One year on: Village Bakery after the devastating fire

first_imgChristien and Robin Jones at the new Village Bakery site on Wrexham Industrial estateOne year ago today (19 August), Village Bakery’s flagship site on Wrexham Industrial Estate was destroyed by fire.The alarm was raised at 8.41am, and within hours managing director Robin Jones knew the bakery was beyond saving.“The fire service responded quickly and were fantastic but after two hours we knew we had lost the bakery because the flames were so fierce,” he said this week, adding that his daughter was working in the bakery at the time of the fire.“Thank God no one was hurt, that was the most important thing of all. Everybody followed our well-drilled evacuation procedures and got out safely.”By lunchtime, the business had switched to recovery mode and was exploring how production could be rearranged production by using the firm’s other bakeries to maintain supplies.Incredibly, it had moved bread roll production to its bakery in nearby Minera by 3pm and delivered in full to customers the next day.“Our bakery managers, Tom Breeze, Rob Glover and Ashley Dawson and their teams rose heroically to the challenge,” said Jones. “They must have been running on empty but they delivered in spades.”We have learned lessons in terms of making the layout even better and the equipment we’re bringing in will be state-of-the-artAttention quickly fell to rebuilding on the site, and the business is replacing the destroyed factory with a 140,000 sq ft bakery in Ash Road that is more than three times the size of the one it is replacing.The shell of the building is already complete, and the production area is being handed over to the bakery at the end of next month. An office block, a Baking Academy for training, and a product development kitchen twice the size of the original will be handed over in mid-January next year.Fitting out and installing the equipment will get under way after that, with the business planning to be in full production next summer.“In a situation like this, you have to look at the positives so we have learned lessons in terms of making the layout even better and the equipment we’re bringing in will be state-of-the-art,” explains Robin’s brother Christien, who is the firm’s projects director and has overseen the rebuild.Since the fire the business has also increased its workforce by 50 and continued with a pipeline of new product development including its first bagel range. Artist’s impression of the new factorylast_img read more

Tough 2022 World Cup Draw for Angola, Togo

first_imgFormer World Cup qualifiers Angola and Togo were given difficult first hurdles to clear when the African preliminary draw for the 2022 tournament was made in Cairo yesterday.The Palanca Negras of Angola were paired with The Gambia while Togo will face the Comoros between 2nd and 10th September in two of 14 two-leg ties involving the lower ranked countries.Since qualifying for the 2006 World Cup in Germany at the expense of hot favourites Nigeria, Angola have made little impact in qualifying competitions for the global showpiece. A Gambian team coached by Belgian Tom Saintfiet impressed in mid-year friendlies, winning away to 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers Guinea and Morocco.Togo, who also made their only appearance at the World Cup in 2006, thanks in a big way to the goals of Emmanuel Adebayor, have not come close to repeating that feat.African football heavyweights Ghana, Cameroon and Morocco all failed to win in the southern Africa island state of the Comoros in recent years.The preliminary draw included six of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers and two, Burundi and Tanzania, were paired.Aggregate winners join the 26 countries given byes, based on the July world rankings, in the six-round group phase from next March.The 10 section winners advance to playoffs, which will decide the five qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia represented Africa at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and none of them made it past the first round.DRAWEthiopia v LesothoSomalia v ZimbabweEritrea v NamibiaBurundi v TanzaniaDjibouti v eSwatini (formerly Swaziland)Botswana v MalawiGambia v AngolaLiberia v Sierra LeoneMauritius v MozambiqueSao Tome v Guinea-BissauS’Sudan v E’ GuineaComoros v TogoChad v SudanSeychelles v RwandaFIRST, SECOND LEGS: Sept 2-10Byes: Senegal, Tunisia, Nigeria, Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Ghana, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Mali, Burkina Faso, South Africa, Guinea, Cape Verde, Uganda, Zambia, Benin, Gabon, Congo Brazzaville, Madagascar, Niger, Libya, Mauritania, Kenya, Central African RepublicShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more