I am a freelance writer specialising mainly in health and education and living in Staffordshire. Find me on Linked In
Young Pixie to switch on Christmas lights after bake-off joy
A young baker is to be given the honour of switching on Tamworth's Christmas lights this year after 'beating' off the opposition to win a Junior Bake-Off competition. Local Brownie, Pixie Wallbank, was crowned the overall winner of this year's 'Blooming Tamworth' Bake-Off. She saw off the challenge from seven other young bakers to take the title – as well as turning on the town's Christmas decorations with the Mayor of Tamworth on Sunday 24 November. For this year's competition, the contestants had to bake and decorate a cake to represent what is great about Tamworth. Girlguiding groups, leaders and parents from guide and brownie packs across Tamworth flocked to the Town Hall on November 14 to see each pack's best baker compete for the title. Each of the groups had previously held a contest to choose the top baker to represent them in the final.
Junior Bake-Off winner Pixie receives here prize
The judging panel included the Mayor, Richard Kingstone, Lee Bates from Tamworth Community Together CIC, and Sarah McGrandle, Assistant Director for Operations and Leisure at Tamworth Borough Council. They had the job of tasting each cake before marking each one for appearance, taste, relevance to the theme and creativity. They praised the extremely high quality of all the entries, and admitted that choosing an eventual winner was extremely difficult. Lee Bates said: "This was really hard to judge. What really strikes you is the amount of hard work that goes into each presentation. We judged on a number of criteria - did it fit the theme, how creative was the presentation and of course the taste. The cakes were all so good that we needed the Mayor to help us make the final decision for the Girlguiding Bake-Off."
The winning sponge cake based on a flowerbed design
Pixie Wallbank took the well-deserved honour of overall winner, with a superb sponge cake decorated with delicate buttercream flowers, in a Tamworth Castle Grounds flowerbed design. There were also separate prizes for Alissa Howell and sisters Poppy and Violet Wain (Rainbows) and Lillian Webb (Guides). The Mayor of Tamworth said the standard of baking was very high. He commented: "All of the cakes have shown the hard work and effort achieved to showcase an amazing Bake-Off success. The cakes all represented what is so great about Tamworth, from castle designs inspired by the Brownies castle sleep-over to landmarks made of gingerbread showcasing the Town Hall, Tamworth Castle, St Editha's Church and the Assembly Rooms. It was such a hard decision to choose a winner!"