WHEN Philip Quinlan launched his bakery 40 years ago - a novice to the profession - he came armed with the Be-Ro book of bakery.

It turned out to be the bible of his business helping him hone his skills over the early years and create the flourishing bakery he runs today.

"I'd been trained as a chef so my bakery skills were pretty basic but the Be-Ro book helped me develop my recipes and they have stood the test of time," said Philip, who set up Phillipes Bakery in Sackville Street, Skipton, on May 23, 1977 and now runs it with his wife Yvonne, 35year-old son, Wayne, and three part-timers.

Philip and Yvonne remember it well for within a short time of the new venture opening they had almost more customers can he could deal with when in September 1977 a national bakery strike broke out. Small bakeries could still get supplies of flour.

"Philip camped out in the shop and stayed here all week. We had queues of people down the street wanting bread," said Yvonne.

Philip is proud of his craft bakery skills - the dough is left overnight to ferment and added to the flour the next day for the new bake.

"That's what gives things like my teacakes my biggest seller - their flavour," said Philip, 62, who says he owns a big thank you to all his customers.

And a particular thanks goes to one of his early fans for helping him develop another of his biggest sellers - his steak pie.

"It was Rex Geldard who ran a DIY shop nearby who encouraged me to have a go at it and sales have gone from a couple of dozen a day to 150."

Philip still rises early at 5am, six days a week and even on Sundays when he can get a lie-in he still needs to visit the bakery late in the day to steep his peas ready for pie and pea sales next day.

"It's hard work but it's also a way of life . There a few jobs like this - farming's another I guess," he said.

But despite all this he still managed to play football for Skipton Town and later went on to run the line between 1982 and 2003 in the Northern Premiere League and was also on the standby linesman list for the Football League.