He would have run off but it was only a half hour to dinner in the canteen. He would wait until after his dinner then run off into North Shields and lose himself down on the fish quay.
Tom parked his bike in the back yard then made his way to the back of the shop.
There were seven staff and Mr Archer, who ran the staff like a military army. Tom changed into the whites that he had been given and had to wear a pair of clogs because the flour would destroy the leather on his boots.
There were several ovens on the side walls where bread and pies were put into.
Tom put on his hat then set about filling the Hobart machines with the flour and yeast to make bread with he followed the list of ingredients needed to make the dough to the letter. It was boiling hot in the kitchen and it didn’t take Tom long to get a sweat on as he added water to the mixture.
The flour dough was placed into stainless steel tins then his job was to grease the loaf tins and pie cases ready for the oven. Mr Archer never weighed anything it was all done by guess work. On the stoves the mince filling for the pies cooked away then there was the potatoes to wash and peel. There were also chickens that were boiled to strip all the meat from. Then there were the onions and carrots to peel as well as they went into the pasties.
Sausage meat was then put though a machine to make sausage rolls.
There was a steady stream of customers Olive Dobbs and Nancy Carter worked in the shop serving customers. Nancy was the happy go lucky eighteen year old with ginger hair and a huge pair of breasts all the male customers liked her for obvious reason’s Olive was in her fifties and they wouldn’t bother her but would all flirt with the strawberry blond as they came for their orders.
The phone never stopped ringing with people placing orders for bread and pies for their shops. Archers had two delivery vans that supplied shops all around North Shields. At lunch time many men who work on the fish quay would come to pick up orders.
When the yeast and dough had all proved they were cut into pound loaves then placed into the tins and put on a large tray and then baked. There was a girl on the end who did all the egg washes so that the bread an pies all went golden brown There was one girl, Lizzie Hopkins who cut all the lids for the pies, The pies were filled using a stainless steel cup so that every pie got the same amount of filling then they were put onto a baking tray then Lizzie would use a patterned wheel for the edges. Then they were egg coated and placed into the ovens to bake for forty minutes.
Liz Hopkins, (she hated being called Lizzie) had had a terrible upbringing on Cleveland Road; her parents got divorced when she was only four. Her adopted father wasn’t good to her either and as she grew up on Hazelwood Avenue she got herself into all kinds of scrapes. She fought like a tiger with the local kids and took it upon herself to go stealing from Woolworths and other shops in the town. She was sent to Hillcrest Children’s home where the matron Mrs Evelyn Hathersthwaite who all the kids called Mrs Evil; treated her like a dog. She was beaten many times until she ran away to every part of British Isles. Whether it was by car hitching a lift or by boat or train Liz Hopkins’ went. She was eventually caught and brought back again. There was talk of her being sent to a reform school in Derbyshire for wayward girls but she promised to mend her ways and they relented. She got wiser, some said more streetwise as she got older and at only fifteen was a regular customer in Uncle Toms Cabin a pub in the heart of North Shields. Someone in authority got her the job in the bakery and that seemed to calm her down.