Bath-born queen of cakes Mary Berry will be given the Freedom of the City of Bath by new Mayor of Bath Cllr Cherry Beath at a ceremony at Bath Abbey today.
Previous Mayor of Bath, Councillor Malcolm Lees, announced at last year’s Christmas light switch-on that the Charter Trustees were to give Mary Berry the Freedom of the City as an exemplary ambassador for Bath.
Mary’s father, Alleyne William Steward Berry served as Mayor in 1952 and he was closely involved in establishing the University of Bath.
Mary will join a very select group who have been given Freedom of the City of Bath including Horatio Lord Nelson; Winston Churchill; Haile Selassie; Yehudi Menuhin and more recently Olympic Gold medallists Amy Williams and Jason Gardener.
She is only the second woman in history to receive this honour which will be bestowed upon her at the ceremony today.
Councillor Beath said: “Mary exemplifies what can be achieved by a creative spirit, along with talent and determination.
“I am sure everyone admires her culinary works of art, which have inspired the nation to get back to baking so I am proud that my first official duty as the 787th Mayor will be to appoint her as an Honorary Freeman of our beautiful City. I am delighted to share my special day with Mary and her family.”
Mary Berry is an author, columnist, teacher and broadcaster. She trained at The Cordon Bleu in Paris and Bath School of Home Economics. In the swinging ’60s she became the cookery editor of Housewife magazine, followed by Ideal Home magazine.
Her first television series Afternoon Plus with Judith Chalmers came out in the early ’70s and was a big hit with a lot of British mothers. Three children later she continued through the ’80s writing books and filming television series for BBC from her home in Buckinghamshire.
She started the ’90s by launching her Aga Workshops, with over a hundred thousand visitors over twenty years. In the mid ’90s her daughter Annabel launched Mary Berry’s Salad Dressing.
Since the millennium Mary has continued to do demonstrations, write books and started judging The Great British Bake Off and The Junior Bake Off which has taken the country by storm.