wood that was used to crate them for the journey was then reused to build the shed in the Ellerby garden. He continues with further comment that his father also reboxed the cats when the factory closed (c1984). These anecdotes are so valuable and it would be great to find later photos of the factory with both cats in situ to support them.
I came across an image of the Jamaican factory Head Quarters in on the British American Tobacco Group website a couple of years ago and took a screen shot. This shows a single black cat outside a brightly painted office building the Carreras factory at Ripon Road, Kingstown. The website has since been updated, and this image removed.
The Belfast link is interesting, and something I might follow up, if one of them was transfered there hopefully someone would have noticed. Will make some more enquiries.