Sparkes' Bakery in World War 2
Ken Sparkes started work in the bakery at the “tender age” of thirteen in 1939. His Grandfather broke his femur and could no longer work as the main baker.
Here, Phil Sparkes, Ken’s nephew, describes the “very trying conditions” in the bakery during the Second World War. Not only was there a reduced supply of ingredients necessary for the bakery to produce the bread, but working conditions also changed. The bakery operated with reduced heating and lighting. Rationing also meant that the staff had to ensure that bread was distributed according to the ration coupons people had.
The staff worked “long hours for little reward”. This was as true after the war, too, when rationing ended and the supply of ingredients and demand for more and more varied products increased.
Here you can hear more about Sparkes’ Bakery.