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The Baker’s Arms

The Five Alls public house, Cheltenham, U.K.

Six years ago, on a tour around the Cotswolds, Jennifer and I walked into a Cheltenham pub. It was late afternoon. The day had been dark and rainy, and this place was a cheerful antidote. We sat down at a table near a roaring fire in a brick fireplace and looked forward to warming up and having something to eat.

The pub was called “The Five Alls.”

There are things a visitor to such an establishment must ask.

“Why do you call this place The Five Alls?” I asked the barkeeper.

“Take a look at the sign outside, guv,” he said expertly.

Unnerstand, guv?

“There are five pictures on it: a king, a vicar, a judge, a soldier and a farmer. The king rules for all, the vicar prays for all, the judge pleads for all, the soldier fights for all, and the farmer works for all.

“Five of them. The Five Alls! Unnerstand, guv?”

“What about the poet?” I asked when he returned with our beverages. I was a bit too smart-ass. He turned on his heels and headed back to the bar.

“Everyone’s got their favourite,” he said. “Those that’s missed. Ours are these ones,” and off he went. The place was getting busy.

Jennifer unwinding in the Five Alls pub, Cheltenham

The poet wasn’t a bad idea. The poet speaks for all and holds the mirror for all. And the musician? The musician plays for all! But no, both of these archetypes get taken for granted. And the Five Alls was in farming and quarry country. Perhaps too dour a culture for the likes of wordsmiths and entertainers.

Archetypes

Today, as I was milling the flour for this week’s bake, I wondered what other archetypes of labour deserved a place on the sign of a country public house.

Over the past few years, I’ve felt a growing affinity with the farmers who grow our wheat and grain and the millers who mill them.

Bakers are another group of labourers closely intertwined with the farmers and millers. Both are noble professions that have existed for millennia. Didn’t these three deserve a place on the pub sign?

There are pubs called The Five Alls all around England, and most focus on the same ones as the Cheltenham version. None of the signs we saw included a single woman, nor were there advertising managers or computer coders.

By-gone age

The Five Alls was a relic of a by-gone age, a charming cultural tradition, part of the Merry Olde England that tourists like Jennifer and me love to indulge in. There are so many other pub names that reflect the history and culture of England: The Rose and Crown, The White Hart, The Cock and Bull.

The careful selection of archetypes in the Five Alls reflects the pillars of English society wrapped up into a colourful name. (Or maybe I’m reading too much into this!)

Food awareness, the growing interest in food security and local food sources shine a light on the people who work in baking, milling and farming. Celebrity bakers such as Lionel Poilâne (died 2002), Chad Robertson and Peter Reinhart are leaders and passionate advocates for using organic flours and ingredients that stress flavour and sustainable farming practices.

The farmer, miller and baker

These and many other bakers depend on the farms, farmers and millers who are equally proud of their crafts.

The farmer, baker and miller are individual artisans who depend on each other to create great bread, pastry and other delectable products.

They are a proud triumvirate working together to feed us all! They deserve their time in the spotlight.

So don’t ask where the bakers, farmers and millers are in the pub names of Merry Olde England. Maybe here in the New World, they should form their own public gathering house and copyright a new name: The Baker’s Arms … Pillar of the Ovens … or Wheat and Flour Artistes … or Church of Bread!

An advertising copywriter I am not! But someone out there has the answer!


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#apples #applebread #applelove #approachable #approachableloaf #breadlabcollective #breadlab

Happy Monk Tidings - September 28, 2022 🍞 - Baker's Choice: The Approachable Loaf; Blog: This Island of Apples; South Pender Growers and Makers Market [ See LinkTree in Profile ]
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#apples #applebread #applelove #approachable #approachableloaf #breadlabcollective #breadlab
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#penderisland #southpenderisland #happymonkbaking #happymonkbakery
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#penderisland #southpenderisland #happymonkbaking #happymonkbakery
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This is James Morton, my father, who would have been 100 years old today if we hadn't lost him 36 years ago. I've surpassed him in living age and spent more years without him than with him, yet he still whispers in my ear and is a great listener when I talk to him. Taken at 14th Ave. and Burgess St., Burnaby, 'round about 1955. Handsome devil, ain't he?

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Happy Monk Tidings - July 6, 2022 🍞 - BAKER'S CHOICE: Cinnamon-Raisin Bread; BLOG: Filling the Belly: Words vs. Loaves [ See LinkTree in profile ]

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How many times have I seen these loaves tumble out of the oven! If I’m not in a rush, I like to pile them up and just stand near them a moment, feeling their heat, hearing them crackle, their glorious warm aroma! Seems like a miracle, been working hard since the dark hours of morning, heard the first birdsong, seen freighters moving silently through Boundary Pass, a gentle breeze coming up from the ocean. I know I’ll pay for all this later in the day with fatigue and there’ll be several days catching up with sleep. Is it worth it all? Three years into Happy Monk Baking, I still say yes. Happy sleeping, everyone!
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#woodfired #woodfiredoven #woodfiredovenbread #bread #realbread #naturallyleavened #baker #bakery #bbga #artisanbread #breadhead #breadmaking #breadmaking🍞 #sourdough #sourdoughbread #rusticbread, #breadhead, #coboven #earthoven #earthenoven #penderisland #southpenderisland #happymonkbaking #happymonkbakery #happymonkbakingcompany #southerngulfislands #southerngulfislandsbakers #southerngulfislandsbakeries #penderisland

How many times have I seen these loaves tumble out of the oven! If I’m not in a rush, I like to pile them up and just stand near them a moment, feeling their heat, hearing them crackle, their glorious warm aroma! Seems like a miracle, been working hard since the dark hours of morning, heard the first birdsong, seen freighters moving silently through Boundary Pass, a gentle breeze coming up from the ocean. I know I’ll pay for all this later in the day with fatigue and there’ll be several days catching up with sleep. Is it worth it all? Three years into Happy Monk Baking, I still say yes. Happy sleeping, everyone!
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#woodfired #woodfiredoven #woodfiredovenbread #bread #realbread #naturallyleavened #baker #bakery #bbga #artisanbread #breadhead #breadmaking #breadmaking🍞 #sourdough #sourdoughbread #rusticbread, #breadhead, #coboven #earthoven #earthenoven #penderisland #southpenderisland #happymonkbaking #happymonkbakery #happymonkbakingcompany #southerngulfislands #southerngulfislandsbakers #southerngulfislandsbakeries #penderisland
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Fun at 4 in the morning … first load of bread in the oven, first light, first birdsong, making the treacherous walk back inside with a tower of bannetons. In the rain.
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#bakerslife #bakersofinstagram #baking #baker #woodfired #woodfiredoven #woodfiredovenbread #coboven #earthoven #earthenoven #bread #sourdoughbread #sourdough #bbga #realbread #naturallyleavened #artisanbread #artisanbreadbaker #rusticbread #breadhead #breadlove #breadhour #penderisland #southpenderisland #happymonkbaking #happymonkbakery #happymonkbakingcompany #southerngulfislands #southerngulfislandsbakers #southerngulfislandsbakeries

Fun at 4 in the morning … first load of bread in the oven, first light, first birdsong, making the treacherous walk back inside with a tower of bannetons. In the rain.
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#bakerslife #bakersofinstagram #baking #baker #woodfired #woodfiredoven #woodfiredovenbread #coboven #earthoven #earthenoven #bread #sourdoughbread #sourdough #bbga #realbread #naturallyleavened #artisanbread #artisanbreadbaker #rusticbread #breadhead #breadlove #breadhour #penderisland #southpenderisland #happymonkbaking #happymonkbakery #happymonkbakingcompany #southerngulfislands #southerngulfislandsbakers #southerngulfislandsbakeries
...

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Happy Monk Tidings - June 1, 2022 🍞 - Baker's Choice: Fig and Fennel Sourdough; Happy Monk Blog: The Golden City [ LinkTree in Profile ]

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Post to The Happy Monk Baking Company
Happy Monk Tidings - May 25, 2022 🍞 - Baker's Choice this week: Sprouted Kamut Bread; Blog: A Paean to Rye Bread: Deeply Felt and Honest [ See LinkTree in Profile ]

Post to The Happy Monk Baking Company
Happy Monk Tidings - May 25, 2022 🍞 - Baker's Choice this week: Sprouted Kamut Bread; Blog: A Paean to Rye Bread: Deeply Felt and Honest [ See LinkTree in Profile ]
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2 thoughts on “The Baker’s Arms

  1. Not to be overly-self-referential but what about the Leathersmithes? Or Sandalmakers? -feh-

    1. You’re right, sir! So many time-honoured professions that deserve notice over the doors of the world’s public houses! The leathersmiths protect the feet of all!

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