Film ID:
NEFA 22033

NORTHERN LIFE: BAKERY, MRS MCGUIRE, 81 YEARS OLD

1977

Visitor Tabs

Description

Tyne Tees Television Northern Life news feature, originally broadcast on 28 January 1977, on 81 year old Sarah McGuire who has run her bakery in North Shields for 45 years. Roderick Griffiths reports.

Baker Sarah McGuire feeds a dog at the doorstep of a house in Howden Road, North Shields.

She cycles to and from work every day on her Raleigh bicycle. She rides past D.N. Patterson Removals, on her way home at 2pm from her working day at McGuire’s bakery. The voice-over describes her daily cycle ride to work from her home in Fern Avenue to her bakery shop in Howden Road.

Interview with Sarah McGuire. Griffiths asks her why she cycles to work. She explains that she has arthritis in both legs and it exercises her knees. She says it’s easier than walking. She describes her day, arriving to work alone at the bakery from 3.20am to quarter to seven.

McGuire runs the pastry through a rolling machine. She takes out batches of bread buns from the ovens. In voice-over Griffiths says that she opened the bakery 45 years ago. Each morning she bakes 144 dozen bread buns, 40 loaves and about 60 stotties.

People queue up at the counter in McGuire’s bakery shop. Business is brisk. Portrait shot of two women in headscarves. The shop assistants swap banter with the customers. A little girl is at the counter with her mother, looking shyly at the camera.

In the bakehouse, McGuire continues baking pasties, cakes and buns with her helpers for the lunchtime rush at midday. One of the assistants is putting jam and cream on the buns.

Interview with Sarah McGuire who explains ‘Instead of fancy cakes, it’s everything plain. They don’t ask for anything elaborate.’

Four women are rolling out pastry. She explains that it was harder work in the past, as they didn’t have any machines. She takes out more cakes from the ovens. She says that she finishes about 2pm but then has housework to do and other jobs around the home. She’s given up gardening.

Griffiths asks if she has any hobbies. She says jokily: ‘In me spare time?’ She explains that she sometimes goes to bed at 6 o’clock.

Asked why she doesn’t retire when she’s worked since the age of fourteen, McGuire says that she doesn’t want to stay at home and wait for the undertaker to call. She would sooner be busy. ‘If I die with me boots on, that’s champion.’