Essex bakery calls time

A BAKERY which has been run by the same family for nearly 70 years is to close due to a lack of trade.Humphreys Bakery in West Street, Harwich, will shut later this month and the premises sold.

A BAKERY which has been run by the same family for nearly 70 years is to close due to a lack of trade.

Humphreys Bakery in West Street, Harwich, will shut later this month and the premises sold.

Frank Humphreys, 69, took over the business when his father, Stan, died in 1962.

In recent years his son Mark has worked with him while Mr Humphreys and his wife Liz semi-retired. Now the bakery is to close after a particularly bad year's trade.


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Mr Humphreys, of Barrack Lane, Harwich, said: "It has been very, very quiet over the last few months. "This winter and last winter it has been very bad down there.

"There are problems because of the traffic. In the summer the parking is nose to tail and recently we have had a car parked outside the shop for over three weeks without moving.

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"Sometimes people park large vans or lorries for several days outside the shop and it covers the whole shop front and people can't see we're here."

Mr Humphreys added that a recent article in his trade magazine said that just after the war there were 43,000 small family bakeries in the UK but that has now reduced to 3,000.

"Supermarkets have taken over and they are not going to go away," he said.

"You could say we are picking up the crumbs.

"Public liability insurance has gone up 30% in the last few years and rates have also gone up. My son tried to build the business up, we have all tried very hard but feel it is not worth the worry."

Mr Humphreys will fully retire when the bakery closes while his son is looking into alternative work.

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