The Worshipful Company of Bakers was represented at the Shelswell History Festival, which took place on 16th July 2022, with a stand taken in the “Trades through the ages” section.

The stand featured information about the WCB and a large display of bread of many different types, including traditional sourdough bread. There was also an interactive section where children could decorate cupcakes, and eat them afterwards, while adults could taste samples of bread containing current standard salt levels and historical, much higher, salt levels to show how it has changed over-time.

The bread was not for sale but, if visitors wished to donate to charity, they could help themselves. A total of £264.22 was proudly raised, proving the popularity of good bread! The charities which will benefit from the proceeds are the Shellswell Parish Churches, The Woodland Trust and Oxfordshire Mind, a mental health charity.

The bread was produced at Bakels Baking Centre in Bicester and the stand was manned by Lewis Burgess, a member of the Technical Support team at British Bakels, and non-baker Past Master of WCB and current British Bakels Chairman, Paul Morrow.

A surprising number of visitors to the stand told stories of parents and grandparents who were bakers. The display, and associated bread smells, brought back many memories and shows the universal popularity of the staple baked good.

A traditional harvest loaf, which historically was made by bakery apprentices to prove their skill in managing dough development, was produced by recently admitted Freeman William Bowen, who also attended the recent WCB organised Richmont school training course. After the festival the loaf was donated to St. Edburg”s church in Bicester.

The Festival was not only a great showcase for WCB, but emphasised Bakels’ continuing support for local causes.