The Old Bakery, Waterloo Road, Radstock

A small part of Radstock’s industrial past will soon disappear with the demolition of the former Co-operative Society bakery.

The three storey brick building, six bays in length and four wide with a ridge roof, was erected in 1915 to replace a smaller facility elsewhere in the town. It was served by a siding specially extended from the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway station, materials being conveyed directly to the top floor by a structure supported by a latticework mast. Single-storey extensions were added to both north and south before 1930, the latter including loading bays.

General view of the main building and site, looking north-west

Inside, the building had a raised concrete ground floor and a concrete first floor, but the top storey was floored in timber. Internal hoists and chutes were included, with the workers having to walk upstairs on cast-iron open-tread staircases. Later additions were made to the west and north-west, with 1960s photographs showing a 2-storey extension that required a new, third, brick chimney. The 1981 Ordnance Survey revision shows the structures north of the main block had been removed, but the remainder survived as a Co-op home furnishings retail outlet and store until 2006. The site will be redeveloped for housing.

Bakery in centre left background of this photograph of Ludlow’s Pit, c 1930 (Bristol Museums, Industrial and Maritime History, BRSMG J4762)

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