I was always aware there had been an old bakery at the top of Whittington Hill but had never really thought about who owned it. When I was younger I seem to remember the Mr Softee ice cream vans parking there. Now of course it is called Old Bakery Close and is a residential area.
The above map shows the buildings at the top of Whittington Hill where the bakery would have been, map published 1955. (https://maps.nls.uk/)
I was reminded about the bakery when I was going through some old newspapers and came across this entry from the Sheffield Independent 6th July 1929.
Thompsons bakery would appear to have been quite a big enterprise. owned by J W Thompson. Mr Thompson was probably well known in the Whittington area, not only working there but he was also a local Councillor for many years.
There were several entries for the bakery over the years the following one gives interesting information about Mr Thompson and his experience and baking skills, it also mentions his role as a local Councillor.
The last paragraph of the article reads:
“Bakers ingredients – Suet is a commodity that is extensively used in all bakeries and one of the best known firms operating in baking suet is ‘Messrs Salt and Short Ltd of Crown Suet Works, Chesterfield’ who have a record of very many years standing”.
I have heard of Salt and Short but didn’t realise their reputation was made from supplying suet. However, a few days later this article appeared which will make much more sense to anyone who has ever made bread, or who is familiar with Salt and Short for that matter !
The Derbyshire Times published a series called “Derbyshire Industries” (I had already come across this feature when researching the Blacking Mills https://oldwhittingtonops.com/old-whittington-blacking-mills/ )
On 10 December 1932 they published a very interesting article on the bakery of J W Thompson.
The article mentions vitamin D bread, not sure what would be made of the advert today!
In 1937 Mr Thompson was standing for election again.
I assume he retained his seat as he is pictured 18 months later in 1939 opening a Bazaar at Whittington.
By July 1939 Councillor Thompson had been named as the next Mayor of Chesterfield.
In 1941 Councillor Thompson and his wife were doing their bit to raise funds for the Armed Forces.
The bakery changed hands in 1942, an advert appeared in the Derbyshire Times asking for workers.
The end of Whittington bakery finally came in the 1950’s when the work was transferred to a new bakery at Four Lane Ends Upper Newbold, which I believe we all came to know eventually as Mothers Pride!
Derbyshire Times May 5 1950
Photo showing the old Bakehouse buildings at the top of Whittington Hill (originally posted by Alan Taylor on Old Chesterfield Pics)