High price of bread
Isle of Wight Times January 19, 1882
DEAR BREAD – Dear Sir – It has been opportunely shown that in August last the average price of wheat was 47s 1d, in September 55s 2d, in October 46s 9d, and at the opening of the present year 44s 3d per quarter. If anything, the rates have decreased a trifle during the past week. Now when the rise took place four months ago the bakers increased the price of a four pound loaf by one penny, and in the majority of cases the rate remains the same, notwithstanding the fact that wheat is now cheaper than it was before the additional penny was exacted from the consumer. There has been no augmentation in the cost of labour, and journeymen bakers are still amongst the worst paid skilled labourers in the country. It is a question between the wholesale market price of wheat and retail price of the manufactured loaf. No adventitious circumstances have arisen to justify the maintenance of an addition of twelve and a half per cent upon the price of the four pound loaf. For little more than one month there may have been a fair pretext for the increase, but why the September rate should now be maintained, perhaps only the bakers can say. I think, Sir, this is a question which affects most of the community, and, unless there is a more justifiable reason for the “dear loaf” than I can conceive, cheaper rates should be called for.
I am, Sir, yours truly,
A BREAD WINNER
Sir, I beg to suggest for the protection of the residents in Ryde that the President of the College, and the Principles of all the Schools here should be requested (or enforced if necessary) to inflict heavy fines on all boys, or “hobbledehoys”, under their care – found to be in possession of Catapults – one of the “infernal machines” at the present time so distructively in use in the Isle of Wight, but most particularly in Ryde. I make this request feelingly as I have two large plate glass window panes smashed and a frame of ornamental glass in my portio also destroyed. I think if we can obtain security by these means we shall soon be able to fix any misdeeds, on the “roughs” of Ryde and have them punished forthwith.
I remain, Sir,
Your obedient servant, A L