The Sunshine Bakery

Wylie Barr & Ross were established at 365 Paisley Road in Glasgow in 1906 and the premises was also known as ( branded as we now say ) the Sunshine Bakery in 1918.

Leslie was in a reserved occupation in WW2 despite attempting to volunteer in the HLI at Maryhill Barracks. The group who volunteered along with Leslie and were admitted were sent out east to Singapore and ended up captured by the Japanese. Many did not survive being POW’s. He spent the war managing the production of food – presumably biscuits – and took his turn at fire watch on the roof of the Bakery. Leslie left the family firm soon after the end of the war. The Company went into voluntary liquidation in 1953. The factory was taken over by Scribbans-Kemp ( Scotland) Ltd. Leslie worked here for his father until he left after WW2 to work in Blackpool with Burtons Biscuits.

The Ordinance Survey map below dating from 1951 shows the Bakery as it was. Using the following commands you can magnify this location map and the article shown below.

Left click the mouse; open ‘view image’ and right click on the mouse.
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Kingston Halls and Library ( still in existence ) is adjacent to the block seen in the left of the picture which contained the Bakery and with tenements on the street front.
The following article was published in the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce Journal
of January 1939. The Sunshine Bakery is featured and an interior of the factory is shown – the biscuit packing area.
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In the lead up to WW2 the British Government began to make plans for war time. Emergency food supplies were being distributed to communities around the country. In 1939 the Sunshine Bakery was producing biscuits for this purpose and these were being shipped to places like Rothesay on Bute in the Firth of Clyde. The following letter ( discovered by Brian Piggot ) from Wylie Barr & Ross Ltd to the Town Clerk of Rothesay is evidence of the war related business being generated in this period.

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The denouement – as far as the family of Leslie and Jean Piggot is concerned – of the Sunshine Bakery story came after the WW2. Leslie had been in a reserved occupation while Jim and Arnie had been called up and saw active service. In recognition of his service to the company during this period and previously, Leslie was given shares in Wylie Barr and Ross Ltd by his father. These shared were of sufficent value as to allow Leslie and Jean to purchase a comfortable home near the Pollock Estate where the Burrell Collection is now located. When Jim and Arnie were demobed neither had a settled occupation and so in order to grub steak Jim in his chosen field of building contracting and to allow Arnie to establish himself post war, their father requested that Leslie return the shares previously awarded. This was done much but  against Jean’s wishes and completely soured her relationship with her parents in law and some other members of the extended Piggot family. The house had to be sold and Leslie was then made to feel personna non gratia in the Sunshine Bakery. Deeply hurt by his treatment at the hand of his parents Leslie left to take up a postition with a buscuit manufacturer in Preston, Lancashire. The family, Leslie, Jean and the three brothers Arthur, Leslie and Douglas , settled in Blackpool where Malcolm was born.

2 thoughts on “The Sunshine Bakery

  1. I was thrilled to see this information about the Sunshine Bakery and W,B,&R. I am an American born descendant of the Wyllie family and very interested in learning all I can about my family’s history, including W,B,&R. If you have any additional information or suggestions on the best sources of info, I would be most appreciative. You’ve created a wonderful family history website! Thanks.

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