Bread in Common

Stoke-on-Trent's real bread bakery

Interview with: Woman 3 N-u-L market

Chris Twigg

Date: 15/04/14

Location: Newcastle-Under-Lyme

Interviewer: Hilary Hughes

Permission given to use interview for website, exhibition and Staffordshire archive: YES

Question asked “What do you remember about bread or bread baking”.

You're talking years ago now, when the kids were little, in the 1970's, bakers' were on strike. We had to bake our own bread, it wasn't too bad, well the kids ate it. Can't remember how we did it. I don't think we got a recipe, somebody told us you have to have the yeast and we did it on the off chance. All we did was got yeast and the flour. I can't remember, only did it a couple of times because it wasn't for long. We had no choice, it was in the bakers' strike. It was nice, it was before, well now they've got them bread makers. Somebody just told us how to do it and we just did it, to feed the kids.

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Interview with: Woman 1 N-u-L Library reminiscence project

Chris Twigg

Date:15/04/14

Location: Newcastle-Under-Lyme

Interviewer: Steven Cooling

Permission given to use interview for website, exhibition and Staffordshire archive: YES

Question asked “What do you remember about bread or bread baking”.

I remember we use to go to the bakery on the corner and buy dough.  Me Mum would  make dumplings with it, she'd cut a piece off and roll it up and put it in boiling water.  When it was done you'd break it open and put golden syrup inside.  That was pudding!  You couldn't do it now because there's no where to get half baked bread.

We use to get bread delivered and if the top was a bit burnt on top the driver would say 'It's got a bit of sun that one!'.

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Interview with: Woman 1 – Market stall

Chris Twigg

Date:13/05/14

Location: Newcastle-Under-Lyme

Interviewer: Hilary Hughes

Permission given to use interview for website, exhibition and Staffordshire archive: YES

Question asked “What do you remember about bread or bread baking”.

I bought him a bread maker he didn't use it for awhile, now he doesn't like any other bread now. He used to make bread, we've still got the big bowls he used. It must be ten years ago and then I think he gave up because I wouldn't eat his bread, it was too dense, you now what I mean. He's varied it from time to time, he gets an ingredient he likes and keeps at that. My mother did'nt make bread, can't remember anybody that did but there were three Burgess's in town, one there (High Street) one by Queen's Gardens, and one somewhere else. They used to sell good bread, particularly milk rolls whick I like, haven't had them for years of course. They used to make alot of nice things Burgess's did, like eclairs, they'd got that thick chocolate sauce on the top rather than chocolate and I don't know vanilla slices are too big and gooey, they are not as delicate as Burgess's used to do. They used to make nice pork pies, sausage rolls, all that's gone, Newcastle's gone. How it used to be, it was wonderful, all the Blakeleys and the delicatessens and things, then Tesco came and took it over. That was the Castle Hotel there, it was a fantastic hotel, it had a ballroom upstairs, where the side is a big archway where the carriages could go in. Tesco, took it over and they were forced to keep the facade, closed all the food shops in Newcastle and cleared off to Trent Vale. And that by Woolworths (99p store) there used to be a big archway there where carriages could go in, a seed merchant. It was really nice in Newcastle, well we had the cattle market down there, I used to go when I was young and see the lambs and calves. We had lots of boutiques, Henry Whites, marvellous. Now charity shops, banks, oh even the markets lost a lot of it's charm really. It's because the council have franchised it out, all this (roadworks, paving) they did all that, now they've dug it up. I don't understand why they are doing it, it was alright as it was, it seems to be a waste of money, but there you go, they've got money to burn, it isn't their money. I'm a grumpy old woman and I don't mind. Look at you r old baking tins. He uses that fast acting yeast, he might come along (to our Big Bread Days) 

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Interview with: Woman 1 – Nimble Fingers knitting group

Chris Twigg

Date: 27/05/14

Location: Newcastle-Under-Lyme

Interviewer: Steve Cooling

Permission given to use interview for website, exhibition and Staffordshire archive: YES

Question asked “What do you remember about bread or bread baking”.

I grew up in Wales and we would have Bara Brith at a funeral with tea and butter.  We had the same thing 20 years ago when my farther died.

Both my mother and my grand mother made their own bread.  My mother would make bara brith every week, my other grand mother would make it on special ocassions .

We use to have chunks of bread and oatcakes (not like the ones you get round here, more like the scottish ones) you'd poor beef dripping over it and that would be breakfast.  My mother is 86 and still makes the oatcakes now.

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Interview with: Woman (in passing at Newcastle Museum)

Chris Twigg

Date:27/05/14

Location: Newcastle-Under-Lyme

Interviewer: Hilary Hughes

Permission given to use interview for website, exhibition and Staffordshire archive: YES

Question asked “What do you remember about bread or bread baking”.

The kneading is very therapeutic. I like to watch people do it, rather than do it myself. I don't know, I find it mesmerising. I love to see it, I watch television, it's lovely to watch. it's nice like watching a film or a dance. It's just so nice.

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Interview with: Wendy Greatbatch

Chris Twigg

Date: 21/08/14

Location: Stoke

Interviewer: Steve Cooling

Permission given to use interview for website, exhibition and Staffordshire archive: YES

Question asked “What do you remember about bread or bread baking”.

I never really tried making bread, I had a bread machine when they first came out but it didn't taste the same.

When the bread strike was on that time I got a recipe for oatcakes but that didn't work very well, you need to have the right environment.

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Interview with: Susan Davies

Chris Twigg

Date:27/05/14

Location: Newcastle-Under-Lyme

Interviewer: Steve Cooling

Permission given to use interview for website, exhibition and Staffordshire archive: YES

Question asked “What do you remember about bread or bread baking”.

I remember when I was 4 or 5 going to the bakers with my mum to get bread.  They sold it fresh in a brown paper bag.  As children we would have tea and that would be jam and bread.

My father was in the army and we would have to move to different countries.  Sometimes we would have the local bread but mostly bread was from the NAFFI, they got it shipped or from a local supplier.

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Interview with: Sue – Market stall

Chris Twigg

Date: 13/05/14

Location: Newcastle-Under-Lyme

Interviewer: Hilary Hughes

Permission given to use interview for website, exhibition and Staffordshire archive: YES

Question asked “What do you remember about bread or bread baking”.

My Mum used to see to the students, that used to come to the college in the yard where she lived and she used to do all their baking, dinners, make bread and everything. (St James Church) It was the mens college, mechanics, engineering college and they used to go to the school up the road from where the college was. And me Mum used to do all the dinners. I had me Nanas' bread, it was lovely, it was so light. She did wholemeal, she did seeded and white bread and she used to do the rolls the same, seeded, white, everything. And she did Eccles Cakes.

And my Grandma used to say, "Have a piece of bread because it will fill that hole"

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The church of St. James-the-Less photo: c.1950's - Lovatt Collection

 

Interview with: Stuart MacIntosh

Chris Twigg

Date:16/08/14

Location: Hanley

Interviewer: Steve Cooling

Permission given to use interview for website, exhibition and Staffordshire archive: YES

Question asked “What do you remember about bread or bread baking”.

Back in the 70's there was a bread strike and bread was in short supply.  I was on a PMT bus once and there was some bread being delivered to a shop.  The bus spotted it, stopped his bus and ran over to get some bread.

Everybody had to try and make their own bread.  My mum would put the bowl in front of the fire with a damp tea towel over it.  She would let it rise and you have that lovely smell of bread all over the house.  She made some lovely bread.  She had a go at brown once and that didn't quite turn out right.  I remember taking sandwiches to school made out of it.  They were like bricks, in a strange kind of way I enjoyed it.

 I prefer artisan bread, it's much better than the white sliced you have to put up with most of the time. 

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Interview with: Shaun Smith

Chris Twigg

Date: 16/04/14

Location: Newcastle-Under-Lyme

Interviewer: Steve Cooling

Permission given to use interview for website, exhibition and Staffordshire archive: YES

Question asked “What do you remember about bread or bread baking”.

I've always enjoyed cooking and have tried baking bread.  About 4 or 5 years agos I got a book on 'leven' breads and using wild yeasts.  Since then I've been making my own bread and the taste of it is just phenomenal.  Supermarket bread just doesn't come close to it, I also think it's a healthier bread.

I very rarely buy any other bread, you haven't got an artisan bakery round here to buy proper bread from.  If you did it would cost about 3-4 quid.

I've got a leven in my fridge that's been there for about 5 years.  When ever I want any yeast I just top it up, feed it and it gets going, but it's slower, it's a slower bread.  A leven is a live yeast culture.  It's made from organic flour, the yeast is already in the flour.  Just add water and leave it to ferment.  It goes off a little bit and you just top it up with fresh flour and water and after a week youv'e got some useable 'leven' or sourdough.  I don't like to call it sourdough as mines not very sour!  I don't know if it's the way I've created, it's just a wild yeast.  It's lovely it tastes like bread on steroids.  It has a taste where as a lot of bought breads don't taste of anything anymore.  Even our kids are starting to say supermarket in house baked bread doesn't taste of anything.

You can leave the leven for 3 months, feed it again and it'll come back to life.  It's quite a fantastic thing, it just goes on and on and on, I've shared it with a few people.

I got the recipe from a book by Dan Leopard called 'The Handmade Loaf'.  It's a really lovely book, I've tried lots of recipes but I just make them up as I go along now.  I just see what I've got left over, chuck it in and see how it goes.  I started off spending 2 weeks making a loaf of bread a day, the first 5 or 6 were terrible.  I don't know why I just stuck at it and at the end of the 2 weeks they were coming out perfect.  It's a slow process, I think we do things to quickly.  It fits in better because it's slow, you leave it over night and bake it in the morning.  This one (the bread in the pictures) was started this morning and baked this afternoon.  It's just about ready now, I had to rush it a bit that's why it's gone all bobbly.

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This bread is wetter and harder to shape.  I proved this one in a Banneton, a wicker basket, that's what gives it the pattern.

I mark the top of my bread with a 'hashtag' that's my signature.

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I think the water makes a difference I have shared this recipe with someone in Cheshire and it doesn't seem to work.  It's liek brewing, it's a live yeast and every piece of the jigsaw makes a difference.  One of my favourite variaions is to use a cup of left over porridge, it's really filling and hearty it's a bit like a crumpet.

I started making my own bread because the stuff you get in the shop is just dreadful, it's such poor quality.

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Interview with: Sharon – Keele University

Chris Twigg

Date: 01/05/14

Location: Newcastle-Under-Lyme

Interviewer: Dalit Fishman Hendel

Permission given to use interview for website, exhibition and Staffordshire archive: YES

Question asked “What do you remember about bread or bread baking”.

During the late 80's early 90's I lived in a house in Northwood that always smelt of bread.  We were so poor and we worked out it was cheaper to make our own bread.  Every morning I would get up, make my bread, let it rise and bake it, every day.  For a treat we would walk into Hanley and get oatcakes.  There was a hatch in the wall and you would queue up to get them.

I also remember in the early 70's having Harvest Festival.  The ladies of the parish would make these enormous loaves shaped like wheat sheathes.  Everybody would get together and share them.

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Interview with: Sarah Ocknell

Chris Twigg

Date: 20/08/14

Location: Tunstall

Interviewer: Steve Cooling

Permission given to use interview for website, exhibition and Staffordshire archive: YES

Question asked “What do you remember about bread or bread baking”.

I made bread at school, plated it, it was very nice, my dad liked it any road.  We used yeast, flour, a bit of salt and kneaded it, get the air out.

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Interview with: Sarah Aldridge

Chris Twigg

Date: 19/08/14

Location: Chesterton

Interviewer: Steve Cooling

Permission given to use interview for website, exhibition and Staffordshire archive: YES

Question asked “What do you remember about bread or bread baking”.

We use to go and get bread a cottage loaf and sometimes a bloomer loaf.  I'd get them from the local bakers when I lived in Ramsgate in the early 1930's.

I moved to Stoke in 1996 and I would get bread from Burgess Bakery.

Bread now is full of water, I have a slice of toast from supermarket bread.  When you've toasted it it's gone down so little.

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Interview with: Russell Phillips

Chris Twigg

Date:16/08/14

Location: Hanley

Interviewer: Steve Cooling

Permission given to use interview for website, exhibition and Staffordshire archive: YES

Question asked “What do you remember about bread or bread baking”.

When I was 5 or 6 my dad use to make bread.  Because it was an old fashioned house it had a coal fire.  He had to keep the temperature in the kitchen at a set level and it had to be really really warm.  We weren't allowed in the kitchen and if anyone opened the door, even for a second, he would yell at us.  At the end there would be mountains and mountains of these little bread cakes.  It was worth it afterwards but I hated it while he was doing it.

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Interview with: Robert N-u-L Market

Chris Twigg

Date: 13/05/14

Location: Newcastle-Under-Lyme

Interviewer: Hilary Hughes

Permission given to use interview for website, exhibition and Staffordshire archive: YES

Question asked “What do you remember about bread or bread baking”.

Right, what I remember about bread is the story of my cousins grandfather, he was a builder, he came from Ireland. It was in Clydebank in Scotland and he was a good builder, built lots of houses and did OK. One of the things he did was build a bakery, a bakehouse and he got alot of children and this was the place for his daughters to work, two or three of them. They used to run the bakery. I don't remember the name of the street but it was up in Clydebank which was a booming industrial area, when Britains' industry was booming. And I have had bread to eat from that bakery, it was white, which is what people used to eat, in Scotland.

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Interview with: Reginald Durbert

Chris Twigg

Date: 15/04/14

Location: Silverdale

Interviewer: Steve Cooling

Permission given to use interview for website, exhibition and Staffordshire archive: YES

Question asked “What do you remember about bread or bread baking”.

I remember Woodvine Bakery in Vale Street, Silverdale.  Seventy year ago, I was about eight or nine.  The bread nice and fresh, better than the stuff you get in the supermarket.  You could only afford to have homemade jam on it.

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Interview with: Ray Burke

Chris Twigg

Date: 15/05/14

Location: Newcastle-Under-Lyme

Interviewer: Hilary Hughes

Permission given to use interview for website, exhibition and Staffordshire archive: YES

Question asked “What do you remember about bread or bread baking”.

I only remember the bakeries that were down in the town, and the local bakeries, in Silverdale, there was one. You used to get the bread, lovely bread in the 1950's. You used to go to the bakery and get it yourself. Me Dad was working at the time on one of the bakeries down below here, (High Street) he used to bring the bread home. It was really nice bread in them days. He was in the building trade, probably working on the ovens. You couldn't beat the bread, the taste of it. I still make bread now with the breadmaker, it's still nice to have your own bread. I always liked it, a nice bit of bread. Well, I like wholemeal or brown bread I do, I'm not much for white, we used to get white sliced years ago, but when it came out it was gluey. So you stuck to the bread that you could slice yourself, you know cut slices off it, it's different altogether. We used to go to some pubs and they'd give you that nice thick, toasted with butter on it, it was really nice bread compared with the sliced. I never really liked sliced bread, I don't even have it, unless you are stuck sometime. You stick to your own bread. I like a bit of cheese on it, different things, we have that pate on toast, that's nice. But you can't beat a bit of bread.

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Interview with: Phil Morris

Chris Twigg

Date: 07/06/14

Location: Newcastle-Under-Lyme

Interviewer: Steve Cooling

Permission given to use interview for website, exhibition and Staffordshire archive: YES

Question asked “What do you remember about bread or bread baking”.

In 1974 I was going camping in La Havre.  I carried on at a junction and forgot to give way to the right.  A french man on a bike had to stop and waved his bread stick at me.

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Interview with: Penny Copestake

Chris Twigg

Date: 01/05/14

Location: Newcastle-Under-Lyme

Interviewer: Dalit Fishman Hendel

Permission given to use interview for website, exhibition and Staffordshire archive: YES

Question asked “What do you remember about bread or bread baking”.

My worst memory of bread was going up to get bread at the supermarket.  It was during the bread strike and I had to miss registration as you were only allowed one loaf per person.

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Interview with: Pauline Bell

Chris Twigg

Date: 21/08/14

Location: Stoke

Interviewer: Steve Cooling

Permission given to use interview for website, exhibition and Staffordshire archive: YES

Question asked “What do you remember about bread or bread baking”.

When I first met my mother-in-law (over 45 years ago) I was suprised she was making her own bread and tea cakes.  She did this quite often, she put the dough in the airing cupboard for quite a few hours to rise. The bread and tea cakes were very nice and she enjoyed baking.

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