The Hovis name was coined in 1890 by student Herbert Grime in a national competition set by S. Fitton & Sons Ltd to find a trading name for their patent flour which was rich in wheatgerm. Grime won £25 when he coined the word from the Latin phrase hominis vis – “the strength of man”. The company became the Hovis Bread Flour Company Limited in 1898.
The 1973 Hovis bread advert, which featured a tradesman’s bicycle being pushed up Gold Hill in Shaftesbury – an original screenshot from the advert is shown below – is one of Britain’s most iconic TV ads and has been voted as the country’s favourite of all times. It was directed by Ridley Scott, who went on to direct features such as the movie Alien.
Hovis did already have a connection with cycling, as their series of map books published in 1899 were designed for cyclists. Probably the most interesting aspect of the advert is that it reacquainted the general public with tradesman’s carrier bicycles.
1937 Raleigh Hovis Tradesmen’s Bike
Dunlop Rubber Carrier Bicycle Saddle
This Raleigh carrier bicycle is an older restoration, and is ready for the bread to be loaded into its basket so its rider can make his local deliveries.