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Ron Veness – Bakers and Bakeries in Hastings Old Town

Ron Veness Bakers & Bakeries

Ron Veness Bakers & Bakeries

Ron Veness popped into the office of the Bohemia Village Voice today with a copy of his new book Bakers and Bakeries in the Old Town of Hastings. It’s a self-published A5-size book of some 36 pages, lavishly illustrated in colour and black and white [see example below] on sale at the History Centre in Hastings Old Town; it’s also available from Ron direct.

The following is an extract from the preamble:

Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man, bake me a cake as quick as you can.

By 1940, there were two bakeries in All Saints Street: White’s and Blackman’s. A hundred years earlier there were seven. By 1950 there were none. I remember the dark winter mornings during the dark days of World War Two while I was growing up in All Saints Street, my mother would sometimes send me down the street to Thomas White’s bakery for fresh, hot, crispy rolls for breakfast (the ‘double summertime’ of those wartime years made the winter mornings doubly dark). We never bought bread from Blackman’s across the street, but perhaps he had already retired from baking. 






All Saints Street - Leslie Badham 1925

All Saints Street – Leslie Badham 1925



Ron Veness,
17, Dudley Road,
Hastings, Sussex, TN35 5JP,
Tel: 01424 713 318.








BAKERS and BAKERIES in the OLD TOWN of Hastings by Ron Veness is an informative peek at that daily staple, bread, and the historical changes of its producers and their locations within the old town of Hastings. Divided into two main sections, the first is a general overview of topics including changes of method in production, the vague definition of the term ‘baker’ and the dwindling and increasing number of bakeries during the last century. The latter segment is subdivided into areas within the old town and devoted to a catalogue of all the known bakeries to have existed. A paragraph or two enlightens us as to the listed owners and to those the business was then handed down to, or to what kind of trade the buildings were subsequently used for, if no longer for baking. Accompanied by quaint pictures and current photographs, with maps on the back cover and a table of antiquated prices at the front, this is a charming and factual booklet. In this age of mass production and superabundance, it is refreshing to recall the humble beginnings of, what is to most of us, the essence of a basic diet. Aydin Deniz.

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