Glorious Gloria still rising to bakery challenge after 40 years’ service


Family is everything to Gloria Davies – at home and at work.

This year she celebrates 40 years working for a family-owned business and at 68 she has no plans to quit.

As area manager for the Wrexham-based bakers Gerrards, and their 15 North Wales and Wirral shops, she works for Wales’ oldest family craft bakers.

“I just enjoy my job and get a lot of job satisfaction,” said Gloria, of South View, Buckley.

“When I was manager of the Gerrards shop in Buckley Precinct I used to feel like I owned that shop, it was my shop! It gave me such job satisfaction closing the door at night knowing everything was clean and tidy and ready for tomorrow.”

Now her job is to pass on that experience and enthusiasm to more than 130 staff  at shops in Bangor, Llandudno, Mold, Buckley, Wirral (two shops), Wrexham (four shops), Bala, Corwen, Chirk, Gresford and Llangollen.

She also supervises the fleet of eight sandwich vans that supply offices, factories and business parks in North Wales, Shropshire, Cheshire and the Wirral with freshly baked products.

Gerrards, established in 1838 is now being run by the sixth generation of the family, and according to directors Dirk and Dawn van Rensburg they are looking at the possibility of further expansion.

Gloria was born at Leasowe on the Wirral where she left St George’s secondary modern school at 15 and went to work at a pharmacy. She met future husband Albert, from Wallasey, who worked as a motor mechanic for the GPO in Birkenhead and started saving to get married in 1965.

They had their eye on property they could afford and were drawn to a two bedroom bungalow being built on a new estate at West View in Buckley.

In a remarkable chain of events, Gloria persuaded sister Marian and husband Brian Harrison to leave the Wirral and move to Buckley, where they took over Gloria and Albert’s original two bedroom bungalow in West View (they now live in Hawarden), which had become too small with the arrival of Gloria’s twins, Andrew and Helen.

Gloria and Albert moved to a house in Delamere Avenue, Buckley, and when it came time to downsize, son Andrew – now 43 and with three daughters – swapped his bungalow in South View for his mum and dad’s house in Delamere Avenue.

“From our window in South View we can see the bungalow we lived in when we first married,” said Gloria.

After a spell working for the Timothy Whites chemists chain at Chester, Gloria switched to a delicatessen and cake shop in Buckley, which was taken over by Gerrards. Albert meantime had transferred to the GPO in Mold.

“I was a part-time assistant, but that only lasted two days before they asked me to go full-time and I’ve been there ever since,” she said.

Her parents Stanley and Gertrude Parry had also been persuaded to make the move to Buckley, but sadly Gloria’s mother died last year.

“I became the deputy manageress at Buckley and when the manager left I became manager. We all work as a team. It’s a very family orientated business and I find them nice people to get on with. Eventually I was asked to become area manager.

“They treat you like family. When Albert had heart problems and needed a by-pass operation I needed to take time off but they couldn’t do enough for me to ease my situation.

“I still enjoy meeting all the girls and the different customers, my time at Gerrards has just been a joy.

“These days when everything is owned by huge companies it’s really nice to have a family-owned business which takes a pride in what it produces.

Taste a supermarket loaf and taste one of ours and you will see the difference!” said Gloria.

Albert, who was promoted to workshop manager at Llanrwst and then Llandudno, retired in 1994, but Gloria has no retirement plans.

Despite that she still finds time to indulge her passion for acrylic painting at an art club she helped set up in Northop and she and Albert enjoy indoor bowls.

Dawn van Rensburg said: “Gloria is a great ambassador for Gerrards and a fantastic role model for all our staff.

“She continues to give unstinting, loyal service and upholds our high standards were pride.

“Our staff admire and look up to Gloria and her lovely personality means she is extremely popular with our customers.

“We are grateful to Gloria for her remarkable enthusiasm. Quite simply, she’s a star – long may she continue!”


Gerrards-1 Gloria Davies celebrates forty years at Gerrards Bakery. Pictured is Gloria Davies with Dawn and Dirk van Rensburg and Albi Davies.

Gerrards-2 and 3 Pictured is  Dawn van Rensburg with Albi and Gloria Davies.

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