Friday, January 1, 2016

Sepia Saturday 311: 2 January 2016

Oh my goodness! 2016!  Can you believe it?  I am delighted with Alan's choice of prompt photo on Sepia Saturday this week.  I have been wanting to post some photos of the Wingfield's Bakery for some time, thanks to the hard work of my 2nd cousin Doug.  Check out the photos below.

A couple of years ago, in this blog post, I started talking about researching the Wingfields Cake Shop.  Since then Doug, my cousin, has been doing an amazing job of scanning and making notes about over 400 family photos.  It's been an enormous undertaking and I am very grateful for all his hard work.  

Imagine my joy when he invited me to have a look at a folder he created in Dropbox in October and check out the photos therein.  I had never seen photos of the Wingfield's Cake Shop before.  Here they are...with his permission. Thank you Doug.

Photo #419 of Wingfields Cake Shop Newcastle from Doug Cornwall collection

Now this may not be a very exciting photo for you to look at but it is for me...sorry about that.  Doug reckons this was taken in about 1981.  It is sooo frustrating to think that I could have gone and had a look at this shop for myself in my 20s if I had been slightly interested/tuned in then.  

Doug also kept notes in the Dropbox folder in a Word document.  He has made the document able to be edited by any of the cousins..we just have to put our initials after any comments we make so we know who said what.  Clever thinking! 

Here are Doug's comments:

Wingfield’s Cake Shop at 685 Hunter Street [behind the Post Box], Newcastle West, circa. 1981. It was also colloquially known as the “Bank Corner” by the family as it was close to the intersection of Bellevue Street and National Park Street and there was a substantial Commonwealth Bank located on the corner of Hunter and Bellevue Streets at the time. DDC

Photo #420 of Wingfields Cake Shop Newcastle from Doug Cornwall collection

This is my favourite photo because you can see that the window is curved glass - oh I do like curved glass - very swanky.  And you can see the range of cakes too.  Very 70s decor that I can see.  What can you see in the window? 

The font of the Wingfields name is very Art Deco don't you think? 

What do you think the red writing says up the top of the window?  I think it says Wingfields Famous Fruit Cakes.  How wonderful to be known for one's fruit cakes :)

Here is an ad I found in Trove tonight in the Dungog Chronicle which tells you how much they were in 1930.  Am I reading the currency correctly when I think it says 3 shilling and 7 and a half pence?  According to this calculator that works out at about $14 in today's terms.

"Advertising." Dungog Chronicle : Durham and Gloucester Advertiser (NSW : 1894 - 1954) 23 Dec 1930: 3. Web. 1 Jan 2016 <>.

Photo #421 of Wingfield's Cake shop Newcastle from Doug Cornwall collection

And then this last photo....which is also good because you can see the cakes and the bread a bit better in this photo and the rest of the sign.  Here are some more notes from Doug:

Wingfield’s Cake shop, circa. 1981. Long since sold by the Wingfield’s, note the sign writing at the top of the curved glass in # 420 does not now continue on the front flat pane revealing the fluorescent tube? It would appear that the front pane has been broken at some time but the original sign writing from the 1940’s was not redone. I can just hear Bell’s voice instructing the sign writer all those years ago! Although it was mainly cakes and pies and pastries sold, they also did milkshakes and desserts like banana splits and sundaes - DDC.

Oh how I wish I could remember that shop.  I wonder if I ever went inside it.  I have no memory of it if I did.  

It was Doug's grandparents who owned this shop.  Doug's mother, Shirley, was obviously a dab hand at baking too if the reports of the Coramba show in 1925 and 1930 are anything to go by.

"CORAMBA SHOW." Daily Examiner (Grafton, NSW : 1915 - 1954) 26 Nov 1925: 7. Web. 1 Jan 2016 <>.

"COOKING." Coffs Harbour Advocate (NSW : 1907 - 1942; 1946 - 1954) 7 Feb 1930: 4. Web. 1 Jan 2016 <>.

Where is Coramba you ask? Near Coffs the Wingfields must have been there and then moved to Newcastle.

Shirley's prizes make my efforts over Christmas look rather slack in comparison. I do like cooking when I get it right.  I produced shortbread and rum balls and Christmas cake this year.  Did you do any cooking over the Christmas period? What did you make?  

Do you make anything special for New Year?  My Scottish friend who is staying with me at the moment said that it is a tradition in Scotland to make black bun. I had never heard of it before but then I saw a picture of some on Facebook just today.  You can read all about black bun here and you can look at someone's photos from making black bun here.  

Slices of Black Bun

Hmmm...looks quite tasty.. might even have a crack at making some.  For more shopfronts, go here.

Oh and Happy New Year!

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