Still warm from the Gosport bakery, I couldn't resist eating the loaf

My recent features looking back at bakers' horse-drawn delivery carts triggered vivid memories for Norman Hall.

Wednesday, 9th August 2017, 9:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:40 am
The Smith and Vosper baker's delivery wagon in Portsmouth about the time of the First World War. It was this picture which brought back so many memories for reader Norman Hall.

He was born in St John’s Square, Gosport, opposite St John’s Church in Forton Road and he remembers the baker at 78 Forton Road who delivered by horse and cart.

He recalls that Marshes livery was green and the carts were always smart.

Norman, now of Nobes Avenue, Gosport, says: ‘Mum would often send us along to get a loaf at 8am.

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‘We would have to go around to the back and into the bakery, ask them for the loaf and tell them to put it on our ‘‘baker’s list’’ to be paid for at the end of the week.

‘On Fridays mum would tell the baker what she had had during the week and pay the baker and it all worked out fine. Those were good days and people were very trusting’.

There was always a treat in store for Norman after he had collected the daily loaf.

He adds: ‘After picking up the loaf at that time in the morning we would always take a bite out of the four corners.

‘Mum would ask what we had been up to, but we couldn’t resist – it always tasted so good. Lovely bread.’

And Norman remembers another bakery in Queen’s Road – Haywards – which also made deliveries with a horse and cart.

He also recalls the blacksmith, Bob Bucket, who operated in St John’s Square.

‘In those days he was very busy shoeing horses.

‘We would often stand and watch and he never told us to move on. They were such good days.’

Norman believes St John’s Church in Forton Road was built to accommodate the Royal Marines who were stationed in Forton Barracks, now St Vincent College.

He says: ‘We would often run to the barracks when we heard the band playing so we could watch and listen to them. Such lovely memories.’