Wagg’s Bakers

One of the best remembered, and largest, employers in the village was T R Wagg the baker. This business could trace its beginnings back some 250 years.

In the church registers of 1752 a ROBERT WAGG is first mentioned. ROBERT married RACHEL WISEMAN and it’s from here that the Waggs of Docking are descended.

Their eldest son WILLIAM WAGG was born in 1801, and by 1839 is shown as a miller, owning the mill which once stood at the end of Mill Lane in Station Road. WILLIAM married OLIVIA STICER HOULT and had four sons and four daughters. He died in 1848 and his widow OLIVIA with the help of her son, also WILLIAM, carried on the milling and bakery business.

WILLIAM Jnr died aged just 20 and OLIVIA carried on the business with her second husband. On her death in 1867 the business was taken over by another of her sons, JOSEPH WAGG, who was already in business as a baker in his own right near Bell Pit.

JOSEPH WAGG first married ELLA ROSE and had four children. All of the children, along with ELLA, died. JOSEPH then married HANNAH PORTER and together they carried on the business. He died in 1890 and HANNAH continued the business alone, until her son ROWLAND WAGG was old enough to join her. When HANNAH died in 1915 ROWLAND took over the family business.

ROWLAND married FLORENCE ANNIE BUTTER and they had four children: TERENCE ROWLAND, WINIFRED,  BRIAN and RICHARD. ROWLAND died in 1951.

In 1930 TERENCE ROWLAND WAGG, or “TR” as he was known, began to revive the family business.

T R Wagg delivery vans

TERENCE  had married a Docking girl, DOROTHY BATCHELOR, and with her encouragement, and assistance from his brother BRIAN WAGG, they purchased a former butcher’s shop in Station Road. Before this, the shop had been occupied by the Bennett family, who were also bakers. The original ovens, which had not been used for 40 years, were still in place.

When “TR” took over the business began to grow. Deliveries were made to the surrounding villages, firstly by handcart and later by a Model T Ford van.

In 1952 “TR” purchased the piece of land that the modern bakery was built on. The business continued to expand, and the company’s large fleet of delivery vans became a familiar sight across East Anglia. As well as having a shop in Docking, shops were also opened in Kings Lynn, Hunstanton, Fakenham and Downham Market. The company also ran a chain of coffee houses. It eventually employed more then 100 people in the village and beyond.

T R Wagg (The Baker) Ltd was awarded the Royal Warrant as suppliers of baked goods to the Queen at Sandringham. “TR” died in 1973 and it was only another two years before the business closed. The end of an era.