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Aylsham in search of a baker

PUBLISHED: 13:38 06 February 2008 | UPDATED: 08:50 13 July 2010

AYLSHAM is crossing its fingers that another traditional baker will take over a long-established business at the heart of the town's slow-food culture.

AYLSHAM is crossing its fingers that another traditional baker will take over a long-established business at the heart of the town's slow-food culture.

Geoff Harvey has shut up his Red Lion Street bakery-delicatessen and retired, after selling homemade bread in the town for 32 years.

The closure has left Aylsham bereft, according to town council chairman Liz Jones. “It's devastating to lose our last traditional baker. Geoff's bread was outstanding - nothing comes up to it. He meant an immense amount to Aylsham.”

The town has held internationally-recognised cittaslow status since 2004, recognising its commitment to community values, home-produced food and a gentler pace of life.

Shops like bakers, butchers, fishmongers and greengrocers were core elements of a thriving market town, said Miss Jones. “Please, someone out there, come along and take forward all the good that Geoff has done!”

Mr Harvey, a former lorry driver, taught himself to bake so that he didn't have to travel all over the country after he married his wife Gillie.

They spent two years selling bread from a market stall in Aylsham before taking on the shop. His bread attracted customers from far afield, with some second-home owners regularly stocking up on a dozen loaves to fill their freezers back in London.

Mr Harvey said he was touched by the public response: “It was overwhelming,” he said. “Everyone was bringing bottles and I had masses of cards. My customers have been very good to me.”

·For more information on the business, ring Mr Harvey on 01263 732680.

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