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‘Hovis Heritage’ Jigsaw Puzzle By Gibsons

Button for Weekend Cooking memeWeekend Cooking is hosted by Beth F, over at ‘Beth Fish Reads’. It is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog’s home page. When leaving your link, don’t forget to leave a comment for Beth F, we all like to receive comments and share your thoughts.



A person who enjoys jigsaw puzzle assembly.

The BCD, or Benevolent Confraternity of Dissectologists to give it it’s expanded title, is a subscription-based club for followers of Jigsaw Puzzles, whether for pure enjoyment or from a more research-based interest. Based in the United Kingdom, but with a Worldwide membership, the club was founded in 1985 when a small group of jig-saw puzzle enthusiasts met for a most enjoyable evening, assembling puzzles together and sharing information about them. As a result, they decided to create a club for like-minded enthusiasts, calling themselves “Dissectologists” after John Spilsbury, who invented the original puzzles in England in the 1760’s, called them “Dissected Maps”.

You may ask what dissectology has to do with ‘Weekend Cooking’ and I must agree that the relationship is slightly tenuous. However, it is the subject matter of my latest jigsaw puzzle, which constitutes the link …. Bread, they say, is the ‘staff of life’ and I must admit that I love the stuff, although as I perhaps like it too much, it is something which we rarely have in the house.

Nothing beats the aroma of freshly baked bread. It is what makes you buy on impulse from the bakery in the local supermarket and they say, what any perspective house buyer longs to smell, together with the pungent aroma of freshly brewed coffee, when viewing a property.



The story of Hovis goes right back to 1886 and a miller named Richard ‘Stoney’ Smith. Up until this time, wheatgerm within flour had been rejected by millers because it fermented too quickly. However, Smith rightly believed that wheatgerm was nutritionally good for people, so in 1887 he teamed up with one Thomas Fitton and together they registered “Smith’s Patent Process Germ Flour” and began encouraging other bakers to use the brand.

The pair quickly realised that the name of the product was too wordy and cumbersome, so in 1890 a £25 prize was offered to the winner of a national renaming campaign. The prize was won by the suggestion of one Herbert Grime, who derived the new name from the Latin ‘Hominis Vis’, meaning ‘Strength Of Man’ and came up with ‘Hovis’.

With medical advancements, there was an increased awareness of the body’s digestive system and Hovis became strongly recommended as a cure for indigestion, especially when it was announced publicly that the Queen and The Royal Family were patrons and that the product had won the most prestigious award two years running at the Food and Cookery Exhibitions of 1895 and 1896, in London.

All bread supplied as Hovis was stamped ‘HOVIS’ to discourage imitations. In 1894, a reward of £20 was offered for information on anyone selling bread as Hovis which wasn’t made from the patented flour. Within a year, the reward increased to £50.

Hovis has been advertised to the British public consistently since 1892 and was one of the first brands to embrace television advertising, when it began in 1955. In 1972, the product was given a new ‘nostalgic’ campaign look and feel, with the addition of the now famous accompanying music from Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 ‘From The New World’ and is perhaps one of the foremost exponents of bringing classical music to the masses through the medium of advertising.

Ask anyone over the age of 50, anywhere in the country, if they can remember the advertising slogans for Hovis bread and you will be sure to hear …

“Don’t say brown, say Hovis”

“Hovis, it’s as good today as it’s always been”

… from, I would estimate, about 90% of the people you asked!

Whilst the campaign was designed to promote the product through the nostalgia of scenes from the North of England, the now famous Hovis lad on his delivery bike, was in fact filmed in Shaftesbury, Dorset (just about 10 miles away from where I live), way down in the South of the country, with the film being directed by the now famous, Sir Ridley Scott.

Watch the original advertisement here.


Gibson’s games and jigsaws is a British, family company and has been entertaining generations since 1919. Using only the highest quality materials they produce some of the UK’s best-loved jigsaw puzzles and games.

This ‘Hovis’ jigsaw was made by Gibson’s under licence from Premier Foods Group

The image compilation used in this jigsaw monatge was obtained with the kind permission of The History of Advertising Trust and Robert Opie Collection.


‘Hovis’ from the Latin ‘Hominis Vis’ meaning ‘Strength Of Man’

Here are just some of the reasons why I enjoy working with a Gibson’s jigsaw …

  • They use thicker board making the puzzle easier to work with
  • Their puzzle board is made from 100% recycled materials
  • Their jigsaws have firmly interlocking pieces
  • They have a  wide selection of puzzles, with the images I particularly enjoy

Whilst I am not personally a fan of wholemeal bread, the brand name of Hovis, has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.

For me the television advertisement featuring the boy on the bike, with the accompanying music by Dvorak, is the best loved and most remembered and of course the slogans will always remain firmly lodged in my memory …

“Don’t just say brown, say Hovis”

“Don’t say brown, say Hovis”

“Hovis, it’s as good today as it’s always been”

So for me, this has been a real trip down memory lane, which is I suppose, the reason why I enjoy this style of jigsaw so much, now that I have reached a certain age!

Just looking at the way in which product was advertised and reading some of the ‘cheesy’ words and slogans, with which the manufacturer lured us into buying into the brand and purchasing the product, can make me physically cringe, yet at the same time exude a fierce pride in the history and influence that British advertising has enjoyed throughout the world.

This jigsaw came from my own personal collection and was purchased by myself, from a local charity shop. I am in no way being compensated, monetarily or otherwise, for this review or any other post which I may publish, in which it may feature.

I personally do not agree with ‘rating’ products, as the overall experience is all a matter of personal taste, which varies from person to person. However some review sites do demand a rating value, so when this review is posted to such a site, it will attract a 4 out of 5.

Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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  • It seems I am a dissectologist too. Well… I had no idea. LOL.

    Total bread fiend here. We eat it for lunch practically every day. My son-in-law has even taken up making his own and my daughter rarely buys bread any more. We do but have changed our bread buying habits. I don’t buy supermarket bread any more but get it either from a proper baker in the market or we go out to a local farmshop. A bit dearer but much nicer and I suspect better for us.

    That jigaw looks like huge fun!

    • Hi Cath,

      I must admit that when I set to thinking about whether there was a name for someone who did jigsaws, I didn’t expect to come up with anything at all, let alone such a grand sounding title. It sounds good and quite important though, doesn’t it? Defintiely one to throw into a conversation with unsuspecting guests!

      I am seldom at home during the day and don’t take sandwiches for lunch, so for us, buying bread became something of a waste and we were throwing out more than we were eating and I hate bread which has been stored in the freezer then defrosted, it always tastes like cardboard somehow!

      If we are to be at home for any length of time, I prefer bread fresh from the bakery or farmshop. You can’t beat a ‘French Stick’ or ‘Tiger Loaf’, slathered in butter. That’s just about the only time that I would ever consider eating butter, traditional sandwiches I always eat without a spread of any kind, so it’s a very naughty treat … but oh! so nice.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, I hope that you are having a great ‘May Day’ weekend, the weather isn’t too bad, if a little chilly in the breeze!

  • I’m not a puzzle lover, but my husband had been known to put some together. The trivia lover in me loves all the Hovis info though!

    As for bread, we love bread. I have a bread maker but haven’t used it in years. Maybe I should pull it out because we do love the smell of it baking.

    • Hi Vicki,

      We are the other way around in our house. It is definitely me who loves the jigsaw puzzles, whilst hubbie considers them to be a rather pointless hobby, although I have been known to find him adding a few pieces when he thinks that I might not be looking!

      The added information that you generally get with this type of jigsaw, is another of the reasons why I prefer them over the traditional ‘chocolate box’ image of the thatched country cottage and garden.

      Nearly everyone I know who has a bread maker says the same thing ‘it’s great … but I haven’t used it in years’ I don’t own one personally, but it seems to me that if you have a good bakery nearby, baking your own with all the inherent clearing up to be done afterwards, seems something of a waste of time!

      I do love the smell of freshly baked bread though!

      Thanks for stopping by and have a great week.

  • What a fun, fun, fun post!! I just love this kind of Weekend Cooking entry. lived in the UK briefly in the 80s but I don’t remember Hovis. On the other hand, I didn’t watch much television while I there. I love doing jigsaw puzzles.

  • Hi Beth,

    Which part of the country did you live in?

    ‘Hovis’ bread is still a household name all over the country, even today, although you rarely see television advertising for it any more. As with all things, it has had to keep up with the times, so you now have Hovis white and Hovis half and half, although for those of us of a certain age Hovis will always be synonymos with brown wholemeal bread!

    I am not the sort of person who always has a jigsaw puzzle on the go. I generally get the urge to do one and try to start and finish it in a reasonable period of time, which is a little silly I know! I love this kind of informative jigsaw as well, maybe that’s the reader coming out in me, or once again it could just be an age thing.

    I seem to be attributing much of what I do and say to my age just lately, it is becoming a worrying trend that I really need to break!

    Thanks so much for the lovely comments and for being a great host. We have an extended weekend here in the UK, as the first monday in May, is traditionally called the May Day holiday, so I am looking forward to the lovely sunny day which is forecast for tomorrow and the first BBQ of the season!

  • Fascinating stuff. Not a fan of jigsaw puzzles (I haven’t the patience) I am however a lover of bread in whatever form – probably because, a disaster in the kitchen, a sandwich is an easy and, more importantly, a fairly safe alternative to actually cooking something.

    • Hi Tracy,

      I am, like yourself, a bread lover in whatever form, although I can’t picture hubbie accepting sandwiches in place of a cooked meal. Although I am not a very adventurous cook and generally meals don’t happen without a lot of moaning and cussing on my part, we usually end up with something that is recognizable and edible!

      I am not a particularly patient individual, however I find that there is something very soothing and therapeutic about a jigsaw puzzle. When I am reading, I have to have complete silence, I seem unable to block out any extraneous noise from the television, music, or even conversation. When I get engrossed in a jigsaw though, I seem to be able to concentrate through any noise and block most of it out … very strange I know!!

      Thanks for stopping by, great to talk with you and I hope that your are enjoying the Bank Holiday, despite the chilly breeze!

  • Fun post Yvonne! I agree, the aroma of freshly baked bread is heavenly. Interesting about the jigsaw puzzle. I’ve never heard of Hovis. I can imagine the puzzle is taking you down memory lane. I like vintage images like those, there’s something special about those bygone days. Happy Sunday!

    • Hi Naida,

      There is indeed something special about bygone days and the memories they can invoke. Assuming that there are still humans around in a hundred years time, still with the ability to think for themselves and have emotions, I wonder what ‘vintage’ memories there will be of life today?

      I can’t believe that the fermentation of yeast can make bread smell so good, when yeast used as a brewing ingredient, when mixed with the hops and barley, can smell so dreadful. We used to live quite close to a local brewery and the stench from there was sometimes quite nauseating, although I have to say that I am not a beer drinker at all.

      Thanks for stopping by and have a good week.

  • I haven’t tried this bread, though i have come across a biscuit/cookie named Hovis that was very tasty. I’m whole grain bread kind of person.

    • Hi Heather,

      I purposely didn’t mention Hovis biscuits for fear of muddying the water and confusing the readers, but seeing that you mention it …

      If you enjoyed Hovis biscuits, which only made an appearance on the shelves in the early 1980’s, as a sweet snack, then try them with a savoury topping such as cheese. I know it sounds bizarre, but I guarantee that they taste yummy!

      Hovis have recently introduced a ‘Hearty Oats’ loaf, which sounds good, especially for all you health conscious readers …


      Thanks for taking the time to comment, it is appreciated.

  • I never knew jigsaw puzzle enthusiasts were known as dissectologists. Thanks for expanding my vocabulary! I was the worst jigsaw puzzle doer in an extended family of talented ones, so I quickly took a strong dislike to them that I never got over! 😉

    • Hi Laurie,

      I didn’t realise there was such a word until earlier this week, although it does rather make it sound that you are conducting some kind of scientific experiment, rather than taking part in an enjoyable hobby.

      My hand eye co-ordination isn’t usually much good, I can never see the image in a ‘magic eye’ picture and my husband says that I have no idea of distance and parking when I am driving! Jigsaws seem to have the opposite effect though and I can generally pick out pieces which fit together, quite easily. They are also good for patience training, which is something else which I am not always very good at!!

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

    • Aw-Shucks! Diane,

      Thanks for all those lovely comments, you’re making me blush and go ‘all unnecesary’ now!

      Sometimes I look at other blogs and they seem so much better and more thorough than my own, so it is good to know that at least some of my posts shape up okay.

      That’s the great thing about the nostalgia jigsaw puzzles, they generally tend to have quite a lot of useful information on the reverse of the box, which adds to the interest and stimulates the memories for me.

      Of course, anything that is food related always catches my eye first, so I am always on the lookout for any more jigsaws in the same range. I only tend to buy from charity shops though, as this particular quality and image content jigsaw are so expensive to purchase new, about £11 UK Sterling, or $26 USD.

      I hope that you have a great week.

Written by Yvonne