Fire damaged bakery holds reopening day

Former employee Sharon Anderton is now joint owner of the reopened Clapham's Bakery
Former employee Sharon Anderton is now joint owner of the reopened Clapham's Bakery

A bakery has held a grand reopening after it was badly damaged by fire.

Clapham’s Bakery, on Chapel Street in Leigh, was officially reopened by MP Andy Burnham, 10 months after a fire on Boxing Day caused by an electrical fault.

Structurally the building was okay after the fire but the shop was gone and the basement, where the fire started, all that was gone.

Sharon Anderton

Much of the bakery was left badly fire damaged including the fridges, basement and the main shop following the blaze.

But thanks to the efforts of the employees, who took time out of their festive holidays to help the clean-up, the bakery was able to open again within two weeks.

Everyone chipped in to help get the bakery up and running again, taking only New Year’s Day off, and ensured the bakery was in a position to reopen in the second week of January, albeit with limited resources and limited production.

The bakery still had no electricity and had to use a generator until the problem was fixed in March.

In May, the business was taken over by three long-term employees Sharon Anderton, Darren Hayes and Ali Hassan.

Sharon, who had worked at the bakery for 13 years before taking over as an owner, said: “After the fire we opened a few weeks afterwards and then we’ve just been working to get everything sorted since then.

“Hopefully, fingers crossed, we’ve only got the last few little bits to do now.

“Structurally the building was okay after the fire but the shop was gone and the basement, where the fire started, all that was gone.

“But the bakery was closed at the time and we are lucky no one was inside at the time.

“It has been great taking over as an owner - hard work but great.

“We called the event a reopening but it was more a way of letting people know we are open and giving something back to our customers for all their support.”

The bakery is known across Leigh for its homemade pies, pasties, hotpot and cakes that it delivers to businesses and functions.

It also works with local charities like a homeless project which collects any baskets of left over food from the bakery every day.

On Wednesdays they also donate their leftover food to St Joseph’s project to adults with learning difficulties.