Back to the Past with Ed Grimsdale: Memories of Buckingham’s bakery

Loyns Cafe, in Canterbury PNL-140310-115807001
Loyns Cafe, in Canterbury PNL-140310-115807001
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The piece about Buckingham’s Bakery stirred memories in readers, not only locals but those who read the Advertiser’s electronic edition.

The title ‘The Bakery’, Buckingham was used from Mr Hull’s times at the Market Hall in Market Square.

An advertisement for Loyns Bakery PNL-140310-115817001

An advertisement for Loyns Bakery PNL-140310-115817001

Incidentally, his Victoria Temperance Hotel that was next door to that bakery, advertised itself as suitable for cyclists; it possessed cycle sheds to the rear and machines to hire.

No doubt, Victorian cyclists sought alcohol-free accommodation as they toured the country.

They must have feared that the demon drink might bring on a fit of the wobbles.

Imagine being an ordinary lad or liberated ladette in late Victorian times after the invention of the bicycle opened the freedom of the road to you for the first time at a cost of little more than a penny farthing!

Temperance hotels are few in 2014 but a century ago Buckingham was better equipped: there was another one at 17 Castle Street which is now a B&B.

I mentioned Arthur Loyns bought the bakery from Mr Hull and moved it to 27 West Street, formerly the London and County Stores.

Geoff Kirk has found the date in an old copy of the Buckingham Advertiser: July 28, 1919. Arthur’s advertisement ends with these words of considerable consideration for the welfare of his employees:

“Customers are asked to note that the business will be closed at 7 o’clock each evening to give the assistants an opportunity of getting some fresh air, with the exception of Saturdays, when the closing hour will be 9 o’clock.”

Then the male bakers would have “girded their ‘Loyns’” and run to Fred Swift in his Market Square Barbers. He remained open until midnight to ensure that none of his customers lacked a close shave for Sunday services.

Susan Cummings, Arthur’s great niece, has sent me some fascinating information about Mr Loyns’ career.

Arthur Loyns was a Deal man but like several of his siblings, he was born deaf. After Buckingham, Loyns moved far and wide setting up bakeries and cafes but his major enterprises were based in Canterbury where he acquired a model electric bakery (so newfangled and clean as a pin), and opened a café on the site of the former Cloth Hall in 1932.

The picture dates from 1934. Arthur escaped from this café when it was destroyed during a blitz of incendiary bombs in June 1942.

Arthur rushed from the café ruins to check his hygienic bakery. Despite surrounding buildings being ablaze, his bakery was fine – ready to sustain the people of Canterbury as they battled with the loss of loved ones, homes and businesses.

Arthur appreciated the utility of advertising and the importance of providing “good copy”.

Rather like Buckingham’s poetic hairdresser, Edgar Miller, Arthur waxed lyrical when describing the virtues of Leamington Coffee Cream Sandwich, “1/- a choice sponge Madeira layered twice with delicious coffee cream and decorated with walnuts”, or his healthy bread, “ if you want more nourishment and more flavour in your bread without paying more for it, try a loaf from us today.” Arthur died after a long life in bakeries in 1954.

Mention of the Leamington sandwich reminds me that I must write about ‘Buckingham’ Food: the Buckingham Best Pork Pie, Town’s celebrated Veal and Ham Pie, Banbury Buns baked in Buckingham, and finally I’ll drop a Bucks Clanger.