Lost Worlds

20 February 2006

My father remembers how different things were when he was a child growing up in Northumberland: ‘I can remember when there was a bakery at Christon Bank, in the village near where my parents lived. I can still recall the smell of baking bread early in the morning, and buying the bread from the bakery shop, which was in a shed attached to a house. It was a stone, purpose-built bakery, with a great big brick oven, with cast iron doors, fired by coal and wood. There were huge trays with the loaves of bread on. They cost a penny or tuppence. We got a long loaf called a sandwich loaf, which was white bread, costing a penny halfpenny. The freshly baked bread has all gone. Now you get bread from the supermarket, wrapped in cellophane which has been staying there for days.

In Embleton, the neighbouring village, there was also a small abbattoir, which has long gone. You could buy local meat there. Local lambs. Local beef. There was no BSE then.

In Seahouses, you could buy the local fish, which was in season. You got what was available at the time. Now you can get whatever you want at any time of year but the oceans are nearly empty. Soon they will be empty.”

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