Young baker Scott Powers and Sophie Downing have been crowned winner of this year’s two day Tamworth in Bloom Bake-Offs.
Young Cub Scout Scott, from the Dosthill Cubs, and Sophie Downing, from 2nd Dosthill Brownies, saw off the challenge from other young bakers to take the two winning titles – as well as winning the honour of counting down the firework launch and switching on Tamworth’s Christmas lights.
Runners-up for the Cubs and Scouts Bake-Off were Ethan Price from Glascote Cubs, Robert Morris-Bates from 1st Mercia’s Cubs. Other entrants were highly commended for the high standard of their cakes.
The Girlguiding sections had three individual winners plus an overall Bake-Off champion. Caitlin Buckle – Rainbow; Sophie Downing –Brownies and Summer Hogan – Guides/Rangers.
This year, two dates were chosen for the Bake-Off – Thursday, October 25 for the Cubs and Scouts, with the theme celebrating 100 years of the RAF; and Tuesday, October 30 for Girlguiding, celebrating 100 years since the Girlguiding was formed in Tamworth. All bakers brought their delicious creations to compete for the Bake-Off title as well as the winning honour of counting down the fireworks launch with the mayor, or switching on Tamworth’s Christmas lights.
Cubs, Girlguiding groups, leaders and parents from packs across Tamworth flocked to the Town Hall on October 25 and October 30, 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.
Flt Lt Darren Bates from 1122 (Marmion) Squadron ATC, Peter Dunn from Tamworth District Scouts, Lee Bates from Tamworth Community Together CIC, Sarah McGrandle and Mayor of Tamworth, were among the judges for the two day competition’s. They looked very closely at each of the cakes before cutting a slice and tasting it – 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.
The competition was fierce, making it difficult for the judges to choose the winners.
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"
Sarah McGrandle, Tamworth Borough Council’s Assistant Director for Operations and Leisure, said: “This was something we introduced to in Bloom as a bit of fun. Thanks to the support, this has grown every year to the point that we had to have two Bake-Offs this year."
Scott Powers will now be the guest of honour of counting down the firework launch on Saturday, November 3 and Sophie Downing will throw the switch to light up the town, alongside Mayor of Tamworth, on Sunday, November 25.
The finalists for the Cubs divisions were:
- Cub winner: Scott Powers
- Cub runner-up 1: Ethan Price
- Cub runner-up 2: Robert Morris-Bates
- Highly commended: Eddie Jones, Natalie Pritchard , Evi Ashby, Sofia Farmer and William Murray.
The finalists for the Girlguiding units were:
- Rainbow winner: Caitlin Buckle
- Brownie Winner: Sophie Downing
- Guides winner: Summer Hogan
- Overall winner: Sophie Downing
- Highly commended: Lexi Maeseal, Hattie Goodwin, Phoebe Hunt, Eloise Yates, Megan Loxton, Lilian Webb, Ella Mannion, Eadie Tromans, Amy Cuff, Faith Newman and Kiera Brelsforth.
Mayor of Tamworth, Peter Thurgood, said: “It is amazing to see all the various groups and packs with their leaders, family and friends supporting the Tamworth in Bloom Bake-Off at the Town Hall on October 26 and October 30. How great that this event will now be held over two dates, enabling more children to enter and be involved.
“Last year the standard was so high and this year was no exception. All of the cakes have shown the hard work and effort achieved to showcase an amazing Bake-Off success.
“This Bake-Off demonstrates that Tamworth in Bloom is so much more than just the flowers. Well done to all the amazing bakers!”
At the end of the Bake-Off finale, a special award was presented to Melvin Clark, retired Team Leader for Tamworth Borough Council’s Street Scene Team.
Sarah McGrandle presented the ‘Lifetime Bloom Achievement Award’ and said: “"There's a person in this room who I have worked with for 13 years and Tamworth in Bloom wouldn't be where it is without him."