Hooper, Daisy (b.1903)

Daisy Hooper was the widow of Harry Hooper, who was a baker in Butleigh, a village near Glastonbury, c.1912-1950s. He started working at the bakery before the First World War, and continued there after serving with the army in France, where he was wounded.


Her husband baked bread every day except Christmas Day and the couple rarely had a holiday or day off.

Harry Hooper, baker to Leonard Classey, Butleigh. Harry Hooper, baker to Leonard Classey, Butleigh.
Sound File
Listen to Daisy Hooper - 1.34MB Duration 2:54 min.

JP: And was it just bread or did they do cakes?


DH: They did cakes and different things like that, used to do those like, Wednesday and Thursday.  And they used to make all kinds of different kinds of loaves, like um, when they had tea fights here or like, you know, it was anniversaries or chapel school treats when they used to make the flat, big flat loaves and you could cut them, tea cakes.


JP: Oh I know, yes, like the Yorkshire ones.


DH: Yes.  They used to be lovely.  In fact they sent bread to London.


JP: Oh, how would they have done that, by horse and cart?  Or by train?


DH: Oh no, by post.


JP: By post?


DH: By post, penny stamp then.


JP: Yes, yes.


DH: And people used to come along and smell the bread, when it was drawn out of the oven it used to be a lovely smell, you know, and they used to go in and see if they could buy a loaf, visitors perhaps from somewhere or other.  Course there weren’t many cars about then, it was either bicycles or something or other like that.


JP: What time about would the bread go in?


DH: It would be in an hour.


JP: And if he started work at five, this would go in what, seven?


DH: Oh a bit later than that because there were so many things that you had to do.  Um, it was usually out about half-past nine.


JP: It came out at half-past nine?  So it would have gone in somewhere, just gone eight.


DH: Yes, but I think the clock that’s set in the photograph is set for the second baking, because if he was out delivering anywhere and couldn’t get back, he used to set the clock and I’d know if he wasn’t come back, to go down and take the door down, let the steam out, and probably start taking it out.


JP: That would, so he would take one lot of bread out and then put another lot of bread in?


DH: While that was cooking, he’d mix up perhaps another, perhaps half sack or sack, ready for another.  Some days it was half sack, some days it was another sack...


JP: Depending on whether it was the weekend?


DH: Yes, depended upon what time of the week it was.

Copyright Information
Copyright. This recording was made by Jenny Patrick in 1976. Photograph ©SRLM. For access to full interview please contact the Somerset Heritage Centre.