by janet on 5 December 2011 · 6 comments

Walkern Bakers

In the 1930s and 1940s there were four bakeries in Walkern: Stockbridge in Froghall Lane opposite what is now the empty site of the Baptist chapel yard; Meads in the High Street in the buldings opposite Posy Palace; Spearmans, also in the High Street; and Kitchener, opposite Clarks garage. The story of these bakeries is very much interlinked.

Thomas Stockbridge, who was born in 1813 in Wrestlingworth, near Sandy, Bedfordshire, married Hannah Kingsley in 1832. Hannah?s father, Thomas, died in 1836, bequeathing his properties in Walkern, including the property opposite what is now Posy Palace, to his wife, Hannah?s mother Elizabeth.

This property is numbered 542 and 543 on the tithe map of 1841, in which Elizabeth Kingsley is listed as the owner but Thomas Stockbridge as the occupier. Elizabeth?s son Samuel (Hannah?s brother) also bequeathed plot 247 (the site of Posy Palace) to Thomas Stockbridge ?upon trust to pay the rents to my said mother for her life?;

Elizabeth lived as a woman of independent means in a cottage opposite what was the Red Lion pub (now Redlyns) until her death in around 1850, at which point the ?Posy Palace? property was sold by Thomas Stockbridge for

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

naomi handscombe November 29, 2014 at 3:27 pm

My grandfather was a baker and owned four bakers prior to committing suicide


Edna Sibley January 3, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Having received a request from a distant relative now living in British Columbia Canada about Walkern bakers, I have sent on the article originally published in the Walkern Journal of April 2010, from which the details above are largely taken. I am of the Stockbridge family, and my parental home was No 6 Froghall Lane until I married in 1963. I believe that the narrow looking structure joining No6 to the next building was actually a corridor from the house into the bakery building. In my lifetime it was never a working bakery. This bakery building was converted into a house in the early 1950s


Laura Whitford February 7, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Can anyone confirm which specific building in Froghall Lane was the bakers? When we bought our house the estate agent said it was a former bakery but we’re not precisely opposite the chapel yard so I’m not sure if it’s us or not.


Janet Woodall February 9, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Hi Laura – I’m not sure precisely which house was the old bakery, but I know a man who’ll know, so I’ll get back to you.


Margaret Adams February 9, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Laura, I was born and have always lived in Walkern, my Father was Ernie Spearman who ran the Bakery in the High St from 1930’s through to very early 1970’s The Building in question was No. 4 Froghall Lane, which is the white cottage directly opposite the chapel yard.


David Standing December 31, 2011 at 6:56 pm

Very interesting article. Can I correct the last sentence of this article. The bread ovens, there were in fact two, at what is now 100 high street were removed by myself in the mid 1960s when we were converting 98 & 100 to live in.


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