I was born and brought up in Hull and the surrounding towns and my first recollection of baking was Christmas baking with my grandmother. I now realise that she did indeed have a significant part to play in my love of baking. She was a true home cook and never used a recipe book. The first thing she taught me to bake was a custard tart.
I continued at school until I was 16 after which I took various secretarial jobs until I finally obtained a position as a GP practice manager and by the time I retired in 2007; I had worked in the NHS for 36 years. I have always baked and cooked for my family but was certainly not known for my culinary skills until I took up baking after my retirement. In the late 1990’s I moved across the river Humber and now live in Barton upon Humber with my husband Tim. We were fortunate to find a house with a large garden in which I grow a variety of vegetables and fruit. I love fresh ingredients and use them as often as I can in my baking and cooking. We also have an area dedicated to poultry where we have several chickens, guinea fowl and in the Autumn we have turkeys which we rear for the Christmas table!! We have 8 grandchildren who visit us frequently and who each are developing their own baking skills.
I love cooking and baking and realised quite early on that the more you know about baking the more skills there are to learn. I have tried to improve my baking skills in any way I can by accessing information from books, the Internet, demonstrations and You Tube videos. I now bake every day whether it be bread, cake or patisserie.
Being a fan of the Great British Bake Off I submitted an application for Series 4 but was unsuccessful. Undeterred, I continued to read and learn and applied again for Series 5 and this time I was successful in being one of the 12 bakers to be given a place in ‘The Tent’ ahead of 16,000 other applicants. From the end of April until the end of June the Great British Bake Off was filmed in the grounds of Welford Hall near Newbury. It was the most difficult thing I have ever undertaken in my life, but equally the most enjoyable.
As well as baking I like to visit France and have made friends with many French people including a French chef and his wife with whom I enjoy swapping baking ideas.
I have always been busy and in the past I have been involved in obedience training of dogs. I had a labrador ‘Meg’ who I trained to such a high standard that we qualified for Crufts Dog show. I try and keep fit by walking, cycling and playing tennis (badly!).