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 hadn't passed me test, it's when drivers had a van lad, spent about, oh I don't know six months on there (Embrey's Bakery). But in the early 60's there were plenty of jobs about and you went for another ten shillings a week somewhere.
Me other experience of bakery was Cartwrights, in Burslem, Park Avenue, no, just off the Hamill, I spent about six months up there. It was a small family run company, that was generally oatcakes, bread, confectionary, that sort of thing, cakes, which was thoroughly enjoyable, but I wanted another ten shillings a week.
So I got a job down at Burgess's Bakery, by Smithfields market, which is now gone, it's gonna be the Aldi Supermarket I believe, the cattle market used to be opposite every Thursday, to my way of thinking, and I went delivering to their shops, you know, not really involved with bread. But I remember the old bread if you know what I mean, the VitBe, and stuff like that, the VitBe flour.
On Embrey's it was a Ford Thames 4D, what they called a 4D, it was the Stafford run, the old Stafford and it was running out to Dennington, Doxey, goodness knows places like that.There was no one way system then, like there is now in all towns. And they were very enjoyable jobs. It was my first introduction to the working system of things, the camaraderie of friends. You know bakeries were mostly women, mostly women, they were women orientated, that's not being sexist, that's what they were. And they were very enjoyable jobs.
I then moved onto various jobs nothing to do with bakeries, twenty years on textiles at Talke, twenty years on Trent bathrooms at Hanley, but you know by then you'd bought a house, you were working shifts, but that was my first introduction to work really. I can still remember the sweetness of it, the baking process if you like.