150th Anniversary as an Almshouse
Although the Society have been providing welfare and care to retired Bakers and Allied Traders since 1832 it was in 1857 that our first sheltered housing in Leyton was built. The Society had to move to Epping in 1973 following a compulsory purchase order due to proposed road widening, but the Bakers Arms remains as a London landmark due to its late reprieve as a building of heritage value.
The Trustees and Staff are extremely proud of what has been achieved in recent years both with the quality of the accommodation and the standards of care at Bakers' Villas. In June 2008, the Society held a Family Open Day at Bakers Villas in Epping to commemorate 150 years as an almshouse. Members of the industry and their families joined the residents, Trustees and Staff to celebrate this momentous achievement along with the local community. The event was attended by President of the Society, the Hon. Mrs. Moira Rank and officially opened by Epping Town Mayor, Ben Murphy. Also attending were members of the Worshipful Company of Bakers, including the current Master, Mr. John Renshaw, representatives from the National Association of Master Bakers, National President Mr. Chris Beaney and Laser president, Mr. Anthony Kindred and their wives. The celebration had a Barn Dance theme with music provided by the Scampering Rogues Country Dance Band complete with Caller and Country music provided by Barbara Kelly and Nigel Bell.
The local Police and Fire Brigade attended with their Fire Engine and Police car, children's entertainment was provided and the Harlow Majorettes gave a fabulous display. The Society were fortunate to have the support of Andreas Mifsud who set up a mobile bakery, BAKO, Eurobuns, Rank Hovis, Premier Foods and Bakemark UK who all provided breads and pastries. The Worshipful Company, Rank Hovis and Epping Town Council made donations towards the event.