A History lesson:
Many people ask us how we came upon the name, well the story goes like this. Sitting comfortably? then we'll begin......
Once upon a time, long long ago, before the Bay City Rollers, before black and white radio and steam powered telephone, before the Queen Mum (bless her) was even born. Yes we're talking yonks ago here, and unless you paid more than a couple of brain cells worth of attention in your history lessons at school, the ninth century will probably sound like nothing more than a cricketing statistic.
Our story begins in the later half of the ninth century with an English king, Alfred of Wessex, soon to become known as Alfred the Great. Now in those days, Kings (and Queens) had a lot more on their Royal plates than having to attend royal functions and wave a lot and worry about what the press had to say about their personal exploits. Alfred had to put all these things aside while he dealt with the Vikings.
Vikings at this time were making rather a nuisance of themselves around the southern and eastern coasts of Britain, invading, raping and pilaging and settling down where they really weren't welcome. Inter-racial tolerance was also a problem in those days and in fact goes back a lot further than that , but lets not lose track of our story.
Alfred spent the best part of fifteen years dealing and dispensing with these Scandinavian scallywags, but eventually the problem got out of hand. Vikings continued to arrive in their fearsome dragon headed boats and they proceeded to move further inland causing all kinds of havoc wherever they went. Alfreds’ army was kept so busy that it couldn't cope with it all, and so with his family and a few trusty warriors Alfred had no choice but to leg it.
Alfred and his chums finally found refuge on the Isle of Athelney in the damp and misty Somerset marshes. There they mingled with the locals and gathered their wits. One day while out and about pondering the state of his country, Alfred passed by a peasants’ turf cottage and was pleasantly distracted by the smell of home cooking.
The woman of the house came out and told him (unknowing of his sovereignity) that if he was going to loiter about her house then he could make himself useful and watch over her "cakes" (which due to the absence of raising agents and the like were actually more akin to biscuits) while she nipped out to do some late shopping. Alfred being the kind and helpful gentleking that he was, naturally offered his services.
Indoors, Alfred settled down by the fire and, watching the browning biscuits, his mind returned to his plans for the future of his country. He was shortly awakened from his reverie when the woman of the house returned to find her biscuits burnt to cinders. Alfred received a right royal telling off that made his ears burn, but after explaining to the woman that he was in fact a King with a lot of problems on his plate (other than charcoaled cookies) she eventually let him off with a scolding, accepting a royal reimbursement for the ruined biscuits.
Alfred the Great returned to Wessex with a renewed sense of purpose and diplomacy, advising the now established Viking communities to stay put, behave themselves and act like decent Anglo Saxons and persuading the rest to go over and annoy France instead.
He kept it in mind though, that if in his retirement he formed a band of wandering minstrels, they would call themselves “The Burning Biscuit Band”.
Many years later, centuries in fact, in the year 1994AD, on a remote hilltop somewhere in South Wales, a group of lairy individuals were toasting biscuits over an open fire under the stars, celebrating the past, present and future. Suddenly and mysteriously the biscuits burst into flames.
The spirit of Alfred the Great had returned and his last wish was to be carried out.............