Dear Sylvia

Just a few thoughts on the baking industry. Last weekend, I took my 10-year-old lad, Joe, to the Europain exhibition in Paris. What a joy it was! It was Sunday and the place was full of families - all no doubt connected with the bakery trade.

The dads looked decidedly knackered (a Sunday feeling all bakers know something about), while the mums looked stunning in what was a big family day out for them. And the children were having the time of their life, with all the free samples available and so much to watch - with demos galore. I spotted one little boy trying to get into a spiral mixer! But haven’t we all put our children on the pastry belt for a ride, or on the bdm plate for a wobble? The scene seemed even more chaotic after lunch, with the definite feeling that several glasses of wine too many had been drunk.

I’ve just been registering for BIE and noticed, in big letters, ’No under-16s’. I wonder why small family bakery businesses are on the decline in this country?

Marcus Wells

The Breadstore, Bristol