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Westwood Works 1903-2003


In April 1985, Baker Perkins Limited was divided into three separate operating companies – Baker Perkins Bakery Ltd; Baker Perkins PMC Ltd and Baker Perkins BCS (Biscuit, Confectionery & Snack) Ltd. This new grouping recognised the need for a greater focus of attention on the particular needs of the market as each sector became more international.

The Printing machinery operation had grown very rapidly by this time and the Westwood factory and offices were extensively reorganised primarily to serve this business. While appropriate space was reserved to house BP BCS Ltd. – including its growing "Special Projects" activity - Bakery component manufacture was transferred to Bedewell (See Transport Services) and Bakery machinery assembly was moved, in 1985, into a number of modern factory units in Bretton on the outskirts of Peterborough. In early 1986, the assembly unit in Bretton was joined by the Bakery commercial and design staff. The "Master Baker Office" – marketing equipment to small craft bakers – was also sited at Bretton.

1986: Test Bakery at Bretton 1986: Layout of the Bakery Factory 1986: Building a Bread Dough Mixer 1986: Testing electronics at the PMC factory 1986: Uniplex Mixers being assembled at Bretton 1986: Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire Bakers Open Day at Bretton 1987: Student Apprentices Helen Fuller, Jon Halliday, Richard Powney & Russell Davies celebrate after receiving their bursary cheques.

It was during this period that part of the Printing operation – electronics development and the PMC panel shop– also took up residence near to the bakery operation in Bretton before moving back into Westwood (see here).

The Printing Panel shop at Bretton

The Bakery machinery business remained at Bretton until 1989 when the Bakery and BCS activities merged to form APV Baker FES. This had 2 divisions – Baked Products and CCS (Chocolate, Confectionery and Snack) - with commercial, design and manufacturing operations once again at Westwood Works.

Satellite Factory at Woodston

In early 1974, some 12 years before the move to Bretton, the Bakery business took over one of the Peterborough Development Corporation factories at Woodston and moved in the team which made bakery unit machines. This move came as part of a re-organisation of the Westwood Fitting Shop as Printing machinery production increased. It is understood that production remained at Woodston for something over one year before moving back again into the Westwood factory.

A new production technique - "planned assembly system" - was used for the first time in the company.

With this system parts for a job were divided into small, manageable groups and drawn from storage racks in a planned logical sequence. One of the key machines worked on was the Bakers Depositor.

Mick Harbour (Foreman) talks over a problem with fitter Louis Smith.

The Woodston Factory had a small canteen supplied with meals each day from Westwood. Rita Pick and Beryl Hogan talk over the menu with Doug Brothers and Mick Harbour.

Arthur Toates checks parts as they arrive onto racks ready for the assembly operation.

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