The Worshipful Company of Bakers has elected Patrick Wilkins as its new Master.

At the Company’s annual election banquet in London’s Mansion House on Monday (28 November), Wilkins took over from Colin Reese.

The ceremony took place in front of more than 260 members of the Company, bakers, suppliers and guests, including representatives of the City of London Corporation and the heads of bakery organisations.  

Wilkins has been a member of the Bakers’ Company for more than 20 years, and has been secretary to the Wandsmen (ushers) of St Paul’s Cathedral for 21 years.

He grew up in London’s East End and has worked as a police detective, investigating matters ranging from violent crime to major fraud, and working with law enforcement agencies in the US and Europe.

“Unlike other professions, mine was one where, most times, the customer was always wrong!” he quipped.

Speaking exclusively to British Baker, Wilkins said he had fond childhood memories of the local baker coming to his street and selling bread from an enclosed cart. “The delicious smell from the wooden enclosure when the doors were opened has stayed with me my whole life. When I was invited to become a Liveryman of the Bakers’ Company it was an absolute given that I would accept.”

Wilkins added he was “well aware” of the honour accorded to him and the responsibilities with regard to the Worshipful Company in the year ahead.

“I have been amazed at the diversity of skills in the trade, and the tremendous range of products. I hold all bakers in the utmost respect and look forward to playing a full role in supporting and promoting the industry whenever I can.”