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A big crowd gathered in Millers Flat on Monday for the official opening of the Millers Flat Bakehouse restoration.

The ceremony capped off the long weekend and also a 28-year odyssey to bring the bakehouse of more than 100 years back to life.

The occasion, which was attended by hundreds, was marked by cutting a cake which was done jointly by Millers Flat school pupil Lucy McCorkindale (5) and Millers Flat resident Hetty Gunn, who at age 103, was hailed by her grandson, Teviot Community Board chairman Raymond Gunn.

Following formalities led by Mr Gunn and restoration committee members, attendees had a peek at the bakehouse museum.

The oven was cranked up as passers-by were able to pick up freshly baked loaves of bread and enjoy some scones.

 

Big numbers . . . The crowd listens to the address from Teviot Community Board chairman Raymond Gunn. PHOTO: ADAM BURNS

The bakehouse was built in 1908 by Louis and Rosa Faigan, who ran the grocery store next door.

It ceased operations in the 1950s, when local baker Frank Vercoe consolidated his operation in Roxburgh with new electric ovens.

Talks to restore the building and its brick-and-stone oven began in 1991 led by historian Betty Adams.

Mr Gunn said the substantial turnout illustrated how significant the restoration was to the Millers Flat community.

“It’s the culmination of a fairly long fundraising effort,” he said. “It’s taken a long time but it’s a significant thing for Millers Flat.

“To have it as a working museum, too, and they’re prepared to crank it up every now and then for a bake-off, it’s very significant for Millers Flat.”

ADAM.BURNS

@alliedpress.co.nz