Bread In Common

Bread In Common

Bread making session with the mobile oven
Bread making session with the mobile oven

Heritage Grants

Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, West Midlands
Beavers Arts Ltd (B Arts)
Bread in Common explored 2,000 years of Newcastle baking traditions, from wartime loaves made from potato to the arrival of new breads from Poland and the Middle East.

Volunteers and artists collected local people’s baking memories to create a searchable online database. This included tales of communities brought together by shared bread ovens and the growth of local businesses Wright’s Pies and Allied Bakeries to feed the nation on an industrial scale. An accompanying online timeline and series of ‘try at home’ recipes stretched back to the closely guarded secrets of the Roman bakers’ guild and the potential Viking origins of the Staffordshire oatcake.

Families then tried out the recipes themselves with support from heritage bread experts while a mobile outdoor oven brought traditional treats to the masses.

Steve Cooling, B Arts project co-ordinator, said: “People who took part learnt a local heritage story that still has relevance today.”

Local residents can continue to add their stories to the growing Bread in Common online database. There was such a demand for heritage bread that a crowd-funding campaign raised enough to set up a local heritage bakery.