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A baker in North Yorkshire, England is letting patrons use his oven for free

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

With the price of fuel rising so high in Europe and the United Kingdom this year, a British baker is trying to help. Ed Hamilton-Trewhitt owns Brickyard Bakery in Guisborough in North Yorkshire, England. He's decided to open a warming room on the floor above his bakery's large oven. He knew elders and pensioners in the area were on tight budgets and thought the extra heat given off by his oven might help, so he fitted out a sitting room upstairs with tea and coffee, cozy chairs, newspapers and magazines for anybody who wants to come by and get warm. No radio?

This month he's also making his oven available for anyone who'd like to make a holiday cake but is wary about the cost of fuel. A traditional Christmas fruitcake can take between four and six hours to bake, so Mr. Hamilton-Trewhitt is bringing back a custom from the Middle Ages, the community oven. Anybody who wants a cake baked can bring their batter in a baking pan. He'll cook it in his oven for free. And if people can't get to the bakery, he's offered to drop by and pick up any unbaked cake on a Friday and deliver it back nicely cooked on Monday. It's a great recipe for holiday cheer. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He is the host of Weekend Edition Saturday and is one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.

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