Livery Showcase

On February 6th The Guildhall Old Library was once more the setting for the annual Livery Showcase: an event for City school pupils that offers them a chance to see what career opportunities are available in our various trades and professions. The Bakers Company stand was very popular, offering hands on experience at bread moulding and icing biscuits. Freeman David Hall supplied the bread dough, and a capable pair of experienced hands in Jack Humphries to demonstrate the techniques. David also brought some 850 cookies for the pupils to decorate: our stand was so popular that these ran out half way through the afternoon and Liveryman Henry Jefferies had to dash off for further supplies of icing as our stocks began to run low! Fortunately though, not before our own Master had a go for himself.

We had some excellent assistance in the shape of some students from the National Bakery School, who encouraged the pupils to try their hand at piping and talked to them about the bakery degree course that they are currently studying. Freemen Elaine Thomson (Course Director) and Devon Petrie (Bakery Lecturer) talked to the teachers, offering to conduct classes at their schools or at the National Bakery School itself. There was a great deal of interest in this initiative which may well swell the ranks of new students at the NBS is a few years time. The pupils were interested to hear about the chocolate sculptures on the National Bakery School table, with the NBS students explaining about the tempering and moulding techniques that were used to create these stunning works of art.

All in all, the day passed in a busy whirl of chat, dough and icing with some 800 school children passing through the show between 9:30 am and 4pm. At the end of the day we were informed that some schools had had to be turned away from this year’s event; and that plans are underway to make next years showcase even bigger. I think we are going to need more cookies….!

NBS Students left from right: Shaman Stocker-Scharfenberger, Megan Flashman, Kieran Slator, Sophie Braker

The Master, HH Stephen Kramer QC, icing cookies

Schoolchildren at the Bakers' Stand