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Home deliveries and visits, early and mid 20th century


Bread and bakery deliveries to houses, early 20th century UK

By the webmaster's mother, 1906-2002

Bread and other bakery wares were baked on the premises of the bakers shop and delivered directly from there.

Frequency of bakers' deliveries to the home

When I was a child in the early 1900s, bakers would come every day to deliver orders to houses.

Bakers' deliveries by handcart

Our baker, Breyers, had a two wheel hand cart with a wooden legs at the back to support it.

Two-wheel hand cart used by bakers and bakers boys to deliver bread and other bakery, about 1903

Two-wheel hand cart used by bakers to deliver their wares to houses. Photograph courtesy of the Scarff family.

The bakers' boy

The bakers' boy is George Scarff (1889-1960) delivering to Bulwer Road, Edmonton, while working for Breyers Bakery in Silver Street, Edmonton. This dates the photo to about 1903.

Deliveries were often made by young boys, possibly who had just left school at 14 and hoped to progress in the trade. Children in the family were also used, often having to do the rounds before school.

Bakers' deliveries by horse and cart

In later years, or possibly for delivering further afield, Breyers used a horse and cart.

Guest contributions

The baker's horse

Many a time as my mother and I waited for the bread to arrive for our 'elevenses', we would go out into the street to see how far the delivery had got, only to see the baker, many houses away, struggling to get the horse to stop eating the neighbour's privet hedge before continuing on.

David Perfect

Guest contribution

My mother told me that Breyers Bakers of 123 Silver Street had a horse which was stabled in their yard in Bulwer Road. By the time I was a child in the late 1950s, this bakers had gone and the shop was a funeral director's.

Pat Slocombe

Paying for bread delivery

The women didn't pay for their bread as they bought it. The baker carried a book in a leather pouch, and every item was entered into it. Then women then paid for a whole week on Saturdays.

During the 1914-18 war, though, things changed. So many men were called up into the forces that we had to go and get our own bread from the shop.

If you can add anything to this page or provide a photo, I would be pleased if you would contact me.

Page based on the recollections and notes of the webmaster's mother (1906-2002) with additional research and editorial work by the webmaster

Text and images are copyright

*Photographed by the webmaster in Milton Keynes Museum

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