The turn out was impressive, so chances are you already know all about the first Crossmyloof Bread Festival, held on April 21st on the site of the former Crossmyloof Bakery in Glasgow.
‘Bread and roses’ was the theme of the day, alluding to the political slogan: ‘The worker must have bread, but she must have roses, too’. This appeal for fair wages and dignified conditions was the bedrock of Crossmyloof Bakery, founded in 1847 by philanthropist Neale Thomson. Its remit was to produce good quality, affordable bread for his workforce and the people of Glasgow, and this slogan encapsulates the lengths to which he went to reform the working conditions of journeyman bakers in the middle of the 19th century.
Top quality, affordable bread for all is, of course, a priority at the top of our list as well, so we enthusiastically accepted an invitation to talk about Scotland The Bread’s work. Charlie Hanks – Scotland The Bread Member, Soil to Slice participant and experienced Breadshare baker – regaled the crowd on Scotland The Bread’s behalf, accompanied by some stunning sample loaves made from our heritage flour by Baikhous.
Charlie joined a line-up of speakers whose acquaintance Thomson would surely have been pleased to make: Bryce Cummingham of Mossgiel Farm; Catriona Milligan from the High Rise Bakers; Freedom Bakery‘s Matt Fountain and our collaborators Mungoswells Farm.
Besides a number of stalls selling some of the best baking available in Scotland, there were free sourdough-making demonstrations throughout the day from Baikhous, with starter kits available to allow visitors to get started at home.
The festival site was just behind The Glad Cafe, who played a big part in curating and organising the festival. A music venue and creative hub as well as cafe, they hosted music throughout the day and evening.
The festival launched a number of Heritage Lottery funded activities to highlight Neale Thomson’s philanthropic work in the 1840s and 50s. These will take place throughout the summer and will involve tours for adults and primary school children as well as a number of educational resources: website, map, school worksheets.