Keith was born in Prestwood in 1936 and moved to the baker’s shop in the High Street in 1949. In 1958 he trained as a butcher in the Covered Market in Oxford, but as a result of his father’s illness, decided to leave and take over the bakehouse in Thame. Keith ran the business until his retirement in 2002 and describes all the changes that have taken place over the years, including important finds during the 1970s.
This recording was made in 27th August 2008
A baker’s son – Keith recalls his father starting work at 4am making bread, rolls and cakes for the shop. The dough is made by machine although in the early days the ovens were heated by burning ‘faggots’, and then clearing out the ash before baking the bread.
Keeping chickens – During the 1960s Keith keeps chickens as a way of making money. He and Beryl buy their first bungalow in Chearsley. Keith tries his hand at growing mushrooms.
The new roof – In 1975 Keith finds some important artefacts during work on the roof of Wright’s Bakery. Keith’s daughter finds an Elizabethan shilling.
A new bakehouse – The Bakehouse is enlarged fivefold to cope with the growing business. To compete with supermarkets in the town in the 1970s and 1980s, Wright’s Bakery starts selling cheese rolls, which proves to be the beginning of a successful takeaway business.