Lake Macquarie History

Merrions Bakery Cardiff

The Merrions Bakery at Cardiff was a local icon in that suburb for many years. A Merrions pie was enjoyed at many a sporting event, and they were a mainstay of the school canteen lunch for generations of children.

The bakery was established in 1922 by Herbert Merrion who served his apprenticeship at the Arnotts Biscuit factory in Newcastle.

Herbert Merrion had four sons - all of whom worked in the bakery - and two daughters. He died in 1959, and his sons continued to run the bakery until it was taken over by TipTop Bakeries in the late 1970s.

photo: thompsonds bakery cartl

The bread cart on the left is similar to that which would have been used by Merrions in the early days of the business.

The following recording provides details on the history of the company and the Merrion family as well as an interesting insight into domestic the mid 20th century.

Merrions Cardiff Bakery. Interview with Eric Merrion, August 1987. University of Newcastle.


Bread tokens

photo: bread token

Bread tokens were in use from the 1920s to the 1940s and were a means of ensuring that staples were taken care of in the family budget. They were most popular between the wars when many people were experiencing hardship. Householders would buy the required bread tokens from the bakery on pay day before the money was used on other expenses. The tokens were then exchanged with the bakery for bread when it was required. Tokens also provided a more secure method of payment when bread was home delivered, as they could be left out rather than money.