Market Lavington Museum

Easterton bakery supplies

We have met Jim Sheppard, one of the two bakers in Easterton, on several occasions. (See Jim Sheppard, Jim Sheppard again, A Paper Bag, Delivering the Bread and The baker’s delivery van.) His premises were half way along Easterton High Street, next door but one to the Methodist chapel (now a private house).

At Market Lavington Museum, we are fortunate to have an oral history, recorded by his daughter Joy, born in 1926, who moved to Easterton with her parents when she was one year old. Her childhood memories include details about obtaining the necessary supplies of baking ingredients.

She remembered heavy sacks of flour being delivered from either J & J Noad, millers of Seend, or from Humphreys & Bobbitt, millers from Bristol. (Apologies for any misspelling as our evidence is the spoken word.) The sacks were made of hessian, with the millers’ names printed boldly across them.

Yeast was delivered twice a week in sacking bags containing about 5 or 7lbs. Sometimes less yeast was required and the delivery man would cut the bag in half.

Other ingredients, such as margarine and dried fruit, came from Stratton, Sons & Mead, grocery wholesalers in Devizes. Their premises were where Marks and Spencers stands today. Their provisions were delivered in large wooden boxes, bound round with wire, which had to be opened with a claw hammer.

We are very grateful to Joy for her account, which provides us with so much detail about the bakery business in the 1930s. We will consider some of the baking produced by her father on another occasion.