Geoffrey Ernest Ackroyd - 1930-2017
The last of the Ackroyd bakers
This appreciation was published in The Herts Advertiser, 22 June 2017, and reproduced in the Society’s Newsletter 132 in August 2017
Geoff Ackroyd, one of Harpenden’s best-known residents, died in June 2017 aged 87. He was born above his family’s baker’s shop in Station Road and followed his father Ernest into the business. Geoff built it up eventually to a chain of seven bakery shops in Harpenden and surrounding villages. His reminiscences of the area’s changing scene through his lifetime are recorded in the book he wrote in 2011, entitled ‘The Village Baker’. This proved very popular and has been reprinted twice.
Both Geoff and his father Ernest were interested in local history and Geoff was a member of the Society’s Committee in the 1970s. His father Ernest kept a scrapbook and other papers, which were donated to the Society. Extracts from these papers covering the decade before 1914 were recently added to the Society’s website.
As a Master Baker and Confectioner, Geoff was admired especially for his cake design and decoration. His design for a three-tier wedding cake for the marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981 was accepted by Buckingham Palace.
Geoff leaves behind his wife Brenda and their son Christopher and three daughters, Rachel, Miriam and Mary, along with six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.