Your Fitzbillies Memories
We feel very honoured that Fitzbillies has been part of so many people’s lives over the past hundred years.
For our 100th birthday this year we are collecting your memories of Fitzbillies - old and new.
Here are some of the memories you’ve shared with us so far….
"Congratulations! Listening to Chris Mann on Radio Cambridgeshire brought back memories of when age about 20 and working for The John Hilton Bureau in Bene't Street.
I had the very important job of buying the delicious cakes from Fitzbillies for our coffee break."
"Happy 100th birthday, @fitzbillies! Three years ago we had an excellent Fitzbillies cake at our wedding. Today we braved the rain for celebratory (and delicious) free Chelsea buns from this Cambridge institution.
As you can see from the second photo, by the time we’d arrived, half of the city clearly had had the same idea."
"I started my working life on 13th September 1954, aged 15, at Cambridge University Engineering Dept on Trumpington Street, as an apprentice in the fitting shop. In 1968 I moved to the mechanics of machines lab at the same site. There I was introduced to a custom that I enjoyed up until my retirement in 2004. On the birthday of any of the mechanics lab assistant staff an unwritten law came into play.
The Birthday person would buy Chelsea Buns for all mechanics lab assistants. Not just any Chelsea bun, but Fitzbillies Chelsea buns; probably the best in the world. One of the mechanics cleaning staff would be directed, with sufficient cash, to Fitzbillies to purchase the required number of Chelseas for morning tea break. When my first grand child was born, I bought Chelsea buns for the staff as it was a birthday after all. I enjoyed a Chelsea bun on birthdays for 50 years whilst working and still enjoy them now. My children and grandchildren are also big fans of the Chelsea buns."
"During the 60s we lived in Barrow Road Cambridge, when my Grandparents came to stay they would stop outside Fitzbillies and buy a chocolate cake with crystallised flowers on it.
It was a real treat, I wish you still made them. The cakes were in glass cases in the shop."
"Fitzbillies was part of my life in the early 80’s whilst I studied at Pembroke. Regularly finished in the dissecting room on Downing site, headed to Fitzbillies for a quick Chelsea bun, and then second lecture of the day.
But more significantly, I wasn’t allowed home at the end of term unless I had a box of 4 Chelsea buns with me.
Even now a trip to Cambridge isn’t quite
complete without a visit to Fitzbillies."
"My husband and I met for the first time, for our first date, at Fitzbillies.
Things must have gone well as I was so distracted that I left a bag of books bought from Heffers behind and had to go and retrieve them the next day. Since he has recently had to build more bookshelves to accommodate by book buying habit, he takes it as a compliment!
When we got engaged, we went to celebrate at the place we first met - our favourite, Fitzbillies."
- Beth & Steve
"My Mum’s 70th Birthday afternoon tea at Fitzbillies back in 2013. It was such a lovely way to celebrate the occasion, with an incredible array of sandwiches, cakes and scones, all beautifully presented and topped off with a specially decorated cake.
The only problem was that none of us had any appetite when we went out for her birthday dinner later that day!"
"Just listening in to the Fitzbillies 100-year anniversary chat - reminding me of my long long ago undergraduate days in Cambridge (where I now live!)
When I was a first-year student here in 1984, the Fitzbillies Chelsea bun was the widely acknowledged precursor to a first date - if you got one delivered anonymously in a small white cardboard box in your college pigeonhole, you knew you had an admirer!
It was always just the one bun because we were poor students and Fitzbillies was considered rather posh and expensive.... And this tradition was not just for Valentine's Day either. I still associate sticky Chelsea buns with ROMANCE!
I was at Emmanuel College, so I was dangerously close to Fitzbillies: all too easy to pop in for buns."
"A Cake modelled on an Alfred Wallis painting in Kettle’s Yard. Decorated by the Fitzbillies cake bakers - remarkable - people were in awe! ."
"In my third year at Pembroke in 1980. I lived in the hostel on the corner of Pembroke Street so close that some of the rooms were actually directly over Fitzbillies.
Lectures were on the New Museums site so I could roll out of bed about 10 minutes before and have time to drop by Fitzbillies and still be in time for the start of the lecture.
My favourite purchase was the broken Chelsea buns: the ones that for whatever reason hadn't turned out quite right so were available at a discounted price to impoverished students who didn't care how they looked."
"My parents enjoying an Afternoon Tea with the helping hand of delicious Fitzbillies Macarons."
"The croquembouche for our wedding at Jesus College, on 13 April 2008. It was served with chocolate and raspberry sauces and was very nice indeed!
Edward Wilford and Elenor Ling, still happily married and still living and working in Cambridge!"
- Edward & Elenor
Thank you for making our wedding cake! It was absolutely delicious and we really enjoyed it. We have distributed the cake amongst our family and friends and everyone enjoyed it for the rest of the week.
We wish you all the best and hope you continue to make beautiful cakes that make everyone happy!"
- Trina and Chris
"When I was an undergraduate at St John’s in
the early 60s Fitzbillies Chelsea buns were an essential part of our rowing training. After a freezing November outing, there was nothing like a restorative Chelsea bun.
Two was the standard order. No one ever managed three. Modern sports nutrition just doesn’t come up to the same standards."
- James Wright
"The wedding cake made and decorated by the second owner of Fitzbillies, Garth Day, for his own wedding to Annette.
It features a model of Willingham Church (his home village) in icing."
"Thanks for Milo's first Birthday cake. You Can see he loved it."
"Fitzbillies annual bakery outing.
From the left: My father Garth Day, Malcolm Potter (did the finishing work in what was known as "the hen coop" just off the main bakery area, Keith (can't remember what he did), Reg (cakes), Percy (pastries) and Bert (prepared the tins and memory says just did general clearing and duties). Off the top of my head the outing was to Yarmouth."
- Patricia Day (née Birtles)
Thank you for my chocolate birthday cake with lots of stars and purple writing. It was so delicious and it made me feel special."
- Eliza (aged 7)
"I live in Boston USA but was brought up in Cambridge and my father would buy me a Chelsea bun from your bakery when I got my haircut. I still remember them vividly."
"Sharing our #Fitzbilliesmemories of our wedding cake made by the Fitzbillies team 16 years ago!
Congratulations to the whole team at this wonderful Cambridge business and on the launch of your gorgeous celebratory book!"