Topic: Springston - Mr. Parrett's Bakehouse - historical notes

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Notes from Lincoln & Districts Historical Society, written by M.E. Cottom, nee Mounce.[1998]

Mr. Parrett's Bakehouse, by M. E. Cottom, nee Mounce

It was about 1930/31 that Mr. William Parrett arrived in Springston to start building a Bakehouse.

The first one was built of opened kerosene and petrol tins and had a big oven fired by wood and coal. It was very inconvenient to work in. A year or two went by and a new Bakehouse was built with all the modern things like a huge oven that really had two or three ovens together. The top oven could take two large trays holding about 10 dozen cakes or savouries at a time and the bottom one was kept mostly for meringues etc., that didn't take as much heat. Then there were electric mixers, one very big, and the other smaller, and all modern things put in as the years went by.

The catering business went very well and got very busy. I started working over there when I was about 17 years old. It was a fascinating life, as all kinds of functions from wedding, 21st parties, jubilees, balls, farm sales, wool buyers etc. Mixing with so many people from different lifestyles really taught us how to cope with folk. After a while Mr. Parrett engaged a Cook, Ron Dixon, and then the two daughters, Phylis and Una learned to cook too, and later his son, Bill. We had some busy times.

One Boxing Day there were 7 weddings, starting from 9.30am right through to 5.30pm and then a dance after the last one. Everything was well organised, even to how we cleared up afterwards as everything was collected separately, and washed and packed.

Once we had a big banquet (knife and fork) in the Caledonian Hall for 1000 guests. It was a big job, but we always had a good staff, and people often commented on the way we got things cleaned up.

I can remember one busy Saturday afternoon we had 4 weddings and with myself in charge and three other staff, we arrived at the Church Hall, just as the bride arrived at the Church. The guests were to be 150, so you can imagine the skating up and down the hall. the flowers were always left until last, as it was easier to pop the vases on the tables than the food. The bride's father came over to the hall as soon as the wedding was over to see how we were getting on. It was great, as in those days the wedding party went in to town to have their photos taken before the wedding breakfast, as it gave us more time. The bride's father was so pleased that he gave us a 10 [pound] tip!

It was a very good catering business and all the stuff baked was made with real butter, eggs etc., as even in those days there was margerine and egg powder. A lot of folk remember Parrett's cakes and savouries, and have often said how they would like a plate of Parrett's cake. The little meat savouries were very nice, but in those days were eaten cold, so different from today.

Notes by M.E.Cottom, nee Mounce.

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Springston - Mr. Parrett's Bakehouse - historical notes

Country:New Zealand
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Springston - Mr. Parrett's Bakehouse - historical notes by LADHS AdG is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License