Back to the past with Ed Grimsdale: The many faces of the town bakery

Buckingham Bakery, Restaurant and Tea Rooms in 1925 on West Street.  In the picture is Arthur Loyns, in his bow tie, his wife and staff. PNL-140829-131917001
Buckingham Bakery, Restaurant and Tea Rooms in 1925 on West Street. In the picture is Arthur Loyns, in his bow tie, his wife and staff. PNL-140829-131917001

Buckingham Bakery, Restaurant and Tearooms were started in 1887 by AC Rogers and was housed in the Old Market Hall that stood on the site that now contains Barclays Bank.

You can see it, a classical building with columns and an over-heavy architrave, to the right of the Victoria Hotel in the middle of Buckingham’s ‘Forum’, photographed after an unseasonably fierce snowstorm in late April, 1908.

Buckingham Bakery in 1908. It's on the left hand side of the picture after the Victoria Hotel (classical building with columns and heavy architrave). Picture was taken in late April after an unseasonably fierce snowstorm. PNL-140829-131906001

Buckingham Bakery in 1908. It's on the left hand side of the picture after the Victoria Hotel (classical building with columns and heavy architrave). Picture was taken in late April after an unseasonably fierce snowstorm. PNL-140829-131906001

Mr Hull developed the tea room that was the jewel in the parcel of properties that he built up. It included the Victoria (Temperance) Hotel. His holding was based on or around the squalid Butchers’ Shambles.

Mr Hull sold the bakery business to Arthur Loyns in 1919. Loyns soon moved his operation to West Street opposite the former post office.

An advertisement from 1920 describes the business: “The Bakery forms a very valuable addition to the conveniences of the town, catering for the needs of residents and visitors alike.

“Refreshments are on sale at all hours of the day at very moderate prices, and well-cooked and well-served luncheons are supplied daily from twelve to two thirty, while the commodious and well-appointed upstairs tea-room is greatly appreciated for its excellent cakes and pastries, the later being made fresh daily on the premises by a skilled confectioner.”

The bakery on West Street, in 1974. PNL-140829-131856001

The bakery on West Street, in 1974. PNL-140829-131856001

The shop, Arthur Loyns with bow-tie, his wife and staff are well captured in the black and white image. I see that Cream Ices were the latest novelty. When did they morph into ice creams, I wonder?

Can you spot a ghostly reflection of an advert. for GOLD FLAKE CIGARETTES? Well, that mirrors the original across West Street in Reynolds Stores.

Later, the concern, which survived for 100 years, became the Austrian Bakery and Coffee Shop.

Helen Walker took the coloured image in 1974 during a makeover. On the left side of the shop, a blow lamp has burned through decades of faded paint to reveal for one last time Loyns’ original black livery. After the bakery closed for the last time, the building was transformed into a betting shop.