Derby

Birds bakery: In photographs as it celebrates its centenary

Cakes Image copyright Birds bakery

As Birds Bakery celebrates its centenary, we look back at its rise from a single Derby shop to an East Midlands' high-street staple through a century of photographs.

Birds' first small shop and bakery was set up in 1919 in 234 Upper Dale Road, Derby, by three brothers - Frank, Thomas and Reginald Bird - when they returned from World War One.

Birds 1919 Image copyright Birds bakery
Image caption Birds' first small shop and bakery was set up in 1919
Birds van in 1920 Image copyright Birds
Image caption This company van was photographed in 1920
Birds recipe Image copyright Birds bakery
Image caption A recipe for chocolate cream sandwiches from the 1930s

Eight years after the business was launched, they opened a second shop in Normanton Road and before long they were opening up branches across Derby and the surrounding areas.

Queues in 1941 Image copyright Birds bakery
Image caption Customers queue for cakes during World War Two

Despite strict rationing, Birds continued to trade during World War Two, as seen by this queue of people in 1941.

Birds bakery Image copyright Birds bakery

The business continued to grow after the war and in 1961 they opened their first branch in Nottingham city centre.

The company's first mission statement, written in 1974, was "to provide our customers with the highest possible quality of cakes, pork pies and bread and savouries, at a reasonable cost and with a friendly and reliable service".

Birds machine Image copyright Birds bakery

Modern machinery became increasingly commonplace at the bakeries as Birds continued to bake for dozens of outlets around the East Midlands.

Birds Image copyright Birds bakery

Christmas is always the busiest time and this year some 400,000 mince pies and tarts were made over the festive period, according to the company.

Birds bakery Image copyright Birds bakery
Birds bakery Image copyright Birds bakery
Birds bakery Image copyright Birds bakery
Image caption More than 750 people now work for Birds across the East Midlands

A century since it was founded, more than 750 people work at Birds and there are about 65 stores across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Staffordshire.

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