Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Chambers Bakery

The Chambers family moved to Lake Illawarra in 1932. Mr. Chambers was a baker and a bakery had come up for sale in the area. The family came down from Sydney by car. The bush was much thicker then, and they only passed six cars in between Sutherland and Bulli Pass. They came through Unanderra and Dapto as there was no bridge over Lake Illawarra.

The family purchased the bakery and living quarters as well as a small general store from the owner Mrs. Ballentine.  In the tourist season thousands of campers would be served at the bakery but off season the Chambers family would service only the locals. There were 12 or 14 families living around Lake South at that time.

The Chambers would deliver bread to Oak Flats, Marshall Mount, Albion Park and Albion Park Rail. Deliveries for their general store came from Davis and Penny in Wollongong.  The flour for the bread came by train to Albion Park Rail. Fred Graham brought it across to Lake South by truck when he delivered milk from the Co-op in Creamery Road, Albion Park Rail. They also bought their butter and ice from the Co-op. A green grocer delivered fresh fruit and vegetables from his truck as did the local butcher.

Bread deliveries were made three times a week; Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. All bread was made by hand and baked in the wood oven.

In 1943 on the night of the Cities Service Boston shipwreck when the area was at the mercy of a ferocious storm, the Chambers Bakery had sand five feet up the windows from the sandhills and the family couldn't get out of the door. The heavy machinery that was being used to construct the airstrip at Albion Park Rail was used to excavate the sand around the bakery and house.

When Mr. Albert Orange sold his famous California guesthouse at Oak Flats the Chambers family purchased it, and transported the guesthouse board by board over to Lake South where they rebuilt it. Mr. Chambers then sold the land at Oak Flats.

Chambers Bakery 1943
Chambers Bakery 1943.
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries.
Chambers Bros Bakery delivery van
Chambers Bros Bakery Deliver Van c.1940
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries.

Tom and Beulah Chambers
Tom and Beulah Chambers c.1950. Beulah was one of the first females to deliver bread in Shellharbour.
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries
Chambers Bros Bakery delivery van
Chambers Bros Bakery Deliver Van c.1940.
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries.

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