In the early years of my life there was no such thing as sliced bread because it had been banned by the government as an economy measure, so it was something of a revelation to me and my contemporaries when the ban was lifted in 1950. No more diagonal cuts or “doorstep” wedges; each slice came beautifully uniform. I don’t think we were conscious of the nutritional price we were paying for this machine made consistency but there must have been a dawning of understanding since advertisers a few years later were making a virtue of the addition of niacine and thiamine.
Home delivery was a feature of life up to about 1960. In recentt years this has made a comeback in the shape of Tesco and Ocado vans.
This horse drawn trap in the MK Museum was a common enough feature of Wolverton’s streets when I was a boy. Bread was obviously not heavy so this light cart was quite adequate to carry the driver and his deliveries.
This one is a Co-op vehicle. We got our bread from King’s, on the corner of Radcliffe Street and Church Street – now pulled down to make way for the Agora. Mr King used to come round, usually twice a week in the afternoons with his bread deliveries.
I posted about this two years ago here.
Looking back it appears that one of the unintended consequences of this government ban was to allow small bakers to survive a little longer.
Wolverton had four bakery outlets – The “Brighton” Bakery at number 6 Church Street, King’s at number 41 Church Street, the Co-op Bakery at the back of the Co-op Grocery on the Square with its retail outlet on the corner of Aylesbury St and Bedford St. and Faithfull Brothers on the Stratford Road, who had their actual bakery in New Bradwell.
My mother bought her bread from King’s, so I can’t speak to the quality of other bakers, but I do believe that each baker had a different taste because I remember people asserting that so-and-so’s bread was the “best”.
Mr King used to deliver bread in the afternoon in a pony and trap very much like this photo of the bread van in the MK Museum. Of course if yu wanted oven fresh bread you would have to go down to the shop early and join the queue.