Over 300 entries competed in the 2006 Western Bakery Championships, held earlier this month at BAKO Western’s new facility in Cullompton, Devon.

The Open Bread Championship was won by Kathleen’s Kitchen of Colchester, which also won Best Loaf in Show. The Open Confectionery Championship was won by St Mary’s Bakery in Torquay and "remains firmly in the West Country," said Ian Hawkins, who organised the event. There was also keen competition in the two Cornish Pasty classes. The ’D’ shape winner was Polmorla Pasties of Bude and the ’A’ shape was won by Endacotts of Okehampton.

The overall winner in the trainee classes was Sean Stanley, who works at Burns The Bread, Somerset. He won a three-day bakery visit to Reeves the Baker in Salisbury and also a one day course at Campden & Chorleywood Research. "Trainees are the lifeblood of our industry and it was gratifying to see the high standard of exhibits in the open classes being reflected in the trainee classes," said Hawkins.

There was an "excellent" display of Harvest Festival loaves, wheat sheaves, multi-flavoured plaits and a large butterfly, said Hawkins. However, entries in the decorated cake classes were "disappointingly low". He added: "Without the financial support of our allied traders these competitions would not have been possible. I believe the trade has shown it is still very much alive and kicking."

The event was aired on the local ITV news