The only son of a baker, Lewis led a stable childhood in the small Swansea town of Gorseinon. He helped his father in the bakery, becoming a competent baker himself, soon becoming the main baker of the business once he turned 16. You would often hear calls of "bake", throughout the morning as he busily managed the ovens, filling and emptying them, loaf after loaf. His cries of "bake" eventually earnt him the name 'Bake' or 'Beck' as it so often sounded, spoken in Welsh dulcet tones.
He was guaranteed to inherit the family business, prospects looked promising for the young man. However, one fateful night his prospects would be lost in flames.
One night, Lewis would find himself at his local Kingsbridge Inn, toasting the birth of his cousin’s daughter. Soon, one toast turned into many, and Lewis felt the call of a soft bed. Stunned through torrential rain, Lewis returned to his home drunk and frozen through, with the craving for the warmth of a family hearth.
After weeks of hard travel, and almost every penny spent, Lewis found himself in the rookeries of St Giles. Desperate, and unable to find work as a baker, Lewis took the chance and spent his last pennies on a dozen muffins.
Now, you’ll find Lewis wandering Covent Gardens at the crack of dawn, the ring of his bell echoing with his well-known call “Fresh muffins, ha’penny muffins. Four crumpets a penny”.
The rest of the night is a haze for the baker’s son, only the cries of his trapped father, and the ashes of his family livelihood are a vivid memory. Haunted by “what if’s” and the horrifying thought that he may have been, somehow, responsible for the fire, grief and guilt consumed him.
Impoverished, shunned, and jobless, Lewis’ only option was to flee the wagging tongues of his local parish. With all that he could scrape together from the wreckage of his home, Lewis travelled east, hoping to find employment as a skilled baker, away from the gossip of home.