*

*

Saturday, January 8, 2011

For The Love Of Bread


Hhmmm Hovis and Butter for Tea...
My grandma Elizabeth Jane (Cissy) for short, owned and operated a bakery and fine confectionery shop in my hometown of Warrington for thirty something years....
Her daily delights were the main staple of all the surrounding households, and filled the stomachs of most all the nearby factory laborers on their lunch breaks.

As a young girl my contribution to the final product was extremely important, as it was left to me, to be both caretaker and deliverer of the warm, just-baked, breads.
I do confess to oftentimes pinching little holes in the underside of the loaf, after all I was considered the 'quality control manager' :)
Customers received freshly-baked bread, just in time for evening tea, still warm from the oven, and I in turn enjoyed a little taste; a trade-off of sorts......

The "Hovis" brand wheat germ bread was by far the MOST popular, as it was considered superior to the traditional "white" loaf, in both taste and nutritional value alike.


A History Of Hovis

The roots of the Hovis brand date back to 1886 when Richard 'Stoney' Smith invented a way of retaining the wheatgerm in flour - 'Smith's Patent Germ Flour'.In 1890 a national competition was launched to find a more consumer-friendly name for the new flour. The winner was a London student, one Herbert Grime, who pocketed £25 for his suggestion of Hovis, a shortened form of the Latin, 'hominis vis', meaning 'strength of man' (the runner-up was 'Yum Yum'!); and so the first Hovis loaf was produced.

Hovis rapidly became synonymous with health and goodness, greatly helped by its innovative approach to marketing and advertising. At the turn of the century Hovis took advantage of the cycling boom, producing road maps showing where cyclists could get their tyres inflated free, where they could stay overnight and, of course, where they could buy sandwiches made with Hovis bread.

In the 1920's the green Hovis signs, with their 3-D gold lettering, became a familiar sight above bakery shop fronts and some still survive today.Hovis was one of the first companies to take advantage of television as an advertising medium in the 1950's, with Kenneth Connor and George Benson bringing the famous slogan 'Don't say brown, say Hovis' to TV screens.

Perhaps the most famous TV ad was produced in 1974 when the boy pushed his bread delivery bike up the hill to the familiar sound of Dvorak's New World Symphony.



Before playing video please turn off the PLAYLIST by scrolling all the way to the bottom of the sidebar and clicking the LARGE ROUND BUTTON.

The mid-1990's saw the 'Raised The Hovis Way' continuing the tradition of health and nutrition.In 1998 its new image was unveiled which, with its gold 3-D effect lettering, remained true to its long and successful heritage. In October 1999, the entire Hovis range was relaunched, unveiling new packaging designs across the range that included Hovis 'Slice Advice' on bread wrappers, bringing the nutritional benefits of bread to the attention of all consumers. These activities, combined with continuing to provide quality, great tasting products, have helped to ensure that Hovis remains the number one bread brand into the 21st century.

25 comments:

Frugal Queen said...

we still buy and eat Hovis!

Sandra said...

i have never heard of or seen Hovis bread. I am thinking from reading this it is bread sold in a bakery. we were raised in rural Ga outside Savannah and i never went in a bakery, in fact have not ever been in a bakery other than the ones in the grocery stores. this is really interesting to me and I must have been living in a cave. if it has the word bread i will love it.

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Sandra: It can be bought in the UK grocery shops, or from the bakeries.
My grandma was the only bakery in the area, authorized to bake with their patented flour, at least at the time.

Frugal Queen: I'm slighty jealous ;)

黄清华 Wong Ching Wah said...

Sandra,
Although I am in Asia most of my life... Bread and Rice is my daily staple! Just everywhere in bakery, street vendor ! Love the smell of fresh simple bread.

Best wishes
Wong

Barbara Anne said...

How very interesting! Wonder if any of the ex-pat shops offer Hovis bread or their flour? Jo, I suppose you'd already have investigated this possibility. I love bread, too. Yum!

Your posts are always so interesting!

Hugs!

Louise said...

Interesting "slice" of history. Sorry, couldn't help myself. Sounds like good bread.

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Jo, I really enjoyed this post and about your 'connection' to a product with so much history! Of course having never lived in the UK I've not heard of Hovis Bread, but from what you've said, I am quite sure I would have bought it and enjoyed it!!

COUNTRY GAL said...

Never seen Hovis in Canada.I have heard about it from my mum years ago but never had the pleasure of tasting it. A wonderful post of history ! Have a great day !

Sharon said...

I've never heard of it, because....
If it were available here, I'm sure I would buy it, looks good!

Interesting, most brands don't stick to the same "theme" for that long, or have been around that long either!

Love the loaf pans!

DJan said...

I have never heard of this bread either. It sure does look good, though. I have to settle for Great Harvest Bread Company... and it's sure good any way you look at fresh bread!

Betsy said...

What a delightful post! What a wonderful heritage and story about your grandma and her delicious bakery. :) Love the bread pans with the name on them, too.

floweringmama said...

Ah, what a delightful history lesson wrapped up nicely in your story.

Those bread pans are amazing!

Vicki said...

What beautiful photos! Yu make me want to come there and get some bread....What a nice story and I can just taste it...

Mr Pineapples said...

I used to live right at the bottom of that hill = Gold Hill in Shaftesbury.

How's that?

Verde Farm said...

I wish folks still bought fresh, warm bread for the evening wtih tea or had fresh milk delivered. Your childhood sounds like a special time. I love the story about Hovis-how interesting. Thanks for sharing.

Roxie said...

I received a Kitchen Aid Mixer for Christmas, and made a foray into bread baking last week, so was attracted to your subject. I've noticed your blog on the LoomyTunes sidebar and kept thinking, "That looks interesting. I ought to visit some time." I was transported! You are now on my favorites list, and I will be settling in for a long past-posts read. Not only do you write wonderfully well, but your playlist is magnificent!! Oh, and the pictures totally rock, too!

elaine said...

that brought back some memories as I remember hovis bread from my childhood in Suffolk, England...thanks for the trip down memory lane :)

Anonymous said...

I just took sourdough biscuits out of my oven. (Yummy!) Nothing like the smell of fresh baked bread. Yesterday it was potato bread. I think your blog is very interesting, and I agree, your pictures ROCK!! I always look forward to what you will write next. Thanks for sharing, Suzie in Idaho

Mmm said...

Even though I was quite young I do remember that ad so very well and in fact have quoted it many times to my own kids humming the tune, etc. I so loved it.

What a wonderful memory for you of working in that shops, sapling the breads. I'm sure it smelled incredible in there too.

Mmm...just the thought of hot butter Hovis toast and jam, send shivers down my back. Makes me want to down a good cup of tea.

Thanks for the history piece too. how lovely to see a traditional home grown business like this still making it today.

George said...

I don't think there is anything better than freshly baked bread. I hadn't heard of Hovis bread before, but I enjoyed hearing about your grandmother's bakery.

Jen said...

I love reading about people's pasts and memories. I haven't heard of Hovis either, but then again, it might be because I live in the U.S.? Sounds like you have some great history to cherish! Did you get a chance to make that banana bread recipe I posted? Curious how it turned out or if you liked it. Yak at ya later. - Miss Daisy

Mama-Bug said...

What a great post Jo. Thanks for sharing all about this wonderful bread and it's history.

Janice said...

I grew up in England and a big treat for us was 2 slices of Hovis and butter after school. I now live in Alberta Canada. There is a bakery here that will make Hovis if you special order it. I have tried it and it's just as I remember it. Love it!!!!

L. D. Burgus said...

You had me guessing on how the Hovis name was in the bread. It is a great heritage and memory for you to share.

Iota said...

Did you ever see this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4tFzuFGUOI

I think you'd enjoy it.