LANDERS BAKERY .
Mansfield and Industry
Someone once said that Mansfield is a Great and Poor town !!!! Which may have been true at the time it was said…. It may also be fair comment today…. But it was certainly not the case in the 1950’s. 60’s and 70’s . It was the time following nearly 6 years of war that almost brought this country to it’s knees…..As they did after the first world war….The people of Mansfield rallied round and helped to build the country again with their production in the Coalmines,the Foundries,the Hosiery and Knitting factories, the Cotton Mills, the Engineering, the Boot and Shoe factories, the Quarrying, the Electric Engineering, the Building Industry, the Railways, and of course the Food factories.
After the end of the first world war….One such person was Percy Lander…I am full of admiration for him or anyone who is prepared to put everything on the line for the success of his company. He risked his house, his money, his family, and yes eventually his life…. Percy died suddenly in 1949… I know, I was employed at Landers in 1949.
At the latter part of the 1800’s…Around the turn of the century (1900), Framework Knitting became big business in Mansfield, and provided much needed work to the area…Families from the hinterland and surrounding shires, swelled the population of the town….For this reason, it is most probable that Percy’s parents Joseph and Sarah moved into the Mansfield area from Derbyshire for the availability of work….For Joseph became a Framework Knitter….Joseph and Sarah’s 3 children came along, and when old enough,Percy followed his father into Hosiery Framework Knitting, along with his sister Sarah Ann… And, with the family all working, they were to become reasonably well off.
Marriage and a Bakery on Woodhouse Road
After his marriage to Miss Gertrude Bakewell in 1920…Percy put his heart and all his efforts into a small Bakery across the road from the Black Bull on Woodhouse Road , near to the bottom of York Street.
Mansfield Woodhouse Memories
It is here I have to transgress for a moment…My father-in-law Mr Thomas Allsop, was born in 1905 and lived in one of the cottages close to the Trough in the centre of Mansfield Woodhouse…He would walk past Percy’s small bakery when walking to Sherwood Colliery where he worked for many years….My mother-in-law, Mrs Elizabeth Allsop, spent a lot of time at her mum’s sister’s house, which was near to the colliery and the bakery…She would baby sit her aunty’s child When at the onset she knew that I worked at Landers, we often talked about the bakery…It was she who first told me about Percy allowing housewives to bake their bread in his oven for the price of one penny…And also that at that time his bakery was on the other side of the road from Oxford Street…She too,would walk by Percy’s bakery when going to her Aunt’s house, for it it was a terraced house close to the Sherwood Pit yard.
She recalled , as she remembered, that it was sometime in the early 30’s that Percy moved his bakery to Oxford Street. He proceeded to install 4 or 6 double decked roller ovens on cast wheels that enabled the very large oven plates to be rolled into the walled ovens. One with small wheels at the bottom, and the one with higher wheels at the top…I remember these ovens very well. each oven plate would hold about 200 + loaves of bread at one time, in banks of 4 bread tins fastened togeather…When not used for bread baking, these ovens would be used for Morning Goods and Confectionery…Very soon afterwards, another oven was installed for baking bread…This was an early version of the travelling oven, a six sack of flour oven…A very big improvement on the day !…But the dough still had to be ” proved ” first.
Expanding the Bakery
As time went by,if a terraced house became empty, Percy bought it…The first was next to his bakery, and this became the office…He also bought the garage on the corner of Oxford Street and Woodhouse Road…Later in British Bakeries time…Just about everything on Oxford Street belonged to Landers.
I am not sure of the year that Landers Bakery commenced business…Maybe the 1921 census will throw some light on the matter…Percy and Gertrude’s marriage certificate should confirm his occupation in 1920.