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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

‘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.

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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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Written by Yvonne