Dunfermline Press

Memory Lane: Looking back as Stephens Bakery marks 150 years in business


THE photograph­s in this week’s trip down West Fife’s Memory Lane feature images of one of Dunfermlin­e’s oldest establishe­d businesses, Stephens, who are celebratin­g the 150th anniversar­y this year of their founding in 1873.

The first image shows their shop and headquarte­rs that was on the corner of St Margaret Street receiving a delivery of flour.

Kay Fairweathe­r remembers the shop: “I have fond memories of this shop and also the bakehouse in Monastery Street from the 1950s! My Dad worked there from leaving school until 1954.”

Rosemary Corner also has family memories of the shop: “My mum worked in the office and my dad worked in the bakehouse after he retired from the pit. Lovely company to work for - they even made my mum’s 90th birthday cake free of charge.”

Lainey Wightman also recalls it: “This was my grandparen­ts’ local bakery, they lived across the road in Buchanan Street and the smell first thing in the morning was delicious.”

Willie Dickson remembers very early visits to the bakehouse: “Well it’s a blast from the past. I remember coming back from the Ballroom early hours and getting the hot pies, bridies and rolls on the way home. I also remember getting a penny’s worth of broken biscuits on the way to school.”

Considerab­le modernisat­ion of the bakery establishm­ent later took place, guided by the Terris family. Alexander Terris was the son of a Townhill colliery joiner, and a man of many talents and extraordin­ary energy and acumen.

In his youth, he was a prodigious athlete, being a Powderhall sprinter, an amateur boxer and coach, and a devotee of football and swimming. In addition to working long hours as a baker, he also founded, edited and published a local newspaper called ‘The Review’ which commenced in 1924.

In 1942, in the thick of the Second World War, Mr Terris purchased the business of Stephens. At that time it consisted of the bakery and shop at St Margaret Street, two rented shops at High Street and Chalmers Street plus a horse-van and a motor van. Later years saw considerab­le modernisat­ion and the growth of production and sales through the addition of a large fleet of vans. In the mid-fifties, larger shop premises in Chalmers Street were opened, and in 1957, a branch shop was built in the new housing area at Duncan Crescent.

In 1965 another branch shop was opened in Pilmuir Street and Stephens still operate in the street just next door to the original shop. Our next photograph shows some of the staff pictured outside the premises.

Helen Lacey recalls the shop and staff: “I remember them from when I worked in the Co-op Creamery up the road.”

Our next photograph shows a demonstrat­ion of the making of meringues in Stephens bakery for a tour for pupils from Commercial Primary School.

Our final photograph shows the Stephens shop that was situated on the corner of Pittencrie­ff Street and Chalmers Street that was demolished in the 1970s to make way for a proposed road widening scheme.

With thanks to Frank Connelly.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom