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Our leg of pork was so big it had to be cooked in Hadley's Bakery ovens

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: January 14, 2014

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I WAS born at No. 47 John Street, which was then Blackheath - and is now Rowley Regis, in 1925. I am 88 years old.

I had four brothers, three older and one younger, so there were seven of us for Christmas dinner.

Mom had only the fairly small oven in the black leaded grate so there was no room for the leg of pork, which we always bought from Neales' the butchers in the High Street.

A member of the Neale family is still there in the same shop today.

People then took their meat, which in our case was a leg of pork, to be cooked in the ovens at Hadley's Bakery, also in the High Street. The baker stuck a label on our tin and also on the jug which we took to bring home the lovely juices from the meat.

There were so many people there that we had to queue to hand them in.

I never did remember how much the charge was for this wonderful service.

Mom was given a time to fetch her leg of pork.

I was about nine years old and I went with her so that I could carry the jug of the juices from the meat.

I had to be very careful not to spill any, there was no cling film and foil then, the jug was wrapped in a cloth.

How proud Mom and I felt when we arrived home with our leg of pork with all the crackling which was soon devoured at our Christmas dinner by Mom and Dad and their four sons, and me, their only daughter.

It is strange how vivid that memory still is in my mind after all these years, thanks to Neales' the butchers and Hadleys' the bakers.

Mary Hackett,

(nee Skidmore),

11 St Giles Close, Rowley Regis.

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