Of Bread and Flails by Geoff CroninIn or about the year 1875 my paternal grandfather opened his shop at No. 12, John Street, Waterford. There was an ancient brick oven in the back, of the type used for making bread at that time and for generations earlier. It was shaped like a bee hive made of brick and the floor of the oven was paved with baked brown, rough tiles over two inches thick.The modus operandi was that a fire would be build inside the chamber, which had a flue at the top to allow smoke to escape. The fire would be kept going for a couple of hours and when the fire died down, it would be spread to cover the floor. The embers would be pulled out and the floor of the chamber cleaned off with a wet sack on the end of a pole. This floor would dry quickly being extremely hot and would be dusted with handfuls of flour, making it ready to receive the dough for baking.