Most of the photographs (below) were from David Linn. The last 2 were from Martin MacLennan.
David tells me that the new (bigger, more powerful, but quieter) generator just installed has cured the oven controller failures that we were experiencing in week 5 or so.
It seems that demand for bakery products during the weeks 7 and 8 (the school holidays) was exceptional. It was quite normal for there to be a queue at the marque door at 8am, waiting for the start of business. On at least 2 occasions, the cupboard was bare by 1pm, so late-comers unfortunately missed out!
It wasn’t because of slackness of the bakers either – they were working like fury… pushing the old oven to capacity.
Martin tells me that at the end of the last week (8) work was begun to improve the old Scotch Oven. Master oven builder Dennis Benson, has come down from Queensland to lend a hand. I understand that (with help from Doug MacLennan and Kevin Dawes), he’ll be replacing the worn and uneven old house bricks from the floor of the oven with new fire-bricks, and re-working the roof of the oven (out the back of the building) to reduce heat loss, and also protect it from water damage after (the occasional) rain.
Doug MacLennan, under instruction from Dennis, is increasing the height of the chimney , and adding a chimney pot to reduce water damage and to improve the oven “breathing” and efficiency. Hopefully less wood will be required to produce the expected higher production demands next (and subsequent years).