8 thoughts on “Sparks Bakery c1994

  1. I lived in Commondale Avenue which was opposite Sparks Bakery, as kids we used to watch Sparks football team armed with an armful of misshapen cakes that were heading to the farm to feed the pigs. They played to the right of the bakery bordering on Newham Grange park. Great days and full bellies but we still had to eat all our tea!


  2. Believe it or not, one of the senior staff who worked in Sparks Bakery, in fact the Bakery Manager circa 1956, was known as “the Mad Russian”, It appears in 1917 Britain decided to invade Russia and landed troops for this purpose in one of its Baltic ports. British troops landed and announced ‘as per our custom since time immemorial’ that they were taking over. For political reasons the invasion was called off. One of the Russians citizens who had been taken over (in fact this particular ‘mad Russian’) insisted that since he had been made a Britain citizen by the invasion, then he was entitled to return home with the retreating troops. And that was how Stockton acquired it’s very own mad Russian baker, and Mr Sparks an manager. I realise this post must sound ridiculous to some so will add my brother worked for Sparks Bakery, this Russian was his boss, and further proof if required can be found on the BBC History website, and I quote: “The Bolsheviks were forced to sign the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk on 3 March 1918. This treaty effectively handed over Finland, Poland, the Baltic provinces, Ukraine and Transcaucasia to the Central Powers, together with one-third of the old Russian empire’s population, one-third of its agricultural land and three-quarters of its industries. Only a few thousand British, French and American troops ever set foot in Russia, and few of them saw action. After the WW1 armistice, most Allied efforts were directed towards finding an honourable way out of Russia, since they had no wish to sink further into the Russian Lenin / Trotsky quagmire”


  3. Interesting these pictures, showing the huge extent of Sparks’ commercial bakery that lay behind the more well known Grade II listed ‘art-deco’ influenced facade, which contained the admin sections. Sparks’ not only operated their own retail shops and high-class restaurants/tearooms, they also provided ‘own brand’ bread and other baked goods to major chain-stores, such as Littlewoods. Known as, ‘The Daylight Bakery’ this building was constructed on land belonging to White House Farm in the 1930’s and at that time was regarded as being almost ‘out in the country’!

    In the early-60’s, son John Spark opened a far-sighted ‘independent’ restaurant in Middlesbrough. Called, The Angus Rooms, this 1st. flr establishment in Wilson St, specialised in ‘steak’ and quickly gained favour amongst the new ‘up and coming’ aspirational members of the post WWII local population- no doubt, those who could recall ‘rationing’. It was particularly noted for it’s ‘modern’ 60’s decor, which included the walls being covered in the Angus ‘scottish tartan’ fabric. The restaurant closed in the early 70’s.


  4. I used to live across the park (Newham Grange Park) from the bakery. It was always nice to wake up to the smell of baking bread, nice to see that at least the front offices were preserved as well as the old staff houses


  5. A wonderful bakers, it was founded by a man RALPH SPARKS who was an abandoned baby, who went on to become a millionaire and J.P, and one of Stockton’s leading citizens. I often wonder (it’s unlikely) if his mother ever knew the foundling baby she left ended up such a fine and well respected man.


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