Some 84 past and present members of the British Confectioners’ Asso­ciation gathered in Nairn, Scotland last month for an historic annual general meeting.

For the first time in the asso­ciation’s 102-year history, women were admitted as members. Previously membership had been confined to men. Secretary Tim Cutress announced that the chosen women, who had been unanimously elected, were Janet Carr (of Warings of Tilehurst), Liz Davidson (of Classic Celebration Cakes, Stockport) and Dawn Gerrard Van Rensburg (of Gerrards of Wrexham).

Charles Bamford (of Peter Herd of Wilmslow) and Russell Jenkins (of Jenkins of Llanelli) also joined the elite association. And former BCA chairman and president Martyn Ainsley was elected an honorary life member for his outstanding contribution to the body.

Colin Woodhead was elected president for the next four years, replacing Martin Wienholt.

support for project

The meeting also passed a motion to financially support the launch of the ’Bakers Knowledge’ project - web-based training modules that provide underpinning knowledge to existing training formats. The decision followed a presentation at the BCA’s June meeting by Albert Waterfield and Jean Grieves.

Chairman Robert Ditty told the gathering that his first year as chairman had been exceptionally satisfying. He thanked those who had organised meetings - Matthew and Tim Cutress in Brighton in November, James and Christopher Freeman in London in January, David Powell in New York in April and David Fielding in Ambleside in June - and George Asher and family for hosting the event at Nairn.


=== Snatching victory from the umpire’s jaws ===

Alan Stuart, MD of Stuarts of Buckhaven, reports on the ’Ashers’ contest held at the British Confectioners’ Association AGM in Nairn, hosted by George Asher.

A grand cricket match between eight gentlemen confectioners of England and eight of Scotland took place at the Nairnshire Cricket Club.

The England team was captained by Matthew Cutress and the Scottish side by Andrew Chisholm. On winning the toss, England elected to bat and laboured to 62 from their allotted 12 overs, delivered in an astonishing variety of styles.

From early on, it became apparent that the non-attendance of an ambulance crew would be a serious problem. The Scots’ wicket-keeper was almost decapitated. Derek Kemp picked up so many injuries that the umpire sent him packing with a ridiculous LBW, later described as a mercy killing, and Martin Lightbody, who was sporting a cheeky little mini-kilt, almost lost the family jewels when a simple chance crashed into his nether regions. And an unexpec-ted gust of wind induced mass hysteria as it put the jewels on full view.

In the last over, the Scots needed 10 runs to win with one wicket in hand. The hitherto unbiased umpire had devised a cunning plan to ensure a win for his side, but Cutress Jnr snatched victory off the fifth ball by clutching a rasping straight drive just in front of the umpire’s face. Had he failed, Scotland would indeed have won. But The Ashers were England’s.